The Guardian's "Brain Food" column features anthropologist Karen Ho this week. Aditya Chakrabortty writes, "Anthropologists used to study the alien: pygmies in rainforests with blowdarts and more piercings than a knife-thrower's assistant.
Nowadays, however, few societies are more foreign than that found on
Wall Street. After all, what could be more outlandish than the tribes
of Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch and the famously fierce Goldman Sachs – with their obscure tongue (CDOs, CLOs and the rest), their worship of gold and those grisly ritual cullings of staff?" Ho's book Liquidated: An Ethnography of Wall Streetis an in-depth investigation into the everyday experiences and ideologies of Wall Street investment bankers which shows how financial markets, and particularly booms and busts, are constructed.