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. Price Fixing

    Establishing the price of a product or service, rather than allowing ...
  2. Securities And Exchange Commission ...

    A government commission created by Congress to regulate the securities ...
  3. Monopolist

    A person, group or organization with a monopoly. In other words, ...
  4. Asymmetric Information

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

    A director or senior officer of a company, as well as any person ...
  6. Insider Information

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

    The Evolution Of Banking

  2. J.D. Rockefeller: From Oil Baron To ...
    Economics

    J.D. Rockefeller: From Oil Baron To ...

  3. Elves And Gnomes: Fairy Tale Investment ...
    Investing Basics

    Elves And Gnomes: Fairy Tale Investment ...

  4. Handcuffs And Smoking Guns: The Criminal ...
    Options & Futures

    Handcuffs And Smoking Guns: The Criminal ...

comments powered by Disqus
Hot Definitions
  1. Accounts Payable - AP

    An accounting entry that represents an entity's obligation to pay off a short-term debt to its creditors. The accounts payable ...
  2. Ratio Analysis

    Quantitative analysis of information contained in a company’s financial statements. Ratio analysis is based on line items ...
  3. Days Payable Outstanding - DPO

    A company's average payable period. Calculated as: ending accounts payable / (cost of sales/number of days).
  4. Net Sales

    The amount of sales generated by a company after the deduction of returns, allowances for damaged or missing goods and any ...
  5. Over The Counter

    A security traded in some context other than on a formal exchange such as the NYSE, TSX, AMEX, etc. The phrase "over-the-counter" ...
  6. Earnings Before Interest After Taxes - EBIAT

    A financial measure that is an indicator of a company's operating performance. EBIAT, which is equivalent to after-tax EBIT ...
Trading Center