ep. 119


Learning From the Most Ruthless Robber Baron (Jay Gould) | Greg Steinmetz

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Greg Steinmetz, investor and financial writer, joins Jack to share insights from his new book, American Rascal: How Jay Gould Built Wall Street’s Biggest Fortune. Steinmetz maps the financial skullduggery of Jay Gould, an infamous "robber baron" and investor whose market manipulations left an indelible mark on finance. Steinmetz tells Jack about Gould’s unscrupulous schemes in railroad stocks and gold, which destabilized the financial system and made him one of the most hated man in America. Invoking modern-day analogies such as Elon Musk and meme stocks, Steinmetz evaluates the legacy of America’s most daring and ruthless financier, and offers his view on what modern-day investors can learn from Gould’s life.


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(00:00) Introduction

(00:16) Chapter: Why Jay Gould?

(04:05) Gould's Greatest Misdeeds

(07:10) Chapter: Cornering The Gold Market

(14:18) Fragility of The Banking System During "Free Banking" Era

(16:56) Gould's "Deposit Trick"

(20:02) Tricks in the Gilded Age vs. Tricks in 2022

(24:50) Jay Gould and the Media

(27:29) Why Was Gould So Hated?

(29:13) "Don't Fight the Fed"

(33:48) The Railroad Business in the 19th Century

(37:03) Investor Psychology

(41:38) Lessons Learned From Jay Gould

(45:01) Why Are There So Many Structurally Unprofitable Companies?

(46:48) Gould and Valuation

(49:59) Final Lessons From Gould's Legacy

(52:46) Outro


Disclaimer: Nothing discussed on Forward Guidance should be considered as investment advice. Please always do your own research & speak to a financial advisor before thinking about, thinking about putting your money into these crazy markets.

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