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Suurärimees William Ralston uppub

Suurärimees William Ralston uppub

Mõni tund pärast seda, kui tal paluti California Panga presidendi kohalt tagasi astuda, leitakse võimas lääne kapitalist William Ralston San Francisco lahest uppununa.

Üks esimesi mehi, kes ehitas Kaug -Läänes suure finantsimpeeriumi, sündis Ralston 1826. aastal Ohios. 1854. aastal rändas ta õitsvasse San Francisco linna, mis oli kunagi unine Hispaania misjoniküla, millest oli saanud California kullapalavik viis aastat varem. Seal sai temast aurulaevade ettevõtte partner ja 10 aastat hiljem kasutas ta oma kasumit California panga korraldamiseks.

Ralstoni pangast sai kiiresti üks tähtsamaid lääne finantsasutusi. Kapitali näljas olnud lääne ärimehed suhtlesid hea meelega New Yorgi ja Bostoni pankade asemel usaldusväärse pangaga oma piirkonnas. Ralston pühendas nii oma kui ka panga omavahendid paljudele lääne ettevõtetele. Paljud olid põnevad, kuid olulised ettevõtted, nagu vee -ettevõtted. Ralstonil oli aga ka seikluslik külg ja ta kasutas oma raha San Francisco rikkalike hotellide ja teatrite, aga ka väga kasumliku Comstock Lode hõbedakaevanduse toetamiseks Nevadas.

Alati reeturlik kaevandusmaailm osutus aga lõpuks Ralstoni tagasilöögiks. Olles teeninud Comstock Lode'is miljoneid, mängis Ralston mitmetel hõbedakaevandustel, mis tõestasid büsti. Uudised ebaõnnestunud kaevandusinvesteeringutest tekitasid pangal jooksu, sundides panka 26. augustil 1875 uksed sulgema.

Järgmisel päeval palus sünge direktorite nõukogu Ralstoni panga presidendi tagasiastumise ja sai selle vastu. Mõni tund hiljem, kui Ralston oli läinud oma tavalisele hommikusele suplusele San Francisco lahte, avastati tema surnukeha. Kas Ralston oli kogemata uppunud või tahtlikult end tapnud, jääb saladuseks.


Hodiny po tom, čo bol požiadan ý o resign áciu na prezidenta Bank of California, sa v z álive San Francisco Bay utopil mocn ý z ápadn ý kapitalista William Ralston.

Ralston, jeden z prv ých mužov, ktor ý vybudoval veľk é finančn é imp érium na Ďalekom z ápade, sa narodil v Ohiu v roku 1826. V roku 1854 emigroval do prosperuj úceho mesta San Francisco, ked #233 španielskej mission árskej dediny, ktor á staalia centrom California Gold Rush pred piatimi rokmi. Tam sa stal partnerom v parnej spoločnosti a o 10 rokov nesk ôr využil svoje zisky na usporiadanie Bank of California.

Ralstonova banka sa r ýchlo stala jednou z najd ôležitejš ích finančn ých inštit úci í na Z ápade. Z ápadn í podnikatelia, ktor ých hladovali po hlavnom meste, boli radi, že namiesto b ánk v New Yorku a Bostone mohli rokovať so spoľahlivou bankou vo svojom regi óne. Ralston zaviazal vlastn é prostriedky, ako aj prostriedky banky, širok ému spektru z ápadn ých firiem. Mnoh é z nich boli nezauj ímav é, ale d ôležit é podniky ako vod árensk é spoločnosti. Ralston mal však aj dobrodružn ú str ánku a svoje peniaze využil na podporu bohat ých hotelov a divadiel v San Franciscu, ako aj na mimoriadne v ýnosn ú strieborn ú baňu Comstock Lode v Nevade.

Vždy zradn ý svet ban íctva sa však nakoniec uk ázal ako Ralstonov ústup. Ralston zarobil mili óny v Comstock Lode a vsadil sa na niekoľko strieborn ých ban í, ktor é dok ázali busty. Spr ávy o ne úspešn ých ťažobn ých invest íci ách vyvolali spustenie banky, čo prin útilo banku, aby 26. august 1875 zatvorila svoje dvere.

Nasleduj úci poňdala riadna rada riaditeľa Ralstonovej o rezign áciu funkciu presidentta banky. O niekoľko hod ín nesk ôr, keď Ralston odišiel na svoje obvykl é rann é k úpanie v z álive San Francisco, bolo jeho telo objaven é. To, či sa Ralston n áhodou utopil alebo úmyselne zabil, zost áva tajomstvom.


Hodiny pot é, co byl pož ád án või resignaci na prezidenta Bank of California, byl nalezen mocn ý z ápadn í kapitalista William Ralston v San Francisco Bay.

Jeden z prvn ích mužů, kter ý vybudoval hlavn í finančn í imp érium na D áln ém z ápadě, se Ralston narodil v Ohiu v roce 1826. V roce 1854 emigroval do moss í San Francisco, kdysi ospal é španělsk é mision ářsk é vesnice, kter á se stala centrem Kalifornie Gold Rush před pěti lety. Tam se stal partnererem v parn í společnosti a o 10 let později využil sv é zisky k uspoř ád án í Kalifornsk é banky.

Ralstonova banka se rychle stala jednou z nejdůležitějš ích finančn ích institc í na Z ápadě. Z ápadn í obchodn íci byli hladov í kvůli kapit álu a r ádi se vypoř ádali se spolehlivou bankou ve sv ém vlastn ím regionu m ísto bank v New Yorku a Bostonu. Ralston věnoval sv é vlastn í prostředky i prostředky banky cel é řadě z ápadn ích podniků. Mnoho z nich bylo neobvykl ých, ale důležit é podniky, jako jsou vodn í společnosti. Ralston však měl tak é dobrodružnou str ánku a sv é pen íze využil na podporu bohat ých hotelů a divadel vs San Franciscu a na nesm írně v ýnosn ý stř íbrn ý st.

Vždy zr ádn ý svět těžby se však nakonec uk ázal jako Ralstonův úpadek. Pot é, co Ralston vydělal miliony v Comstock Lode, vsadil se na několik stř íbrn ých dolů, kter é prokazovaly busty. Zpr ávy o ne úspěšn ých těžařsk ých invest ích zažehly běh banky a donutily banku zavř ít dveře 26. srpna 1875.

Dalš í den pož ádala rada ředitelů o rezignaci Ralstona jako prezidenta banky. O několik hodin později, když Ralston odešel na sv é obvykl é rann í plav án í v San Francisco Bay, bylo jeho tělo objeveno. Zda je Ralston n áhodou utopen nebo úmyslně zabil, zůst áv á tajemstv ím.


La c âteva ore după ce a fost solicitat să demisioneze din funcția de președinte al Băncii din California, puternicul kapitalist occidental William Ralston este găsit înecat în Golful San Francisco.

