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Journalistic puffery, as a former associate editor at Fortune gives her impressions of some of the women who made it on Wall Street in the greed decade. Fisher focuses on a dozen or so women as paragons of their profession. Market analyst Elaine Garzarelli predicted the 1987 stock-market crash. One money manager saw Reebok sneakers in her aerobics class, bought the stock at $20 a share, and watched it quadruple in a matter of months. An investment banker built a $14 million net worth by investing in blue-chip stocks ""with a preponderance of preferred shares, not common, thank you."" And compared to male counterparts, Fisher argues, Wall Street women are ahead of their time--wanting balanced lives, showing concern for social issues. Certainly, they are rich. But beyond that, Fisher convinces the reader of few generalizations. Garzarelli's fund ""stumbled badly"" in the year after the crash, and one woman was writing a research report on the day of her wedding. As proof that these women don't flaunt their cash, Fisher cites the coatrooms at Salomon Brothers, Merrill Lynch, and First Boston, which are ""conspicuously short of minks and sables"" in a city where ""so many people, including clerk-typists, unemployed actresses, and even journalists, own at least one fur."" Skimming at this embarrassing and misleading level, Fisher doesn't bother to get much perspective from colleagues or other sources on how these financiers who ""glitter"" and ""bubble"" climbed to the top. With cursory research and cute prose, even the clich‚s seem to lose their ring of truth: ""In the post-Crash era on Wall Street, wealth and power remain quite popular, thank you."" Fisher squanders the chance to go backstage on contemporary Wall Street, where, for the first time, women now have more than bit parts.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1989
Publisher: Knopf