This week in financial history has a bit of everything. Unfortunately, that includes murder. We'll scale the highs and lows of the human condition in this week of Wall Street History. (Missed last week's article? Check out Wall Street History: Worldcom, Rigas And Freddie.)

IN PICTURES: 10 Biggest Losers In Finance

Just Add Ketchup
On July 27, 1900, the H.J. Heinz company was incorporated. Henry Heinz and L. Clarence Noble had been in the food business for over 30 years before Heinz made their venture a corporation. The two started with condiments like horseradish, pickles and sauerkraut, adding their famous ketchup in 1876. Now Heinz dominates the global condiments markets, enjoying more than 50% market share in many of its product lines.

Sweet Goodbyes
On July 28, 2006, Pfizer CEO Henry Mckinnell announced that he would be departing from the company. During his reign, the shareholders saw more than 30% shaved off the share price as stock for stock acquisitions failed to add to the pharma giant's pipeline. Despite McKinnell's lukewarm performance, he walked away with a severance payout of over $11 million, a pension worth $6.6 million a year, and other payouts bringing his total compensation to over $200 million. Although this was record-breaking at the time, golden handshakes have only increased since then.

On July 30, 1863, Henry Ford was born in the area now known as Dearborn, Michigan. Ford left for Detroit at age 16 to apprentice as a machinist. Just over a decade later, Ford found himself under the tutelage of Thomas Edison, who encouraged him in making and marketing a self-propelled vehicle - an automobile. It would take another decade and change before Ford incorporated his company in 1903, and then came out with the Model T in 1908. By 1918, one out of every two cars in America was a Model T, and Ford was the premier industrialist of his age.

The other birthday is a less fantastic story, but no less important. On July 31, 1912, Milton Friedman was born. Friedman will be remembered for turning the intellectual climate and the political one back towards free market economics after decades of Keynesian rule. Friedman won the Nobel Memorial Prize for his work in economics, and won the attention of many for his PBS series Free To Choose, popularizing economics for the layman.

Trader Goes On Killing Spree
On July 29, 1999, day trader Mark Barton went on a shooting rampage through two Atlanta day trading firms. Barton killed 9 and injured 13 before committing suicide. He killed his family before going on his murderous rampage - a rampage that is believed to have been partially motivated by trading losses of over $100,000 leading up to the killings.

Also on July 29, 1999, the SEC announced that all brokerages and publicly-traded companies should disclose their Y2K readiness as part of their quarterly reporting. This report was to include issues not yet addressed, precautions taken and contingency plans. The SEC had the back-up option of shutting down firms that were deemed unprepared. In the end, Y2K proved to be much less of a crash than the internet bubble that popped a full quarter into the year 2000.

The Coin Collector's Grail
On July 30, 2002, a 1933 Double Gold Eagle sold at auction for $6.6 million. The U.S. Mint created the coin just as the government changed the laws to make the "hoarding" gold illegal, so these coins never made it to the public - except by theft and smuggling. The Double Gold Eagle remains one of the most expensive collectibles in the world.

Tyco's Top Level Exodus
On August 1, 2002, Tyco' CFO Mark Swartz resigned. This followed the resignation of CEO Dennis Kozlowski and the firing of CLO Mark Belnik. It was later revealed that the Swartz and Kozlowski taking millions in loans from the company without proper approval. (Learn more about Tyco in The Biggest Stock Scams Of All Time.)

That's all for this week. Next week we will catch up with Charles Ponzi, Gates' rescue of Jobs and much more.

Catch up on your financial news; read Water Cooler Finance: The Unrelenting Claw Of Bernie Madoff.

Related Articles
  1. Personal Finance

    What to Collect: Apple Watch vs. Luxury Watches

    The "iWatch" is a new player in the luxury watch world. But will it stand the test of time? Some points for collectors to ponder.
  2. Personal Finance

    Buying Fur: Which Variety Is Worth the Most?

    Fur is once again hot among the haute couture set. A guide to getting the best skin for your style (and money).
  3. Insurance

    Designer Clothes: Why You Need Special Insurance

    You spend a lot of money on couture creations. Shouldn't they be protected from damage?
  4. Investing News

    3 Odd Investments Worth Considering

    Designer handbags, comic books and web domains: should these odd items be on your investing radar?
  5. Personal Finance

    5 Tips for Vintage Car Collecting

    Old autos. There’s just something about all that shiny metal that captivates our attention.
  6. Stock Analysis

    What Led to Lumber Liquidators' Decline?

    Read about how a "60 Minutes" story on laminate flooring sold by Lumber Liquidators led to a massive decline in the share price for the company.
  7. Stock Analysis

    How Rollins Inc. Transformed from Radio to Pest Control

    Discover how Rollins, Inc. grew and expanded, making numerous acquisitions, transitioning from the radio industry to the pest control industry.
  8. Entrepreneurship

    Mark Cuban Success Story: Net Worth, Education & Top Quotes

    Learn more about America's favorite billionaire: Mark Cuban, outspoken owner of the Dallas Mavericks and star of the hit show "Shark Tank."
  9. Professionals

    5 Unique Assets to Invest Your Retirement Money In

    Investing for retirement doesn't always mean 401(k)s and IRAs. Here are five unique assets to invest your retirement money in.
  10. Investing News

    Acquisition of Zulily Inc

    On August 17, 2015, Zulily Inc (ZU), an e-commerce company that caters mothers and children, announced that it will be strategically acquired by QVC, a part of Liberty Media Corporation (LMCA), ...
  1. How did Enron use off-balance-sheet items to hide huge debts and toxic assets?

    Prior to its infamous accounting scandals and collapse, Enron used off-balance-sheet special purpose vehicles (SPVs) to hide ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Where did the term 'Nostro' account come from?

    The term "nostro" is Italian in origin. It means "our" or "ours." In accounting and finance, nostro accounts are often differentiated ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Can the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index be used to determine competitive balance in professional ...

    Although the measurement and analysis of a company's key performance indicators (KPIs) vary by company, it is important to ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What is operations management theory and how can it help a business?

    Operations management is concerned with controlling the production process and business operations in the most efficient ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What is Apple's current mission statement and how does it differ from Steve Job's ...

    Apple's current mission statement is "Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How do notaries reduce asymmetric information risk?

    A notary acts as an intermediary who can help mitigate the problems caused by asymmetric information in economic transactions. ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Zero-Sum Game

    A situation in which one person’s gain is equivalent to another’s loss, so that the net change in wealth or benefit is zero. ...
  2. Capitalization Rate

    The rate of return on a real estate investment property based on the income that the property is expected to generate.
  3. Gross Profit

    A company's total revenue (equivalent to total sales) minus the cost of goods sold. Gross profit is the profit a company ...
  4. Revenue

    The amount of money that a company actually receives during a specific period, including discounts and deductions for returned ...
  5. Normal Profit

    An economic condition occurring when the difference between a firm’s total revenue and total cost is equal to zero.
  6. Operating Cost

    Expenses associated with the maintenance and administration of a business on a day-to-day basis.
Trading Center
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!