[Penn Central Railroad] “Its bankruptcy in 1970 shocked the financial world.” Yeah? How do you figure that Benjamin Graham? I’m nearing the end of The Intelligent Investor by Benny boy there and all I come away with is contempt for American business. He himself describes how Penn hadn’t paid income taxes for 8 years (not having income is a bad thing). He talked about the earnings per share being created out of thin air. That when they bankrupted in 1970 the last legitimate bond had been issued in 1968.
And “the financial world was shocked”? Oh come now. Shareholders were, but nobody on the inside was shocked. They knew. Its all part of the game. Our bought and paid for government came to the rescue in 1976 with this bastard creation known as ‘Conrail’ (Consolidated Rail Corporation), a government funded holding company. Graham couldn’t even be honest there, its a taxpayer funded boondoggle. And the people they bailed out were the owners, not the stockholders.
The shenanigans that have gone on with railroads in this country are criminal. All I know are the crudest of basic concepts, not the finer points of their skullduggery. The way they brought over slave labor from China to build the transcontinental so the barons wouldn’t have to pay real wages. The land taking for nothing. The bribes to insure the railroad went through this town and not the other. The taxpayer funded improvements to the lines. Its just sickening.
And then! When all that wasn’t enough and they drove their monopoly into the ground through mismanagement, the taxpayers bailed them out 1 more time through Conrail! It just never ends.