Sun, 11 September 2022
Among the robber barons of the late 19th century, none was more ruthless and unscrupulous than Jay Gould, who amassed a fortune greater than that of the Rockefellers. During Gould’s life, he controlled the country’s largest railroad empire, Western Union, and even the New York World newspaper (which he sold to Joseph Pulitzer in 1883).
Today, Gould is all but forgotten outside of academia. But his influence and the regulations put in place to try and prevent future stock manipulators such as he from succeeding continue to have a significant influence over American businesses and financial markets.
Greg Steinmetz, a partner at a New York money management firm, has just published an authoritative biography of the clever and quirky Gould, American Rascal: How Jay Gould Built Wall Street’s Biggest Fortune.
Hate Gould or outright despise him, Steinmetz tells host and award-winning author Dean Rotbart that it’s not possible to deny that Gould played a domineering role in America’s transformative economic expansion of the 19th century.
Photos: Author Greg Steinmetz and Jay Gould