I'm reading Ed Renehan's biography of Jay Gould: Dark Genius of Wall Street. It's an informative and entertaining read and gets 4.6 stars in my book.

Some takeaways. Gould got in a railroad war with Commodore Vanderbilt, and the Commodore lowered shipping rates by 99% to put Gould's Erie under. Gould went into the cattle business in the Midwest and shipped his cattle by Vanderbilt's railroad. The commodore was apoplectic when he found out what Gould was doing.

Gould would get control of a company short the stock, then water down the stock, and buy back the watered down stock with a great profit.

Gould and his buddy James Fisk tried to corner the gold market, and Renehan cites other players like Henry Clews on the mechanics of the deal and what really went down.

There are a couple hundred other little anecdotes, stories, and plots in this book. Too many to recount.

This book provides a very sympathetic look at Gould. None of the hate I've seen in other bios of Gould.





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1 Comment so far

  1. Edward Lam on April 30, 2018 6:16 am

    I’d be interested in other speclist views: are these not the same/similar tactics of PE firms now?
    Plus ca change?


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