Business

Growing up in a family with many members who earned their livings on Wall Street and with many ancestors and relatives who had done the same, I—as might be expected—very early heard stories of business that I found as fascinating as the tales of military action I was soaking up at the same time. The novelist Thomas Hardy explained that “war makes rattling good history,” but it was James Gordon Bennett, the founder of the New York Herald, who explained why business makes the same.Read more »

Why Enron Always Happens

And how history shows it’s actually good for us

THERE’S AN OLD JOKE ABOUT A COMPANY’S NEEDING TO hire a new accounting firm. The chief executive invites the heads of eight firms to come in for interviews and he hires one right away. A friend asks him how he did it. “Simple,” the chief executive replies. “I just asked each of them one question. How much is two plus two?”

“That’s easy,” the friend says.

“Sure it is. Seven of them said four. So I gave the job to the eighth. He said, ‘What number do you have in mind?’” Read more »

The American Heritage

A ranking of the forty wealthiest Americans of all time (Surprise: Only three of them are alive today)

JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER

1839-1937 Read more »

Exit Lines

About to die at the untimely age of forty-four in 1883, Dr. George Miller Beard, a Connecticut physician and pioneer in neurology, remarked: “I should like to record the thoughts of a dying man for the benefit of science, but it is impossible.” And with those words, Dr. Beard passed beyond further speech. Regardless of their inner thoughts, we do at least know what many individuals uttered before giving up the ghost.Read more »

Dynamic Victoria Woodhull

Her past was shady but her conscience was excellent,
and all in all she played a big part in the emancipation of women

 
 
 
 
 

Mrs. John Biddulph Martin, widow of a rich English banker and sister of the Viscountess of Montserrat, lived to the ripe old age of 89 and, in 1927 died in the odor of sanctity, much esteemed for her charitable works. Which was a scandal in the eyes of those who esteemed themselves as right-thinkers.

 
 
 
 
 
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