The Company

The Company

A Short History of A Revolutionary Idea

Book - 2003 | Modern Library ed
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Publisher: New York : Modern Library, 2003
Edition: Modern Library ed
ISBN: 9780679642497
Branch Call Number: 338.7 M583C
Characteristics: xxiii, 227 p. ; 20 cm
Additional Contributors: Wooldridge, Adrian


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Oct 28, 2013

Says one review: "Companies were behind the slave trade, opium and imperialism, and the British East India Company ruled the subcontinent with its standing army of native troops, outmanning the British army two to one. By comparison, the modern company is a bastion of restraint and morality." I guess the reviewer doesn't get out much: Dynacorp, GlaxoSmithKline, Eli Lilly, HCA, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Bank of America, Blackstone Group, Carlyle Group, Blackwater USA, and so on and so forth? From what I have experienced, read and learned in my life, they are still doing the exact same stuff! The title should have been: "Mumbo Jumbo: God and profit" or something to that effect. Truly, Edward Bernays (the father of American propaganda, and an inbred member of the Freud family) would have been proud of these two senior reporters for The Economist (that magazine where no one ever signs their names to their articles, not really surprising, since their numbers are usually unverifiable). Some partial truths varnished with skewed and slanted opinions and marketed to the reader as "fact"! Whether it is blaming China's historical loss of their economic advantage on lack of utilizing joint-stock companies (absurd, since it was during the Ming Dynasty when a proclamation halting foreign trade and intercourse was put in place, ending the reign of the superior Chinese trading ships); or the authors' proclaiming that Carnegie amassed "his fortune" by speculating on the railroads (absurd, since Carnegie never speculated on ANYTHING, his "special friend" - - Thomas Scott, Secretary of War and creator of the "holding company" financial construct, appointed Carnegie to the post of Superintendant of Military Railways and Telegraphs during the Civil War - - Carnegie knew everything about what real estate was to be purchased, which railroads were to be used, and on and on and on, plus it was his "special friend" Scott who either gave or "loaned" him the money for those sure thing investments); or when the authors state that the British, in the guise of the East India Company, had to conquer and control the natives of India because they were "just too incompetent"; or any other number of cretinous and disingenuous verbiage. The one item, not even partially explained, which the authors did mention, was the Corporation of London, now called the City of London Corporation, the oldest continuously existing corporation in the Western Hemisphere, which has and operates the oldest existing investment fund - - and what they did in the early 1700s which insured the cooperation forevermore of the British royal family. The authors simply mention it as one of the oldest corporations?!?!?!? They did mention some interesting factoids, so I'll rate them OK (but I will have to verify their veracity, naturally enough!). The authors' failed contention is that the corporation, or limited liability joint-stock ownership companies, spurred the bulk of human progress, without offering any really justifiable evidence, is what makes this book a farce!


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