From Henry BerryTurnarounds and Workouts, Vol. 18 No. 1 January 15, 2004Robert Sobel is well known to those in the business field. He's written more than fifty books and hundreds of articles on just about every topic in the field. AMEX - A History of the American Stock Exchange, 1921-1971 evidences all the characteristics which have made his writing appealing and informative to business readers -- sound research and expert knowledge put in a colorful, readable style. Writing about individuals and events, Sobel makes business come alive.He begins his history of the AMEX when it was known as the "Curb Market" in the 1800s. The name is not a catch phrase, but is a literal designation of where the activity of this market was conducted -- namely, on a curb on Broad Street under the windows of the established New York Exchange. The origins of the Curb Market, or Curb Exchange as it is called, are traced to the California Gold Rush of 1849. It played an important part in many financial transactions and businesses, particularly mining operations, which rapidly grew out of the Gold Rush.The AMEX was not given its name until 1953. Sobel leads up to this in his early chapters by covering the practices, operations, and representative individuals of the Curb Market which influenced the founding of the AMEX and left their imprint down to today. Unable to compete with the New York Stock Exchange and with no ambition to rival it or replace it anyway, the Curb Exchange traders were enterprising and unconventional. For example, if a trader wanted to become a "specialist" in handling the stock of a particular company, he might buy some of its stock for himself and begin trading it on the Curb Exchange. Most of the stocks handled by the Curb Exchange were from "young companies or marginal firms, many of which would disappear through mergers, bankruptcy, or other means." Some would eventually move to the Big Board. But the precursor to the AMEX also traded in stock of companies such as Standard Oil, U.S. Tobacco, and United States Sugar. Such major corporations, many owned by families, preferred the Curb Exchange because they did not have to file regular reports or financial information as they would with the New York Stock Exchange.The Curb Exchange played an important part in the rampant capitalism of the late 1800s. As the economic and political environment of the country changed into the decades of the 1900s so did it. In 1921, the Exchange moved indoors on Trinity Place in New York City. It had its share of difficulties along with those of the rest of the country in the time of the Depression. But the exchange survived the poor economic times, new government regulations, lackluster leadership, and even a scandal involving two of its most powerful members in the 1930s. Under the strong leadership of Edward McCormick in the 1950s, the Curb was able to put its troubles behind it and finally, after about a century of tentative existence, become established as a major trading institution. With his academic credentials, relationships with members of the SEC, experience in the field of finance, and savvy about the media, McCormick resembled the prominent individuals associated with the New York Stock Exchange. One of the most important steps in McCormick's historic activity was to change the organization's name to the American Stock Exchange on January 5, 1953.Robert Sobel was a professor at Hofstra University for 43 years. From 1972 to 1988 he was a weekly columnist for Newsday. At the time of his death in 1999, at the age of 68, he was a contributing editor to Barron's magazine.
A well-researched, informative book in which Robert Sobel, the noted financial historian, explores the lives and careers of nine representative innovators in business during the last 200 years, men frequently overlooked by contemporary social and political historians: Francis Cabot Lowell, John Wanamaker, Cyrus McCormick, James Hill, James Duke, Theodore Vail, Marcus Loew, Donald Douglas, and Royal Little. Each one was selected to illustrate a different aspect of American business tradition. All share the ability to grasp opportunity and to oppose conventional wisdom when necessary, both of which contributed to the fabric of modern corporate life. In the aggregate they created new organizational traditions that were imitated throughout the Western world. Book jacket.
Completely revised and updated, this Directory now includes biographies of members of the executive branch who have served since 1977. There are more than 20% more biographies in this work than in the last edition. Where appropriate, older entries have been updated. The Directory contains career biographies of all cabinet heads, as well as of presidents, vice-presidents, and presidents of the Continental Congress. All individuals confirmed in office by the Senate have been included. Each biography includes the most significant dates in the subject's life, family and other personal information, religious affiliation where available, service prior to and after cabinet duty, and place of death and interment. In addition, each biography contains a short bibliographic reference to important primary and secondary works to be consulted for additional information. Indexes, consisting of tables to enable the researcher to more easily relate the individual to his times and place and service, are included. More than 650 men and women have served in the cabinets of American presidents. Researchers in American political history who have adequate library facilities at their disposal may discover basic information about most of them without too much difficulty. For those who wish to make a study of a particular department or administration, the effort may be tedious and time-consuming. It is for individuals such as these, as well as for the general student of political history, that this volume has been compiled and written.
Financial markets have an impressive history of gains and progress for prudent and judicious investors. But these advances are often interrupted by powerful and sudden setbacks or forward lurches. What is it about investment psychology, and the structure of financial markets, that causes this? How should we react to short term gyrations that can excite or frighten? And what is the role of government regulation in stabilizing financial markets? Secrets of the Great Investors Series is a collection of audio presentations that explain, in understandable language, the strategies and principles that have produced great wealth. History's greatest investors used powerful investing philosophies to produce superior results, and we can learn from their successes and mistakes.
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