Analysts don't get a lot of attention, unless their doing something illegal or immoral. This week in financial history marks one time an analyst made the news for doing the right thing and getting punished for it. We'll look at this and much more, this week in Wall Street's History. (Missed last week's article? Check out Wall Street History: Greenspan And IPO Madness.)

The Klondike Gold Rush
On August 16, 1896, George Carmack – or more likely, one of his companions – discovered nuggets of gold in the Klondike River in Canada's Yukon. The discovery of a rich claim sparked a gold rush that saw 50,000 caught up in the excitement of finding a fortune in the frozen north. Tons of gold were removed from the Yukon, and mining claims were gradually bought up be larger companies that were still mining in the 1960s. Carmack, whether the discovery was his or not, walked off a millionaire and returned to the states to enjoy the fruits of his lucky find. (Read more, in 8 Reasons To Own Gold.)

DeLorean Beats Drug Wrap
Anyone who has seen Back to the Future will recognize John Z. DeLorean's most famous car. On August 16, 1984, the creator of the DMC 12 was acquitted of drug trafficking due to entrapment. The flamboyant CEO was at the head of a failing company when an FBI informant offered to help out financially by bringing DeLorean in on a cocaine smuggling operation. DeLorean won the case, but his company had long since ceased as a going concern. By the time it was featured in Back to the Future, the DMC 12 was already part of the past.

Patent Problems
On August 16, 1978, the U.S. Federal Trade commission levied a $25.6 million fine on Xerox for anti-competitive behavior. The company was charged with using technical patents to lock-up the market for photocopiers and prevent competitors from getting a start. The company was forced to share some of the patented technology. Many of these licenses ended up in the hands of Japanese companies that quickly filled in the lower-end copy market. Although Xerox continued to hold onto the top-end segment for years, the loss of its patents severely shortened Xerox's ability to enjoy outsized profits for its years of R&D. What this cost the company in the short- and long-term is a question that many of Xerox's shareholders have no doubt agonized over. (Read more background info, in Female CEOs: What It Takes To Climb The Corporate Ladder.)

The New Tech Gorilla
On August 19, 2004, Larry Page and Sergey Brin saw their six-year-old company go public. Google hit the market at $85 a share, raising $1.67 billion. The company's market cap was in excess of $23 billion. In 2007, shares of Google hit $700, and even now trade near the $500 mark. Founded as a search engine, Google is among the largest tech companies in the world with a wide range of interests – energy, phones, video, advertising and social media. Apple may be on top now, as far as tech market cap, but Google's day will likely come soon. (Read Gauging Major Turns With Psychology to find out how to use Google's technology to your advantage.)

Sell Enron? You're Fired
On August 21, 2001, Chung Wu, a broker for UBS PaineWebber, was fired for advising his clients to sell Enron stock in spite of the firm's strong buy rating. Wu was fired on the same day due to pressure from Enron on UBS management. Wu's story made headlines once the bankruptcy and fraud came to light. He settled with the firm in a NASD arbitration, but no details were released. As for UBS, the conglomerate later bought pieces of Enron and took on many of the higher-level employees after the bankruptcy.

Foreshadowing Katrina
On August 22, 1992, Hurricane Andrew struck Florida, causing billions in damage and killing more than 20 people. The final bills for clean up and repairs were in excess of $25 billion. Andrew was surpassed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 as the most costly hurricane ever, causing over $80 billion in damage. (Find out more about natural disasters, in Preparing For Nature's Worst.)

Next week we'll look at Boesky, Siegel and more.

Catch up on your financial news; read Water Cooler Finance: Billionaire Pledges and Other Positive Press.

Related Articles
  1. Economics

    How Warren Buffet Made Berkshire Hathaway A Winner

    Berkshire Fine Spinning Associated and Hathaway Manufacturing Company merged in 1955 to form Berkshire Hathaway.
  2. Stock Analysis

    6 Risks International Stocks Face in 2016

    Learn about risk factors that can influence your investment in foreign stocks and funds, and what regions are more at-risk than others.
  3. Economics

    Why Enron Collapsed

    Enron’s collapse is a classic example of greed gone wrong.
  4. Products and Investments

    Why MLPs May Be a Thing of the Past

    Do rising rates as well as lower oil prices mean a bleak future for master limited partnerships?
  5. Investing

    Understanding Black Swan Events

    Finance professor and Wall Street trader Nassim Nicholas Taleb popularized the term in his writings. The rise of the Internet, the Sept. 11 attacks and World War I were all black swan events. ...
  6. Retirement

    What Was The Glass-Steagall Act?

    Established in 1933 and repealed in 1999, the Glass-Steagall Act had good intentions but mixed results.
  7. Professionals

    7 Careers That No Longer Exist

    Learn how technology and innovation has led to the near-extinction and elimination of seven careers that once employed hundreds of thousands of people.
  8. Economics

    Management Strategies From A Top CEO

    Jack Welch is a legend in the business world: during the two decades he was CEO of General Electric, the company’s value rose by 4000%.
  9. Investing News

    Betamax, International Symbol Of Bad Marketing, Is Finally Dead (SNE)

    Sony Betamax is the business textbook case study of a company's spectacular oversight in assessing consumer demand. Now, Sony is finallly discontinuing it.
  10. Personal Finance

    The Story of Uber: How a Snowy Night in Paris Created a $70 Billion Behemoth

    Uber's journey to become the world's most highly valued private startup.
  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. When is a bond's coupon rate and yield to maturity the same?

    The collapse of Enron – and its subsequent fallout – is perhaps the most infamous event in modern American corporate history. ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. 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 >>
  5. 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 >>
  6. 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 >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Super Bowl Indicator

    An indicator based on the belief that a Super Bowl win for a team from the old AFL (AFC division) foretells a decline in ...
  2. Flight To Quality

    The action of investors moving their capital away from riskier investments to the safest possible investment vehicles. This ...
  3. Discouraged Worker

    A person who is eligible for employment and is able to work, but is currently unemployed and has not attempted to find employment ...
  4. Ponzimonium

    After Bernard Madoff's $65 billion Ponzi scheme was revealed, many new (smaller-scale) Ponzi schemers became exposed. Ponzimonium ...
  5. Quarterly Earnings Report

    A quarterly filing made by public companies to report their performance. Included in earnings reports are items such as net ...
Trading Center