The most hidden aspect of the Wall Street Con Game is the specialist. In most books on the stock market, the specialist is not even mentioned or is written off as "an expert in several stocks." There is even a story which is supposed to convince the unwary investor that the specialist system actually arose by accident in 1875 when James Boyd, an exchange member, broke his leg and was unable to move about the floor, being forced to "specialize" in a certain stock.
If you want to avoid being taken in by the Wall Street Con Game, I would suggest you read the books of Richard Ney: Making It in the Market, The Wall Street Jungle, and The Wall Street Gang. Until his death, Ney also provided an investment newsletter which was one of the few to offer honest advice based on a thorough understanding of how Wall Street actually operates. In a telephone conversation with Mr. Ney in 1997, I learned that he was currently working on a new book on the stock market; evidently he never completed the book. The genius of Ney's system was that he was one of the few persons to understand how the stock market is actually rigged by the specialist cartel.
The specialist is supposed to serve two contradictory functions, part of the Wall Street myth:
"The specialist system is like a cartel whose members have divided among themselves the proprietary ownership of the stocks of the American corporate complex along with the exclusive right to determine the upward and downward movements of these stocks in the interests of their own merchandising objectives."
- As a fiduciary agent to make sure that stocks are traded fairly
- As a trader serving his and his investment banker confederates' interests
The horrible losses incurred by unwary investors are the direct result of this specialist system, as Ney describes.
"Those in government charged with the administration of the securities industry and who conduct these investigations are fully aware that since the turn of the century the findings of such investigations have centered on the fact that the deep and inexorable crises of the stock market are caused by the failure of specialists to operate the market in a fair and orderly manner when acting as dealers for themselves while in competition with the public." To see just how the specialist rigs the stock market in favor of himself and his investment banker confederates, review the section from the main menu entitled The Scam (or click on the phrase).