When Wall Street Met Main Street: The Quest for an Investors’ Democracy and the Emergence of the Retail Investor in the United States, 1890-1930

Posted: 10 Dec 2008

See all articles by Julia C. Ott

Julia C. Ott

New School for Social Research

Date Written: December 2008

Abstract

“When Wall Street met Main Street” recovers the lost history of the American investor and locates the origins of conservative belief in the ability of laissez-faire financial markets to provide economic security and justice for all. Bond and stock marketing by the federal government, corporations, and the financial industry is analyzed alongside emerging investor-centered theories of political economy and the relevant debates over economic reform. As early twentieth century securities marketers and their ideological allies promoted investment, they wrestled with the meaning of citizenship and democracy under industrial corporate capitalism. The ideas and institutions examined in this study endured the Crash of 1929, shaping the parameters of New Deal securities market regulation and sustaining opposition to modern liberalism until the present day.

Suggested Citation

Ott, Julia C., When Wall Street Met Main Street: The Quest for an Investors’ Democracy and the Emergence of the Retail Investor in the United States, 1890-1930 (December 2008). Enterprise & Society, Vol. 9, Issue 4, pp. 619-630, 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1311732 or http://dx.doi.org/khn086

Julia C. Ott (Contact Author)

New School for Social Research ( email )

6 East 16th Street
New York, NY 10003
United States

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