In 1923, seven men who had made it to the top of the finan-
cial success pyramid met together at the Edgewater Hotel in
Chicago. Collectively, they controlled more wealth than the en-
tire United States Treasury, and for years the media had held
them up as examples of success.
Who were they? Charles Schwab, president of the world’s
largest steel company, Arthur Cutten, the greatest wheat spec-
ulator of his day, Richard Whitney, president of the New York
Stock Exchange, Albert Fall, a member of the President’s
Cabinet, Jesse Livermore, the greatest bear on Wall Street,
Leon Fraser, president of the International Bank of Settlement,
and Ivan Kruegger, the head of the world’s largest monopoly.
What happened to them? Schwab and Cutten both died
broke; Whitney spent years of his life in Sing Sing peni-
tentiary; Fall also spent years in prison, but was released so
he could die at home; and the others Livermore, Fraser, and
Kruegger, committed suicide.
Waking from the American Dream
The steps of a short sale are defined as a sale of stock you don’t
own, in anticipation of a drop in price. Stock is borrowed from
your broker for delivery to the purchaser. Later, stock is pur-
chased in the open market and returned to the broker to com-
plete the transaction. In other words, the stock is sold first then
bought later, hopefully at a lower price. This is the reverse of a
normal buy-first, sell-later transaction.
Louis Smitten, speculator