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Financial Goals

Ep. 025: Why Wall Street Matters with William Cohan

Willam Cohan's recent book, "Why Wall Street Matters," is a defense of the industry that he has long pilloried in previous works, such as "House of Cards" and "Money and Power."

Articles by Jill Schlesinger

By Jill Schlesinger, CFP®
  |  Published: June 22, 2017

Imagine a world without companies like Apple, or media outlets such as CBS or NBC. Without all of the cars and trucks crisscrossing the country, without food provided by the farmer… That’s what would happen if Wall Street did not exist. It would all go away, according to this week’s “Better Off” guest, writer William “Bill” Cohan.

If you’ve read some of his previous books, like House of Cards, or “Money and Power,” you know Bill is usually not one to shy away from going after Wall Street and its shortcomings. But in an interesting twist, Bill’s recent book, “Why Wall Street Matters,” is a defense of the industry that he has pilloried.

In our interview, Bill describes how a poor decision by Sen. Elizabeth Warren became his catalyst for writing this latest book. He tells us what Wall Street has done well, like providing the necessary capital to companies, which in turn allows them to invest, expand and hire, thus propelling overall economic growth.

Don’t be mistaken: Bill knows that Wall Street and the institutions that occupy the space in Lower Manhattan are imperfect, but he believes that there is far more good than bad. More importantly, the consequences would be dire if the essential role the industry plays were carelessly curtailed. Bill had one goal when writing this book—for Wall Street to become understandable to the average American. In this easy-to-read book, Bill succeeded. I highly recommend you pick it up.

This article was originally published on Jill Schlesinger’s LinkedIn.

The opinions stated on the “Better Off” podcast are those of the host, Jill Schlesinger, and her guests, and not those of Betterment or its employees. Any third party links provided are offered as a matter of convenience and are not intended to imply that Betterment endorses, or is affiliated with the owners of or any information contained on those sites, unless expressly stated otherwise. Listen to a preview and subscribe to “Better Off” here.

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