Books: Hubris in the Street

THE GO-GO YEARS by JOHN BROOKS

357 pages. Weybright & Talley. $10.

It was only a few years ago. Mutual funds were growing so fast that their chiefs seemed likely to become American zaibatsu. Conglomerateurs were making profits appear out of thin air by "creative" merger accounting and deceiving legions of the gullible. Golden showers of money were descending on brokers merely for saying yes to clients over the phone.

But now that mutual funds are hemorrhaging cash and conglomerate has become a dirty word, the story of the 1960s on Wall Street has the...

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