This week in financial history marks the anniversary of the Boston Tea Party, possibly one of the watershed moments in financial history, let alone world history. It also marks an important succession for an iconic American company and the birth of an oil tycoon. (Find out how the third-largest stock exchange in North America came to be. Check out History Of The Toronto Stock Exchange.)

IN PICTURES: Top 10 Forex Trading Rules

Getty Oil
J. Paul Getty was a constant forerunner for the richest man in the world from the 1950s onward. Born on December 15, 1892, Getty received a leg up in the oil business from his father, purchasing leases in what were once thought to be dead fields. Learning the geological principles and how they applied to oil, the Gettys made millions and, for a short time, J. Paul Getty actually retired with his millions while his father soldiered on.

However, business lured him back from the playboy lifestyle. J. Paul Getty went on to create an own corporations that bought up oil all over the world, including oil wealthy Arab nations. It was a strike in Saudi Arabia that made Getty a billionaire.

Getty's personal life was not as much as a success as his work life. He married - and divorced - five times before giving it up for hopeless. Throughout his many marriages and long life, business was the one constant for Getty. His oft-quoted formula for success sums up his own life at least: rise early, work hard, strike oil.

The Original Tea Party
On December 16, 1773, anger over the Tea Act culminated in the Boston Tea Party. At the time it was simply known as the destruction of the tea at Boston harbor, but it became one of the landmarks in the fight against taxation without representation - a fight that would lead to a revolutionary war. Groups of men throwing tea off a ship has become somewhat of a cultural meme, leading to the current Tea Party with fiscal responsibility and an end of spend and tax government among its aims. Whether the new Tea Party will ever hold the same historical importance as the Boston Tea Party is yet to be seen. (Find out why this corporation was developed and how it protects depositors from bank failure. Read The History Of The FDIC.)

A Personal Finance Bestseller
On December 19, 1732, Benjamin Franklin published "Poor Richard's Almanac". It functioned as an almanac, a vocabulary builder and, most importantly, the first American book on personal finance. It contained many sayings encouraging frugality, "It is hard for an empty sack to stand upright," "A penny saved is a penny earned [modern paraphrase]," and so on.

For many, "Poor Richard's Almanac" was the only financial advice they would hear in their lifetimes. The emphasis on saving versus spending is still the base for sound financial advice today. Franklin's book sold around 10,000 copies a year for 25 years, making it the first personal finance bestseller as well.

Neutron Jack Takes the Helm
On December 19, 1980, General Electric's board approved Jack Welch as the new CEO following the retirement of Reg Jones. This was the culmination of a bruising succession battle between several top managers at the company. In choosing Welch, however, GE did not disappoint. Taking charge officially in April of 1981, Welch immediately began changing GE's corporate culture and even its core identity as he tinkered with the business model. (From the barter system to commemorative coins, we look at the history of U.S. money. See History Of Coinage In The U.S.)

Welch dismantled much of the hierarchy at GE and began cutting underperforming businesses - many of them traditional GE units. The cuts earned him the nickname "Neutron Jack," for eliminating all the people but leaving the buildings standing. However, the unloading of lagging businesses and forays into new fields steered GE towards two decades of rapid growth. Welch's reign at the top is still considered one of the most masterful CEO performances of all-time.

That's all for this week in finance. Next week we'll look at the end of the USSR, oil shocks and much more. Until then.

Find out what happened in financial news this week. Read Water Cooler Finance: Barack Obama Vs. The World.

Related Articles
  1. Investing Basics

    3 Business Tips from Restaurant Reality Shows

    The reality TV shows "Restaurant Impossible" and "Kitchen Disasters" offer lessons not just for restaurateurs, but for all business owners.
  2. Entrepreneurship

    4 Most Successful Indiegogo Campaigns

    Learn about some of the most successful crowdfunding campaigns on Indiegogo, which raised millions of dollars for everything from electric bikes to beehives.
  3. Entrepreneurship

    Top 10 Features Of a Profitable Rental Property

    Find out which factors you should weigh when searching for income-producing real estate.
  4. Wealth Management

    The Net Worth of the Shark Tank Cast

    Discover how the richest "Sharks" on the hit TV show amassed their vast fortunes, and learn how much they have to offer eager entrepreneurs.
  5. Entrepreneurship

    3 Ways You Can Support Small Business Growth

    Discover a number of different options available to support small business growth, including crowdfunding campaigns and shopping locally.
  6. Investing News

    SEP vs. Keogh Plans: Which is Right for You?

    SEP and Keogh plans each have their pros and cons. Here's how to choose which one is right for you.
  7. Entrepreneurship

    10 Ways to Be a Successful Entrepreneur

    Are you hoping to launch your own business and work for yourself? If so, here are the top 10 tips for entrepreneurs.
  8. Entrepreneurship

    Need a Loan for Your Startup? Here's How to Prepare a Thorough Loan Package

    Learn how to craft the vital components of a loan package for your startup small business, and how to package it to be as appealing to the lender as possible.
  9. Professionals

    Common Interview Questions for Business Analysts

    Identify some of the most common job interview questions asked of business analyst candidates, and learn the responses that will make you stand out.
  10. Entrepreneurship

    10 Habits Every Entrepreneur Should Have

    Discover 10 habits common to successful entrepreneurs that you can emulate in your journey toward achieving success in your own career and life.
  1. Can I buy insurance to reduce unlimited liability in a partnership?

    Partnership insurance is actually quite common. Most of the time, partners buy insurance to safeguard against the possibility ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What are the benefits of prorating expenses?

    When a person prorates expenses between personal and business expenses, he is able to capture the maximum amount of tax benefits ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What is the relationship between research and development and innovation?

    Although it's possible to achieve innovation without research and development and it's possible to conduct research and development ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How does the notion of the American Dream influence the US economy?

    The notion of the American Dream influences the U.S. economy because it creates the driving force behind the free enterprise ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How do venture capitalist investors view sustainable growth in a startup?

    Venture capitalist investors view sustainable growth in a startup as necessary when considering investing in it. Typically, ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. 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 >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Barefoot Pilgrim

    A slang term for an unsophisticated investor who loses all of his or her wealth by trading equities in the stock market. ...
  2. Quick Ratio

    The quick ratio is an indicator of a company’s short-term liquidity. The quick ratio measures a company’s ability to meet ...
  3. Black Tuesday

    October 29, 1929, when the DJIA fell 12% - one of the largest one-day drops in stock market history. More than 16 million ...
  4. Black Monday

    October 19, 1987, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) lost almost 22% in a single day. That event marked the beginning ...
  5. Monetary Policy

    Monetary policy is the actions of a central bank, currency board or other regulatory committee that determine the size and ...
  6. Indemnity

    Indemnity is compensation for damages or loss. Indemnity in the legal sense may also refer to an exemption from liability ...
Trading Center