Eagle on the Street
The SEC and Wall Street during the Reagan Years
David A. Vise, Steve Coll
A “spellbinding account” of Wall Street deregulation in the 1980s, based on a Pulitzer Prize–winning Washington Post series (The New York Times Book Review).
Described by the New York Times Book Review as “worthy of being on the same shelf” as Liar’s Poker, Greed and Glory on Wall Street, and Barbarians at the Gate, this eye-opening business history explains how Washington and Wall Street cut the deals that led to a decade of greed.
For the Securities and Exchange Commission, the 1980s brought sweeping changes. Under the sway of Reaganomics and the leadership of John Shad, the SEC came down hard on insider trading but introduced wide-ranging deregulation to the stock market, which helped to both fuel the legendary bull market and sow the seeds of the 1987 crash.
Shad, a former vice-chairman of the brokerage firm EF Hutton & Company and the first Wall Street executive to lead the SEC since Joseph Kennedy, was a true believer in the free market. His tenure touched all the big headlines and enduring images of this tumultuous decade, from leveraged buyouts to junk bonds, Manhattan skyscrapers to Senate hearing rooms, Michael Milken to T. Boone Pickens.
David A. Vise and Steve Coll won the Pulitzer Prize for the original reporting in the Washington Post that would become Eagle on the Street. In an era when the costs, benefits, and risks of deregulation are under debate once again, their “engrossing account of the struggle for the soul of the SEC” is essential reading (The Washington Post).