An extremely user-friendly overview of the inner workings of the US stock market. Things have changed a great deal since the heady days of the 1980s and we are now entering an era of profound uncertainty, with most analysts predicting trouble ahead. Indeed, the alarming decline of the NASDAQ shows no sign of abating and the fear is that traditional industries will be the next to bite the dust. September 11th has only added to the gloomy mood. This book examines the current conditions before looking back to the events of the past century - The Great Depression, the 1970s oil crisis, the party-for-the-rich atmosphere of the 1980s and the emergence of the new economy.