Books: High Noon on Wall Street

THE MAN WHO BROKE THINGS (312 pp.)—John Brooks—Harper ($3.95).

In the world of corporate business, the closest thing to a western movie is a proxy fight. The good guys and bad guys unlimber their six-shooters in ads in the newspapers' financial sections. The sheriff (Securities and Exchange Commission) tries to preserve law and order and to protect the widows' and orphans' stock. Each side ropes and brands countless stray cattle (small stockholders) before the big roundup (the proxy count). At "High Noon" (the annual stockholders' meeting) somebody has to bite the dust.

Essentially, this...

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