SCANDAL!: Amazing Tales of Scandals that Shocked the World and Shaped Modern Business by Editors of Fortune Magazine
America's premier business magazine gives a guided tour of the most colorful and consequential scandals in business history. A combination of news stories about the events as they happened and fresh takes from a contemporary perspective, the book tells the tales of dozens of outrageous swindlesand explains how the endless cycle of fraud and reform has helped to create the modern economy. Greed, cupidity, corruption, and a kind of gluttony so outrageous that it's laughable have always been part of business. Consider, for example, the case of the Swedish match king. At one time, Ivar Kreuger, manufactured almost half of the world's matches, with monopolies in 16 countries. He had so much money that he was a reliable lender to many countries, becoming known as the "savior of Europe" for his willingness to give aid to banks crippled by World War I. At the time of the 1929 market crash, his was the most widely held stock in the world. But when he killed himself three years later, the whole thing went up in flames. The company's debts exceeded those of the entire Swedish government, as it was based on a gigantic pyramid scheme. OTHER U.S. EXAMPLES: • "electrical cartel" -1961 bid-rigging • Robert Vesco1970 • Wedtech • Crazy Eddie • Orange County bankruptcy • Sothebys and Al Taubman • Enron THE AFTERSHOCKS: The history of scandal is not all of dishonesty and fecklessnesshowever much fun these stories are (in retrospect at least). In important ways, it is scandal that has often forced the reforms that allowed the U.S. economy to continue to adapt and evolve.