THE LAST BULL MARKET: Wall Street in the 1960s by Robert Sobel

THE LAST BULL MARKET: Wall Street in the 1960s

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Bull markets in common stocks owe almost as much to confidence games as confident investors, implies Sobel in this lively account of Wall Street's salad days in the Sixties. It's a twice-told tale, true; but with the advantage of distance, Sobel has a clearer view than even the best of the competition, John Brooks' The Go-Go Years (1973). In addition to tracking the upward moves of blue-chip equities that paid off for conservative investors, he covers the high-flying over-the-counter stocks and hot new issues which appealed to more speculative tastes--with no less profitable results over the short run. The roll call of these fallen angels includes such now-ludicrous names as Cyclomatics, Pneumodynamics, Digitronics, and Kalvar. Sobel also provides personal and professional profiles of the glamorous young portfolio managers (Jerry Tsai, Fred Carr, Dave Meld, et al.) who, though despised as upstarts by the establishment, briefly attracted enthusiastic followings not only among fast-buck investors but also members of the business press. In the cast as well are LTV's Jim Ling, ITT's Harold Geneen, Bernie Cornfeld of lOS infamy, and other entrepreneurial phenomena. As a practical matter, Sobel notes, the party was over for these rogues and the public early in 1966 when the Dow Jones Industrial Average peaked a tick above the key psychological barrier of 1,000; almost everyone, however, stayed on to pay a stiff price during the '69-'70 crash. Throughout, he places market movements in the context of both socioeconomic and political events--giving this some clout, too, with people whose interest in the market is strictly academic.

Pub Date: March 24th, 1980
Publisher: Norton