Unul dintre primii bărbați care andși-a konstrukit un imperiu financiar major în Far West, Ralston sa născut în Ohio în 1826. În 1854, a immigrant în orașul în exansiune din San Francisco , un sat misionar spaniol odată adormit care and devenit centrul orașului California Gold Rush cu cinci ani mai devreme. See on osalenud partei într-o kompanii de vapori, iar 10 ani mai t ârziu și-a folosit profiturile pentru a organization Banca California.

Banca lui Ralston a devenit rapid una dintre cele mai importante institutionții financiare din Occident. Oamenii de afaceri occidentali au fost fericiți să se ocupe cu o bancă de încredere din propria regiune în locul băncilor din New York and Boston. Ralston ja angajat propriile fonduri, precum ja cele ale băncii pentru o gamă largă de afaceri occidentale. Mullu ajastu întreprinderi vabandus, dar esențiale precum companiile de apă. De asemenea, Ralston ja avent o parte aventuroasă și și-a folosit banii pentru a sprijini hoteluri and the teatre luxoase din San Francisco, precum and miniera extrem de profitabilă de argint Comstock Lode din Nevada.

Cu toate acestea, lumea minuată mereu trădătoare s-a dovedit în cele din urmă a fi dezlegarea lui Ralston. După ce a făcut milioane în Comstock Lode, Ralston s-a jucat pe mai multe mine de argint care s-au dovedit busturi. Irtirile izmeklēțiilor miniere eșuate au provocat o fugă asupra băncii, forț ând banca să își închidă ușile la 26. august 1875.

A doua zi, un consiliu de administrație oarecare a cerut and a primit demisia lui Ralston din funcția de președinte al băncii. C âteva ore mai t ârziu, după ce Ralston a plecat pentru înotul obișnuit de dimineață în Golful San Francisco, trupul său a fost descoperit. Dacă Ralston s-a înecat din greșeală sau s-a omor ât intenționat, răm âne un mister.


Ór ákkal azut án, et a Kaliforniai Bank eln ök ének lemond ás át k ért ék, suur nyugati kapitalist át, William Ralstonot a San Francisco-öb öl át 225lt ák.

Az ühe esimese inimese, kes üks suur p énz ügyi birodalmat ép ített a T ávol-Nyugaton, Ralston 1826-ban sz ületett Ohiosban. 1854-ben bev ándorolt ​​a vir ágz ó v árosba, San Franciscoba, az egkor álmos spanyol misszion árius faluba, mis annab v áros k özpontj áv á v ált. Öt évvel kor ábban a Kaliforniai Gold Rush. Ott partner év é v ált eg gőzhaj óz ási t ársas ágban, és 10 évvel k ésőbb nyeres ég ét a Kaliforniai Banki omandamine és éhez ford ét.

A Ralston bankja kiiresti nyugat keegi tahab p énz ügyi int ézm énny é v ált. A tők ét éhezve, a nyugati üzletemberek ör ültek, et a New York-i és a Bostoni bank asend megb ízhat ó bankmal jatkaaj ák a munk ájukat saj át r &# 233gi ójukban. Ralston saj át és a bank p énzeszk özeit a nyugati v állalkoz ások sz éles sk ál áj ára ford ította. Sokan izgalmas, de põhiline v állalkoz ások, mint p éld ául a v ízszolg áltat ók. Ralstonnak taha kalandos oldala is volt, és p énzeszk özeit t á Supportta a pazar sz állod ák és sz ính ázak San Francisco-ban, samuti a rendk ív ül j ø ez üstb ány ában Nevadaban.

A b ány ászat alati árul ó vil ága siiski v ég ül Ralston lelkesed és ének tõendult. Miut án milli ókat keresett a Comstock Lode-ban, Ralston sz ámos ez üstb ány án j átszott, kindel tõend ított ák a lez ár ód ást. A sikertelen b ány ászati ​​investh áz ásokr ól sz ól ó h írek start ított ák banknot, és arra k ényszer ített ड bankrot, 26-án bez árja az ajt ót.

M ásnap üks komor igazgat ótan ács Ralston bank eln ök ének lemond ás át k érte és megkapta. N éh ány ór ával k ésőbb, miut án Ralston käivult a szok ásos reggeli úsz ásra a San Francisco-öb ölbe, atkledezt ék test ét. Az a k érd és, et Ralston v életlen ül megfulladt, vagy sz ánd ékosan meg ölte-e mag át.


Suurärimees William Ralston uppub - AJALUGU

Endine kabinetitootja Ralston võitis oma rahastatavate tehaste töötajate südamed. Ükskõik, kas äritegevus oli eksitavatele poistele kauplemist õpetada, lehetäide kuritegevus, kinnisvaraarendus Marini maakonnas, kaevandus Washoe linnas või raudtee, oli Ralston alati innukas aitama. Tema uks oli helistajatele avatud, olgu ta nii madal ja raha vaja.

Ralston oli saavutanud unistused, mida tavalised mehed olid unistanud, ja kandis oma edu nii palju armu kui ükski teine ​​mees, et ta oli sümbol kõigest, mis võis olla. Ta oli galantne, värvikas ja geniaalne, taibukas ja täis kujutlusvõimet. Mehed, keda ta oli tundnud, kui ta 28 -aastaselt San Franciscosse jõudis, ilma ametniku ametita, said 1875. aastal sama sõbralikkuse, nagu ta oli neile 1854. aastal andnud.

Maapiirkond, San Franciscost Belmontini, identifitseeris end Ralston ’s elegantsiga suurepäraseks elamiseks oma maal, Kanadas asuvas vanas Cipriani majas Diablo, mille ta oli suurendanud neljakorruseliseks ja 100 toaks. 300 gaasivalgust särasid kristall -lühtrites, ballisaal ja armulised trepid olid hiilgavad.

Kõlasid legendid suurepärastest pidudest, lendavate looridega külalistest, kes sõitsid vankris hobuste meeskondade taga, keda juhtis debonair Ralston, kihutasid San Jose rongiga Valencia tänava jaamast Belmonti, õhtusöökidest, importmuusika mängitud taustamuusikast, treeneripidu ja piknikulõunaid rannas. See elas suures ulatuses ja kõik olid isiklikult uhked faktide üle, mida ta rääkis.

Seepärast tõi tuhandetele isiklikke kaotusi, kui hingeldav mees varises koroneri kabinetis pärast pikka jooksu Meigg ’s Wharfist 27. augustil 1875 õhinal:

“Minu vannimaja lähedal uppus äsja mees. Ma arvan, et see on härra Ralston. Ma tean, et on! ”

Uudis kõlas läbi linna. Jooks [California keskpangal] oli alanud vähese hoiatusega. Pank suleti pärast 1 400 000 dollari väljamaksmist ühe päeva jooksul.

Ralston ’s raskest olukorrast räägiti igal pool. Need, kes tundsid, et on kaotanud oma rinnahoidja sõbra, muutusid üha enam veendunuks, et California keskpanga krahh oli Ralstoni hankimiseks võltsitud.

