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Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street by John Brooks

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9

A Second Sort of Life

DURING Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Presidency, when Wall Street and Washington tended to be on cat-and-dog terms, perhaps no New Dealer other than That Man himself better typified the New Deal in the eyes of Wall Street than David Eli Lilienthal. The explanation of this estimate of him in southern Manhattan lay not in any specific anti-Wall Street acts of Lilienthal’s—indeed, the scattering of financiers, among them Wendell L. Willkie, who had personal dealings with him generally found him to be a reasonable sort of fellow—but in what he had come to symbolize through his association with the Tennessee Valley Authority, which, as a government-owned electric-power concern far larger than any private power corporation in the ...

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