Brooklyn Boro

‘New York Shock Exchange’ reveals ‘how inner-city kids from Brooklyn predicted the Great Recession’

Brooklyn Bookbeat

December 2, 2013 By Samantha Samel Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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In 2006, Brooklynite Ralph Baker was searching for a way to share his passion for investing with his 11-year-old son and his friends. Inspired by his own father, who had emphasized the importance of financial knowledge, Baker founded a financial literacy program devoted to familiarizing inner-city kids with the financial world. But back in 2006, his program – called New York Shock Exchange – garnered little attention.

Today, though, with the lingering effects of the recession plaguing younger generations, leaders in all spheres – from Wall Street to the government to nonprofits – are advocating for an increased financial literacy amongst today’s youth.

In his new book, “Shock Exchange: How Inner-City Kids From Brooklyn Predicted the Great Recession and the Pain Ahead,” Baker analyzes the U.S. economy and stock market through the lens of the young boys he taught through the NY Shock Exchange. As Baker suspected, the kids he worked with had a knack for spotting trends, and soon it seemed they had more insight into investing than he and other hedge fund managers. In fact, the inner-city kids of the NY Shock Exchange became so skilled as investors that they were able to predict the Great Recession and provide helpful observations as to how to address it.

Moreover, some of the analysis of the NY Shock Exchange members has been trumpeted by politicians, economists, Wall Street titans and even the President.

Ralph Baker received his B.A. in economics from Hampden-Sydney College and his MBA from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia. He has over 15 years of experience in corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions and is currently the Executive Director of the New York Shock Exchange. Baker resides in Brooklyn. “Shock Exchange” is his first book.

Shock Exchange is available at Amazon, and St. Mark’s Bookshop in NYC. For more information, visit


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