Bernard Baruch, Park Bench Statesman

By Carter Field | Go to book overview

CHAPTER EIGHT

BARUCH learned about rubber the hard way. At this stage of his career he had become more interested in the development of natural resources than in stock-market operations, but his attention was first turned to rubber when he saw an opportunity for profit by buying shares in the Rubber Goods Manufacturing Co. He planned a pool to buy heavily into that company.

He suggested this to Dan Guggenheim, who listened gravely but said nothing encouraging. This was not unusual. The Guggenheim clan never did anything without a family council, and the consideration of any proposal often took a long time.

Baruch had bought a few shares himself, as a starter, this being a usual precaution when he was planning to take others into a large operation. In fairness it should be pointed out that in the dozens of times he followed this procedure he always told the men he was trying to get to join him that he would throw his own shares, purchased before he spoke to them, into the common pool, at cost. It was frequently a persuasive argument for them to join him, as there was always a pretty sweet profit in the shares Baruch already held. If the movement had not been in that direction he would never have pursued it to the extent of trying to form a combination.

But time passed, the Guggenheims said nothing, and Baruch grew tired and sold his rubber shares.

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