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Forthcoming Book



Floor Rules: Insider Culture in Financial Markets.

To be published in the Yale Series in Economic and Financial History, Yale University Press, October 29, 2024. https://yalebooks.yale.edu/book/9780300214024/floor-rules/

Floor Rules is about the business culture of financial insiders, the group people have in mind when they speak of ‘Wall Street’ or ‘the City.’ These are money specialists who work with other money specialists, and who have little contact with customers or other outsiders. This is an enclosed, inward-focused world, with norms and rules of conduct that differ significantly from mainstream norms.  The book explores the historical roots of the culture and its carriers, the insider group, the group’s role in present-day high finance, and its future direction. The book presents research results from case studies and a from a longitudinal network analysis of the members of the Chicago Board of Trade.

Research for this project has been supported by fellowships from the Center for Economic History at UCLA, the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, and the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress.



“Geiger explains how and why ‘inside players’ created crises out of financial innovations in the past and recent past. All ‘outsiders’ should read this book before the next crisis!”—Larry Neal, professor emeritus of economics, University of Illinois.

“Mark Geiger blends history with personal experience to provide a revealing look into the unchanging and peculiarly amoral culture of ‘the market crowd’ operating at the center of world financial markets.”—Richard Sylla, coauthor of Alexander Hamilton on Finance, Credit, and Debt.

“As a sociologist who has studied financial markets for years, I can attest to the veracity of Mark W. Geiger’s analysis of how these markets really operate. With remarkable clarity and insight, he peels back layers of misinformation and misconception to reveal the enduring counterculture of market insiders.”—Wayne Baker, author of All You Have to Do Is Ask.

“Studies in skullduggery via histories of behavior among finance insiders, this book will fascinate and inform people serious about the enduring social organization of finance.”—Ron Burt, author of Structural Holes and coeditor of the Oxford book series on Social Network Mechanisms,