Need, kes ei jaganud avalikkust ja jumalateenistusi, märkisid, et ta spekuleeris. ”

Räägiti enesetapust, kuid koroneri uurimine, mille käigus sõltus proua Ralstoni ja nelja lapse tunnistustest süvenenud elukindlustus, leidis, et arstid täheldasid apoplektilise insuldi tõendeid, mitte ühtegi uppumist. Seda kinnitas lahkamine. San Francisco kõnede bülletään
Esmaspäeval, 10. oktoobril 1955


Sotsiaalne emuleerimine: suurärimeeste roll keiserliku linnaehituses

Väljavõte San Francisco taastamine: ajalugu, poliitika, kultuur. A City Lights Anthology, toimetanud James Brook, Chris Carlsson ja Nancy J. Peters, City Lights Books, San Francisco, 1998.

Avastasin Palace hotellis San Francisco ajaloo. Nädalavahetusel äärelinnast pärit lapse jaoks seisis palee ülima maise glamuuri, suurlinna luksuse ja müütiliste isikute eest, kes olid filtreeritud läbi Lucius Beebe ja Oscar Lewise kirjutiste.

Kuritegevus jõudis sellesse romantikasse alles aastaid hiljem, kui mul oli võimalus külastada a de luxe hotelli restoran Scottsdale'is. Selle hotelli ehitaja ja Arizona enim imetletud suurärimees istusid kord oma legendaarseid tehinguid tehes just sellel toolil, mille ma hõivasin. Föderaalkohus mõistis hiljuti Charles H. Keating juuniori süüdi reketis, vandenõus ja pettuses 73 osas ning osariigi kohus alustas väidetavate kuritegude uurimist. Mu mõte triivis siis virsikuvärvi päkapikkudest eemale, faux-Fragonards ja kõik muud megaedu kordaminekud Reagani ajastul, tagasi San Franciscosse Grant Eras, teise pankurini ja sellesse teise hotelli Market Streetil, kus kuulsin oma kutset ajaloolasena.

San Franciscans on juba ammu uhke Vaikse ookeani Pariisi asustamise üle. William Chapman Ralstonil on selles fantaasias hinnatud koht impeeriumi rajajana. Alustuseks oli Ralston asutaja kunagisele lääne suurimale finantsasutusele - Bank of California. Vähemalt neli elulugu käsitleb Ralstoni elu ja mõju, mida üks nimetas talle "Mees, kes ehitas San Francisco" (Dana, 1936) Teda on nimetatud lääneriigi Lorenzo de Mediciks. "Ta lõi lõkkele tee San Francisco edasiseks marsiks saavutuste ja kuulsuse poole" väidab pronksist tahvlit lahe uppumiskoha lähedal. Seda tehes päästis Ralston ajaloolise kohtuotsuse ja vanglakaristuse, mis hiljem tabas Arizona kõige kurikuulsamat visionääri. Nagu Ralstoni partner väidetavalt oma surnukeha vaadates ütles: "See on parim asi, mida ta oleks võinud teha." (Ostrander, 1966, 58)

Ralston ja Keating sündisid Ohios 97 aasta ja 150 miili kaugusel. San Francisco ja Phoenix olid õitsengujärgsed linnad, kui rahastajad neisse vastavalt maandusid. Sellised go-go rahamasinad meelitavad sündinud spekulante nagu mesi. Ralston oli enne San Franciscosse kolimist osalenud varjulistes tehingutes Nicaraguas. (Lavendel, 1975) Advokaat Keating oli osalenud Cincinatti varjulistes tehingutes. Keating võitis SEC -i pettuse räpi, kirjutades alla nõusolekumäärusele, vandudes, et ei tee seda enam kunagi. Ta polnud kunagi mees, keda lubadustest aeglustada. (McCombs, 1990)

Visake verine liha haide basseini ja saate midagi sellist, nagu San Francisco ärikeskkond selle kujunemisaastatel. Ema Lode kuld ja hõbe Comstock Lode'ist lõid varajase riskiga hasartmängude ja neetud allakasutajate ärakasutamise mustri, mis paljude ajaloolaste arvates on iseloomustanud Lääne käitumist kuni tänapäevani.

Platseri kaevandamise esimesed paar aastat tegi pakkuda ebatavalisi võimalusi tagasihoidlikuks varanduseks. Kuid kuna rikkalikud pinnamaardlad said otsa, asusid vabakutseliste kaevurite asemele kiiresti kõva kivi ja hüdrauliline kaevandamine ning need nõudsid nii aktsiaturge kui ka sellist riskikapitali, mida saaksid kaasata ainult rahvusvaheliste sidemetega rahastajad. Sellegipoolest sai populaarne usk & kvootide kulda & quot; esmaseks söödaks neile, kes soovisid selle turul rikkaks saada, nagu teised olid selle Sierra ojades rikkaks löönud.

Pealinna koondumine nõuab linnu, mille mugavused ja luksus ületavad kaevanduslaagrite karmust. San Francisco kaevandamispaber vahetas vaimustust, mis meenutas religioosset ülestõusu. Vaid viis sadadest Comstock Lode'i kuuluvast kaevandusest osutusid lõpuks kasumlikuks, kuid neist piisas, et meelitada tuhandeid & quotsuckereid San Francisco kaevandusbörsile, kus insaideritel oli teine ​​võimalus selle rikkuseks lüüa, pettakse nende säästud. Kuldpalaviku pankur William Tecumseh Sherman täheldas 1856. aastal haledalt, et "riigi olemus tekitab spekulatsioone, ekstravagantsust, ebaõnnestumisi ja roppe." (Lavendel, 1975, 391)

Paljud teised, sageli heakskiitvalt, nõustusid Shermani otsusega. Aastal 1883, Ülemaailmne kuukiri toimetas, et "Meie praeguse Vaikse ookeani tsivilisatsiooni tegelik eripära on see, et see on võib -olla kõige puhtamalt teostatud puhtalt kommertstsivilisatsiooni kehastus maa peal." "Ülemaailmne kuukiri, Detsember, 1883, lk 657) California näitas teed vähem arenenud piirkondadele, eriti oma "ülimalt nõudliku moraalse mõttes". "Külastajad nõustusid. Hiljuti hõivatud William Ralstoni haud ajendas turisti Joshua Speedit Kentuckyst 1876. aastal tähele panema, et peaaegu kõik kalifornialased on super-materialistid. & quot; Nad mõõdavad kõike kullastandardi järgi, nii mehi kui ka mulke. Te ei kuule kunagi härra Smithist kui heast mehest või härra Brownist ausast mehest ega hr Jonesist kui kristlasest. Aga härra S. -l on paarkümmend tuhat miljonit jne. Mida rohkem tal on, seda parem on ta — ja pole oluline, kuidas ta selle sai, nii et tal on see. "(Kiirus, 1876 ja#149) Majandusteadlane Thorstein Veblen nimetas hiljem seda vooruse lihtsat kvantifitseerimist & quot; vaginaalseks jäljendamiseks. & Quot

Alates hetkest, mil ta 1854. aastal San Franciscosse jõudis, oli Ralston juhtiv mängija Lääne ekspluateerimise kõrgete panustega mängus. Maal, mille rikkalikke ressursse oli vaevalt kraapitud ja mille kinnisvara väärtused iga uue sisserändajaga koos ronisid, kuulus tulevik halastamatutele ja neile mängureeglid kirjutanud juristidele. Need olid sageli samad.

