The Scarlet Woman of Wall Street

Suggested by Timothy Lane • A study of the early years of Wall Street with a focus on the infamous Erie Wars between Cornelius Vanderbilt and his nemesis, Daniel Drew, who was assisted by Jim Fisk and Jay Gould. The title comes from the Wall Street nickname for the Erie.
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One Response to The Scarlet Woman of Wall Street

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    Gordon provides a good look at the biographies and characters of the principles. Daniel Drew was a Wall Street player, who seemed to like the game (often ignoring the rules, as when he kept printing new Erie stock while Vanderbilt was trying to buy control). Jay Gould was out for money, but at least realized that a working asset was more useful. It was under his control that the Erie actually produced a dividend one year.

    Commodore Vanderbilt was different. He liked to run things, and run them well. As the manager of a steamboat line, he didn’t like paying money for insurance, so instead he made sure that the personnel were good enough that he didn’t need to. He took this attitude with him when he built (and bought) up the New York Central late in life.

    But he never did get the Erie, which he wanted for its connection to Chicago.

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