By Patricia Beard
After the Ball is that infrequent real tale that reads like an epic novel, a sweeping chronicle of an period, and an intimate account of the wish and betrayal of a son whose father gave him every little thing -- other than the learning to discover his method in territory governed via the rapacious.James Hazen Hyde used to be twenty-three in 1899 whilst he inherited the bulk stocks within the billion-dollar Equitable existence insurance Society. simply 5 years later, he fell from grace in a Wall highway scandal that obsessed the country and commanded a hundred and fifteen front-page articles within the ny Times.Hyde used to be clever, cultured, and bold, yet he was once no fit for an older iteration that had mapped the backstreets of excessive finance. Vying to manage the Equitable's large funding pool, the main well-known financiers and industrialists of the period -- between them E. H. Harriman, Henry Clay Frick, and J. P. Morgan -- positioned Hyde on forty-eight forums and integrated him in bargains that shook Wall highway. after which, on the top of social luck, he made a deadly miscalculation.On the final evening of January 1905, James Hyde held a fabulously flamboyant, eighteenth-century, Versailles-themed dress ball. His enemies used the celebration because the hook to hold him on, claiming that he used to be too frivolous to run an organization devoted to keeping widows and orphans; and unfold the rumor that he had spent 2 hundred thousand money of Equitable funds on a night's leisure. by the point a central authority research proven that Hyde had paid the accounts himself, his acceptance was once ruined.The sour crusade to wrest keep watch over of the Equitable and its great funding skill from Hyde at the heels of the ball. because the struggle escalated, clandestine alliances among insurers and Wall highway burst to the skin, exposing strategies which are the stuff of twenty-first-century scandals: self-dealing, insider buying and selling, accounting malpractice, and company investment of non-public pleasures.After the Ball tells a story that riveted thousands of usa citizens a century in the past. Its topics are as clean this day as they have been in 1905: greed and chicanery, the improper love among fathers and sons, and contradictory American attitudes approximately wealth -- all unfolding opposed to a surroundings of beauty, extra, and corrupting glamour.
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Extra info for After the Ball: Gilded Age Secrets, Boardroom Betrayals, and the Party That Ignited the Great Wall Street Scandal of 1905
For some months in the late fall and early winter of 1878, the correspondence between him and Annie was anguished. From Egypt, he wrote, After the trouble we have been through, and I don’t see how we could have avoided it after the ﬁrst cause, any man that loved his wife as I love you must have suffered deeply down into the bottom of his heart, and of course you have for the ﬁrst time in your life found out what trouble was—now it is over forever . . it seemed as if I should die, if I was in future to be expecting from you what I was never to receive, and that was your ﬁrst affection.
Henry sold the Equitable’s stock, met the ﬁling deadline, and after ﬁve months, he reported insurance in force of $1,144,000. The Rev1 2 3 4 28 AFTER THE BALL erend Alexander did not have the opportunity to buy insurance from the new company; he died four days after the Equitable received its charter. Henry drove the business, but Reverend Alexander’s brother, William, former speaker of the New Jersey Senate, and a respected elder statesman, had the title of president until he died in 1874: at twenty-ﬁve, Henry seemed too young to inspire the average policyholder’s conﬁdence.
After the wedding, he wrote a cousin that Mary, who was feeling pleased with herself, “has not yet found out that her doll is stuffed with sawdust. ” The “doll” may have been Sidney, whom Henry didn’t like. Nevertheless, he appointed him cashier of the Equitable, and, along with Sidney’s grandfather, secured the $50,000 bond. A place on the board came with the position, but Sidney was only 15 16 A Life: Henry, 1859–1899 35 mildly interested in working. He foxhunted with the Meadow Brook Hunt near their estate, The Crossways, on Long Island; he bred Brown Swiss cattle; indulged his new passion, the automobile; and studied mushrooms and other fungi with the New York Mycological Society.
After the Ball: Gilded Age Secrets, Boardroom Betrayals, and the Party That Ignited the Great Wall Street Scandal of 1905 by Patricia Beard