Ralston tutvus enne oma peremehe leidmist mitmete skeemidega. Mõned asjad ja#151 nagu rahandamine Nicaragua ülevõtmisele õnnesõduri William Walkeri poolt ja#151 lihtsalt ei tasunud end ära. (Lavendel, 1975, 94) Just "Comstock Lode" ääres, mis asub tänapäeva Renost lõunas, "Billy" Ralston haaras oma tähe varsti pärast selle avastamist 1859. aastal. Viis aastat hiljem oli ta enamiku bonanzakaevanduste laekur või direktor. (Wilson, 1969, 27) Sel aastal tunnistas Kongress Nevada liitu kui San Francisco kõige tulusamat kolooniat, osariiki, mis on üldtuntud kui rahva "suurepärane mädanenud linnaosa".

Ka 1864. aastal asutas Ralston The Bank of California. Endiste partnerite pahameeleks võttis Ralston rivaalpanga asutamiseks endaga kaasa enamiku nende parimatest klientidest. Liikusid kuulujutud, et Billyle maksti selle eest umbes kakskümmend viis pangadirektorit, kellega ta end ümbritses. (Lavender, 1975, 179) Nende meestega astus Ralston pidevalt muutuvasse partnerlusse ja reetmistesse. Nad said tuntuks kui Ralstoni sõrmus või lihtsalt pangarahvas ja nad moodustasid kodusõja perioodil lääne jõukaimad kapitalistid.

Panga ametliku juhi jaoks värbas Ralston Sacramento Darius Ogden Millsi, ranniku auväärseima finantseerija, kuigi Ralston juhtis panka kassapidajana. Oma agendina Comstockis paigaldas Ralston aktsiatöötaja nimega William Sharon.

Sharonit piraajaks nimetada tähendaks kala iseloomu solvamist. Sharon sõi osavalt kaevandusi, veskeid, äripartnereid, transporti, metsi ja Virginia City veetöid. Ta manipuleeris asjatundlikult aktsiaturuga, kasutades miinipeadest kogutud siseteavet. Ta suunas kasumi tagasi oma partneritele The Bank Crowdis.

Ralston muutis oma Comstocki kapitali rannatranspordiks, kindlustuseks, telegraafiliinideks, valuutaspekulatsioonideks, villa- ja siidivabrikuteks, kanalifirmadeks, hüdrokaevandusteks, poliitiliseks ja kohtulikuks altkäemaksuks, Alaska karusnahkadeks, gaasitööstusteks, rafineerimistehasteks ja ohtlikeks kinnisvarakavadeks. Tundus, et vaevalt leidub ettevõtmist, mille vastu Billy Ralston ei oleks huvitatud. Vaikse ookeani keskraudtee ülemus Collis P. Huntington kirjutas oma partnerile Mark Hopkinsile: "Ma arvan, et aeg näitab, et Ralstonil on suurem institutsioon, kui ta suudab juhtida." (Lavender, 1975, 278) Ralston tagas Huntingtoni usalduse viidates talle kodeeritud telegrammides kui "näljane" (Lavender, 1975, 287) Mõlemad olid arukad kohtumõistjad.

Kuni Ralston sõitis rikkuste lainele, oli ta linna vooruslikkuse eeskuju, rahalise eeskuju eeskuju. Tema uhked meelelahutused, vankrid, hertsogiriigi asukoht Belmontis ja paljud heategevusorganisatsioonid teenisid talle, nagu Keating hiljem, väärilise koha oma lapsendatud linna arenguloos. Ta oli vaieldamatult visionäär, kelle arutelud näiteks Frederick Law Olmstediga viisid Golden Gate'i pargi viljelemiseni. Kui tema eesmärkide saavutamiseks kulus siseringitehingute tegemine, tagasilöök ja hulgipoliitiline korruptsioon, olid need mängureeglid ja kõik teised, kes said endale lubada mängida, tegid sama. Ralstoni õnneks hoolis William Sharon vähe rahva arvamusest ja oli geniaalse pankuri välgupüüdja.

Ralstoni konfidentsiaalne kiri oma partnerile soovitab neid moodus operandi. Ralston soovitas Sharonil minna rikkale sidusettevõttele, kellele kuulusid väärtuslikud aktsiad, mida nad soovisid. & quot; Andke talle praegu suhkrut ja melassi, aga kui meie aeg saabub, andke talle kõige teravamat äädikat. Ta on meie sõber ja ma arvan, et ta aitab meid. "(Ostrander, 1966, 48)

Ralstoni pangapartner New Yorgis kirjutas talle 1870. aastal, et "Kõik räägivad sinust, teie vürstlikust külalislahkusest ja suurtest kulutustest. Kõik, kes lähevad Californiasse, tahavad teid näha ja tutvustuskirju. "(Lavendel, 1975, 280) Need sõnad oleks võinud kirjutada sama suurejoonelisest pankurist rohkem kui sajand hiljem.

Arizona kinnisvaraärimees Tom Arnold ütles Charlie Keatingi 1980ndate üha kasvavate ettevõtete kohta: "Nad muutusid üha suuremaks ja suuremaks, kuni projektid olid nii suured, oli lihtsalt selline suur äri, lennukid ja helikopterid , foiniikia kuurort ehitati sadade tuhandete dollarite eest toa kohta, Estrella arendus 20 000 aakri suurusel alal ja#151 lihtsalt massiivsed asjad. Ja ma arvan, et kõik imetlesid teda, kuid imestasid, kuidas ta saab selliseid asju teha. "(Lavin, 1990)

ACC oli Phoenixis asuv valdusettevõte, mis 1984. aastal neelas Lincoln S & ampL-i alla 51 miljoni dollari suuruse seedimisabi andmisega rämpsvõlakirjades, mille pakkus valdkonna juhtiv asutus Michael Milken Drexel Burnham Lambertist. (McCombs, 1990) Grant Era tulevane vabaturu õitseaeg pakkus ilus ideaal mille peale Reagani deregulaatorid sihtisid —, suurejoonelise erandiga, mille esitas Franklin Roosevelti New Deal. Föderaalselt kindlustatud hoiused võimaldasid suurärimeestel, näiteks Keatingil, käsitleda S & ampL-e nagu USA riigikassale tõmmatud Visa-kaarte ja IRS toimis nende sissenõudmisagentuurina. Viie aastaga muutis Keatingi rahvahulk Lincolni miljardi dollari väärtuses varasid 2,6 miljardi dollari suuruseks kohustuseks USA maksumaksja ees ja#151, mida kaubanduses tuntakse zombina, kuna see on ebaloomulikult pikendatud.

