Power of Finance
Computers increased the speed of finance—and deregulation expanded its reach. Through their retirement plans, more Americans became investors. Professional money managers sought high profits by investing funds in increasingly complex and risky transactions that even they did not fully understand. Investors loved the strategy and returns—until they experienced losses.
Deal souvenirs from the finance and investment banking world commemorated the closing of a major business deal and were given to major participants as mementos. A deal souvenir is an elaborate presentation of a tombstone advertisement, the print announcement of an IPO or certain banking transaction, which were mandated by the Securities Act of 1933. A tombstone includes the basic details of the issue, the names of the major bankers, and the underwriters. As the influence of the financial sector and the size of deals grew, deal souvenirs often became more elaborate and colorful.
One key to business success in the United States has been access to money (capital markets). Some business raised money through bank loans or selling bonds. Other business sold a stake in their company (equity) through partnership and stock. Venture capitalists invested money and managerial knowledge in young companies in exchange for partial ownership. Georges Doriot promoted the concept in the 1950s, but it was the entrance of pension fund money after 1978 that made venture capitalism grow.