About the Event: In the worst depths of the Great Depression, former prosecutor turned Senate inquisitor Ferdinand Pecora captivated the country with his investigation of Wall Street. Pecora revealed how the country’s elite financiers manipulated stocks, dodged taxes, and collected enormous bonuses for peddling shoddy securities to unsuspecting Americans. The sensational headlines galvanized public opinion for reform, paving the way for Congress to radically reshape financial regulation.
Professor Perino–the author of the recently published The Hellhound of Wall Street, part biography of Pecora and part gripping courtroom drama–described some aspects of this almost forgotten chapter of our national history. Professor Perino also highlighted the story’s remarkable contemporary relevance, reminding us again of the delicate and crucial relationship between Wall Street and government.