Kuidas saavutas Keating ja ettevõte sellise imelapse? Lühidalt öeldes muutsid nad kohmaka Lincolni agressiivse laenamise ja loomingulise raamatupidamise teerajajaks. Chicago Tribune, & kvoodi täiuslik sularaha lehm & quot; vastavalt William Blackile San Francisco kodulaenupangast. (Lavin, 1990)

Keatingi loomingulise juhtimise käigus kaldusid Lincolni föderaalselt kindlustatud hoiused järsult välja kodulaenudest ja rämpsvõlakirjadest, välisvaluutaspekulatsioonidest, juriidilistest ja poliitilistest tasudest, luksushotellidest ning Arizona kinnisvararingkondades teadaolevalt „maatükist“. need täisvärvilised plaadid saguaroga kaetud kõrbes Arizona maanteed ajakirja, mille arendajad unistavad kraapimisest ja kaubanduskeskuste, golfiroheliste ja jahisadamatega katmisest. (Beard & amp; Morrell, 1990)

Keating töötas tegelikult ACC-ga nagu üks Billy Ralstoni kõrgsurve hüdrauliline kaevandus. Ralstoni tegevus saatis pärast kulla kaevandamist allavoolu üleujutusi elavhõbedaga määrdunud muda, jättes teistele muretsemiseks püsiva tühermaa. Selles, mida ta nimetas & quottax-jagamise plaaniks, & quot; Keating & quot (Lavin, 1990)

Sellise laastamise tekitamiseks oli vaja sellist "poliitilist panust", mis Ralstoni ajal kandis lühemat ja palju jäledamat nime. Keating teadis meeste hinda paremini kui muulaid. Ta praalis, et oli palganud viiskümmend raamatupidajat oma audiitorite juurest edevate tõusudega. Ta palkas Alan Greenspani ja#151 kaua Föderaalreservi nõukogu esimehe ning#151, et esitada 1985. aastal Lincolni juhtum kui rahaliselt tugev institutsioon, kui seda ei olnud. (Lavin, 1990) Ta üritas palgata Edwin Gray ja#151 tülika föderaalse kodulaenu panga juhatuse esimehe. (Lavin, 1990) Phoenixi linnavolikogu liikmete (McCombs, 1990) ja USA senaatorite poliitikud jagasid tema heldust, nagu ka ema Theresa. Nende poliitikute tänu väljendati ilmalikumal viisil kui ristilöök, mille õnnistatud ema andis Keatingile pornograafiavastase kampaania eest. (Irving, 1989)

Oma suurejoonelise karjääri viimasel viiel aastal läksid Ralstoni ja Keatingi saatused kokku ja rööpisid nagu raudrööpad. Mõlema mehe jaoks muutusid hotellid ja kinnisvara kinnisideeks, mis (nad lootsid) vabastavad nad nende kootud võrkudest ja kindlustavad nende maine linnaehitajatena.

1870ndate hõbedase buumi ajal sai San Francisco Montgomery tänav tuntuks Lääne Wall Streetina. Nii nagu Manhattani Wall Streeti ummikteed Broadwayl, peatus ka Montgomery külmalt Marketis. Ralstonil oli plaan laiendada Montgomery väärtuslikku kinnisvara potentsiaalselt väärtuslikule maale, mis talle kuulus Marketist lõuna pool. Selline juurdeehitus nõuaks linnakvartalite läbilõikamist ja mäe tasandamist, millele tema kaasmagnaadid olid oma mõisad ehitanud. Ükskõik kui võimas Ralston oli, blokeerisid sama kindlameelsed plutokraadid, kes tehingust osa ei võtnud, tema New Montgomery tänava kaks kvartalit Marketist lõuna pool ja see tekitas probleeme.

Kuna Ralstoni muud investeeringud muutusid räämas, vajas pankur New Montgomery ääres asuvaid krunte, et seda plaanipäraselt hinnata. Investorite oma maale meelitamiseks ehitas ta esmalt turu ja New Montgomery idanurka miljoni dollari suuruse hotelli The Grand. Kui see ei õnnestunud, alustas ta läänepoolses kvartalis asuvat paleed.

Ralstoni palee pidi olema tema karjääri ja ego rikkalik tippkivi. Kui see valmis 1875. aastal, oli see sõna otseses mõttes maailma uhkeim hotell. Selle luksuslikud kohtumised, kõrgtehnoloogilised seadmed, Pariisi restoranid ja mitmetasandiline keskvalgusti asetasid selle liigasse Viini, Pariisi ja New Yorgi parimate hotellidega. Üks ajaloolane märkis, et & quotthe California osariiki juhiti baarist Palace, "kuigi ta oleks võinud lisada ka mitmeid teisi lääneriike, territooriume ja Hawaii. Kulude ületamine viis lõpuks palee hinna esialgse hinnangu peaaegu kolmekordseks. San Franciscani jaoks tõestas hotell, et nende linn sai maailmatasemel vaid kahekümne viie aastaga.

Palee oli ka Ralstoni linna jaoks ligikaudu neli korda liiga suur. See ei täidaks aastakümneid. (Lewis & amp; Hall, 1940)

Hoone jõudis lõpule, kui Ralstoni impeerium tema ümber langes. Teda pole kunagi takistanud kindel piir oma panga ja oma rahanduse vahel. Ta hakkas müüma kinnisvara ja laenama raha peaaegu kõigele, mis talle kuulus, ja paljudele asjadele, mida ta ei omanud. Viimaste hulka kuulus San Francisco eraveeettevõte, mille suhtes tal oli valikuvõimalus ja mida ta lootis tohutu kasumiga linnale tagasi müüa. Teised loomingulise raamatupidamise katsed hõlmasid salaja üle emiteerinud Bank of California aktsiaid. Ta laenas 300 000 dollarit Vaikse ookeani lõunaosa võlakirjadele, mille ta oli pangahoidlast eemaldanud. (Lavendel, 1975, 372-4)

Püramiidiskeemid, mis põhinevad igavese kasvu fantaasial, on kurikuulsalt nõrgad ja kasvavad majanduse aeglustumisel veelgi. 26. augustil 1875, kui kuulujutud San Franciscosse tungisid, algas California Panga jooks. Kell 14.35 olid selle võlvid tühjad, pank sulges uksed ja tuhanded olid hävingu ees. Nende ebaõnnestumiste üksikasju pole kunagi räägitud.

Foiniikia hotell oli sama isiklik kinnisidee Charlie Keatingu suhtes. See oli sarnaselt Ralstoni omale mõeldud kõrvuti asetseva maa hinna tõusmiseks, kuid selles oli midagi enamat. (Furlong, 1989) Keating armastas seda hotelli. Tema ja ta naine kummitasid ehitusplatsi, nagu Ralstonil oli palee. Nende lugematud disainimuudatused tõstsid lõpliku maksumuse hinnanguliselt 300 miljoni dollarini. Feniikia töötajad ei oska tänaseni kindlalt öelda, kes arhitektid olid, ja öelda, et see oli enamasti Charlie Keating. Jälle kordades oma eelkäijat, ütles Keating ajakirjanikule: "Mul oli Ameerika Ühendriikide ajaloos ilmselt kõige edukam kuurort." (McCombs, 1990) Samuti üks tühisemaid.

