Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall chapter 5 of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett's favorite book, the book is out of. Business Adventures PDF Summary by John Brooks is a collection of tales about business adventures of twelve big companies. Take notes. “Business Adventures remains the best business book I've ever read.” —Bill Gates, The Wall Street Journal What do the $ million Ford Motor Company.
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The behavior of the pioneering Dutch stock traders is ably documented in a book entitled. “Confusion of Confusions,” written by a plunger on the Amsterdam. from the World of Wall Street Book, Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street Full Popular PDF, PDF Business Adventures. traders is ably documented in a book entitled “Confusion of. Confusions,” written by a plunger on the Amsterdam market named Joseph de la.
T hanks so much to a reader for sending us the full book, which can be found below. Business Adventures: Any board-room sitter with a taste for Wall Street lore has heard of the retort that J. And it has many other distinctive characteristics. Apart from the economic advantages and disadvantages of stock exchanges—the advantage that they provide a free flow of capital to finance industrial expansion, for instance, and the disadvantage that they provide an all too convenient way for the unlucky, the imprudent, and the gullible to lose their money—their development has created a whole pattern of social behavior, complete with customs, language, and predictable responses to given events. Present-day stock trading in the United States—a bewilderingly vast enterprise, involving millions of miles of private telegraph wires, computers that can read and copy the Manhattan Telephone Directory in three minutes, and over twenty million stockholder participants—would seem to be a far cry from a handful of seventeenth-century Dutchmen haggling in the rain.
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The reason for this predicament was that the brokerage, which traded in commodities, had made a disastrous deal. It had bought cottonseed and soybean oil to be delivered at a later point in time and used the warehouse receipts as collateral to borrow money from the bank.
Unfortunately, it turned out that the receipts had been doctored and the oil did not actually exist. To make matters worse, the entire nation was in a panic: President Kennedy had just been shot and the market was declining.
Together with other lenders it managed to save Ira Haupt. The fixing could typically cost the customer as much as 25 percent more than normal price. When it turned out that GE was the ringleader of the price fixers, the scandalous matter was brought before the court and a senate subcommittee. Though some managers faced fines and prison terms, no higher level executives were charged. Why not? They claimed it was all due to a communication error: middle managers had misinterpreted their instructions.
Apparently, at the time, there were two types of policies accepted at GE: official ones and implied ones.
If executives gave you an order with a straight face, it was an official policy you should follow. But if they winked at you as they gave an order, the interpretation was up to you. Typically you were supposed to do the exact opposite of what was said, but other times you had to guess what the executive was implying.
Because of this, even though GE had a policy that forbade discussing prices with competitors, many managers assumed it was mere window dressing.
This story shows us that executives can, indeed, use communication problems to fend off responsibility for all manner of illegalities. Either way, in , it patented the concept of the self-service supermarket.
It was the first supermarket to, for example, provide shoppers with shopping carts, put price tags on all the items and have check-out stands. Piggly Wiggly still operates today, but is relatively unknown due to the actions of its eccentric owner Clarence Saunders, who went to great lengths to fight financial speculation. In the s, Piggly Wiggly was rapidly expanding throughout the United States. But when a couple of franchises in New York failed in , some investors tried to take advantage of this by starting a bear raid against Piggly Wiggly.
And he almost succeeded. He announced publicly that he would download all existing stock in Piggly Wiggly and, after borrowing heavily, managed to download back 98 percent of the shares. However, the raiders managed to convince the stock exchange to grant them an extension on paying up.
Business Adventures Key Idea 9: The example of David Lilienthal shows that business savvy and a clean conscience can co-exist. When a highly influential government bureaucrat jumps over to the business world and leverages his old government connections to make money, many people are likely to accuse him of being a sell-out.
In the s, Lilienthal was a good civil servant under the reformist President Roosevelt. Later, in , he served as the first chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, emphasizing the importance of the peaceful civilian use of nuclear power.
And, when he finally left public office In , he was honest about his motivation for the move, saying he wanted to make more money so he could provide for his family and save for his own retirement.
Once he entered the private sector, Lilienthal also proved himself a committed businessman. His background in energy made him well-suited for the mineral industry and, since he wanted to experience the trials of entrepreneurship, he took over the severely ailing Minerals and Chemical Corporation of America.
He succeeded in bringing the company back to life from the brink of failure and earned a small fortune as a result. His new line of work also influenced his own opinions: he wrote a controversial book about why big business is important for the economy and security of the United States. His old government colleagues accused him of being a sell-out, but Lilienthal was merely highly committed to both sides of the coin.
Eventually, Lilienthal decided that he wanted the best of both worlds and, in , founded the Development and Resources Corporation, a consultancy that helped developing countries carry out major public works programs. This latest endeavor proves that Lilienthal really is the ideal businessman: accountable in equal measure to both shareholders and humanity. Business Adventures Key Idea Stockholders rarely wield the power they have at their disposal.
Who do you think are the most powerful people in America? In theory, it should be the stockholders.
Especially given the fact that they own the largest corporations in America and these giant companies wield such great power in American society that many political scientists have suggested that the United States resembles an oligarchic feudal system more than a democracy. These major corporations are always led by a board of directors elected by the shareholders, giving the shareholders the true power. Once a year, shareholders come together for an annual meeting in order to elect the board, vote on policies and question the executives who run the company.
But, far from being the dignified, serious events you might imagine, these meetings are generally a complete farce. This tactic works with most shareholders. The only thing that makes these meetings interesting are the professional investors who challenge the company board and management into a debate.
Upon the last hearing, one of the directors died, and the last one was found guilty of acting too soon, after the press release. Play safe and remain confident 2. Watch for pitfalls 3. Work smart and be persistent. Belief and professionalism are critical to ascertain the value of your business plans and strategies. Take it slow and act wisely. Sometimes, we rely too much on intuition and refuse to accept the obvious indicators, which tells us when to take action or a break.
It took Xerox almost 20 years to develop fully-functional copy machinery, which blossomed in the next decades. So, being flexible and patient is the key to becoming successful. Like this summary? Praising them for their efforts is another story. To sum up, all of these successful brands provide us with clear guidance on what to do, and what to avoid.
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