Abstract: Riding the Wave: The U.S. Financial Markets and the Postwar Electronics Boom

Mary A. O'Sullivan


In this paper, I analyze the relationship between the rapidly developing electronics sector and the US financial markets in the postwar decades by focusing on security issues undertaken by electronics companies. I argue that there was an important expansion in the number of electronics companies issuing securities in the 1950s. Even more striking is a change in the characteristics of these companies, with a marked growth in the number of fledgling enterprises. I analyze the characteristics of the US financial markets that allowed financiers to ride the wave of the booming electronics industry and point to the structure and dynamics of the trading markets that constituted the US stock market in the postwar