Oma hiilguse viimastel kuudel läks Keating & amp Friends Ralstoni sarnasele, kuid suuremale painutajale. Tema kõige kuulsam trikk oli Lincolni filiaalides veerandi miljardi dollari ulatuses ACC-ga kindlustamata rämpsvõlakirjade müümine ja nende kuulsate kõrge tootlusega sertifikaatide kustutamine, mis hävitasid 23 000 peamiselt eakat investorit. (Lavin, 1990) House Banking Committee chair Henry Gonzalez later told those plaintiffs that they'd put their savings in inventive hands: "We find Mr. Keating a player on the international scene, a dabbler in the foreign currency markets, an operator of a security subsidiary in General Noriega's Panama, a member of the board of a Saudi-European bank, a good customer of Credit Suisse, a banking corporation that played a big role in the Lincoln-Kuwait partnership in the $300 million Phoenician extravaganza in Phoenix." (Irving, 1989)

On April 13, 1989, ACC declared bankruptcy and the following day the feds belatedly siezed Lincoln. At midnight on November 16, 1989, federal regulators and armed FBI agents captured the Phoenician Hotel in a midnight raid. (McCombs, 1990)When Keating came to work the next morning, the locks had been changed. He would soon be wearing a few of his own.

At the end, the bankers' fates diverged, for no federal regulators plagued Ralston. His corporate board summoned him to appear the day after his bank closed. It seemed that he owed the institution nearly five million dollars, approximately its entire capitalization. All directors professed shock and claimed to have no inkling of their partner's felonious activities, though subsequent lawsuits blew holes in their avowed naiveté. Years later, when lawyers cornered Darius Mills with a subpoena at the Palace Hotel, he suddenly grew deathly ill, retired to his bed, and lost all memory of everything pertaining to the management of the bank during his presidency.

On August 27, 1875, however, Mills' mind was in fine shape. He and his partners forced Ralston's resignation. They also made him sign over all of his assets to William Sharon whom, they trusted, would attempt to straighten out the mess. Ralston left the bank for his daily swim.

He was a strong swimmer, but on the day of his downfall, he was under considerable stress. An hour after plunging into the Bay, his body was retrieved by observers who watched him flounder and sink.

William Sharon had recently been elected to the U.S. Senate from Nevada, thanks to the generosity of his "sack bearers" in the Silver State. It was in the Senator's best interests to rehabilitate Ralston's reputation, for California law held him and his partners financially liable for the failed bank's debts. He did so with the same skill with which he played poker and the stock market.

Fifty thousand mourners marched in the banker's funeral cortege. Orators thundered his virtues. The Alta California mourned that "His was the vast vision of the Builders and his like shall never pass this way again." Ralston biographer David Lavender claims that Sharon deliberately prolonged the city's "emotional jag" to make the work of the bank's reorganization committee easier. Sharon chaired that committee. (Lavender, 1975, 382)

The reclamation of both Ralston's reputation and institution worked like a charm. On October 2 1875, the new Bank of California opened its doors. Jubilant crowds surged from the bank to the nearly-complete Palace where Senator Sharon delivered a touching eulogy to his late friend. In addition to the Palace, Sharon now owned the Grand Hotel, New Montgomery Street, Ralston's country estate and town house, the city's water works, and so many other lucrative properties that he, rather than Ralston's widow, could claim to be California's second wealthiest citizen. He just trailed Darius Mills who soon left the State to cultivate a major dynasty in New York City. Sharon founded his own in California with his vastly enhanced fortune.

San Franciscans argue to this day whether Ralston's death was accidental. Historian Hubert Howe Bancroft, Ralston's contemporary, had no such doubts in his copy of a city history, Bancroft scrawled in the margin "Ralston, though a daring, dashing pet of the people was a bad man and committed suicide rather than face his friends, after his frauds should become public. [sic]" (Hittell, 410-411)

Though a habitual swimmer himself, Keating stayed around to serve time in a state prison while his attorneys fought to free him. ("Banker's Sentence: Ten Years for Fraud," San Francisco eksamineerija, April 11, 1992) His crash forced the Senate to investigate five of its own colleagues for their connections to Keating, including Senate Whip Allan Cranston of California who soon thereafter resigned. California Governor Pete Wilson and President George Bush were momentarily brushed by the Arizona banker's dark wing. Had it not been for the cornucopia of other scandals during the Reagan years, the Keating chapter of the S&L disaster would easily rank with other national stenches such as Teapot Dome, Julian Pete, and the crash of Chicago's Sam Insull. Lincoln's $2.6 billion price tag represented the biggest of all thrift failures. (McCombs, 1990)

The Resolution Trust Company sold the remainder of the Phoenician Hotel to the Kuwait Investment Company at a hefty discount. The Japanese had long before acquired the Palace with the Sheraton chain and the Bank of California in San Francisco.

Keating's appearance in manacles and jail togs during his first trial momentarily sated some of the tribal lust for revenge. In 1996, after serving considerably less than half of a nearly thirteen-year sentence, a federal judge sprang Keating from prison on a technicality. ("Keating Conviction Overturned," San Francisco kroonika, December 3, 1996) In the midst of a hysterical bull maarket in the late 90s, the unwelcome lessons of the S&L crashes of the 80s joined such ancient history as the Depression and the Grant Era, and were happily forgotten. Keating's release, like so much else, was eclipsed by the saga of O.J. Simpson.

In the last analysis, Charlie Keating and Billy Ralston were far from the titans of free enterprise that their admirers claimed. Both danced a long and awkward tango with The Government which they loved to hate.

Historian Bernard DeVoto once succinctly defined the Western attitude to the federal government as "Get out and give us more money." (DeVoto, 1955, 245) Despite his loud patriotism, Charles Keating had scant regard for the U.S. federal government when it got in his way. After one of his victories over the regulators hounding him, Keating leaped upon a desk with a foaming magnum of champagne and ripped open his shirt to reveal a T-shirt inscribed "Death to the Feds." (Irving, 1989) It's a sentiment shared by many of his Sunbelt colleagues along with Arizona's private militias.

The buccaneers of Ralston's era shared that sentiment as they built their fortunes on federal largesse. In personal letters to his attorney, Southern Pacific president Collis Huntington referred to the judges and senators whom the railroad was forced to buy as "damned hogs" and "worthless dogs." Congress, he felt, was "the worst set of men that have ever been collected together since man was created." (Lewis, 1938, 228-9)

Such strong words were strange ingratitude for services rendered, for Huntington, Ralston, & Friends had used their famous "profit mill," the Contract & Finance Company, (Wilson, 1969, 33) to skim off extra millions of public dollars and millions of public acres that were meant to finance the building of the transcontinental railroad. When Congress and creditors got nosy, the books got burnt.

A similar amnesia prevails in Arizona today, extending far beyond the federally-insured deposits that built fortunes on the credit of the U.S. Treasury. The lakes, fountains, and Kilarney-green lawns eseential for Keating's luxury developments were largely provided by the feds, along with the cheap wired energy that makes life on the desert bearable. Phoenix itself, with its astonishing boom-town sprawl, would have been impossible without the Bureau of Reclamation, created in 1902 by Representative Francis G. Newlands of Nevada. Newlands was Senator Sharon's son-inlaw, and soon after the passage of the Newlands Act, moved on to the Senate himself.

