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Once in Golconda: A True Drama of Wall Street 1920–1938 by John Brooks

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Chapter Eleven

Catastrophe

I

George Whitney devoted Thanksgiving Day to trying to salvage his brother’s shattered affairs, and perhaps, too, his shattered opinion of his brother’s character. That morning, at his insistence, Richard Whitney came to his house and laid before him a hastily assembled set of figures purporting to show the condition of Richard Whitney & Company as of that moment. The figures, which Richard Whitney would later admit were false, showed the firm to be in the black to the extent of about one million dollars. The elder brother, however, did not question the bona fides of the accounting–only Dick’s high valuation of the enormous amount of Distilled Liquors stock that by this time had come to constitute most of the assets ...

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