Benjamin Graham: The Power of Jerry Newman’s Reputation Capital

One of my favorite Benjamin Graham investments to review is his early career investment in the Northern Pipeline. In 1911, the Supreme Court ordered that the Standard Oil Trust be broken into over fifty separate entities, and he began to study the various pipelines that were being split up into eight entities.

Jerry Newman, left, with Benjamin Graham, right, circa 1950s.

Since the pipelines amounted to less than one-seventh of the overall Standard Oil empire, and since the Northern Pipeline was just one of the eight pipeline entities becoming its own after the breakup, the Standard Oil income statements do not classify Northern Pipeline according to anything that would resemble a balance sheet overview–investors were only given access to the net income and other similar figures.

When Graham himself began to study the pipelines, he personally traveled to Washington, D.C. in order to pick up copies of each of the … Read the rest of this article!

My Three Favorite Businessmen

William Danforth—He founded Purina Mills, the company that would soon become Ralston-Purina, in St. Louis, Missouri, during the summer of 1894. As of the early 2000s, Ralston-Purina is now a part of Nestle, combining two of my favorite companies (the only other merger of equal beauty during my lifetime occurred when Procter & Gamble picked up Gillette).

The reason why I like William Danforth so much is because he understands the connection between business and the rest of your life (I have a tendency to gravitate towards the investor/philosopher types).  He is the gentleman that wrote the book “I Dare You”, which I plug on this site as the summer read of 2013.

In I Dare You, Danforth explains what he believes to be the key to successful. He argues that a successful life is essentially about balance a four-square: our economic interests, our physical health, our intimate/social … Read the rest of this article!

Why Clubs Charge Cover Charges

This distinction rarely comes up, but the United States’ Prohibition against alcohol between 1920 and 1933 did not actually ban the consumption and possession of alcohol, but rather, the manufacture and sale of alcohol.

The wording of the now-repealed 18th Amendment to the United States Constitution made this clear:

“After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all the territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.”

In the early months of Prohibition, saloons would claim that they stockpiled beer from before Prohibition’s effective date, and then host events within the saloon that would charge customers for participating in the event and then provide “free” alcohol as a courtesy (these types of events came to be called “blind pigs” after a Pennsylvania … Read the rest of this article!