Snaking over the mountains from the Colorado River, the Granite Reef Aqueduct of the $3 billion Central Arizona Project may, as water historian Marc Reisner has written, "come as close to socialism as anything this country has ever done." (Reisner, 1986, 12) But, for the moment, it keeps the desert cities growing without end.

San Francisco by the 1990s has grown to its limits, and so must grow by tearing down and building anew. It does so in a giddy atmosphere of "public-private partnerships" that now extends all the way from the local level to Clintonian Washington, and relies, as it always has, on popular amnesia of how often the public gets snookered.

When, for example, the owners of the San Francisco 49ers announced early in 1997 that they wanted to build a half billion dollar stadium cum shopping mall to replace a windy arena long known as Scandalstick Park, they demanded a $100 million subsidy or threatened to leave town. No one recalled a Fortune Magazine analysis of such projects that concluded with the warning that "The stadium's recurring deficits prove to be much higher than promised and the taxpayer discovers that civic pride has been compromised by special interest, blind boosterism, and intept planning." (Burck, 1973) Skeptics did recall that a similar deal nearly bankrupted Oakland, but Mayor Willie Brown insisted that San Francisco, by contrast, is a world-class city and would have no trouble repaying the bonds:"This is not a shaky city," Brown told the Kroonika, "There is no reason to equate us against any city that is shaky." ("Stadium Strategies Revealed," San Francisco kroonika, February 7, 1997) Brown's law firm specialized in such public-private partnerships, since it represented some of California's biggest corporations while he served as Speaker of the Assembly.

The scions of well-aged money keep a low profile today, marrying one another or those of metropolitan dynasties elsewhere. They constitute a cousinage almost unknown to those ooutside their circle. Five and six generations beyond, the fortunes made from the poisoned rivers and the fallen redwoods, from bribery or from the pockets of suckers picked on the Stock Exchange continue to propel numerous heirs through the Chronicle's society pages. That destruction, and those scandals, have become local color, if remembered at all. The heirs regard the brassy nouveaux riches of Silicon Valley and Las Vegas with the contempt of the well-bred, and invest their capital in growth in those parts.

We must forget the mistakes of the past in order to repeat them again. The Keatings and Ralstons recur like avatars in every generation because we want them to. We need those men to give us hope. They are what the myth of the self-made man is all about. That the myth is often as much a fraud as were they is fundamental to its eternal return.


Tycoon William Ralston drowns - Aug 27, 1875 - HISTORY.com

TSgt Joe C.

Hours after being asked to resign as president of the Bank of California, the powerful western capitalist William Ralston is found drowned in San Francisco Bay.

One of the first men to build a major financial empire in the Far West, Ralston was born in Ohio in 1826. In 1854, he immigrated to the booming town of San Francisco, a once sleepy Spanish missionary village that had become the center of the California Gold Rush five years earlier. There he became a partner in a steamship company, and 10 years later he used his profits to organize the Bank of California.

Ralston’s bank quickly became one of the most important financial institutions in the West. Starved for capital, western businessmen were happy to deal with a reliable bank in their own region instead of the New York and Boston banks. Ralston committed his own funds as well as those of the bank to a wide array of western businesses. Many were unexciting but essential enterprises like water companies. Ralston also had an adventurous side, though, and used his money to support lavish hotels and theaters in San Francisco as well as the hugely profitable Comstock Lode silver mine in Nevada.

The always-treacherous world of mining, however, eventually proved to be Ralston’s undoing. Having made millions in the Comstock Lode, Ralston gambled on several silver mines that proved busts. News of the failed mining investments sparked a run on the bank, forcing the bank to close its doors on August 26, 1875.

The next day, a somber board of directors asked for and received Ralston’s resignation as bank president. A few hours later, after Ralston had gone for his usual morning swim in San Francisco Bay, his body was discovered. Whether Ralston had accidentally drowned or deliberately killed himself remains a mystery.


Tycoon William Ralston drowns - HISTORY

William Ralston, after his Bank of California closed its doors on "Black Friday" in 1875, took his daily swim off the end of Larkin Street in the shadow of the Selby Lead Smelting Works and unexpectedly drowned.
Image: Harper's Weekly

William Chapman Ralston is held to be the most influential catalyst of San Francisco's growth after the Gold Rush of 1849. As a successful banker and investor in San Francisco, Ralston established a monopoly of the gold mine industry from 1864 to his death in 1875. Using his incredible clout, Ralston was able to generate millions of dollars for San Francisco during its heady boom years.

Like fellow San Francisco citizen Mark Twain, William Ralston worked on Mississippi riverboats as a youth. In the late 1850s, he captained a ship that brought "Argonauts" from Central America to work in the newly created gold mines. He stayed in San Francisco and soon became a successful banker.

In 1864, Ralston joined with Darius Ogden Mills to open the Bank of California at the corner of Battery and Washington. Through this entity, Ralston became involved in a number of dicey schemes, some of which proved to be complete shams (e.g. The Great Diamond Hoax of 1871). However, it was the silver-producing Comstock Lode that would eventually become the Bank of California's cash cow. Ralston was convinced that there was still plenty of silver ore to be extracted from Sun Mountain, even though many thought it had already played out after the initial Silver Rush of 1859. The same year Ralston opened the Bank of California, he commissioned William Sharon, a failed real-estate broker, to oversee the bank's interests in Nevada. The Bank of California offered loans to the failing mining companies at a competitive 2% interest rate. Since the average interest rate then was in the range 3% to 5%, the companies flocked to Ralston, seeking loans to continue their operations. Then, when most of the mines were unable to repay the debt, Ralston took control of the mines, either by foreclosing on them or accepting majority stock as payment. In addition, Ralston bought the silver mills of Virginia City, where all of the mining companies sent their silver ore to be refined. Thereby Ralston insured that even those mines that had not sold their interests to him were subject to his influence. Ralston had effectively established a monopoly on the Comstock Lode.

Once he had control, Ralston poured money into new machinery to extract silver ore from Sun Mountain. Whereas earlier mining companies had run into problems trying to prick the buried veins of silver, Ralston hired new engineers to deal with typical mining problems like drainage, ventilation and removal of the precious ore. Soon some of the mines had gone bonanza again and mining stocks were again being bought and sold like crazy at Ralston's own Mining Exchange across the street.

Thus began the rapid development of San Francisco's financial district. William Ralston was now in a position to generate incredible amounts of revenue from investors on the east coast, while continuously strengthening his stranglehold on the Comstock Lode by purchasing mines, mills, lumber companies and stage lines. The money garnered from speculation was far more crucial to the growth of San Francisco than from the actual mining of precious metals. The excitement over the potential output from Sun Mountain led to a speculation frenzy that put San Francisco on the map in a short amount of time. From 1865-1875, more money was wrapped up in Comstock speculation than existed on the entire Pacific Coast in real dollars.

