Robber Barons

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Robber Barons'

A

disparaging term dating back to the 12th century which refers to:

1. Unscrupulous feudal lords who amassed personal fortunes by using illegal and immoral business practices, such as illegally charging tolls to passing merchant ships.

2. Modern-day businesspeople who allegedly engage in unethical business tactics and questionable stock market transactions to build large personal fortunes.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Robber Barons'

Due to the robber barons' unethical business practices, such as the exploitation of labor, the general public typically regards these aggressive capitalists with disdain. However, some historians argue that the late-19th century entrepreneurs usually referred to as "robber barons" - including Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller - are responsible for building a large portion of the U.S.'s current economic clout, because of their large investments in burgeoning American industries. Many also went on to become high-profile philanthropists.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Jekyll and Hyde

    1. A slang term referring to the strengths and weaknesses of ...
  2. Insider

    A director or senior officer of a company, as well as any person ...
  3. Manipulation

    The act of artificially inflating or deflating the price of a ...
  4. Insider Trading

    The buying or selling of a security by someone who has access ...
  5. Asymmetric Information

    A situation in which one party in a transaction has more or superior ...
  6. Insider Information

    A non-public fact regarding the plans or condition of a publicly ...
Related Articles
  1. Credit & Loans

    The Evolution Of Banking

    Banks are a part of ancient history. Find out how this system of money management developed into what we know today.
  2. Economics

    J.D. Rockefeller: From Oil Baron To Billionaire

    More than 70 years after his death, this man remains one of the great figures of Wall Street.
  3. Investing Basics

    Elves And Gnomes: Fairy Tale Investment Terms

    What do elves have to do with investing? Meet the fairytale creatures running around Wall Street.
  4. Options & Futures

    Handcuffs And Smoking Guns: The Criminal Elements Of Wall Street

    From godfathers to perps, familiarize yourself with the "criminal elements" creeping around Wall Street.
  5. Economics

    Defining Illegal Insider Trading

    The better you understand why insider trading can be criminal, the better you'll understand how the market works.
  6. Active Trading Fundamentals

    Evaluating A Company's Management

    Financial statements don't tell you everything about a company's health. Investigate the management behind the numbers!
  7. Markets

    Get Tough On Management Puff

    Company managers are often skilled at fooling investors. Be critical and don't believe the hype.
  8. Options & Futures

    The Kingpin Of Wall Street: J.P. Morgan

    From robber baron to the hero of the Panic of 1907, this man helped shape Wall Street as we know it.
  9. Investing

    Crowdfunding: Wide Opening For Tech Investors

    Crowdfunding has dramatically changed investing and opened the door for the public to get in on all types of exciting startups, including tech firms.
  10. Entrepreneurship

    Taboola: How "Content You May Like" Makes Money

    Taboola's tagline, “content you may like,” conveys a lot about its business philosophy.

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Interest Rate Risk

    The risk that an investment's value will change due to a change in the absolute level of interest rates, in the spread between ...
  2. Income Effect

    In the context of economic theory, the income effect is the change in an individual's or economy's income and how that change ...
  3. Price-To-Sales Ratio - PSR

    A valuation ratio that compares a company’s stock price to its revenues. The price-to-sales ratio is an indicator of the ...
  4. Hurdle Rate

    The minimum rate of return on a project or investment required by a manager or investor. In order to compensate for risk, ...
  5. Market Value

    The price an asset would fetch in the marketplace. Market value is also commonly used to refer to the market capitalization ...
  6. Preference Shares

    Company stock with dividends that are paid to shareholders before common stock dividends are paid out. In the event of a ...
Trading Center