Diana B. Henriques is the author of five previous books, including the New York Times bestseller The Wizard of Lies: Bernie Madoff and the Death of Trust, which was adapted as an HBO film starring Robert De Niro and was cited in the widely watched Netflix documentary series “Madoff: The Monster of Wall Street.” A staff writer for The New York Times from 1989 to 2012, she is a George Polk Award winner and a Pulitzer Prize finalist, and received Harvard’s Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting, among other honors. She lives in Hoboken, New Jersey.
About Taming the Street
Taming the Street tells the epic story of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s battle to regulate Wall Street in the wake of the 1929 Crash and the ensuing Great Depression. Deeply reported and vividly told, this tale takes readers back to a time when America’s financial landscape was a jungle ruled by the titans of vast wealth, largely unrestrained by government. Roosevelt ran for office in 1932 vowing to curb that ruthless capitalism and make the world of finance safer for ordinary savers and investors. His deeply personal campaign to tame the Street is one of the great untold dramas in American history.
The outcome of this fight was far from clear for FDR and his New Deal allies – who included the political dynasty-builder Joseph P. Kennedy and the future Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas. Wall Street’s old guard, led by New York Stock Exchange president Richard Whitney, fought every new rule to the “last legal ditch.” That clash – between two sharply different visions of financial power and federal responsibility – has shaped how “other people’s money” is managed in America to this day.
As inequality once again reaches Jazz Age levels, Henriques brings to life a time when the system worked – an idealistic time when ordinary Americans knew what had to be done and summoned the will and the leadership to do it. A vital history and a riveting, true-life thriller, Taming the Street raises an urgent and troubling question: What does capitalism owe to the common good?