Needless to say, Ralston was living large. He invested in opera houses and theaters in San Francisco, in addition to building a gargantuan eighty-room mansion in Belmont, which lies south of San Francisco. Ralston bought up fur companies, furniture factories, sugar refineries, railways and watch companies. He gained controlling interest of the Spring Valley Water Company -- San Francisco's major water supplier at that time. Ralston also poured money into the formation of the nascent Golden Gate Park, which, at that time, was merely a bunch of sand dunes.

In 1870, Ralston commissioned the construction of the most ostentatious monument to his wealth, the Palace Hotel, which was $7 million in the making and sat on two-and-a-half acres. When it opened, the Palace Hotel was the largest hotel in the country and it boasted a bar tended by 30 men. For it's construction, Ralston had linen, marble, wood and china from all over the world. It was equipped with state-of-the-art water and safety systems, and had a seven-story atrium for guests to drive their carriages into. The Palace would eventually host such prestigious visitors as Ulysses Grant, Rudyard Kipling and Emperor Dom Pedro III of Brazil. But one person who did not get to enjoy the opulence of the Palace hotel was Ralston himself, who fell victim to a stroke while swimming off North Beach and drowned, only two months before its opening in October of 1875. The refurbished post-earthquake Palace that was built after 1906 is now the property of Sheraton and stands today at the corner of New Montgomery and Market Street.

In spite of his apparent taste for grandeur, Ralston was reputedly a modest man. It was once proposed during a banquet that an agricultural community to the south of San Francisco be named after Ralston. Ralston respectfully declined the honor, not wishing to be lionized in this manner. The next speaker quipped that the town be named after Ralston's modesty. Thus, the town of Modesto was born and a good laugh was had by all.

Although Ralston moved a lot of cash in his lifetime, he actually died severely in debt, observing a fine tradition of rags-to-riches-to-rags entreprenuers in the history of San Francisco. At the time of his death, it was rumored that Ralston had actually committed suicide to escape from his accruing debt. However, his successors managed to keep the largest monument to his wealth -- the Palace Hotel -- up and running until it burned down in the fire of 1906.


William C. Ralston

William "Billy" Chapman Ralston (January 12, 1826 - August 27, 1875) was a San Francisco, California businessman and financier, and was the founder of the Bank of California.

William Chapman Ralston was born at Wellsville, Ohio on January 12, 1826, the son of Robert Ralston III and Mary Wilcoxen Chapman. He was known as "Chap" when he was young.

With riches derived from Nevada's Comstock Lode, he became one of the richest and most powerful men in California. He founded the Bank of California and was known for having a nothing-is-impossible attitude.

He built Ralston Hall in Belmont, California as a summer home. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it is now part of the campus of Notre Dame de Namur University.

He built the California Theatre on Bush Street in San Francisco, which opened on January 18, 1869.

His dream was the construction of the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, California at the corner of New Montgomery and Market. He spent $5M on its construction, draining his banking empire in the process. John Painter Gaynor was the architect and engineer. It opened on October 2, 1875. The hotel had early elevators or "rising rooms" and electric call buttons in the rooms. The hotel survived the 1906 earthquake, but was destroyed in the fire that followed. It was rebuilt and reopened in 1909. There is still a Ralston Room in the hotel off the main corridor to the left.

In 1871, following a severe drought in California, he initiated work on the surveying for an irrigation scheme in the San Joaquin Valley, and his lobbying was successful in securing the passage through Congress in 1873 of an Act to set up a Water Commission to advise on the irrigation of California.

He was also involved in Philip Arnold's diamond-mining hoax of 1872.

The collapse of his financial empire

In 1875, his financial empire collapsed as a result of the combination of the expense of building the Palace Hotel, the failure of his attempt to buy and then resell the Spring Valley Water Company, the after-effects of the Panic of 1873, and a crash in the stock value of the Bank of California. The crash occurred just weeks before the opening of the Palace Hotel.

The day after the collapse, his body was found in the San Francisco Bay, due either from a stroke during his regular swim or from suicide. About 50,000 people were said to have watched his funeral procession, and 8,000 of his friends were said by Robert Brereton to have attended the public meeting held in Union Hall on September 8, 1875 to express the community's loss. His partner, U.S. Senator William Sharon, acquired many of his assets, including the Palace Hotel and Ralston Hall.

Ralston Avenue is one of the principal roads in Belmont, California. Ralston Street in Reno is named for William Ralston. There are Ralston Avenue exits from both Highway 92 and Highway 101. Ralston Middle School, Ralston Hall, and the William Chapman Ralston Award are all named after him. A small mining town in southwest New Mexico was named Ralston City in honor of William Ralston, its largest investor, but has since been renamed Shakespeare, New Mexico. The town of Modesto was to be named for Ralston he declined, however, and it was called Modesto as one of the Spanish-speaking workers at the naming ceremony for that town said he was "muy modesto" or very modest. Modesto is home to Ralston Tower, an 11-floor building dedicated to elderly living. It is the second-tallest building in the city.


Tycoon William Ralston drowns - HISTORY

William Ralston, after his Bank of California closed its doors on "Black Friday" in 1875, took his daily swim off the end of Larkin Street in the shadow of the Selby Lead Smelting Works and unexpectedly drowned.

Saturday, August 27, 1875, the day after "Black Friday," the fiscal panic that destroyed his Bank of California, William C. Ralston, "the financial autocrat of the Pacific," went for his habitual afternoon swim near Meigg's Wharf -- and never came back. His pale, bloated body was recovered some time later.

Ralston's death caused a nationwide sensation. He had been the biggest mover-and-shaker on the West Coast prior to the collapse of his bank. During the Gold Rush, Ralston had skippered a steamship carrying passengers between Panama and San Francisco. By the late 1850's, he had settled down and gone into banking. In 1864, he opened the Bank of California at Battery and Washington Streets. Though an immensely rich and popular figure, he was famous for his modesty: when they tried to name a town after him, he refused, and so they named it for his modesty instead. Hence the Central Valley metropolis of Modesto.

Ralston was also legendary for his wildly immodest financial speculation and construction projects. He built an eighty-room mansion in Belmont and staffed it with a whole city of servants even its stables were built with mahogany and lined with mother-of-pearl. He raised theaters and operas. He built San Francisco's all-time most magnificent architectural landmark, the Palace Hotel. And during the epidemic of speculation that fed off San Francisco's 1865-75 silver boom, Ralston managed to buy up most of the Comstock lode, including its epicenter, Virginia City. His bulimic appetite for Comstock-related investments--lumber stocks, stagecoach companies, mills and mines--proved his downfall. When the transcontinental railroad (completed in 1868) failed to bring the economic boom all had expected, and when competitors threatened his silver interests, Ralston's overextended holdings collapsed.

On Black Friday, 1875, depositors lined up outside his bank soon the whole area around Sansome and California Streets was swarming with customers hoping to close their accounts. Ralston harangued the crowd to no avail, for the bank was forced to close. The next day, Ralston took his fatal swim.

View southeast from Black Point (today's Fort Mason) across North Beach when it was heavily industrialized, and Telegraph Hill was still largely unoccupied, c. 1890s.


Vaata videot: Blah blah blah (November 2021).