In last Thursday's The National, Scott McLemee discussed Karen Ho's new book, Liquidated: An Ethnography of Wall Street. McLemee distinguishes Liquidated from the other recent titles on Wall Street by saying, "Ho's approach is not to expose the nefarious doings of the investment banks but to analyse the culture that has taken shape within them."
He claims "the really interesting dimension of Liquidated comes from its account of how the financial sector's members understand their own daily experience." While McLemee commends Ho for her insider's take on Wall Street (Ho herself spent some time as an investment banker in the late 1990s), he does not care for the result of the elitist culture of Wall Street. "The customs and legends of Wall Street are not, unfortunately, quaint and local; they communicate their effects across the map. It is the ethnographer's task to show how a particular culture creates and sustains a little cosmos for itself. This Karen Ho has done--except that the world she reconstructs is one the rest of us are obliged to live in, as well."