The Unseen Wall Street of 1969-1975: And Its Significance for Today

By Alec Benn | Go to book overview

7
How and Why Ross Perot Saved The New York Stock Exchange from Possible Collapse

All seemed well -- till Wally Latour got a call from Bob Bishop. Bob had reviewed the pro forma balance sheet of the combined firms and decided that F. I. duPont, Glore Forgan & Co. would not have sufficient capital to meet The New York Stock Exchange's standards. He told Wally he would not approve the merger unless the firm's capital was increased by several million dollars.

Bob was not overly concerned about issuing this order.

Edmund duPont had often said to Bob, Lee and others that in an emergency, he was sure his family could be counted on.1 Bob didn't know that Edmond duPont had sustained this illusion by secretly borrowing millions of dollars on behalf of all the partners of Francis I. duPont from an insurance company -- and that both wells were now dry.

Where would the new money come from?

Why should anyone who knew the facts be willing to risk millions of dollars by lending or investing in a combination of firms that, prima facie, had been so badly managed?

And even if the money could possibly be raised, could it be raised in time?

Because of his belief that the duPont family could -- and would -- contribute any capital that was needed by any company bearing the family name, Bob didn't know how close he was coming to causing the collapse of The New York Stock Exchange by his ukase. If the money were not found within days, he would be forced to take actions which would result in the liquidation -- or possibly the bankruptcy -- of Francis I. duPont & Co. That in turn would have caused hundreds of other firms, owed money and securities by Francis I. duPont to become bankrupt as

-69-

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