“I Never Speculate”

i never speculate

Found this here:

Grant E Hamilton, “I Never Speculate” – Jay Gould

In the Gilded Age, the American public thought of the notorious stock market manipulator Jay Gould as the “Mephistopheles of Wall Street”, a cold and calculating devil manipulating the market with ease.

A satirical illustration from Judge magazine of 1886 calls to account the outrageous claim made by Gould to a newspaper reporter that he never speculated.

The cartoon shows Gould seated in the bell jar of a gigantic ticker machine. Unseen by the frenzied stock market players beneath, he dictates market prices directly onto the ticker tape itself.

He is the very personification of market manipulation, with stock prices moved not by the invisible hand of supply and demand, but by the visible hand of the Mephistopheles of Wall Street himself.

The cartoon thus ironically confirms Gould’s scandalous denial: he would have no need to engage in risky speculations as he was able to accurately predict price movements because he was creating them himself.

Despite the fact that finance now seems too big and too complicated for any one individual to control, people continue to try to identify the Mr Big behind events.

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics. http://religion.syr.edu
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1 Response to “I Never Speculate”

  1. dmf says:

    “Judith Suissa, “No Gods, No Masters”; antisemitic tropes and utopian ideals in imagining and resisting financialization.”: The history of finance capital is replete with anti-Semitic conspiracy theories that associate Jews with a socially corrosive cosmopolitanism. But in this presentation, Judith Suissa demonstrates that the history of Jewish anarchist societies in London present another history of internationalism from below. It was originally recorded at Grocers’ Hall in the heart of the City of London, near the site where the Great Synagogue once stood. Suissa is a professor of Philosophy of Education at University College London.”

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