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Tycoon William Ralston verdrink

Tycoon William Ralston verdrink

Ure nadat hy gevra is om as president van die Bank of California te bedank, word die magtige westerse kapitalis William Ralston in San Francisco -baai verdrink.

Een van die eerste manne wat 'n groot finansiële ryk in die Verre Weste gebou het, is Ralston gebore in Ohio in 1826. In 1854 immigreer hy na die bloeiende stad San Francisco, 'n eens slaperige Spaanse sendingdorp wat die middelpunt van die Kalifornië Gold Rush vyf jaar tevore. Daar word hy 'n vennoot in 'n stoomskiponderneming, en tien jaar later gebruik hy sy wins om die Bank of California te organiseer.

Ralston se bank het vinnig een van die belangrikste finansiële instellings in die Weste geword. Westerse sakemanne was uitgehonger vir kapitaal en was gelukkig om met 'n betroubare bank in hul eie streek te werk in plaas van die banke in New York en Boston. Ralston het sy eie fondse sowel as dié van die bank toegewy aan 'n wye verskeidenheid westerse ondernemings. Baie was onopwindende, maar noodsaaklike ondernemings soos waterondernemings. Ralston het egter ook 'n avontuurlike kant, en het sy geld gebruik om spoggerige hotelle en teaters in San Francisco sowel as die uiters winsgewende Comstock Lode -silwermyn in Nevada te ondersteun.

Die altyd verraderlike mynwêreld was egter uiteindelik die ongedaanmaking van Ralston. Nadat hy miljoene in die Comstock Lode verdien het, het Ralston op verskeie silwer myne gedobbel wat buste bewys het. Die nuus oor die mislukte mynboubeleggings het 'n oorloop op die bank veroorsaak, wat die bank genoop het om sy deure op 26 Augustus 1875 te sluit.

Die volgende dag het 'n sombere direksie Ralston se bedanking as bankpresident gevra en ontvang. 'N Paar uur later, nadat Ralston sy gewone oggend swem in San Francisco Bay geneem het, is sy lyk ontdek. Dit is 'n raaisel of Ralston per ongeluk verdrink het of opsetlik homself om die lewe gebring het.


Ons kan dit ook doen, en#253 of herontwerp áciu by die president van Bank of California, en leef in San Francisco Bay met 'n hoë vlak van#253 en ápadn ý kapitalista William Ralston.

Ralston, jeden z prv ých mužov, ktor ý vybudoval veľk é finančn é imp érium na Ďalekom z ápade, sa narodil v Ohiu v roku 1826. V roku 1854 emigroval do prosperuj úceal mesta #233 splinternuwe visie árskej dediny, ktor á in die middestad van Kalifornië Gold Rush pred piatimi rokmi. U kan ook 'n vennoot by 'n 10 -jarige bank en 'n 244 -bank gebruik vir die gebruik van die Bank of California.

Ralstonova banka sa r ýchlo stala jednou z najd ôležitejš ích finančn ých inštit úci í and Z ápade. Z ápadn í podnikatelia, ktor ých hladovali po hlavnom meestal, boli radi, že namiesto b ánk v New Yorku a Bostone mohli rokovať so spoľahlivou bankou vo svojom regi óne. Ralston zaviazal vlastn é prostriedky, ako aj prostriedky banky, širok ému spektru z ápadn ých firiem. Mnoh é z nich boli nezauj ímav é, ale d ôležit é podniky ako vod árensk é spoločnosti. Ralston kan 'n paar dae lank en#250 str án en 'n groot aantal van ons kan gebruik word om 'n groot deel van San Franciscu te kry, en ook 'n paar mimoriadne vir#253nosn ú strieborn ú ba Comu Lode v Nevade.

Vždy zradn ý svet ban íctva sa však nakoniec uk ázal ako Ralstonov ústup. Ralston zarobil mili óny v Comstock Lode a vsadil sa na niekoľko strieborn ých ban í, ktor é dok ázali busty. Spr ávy o ne úspešn ých ťažobn ých invest íci ách vyvolali spustenie banky, čo prin útilo banku, aby 26. augusta 1875 zatvorila svoje dvere.

Nasleduj úci deň požiadala riadna rada riaditeľa Ralstonovej o rezign áciu by funkciu prezidenta banky. O niekoľko hod ín nesk ôr, keď Ralston odišiel na svoje obvykl é rann é k úpanie v z álive San Francisco, bolo jeho telo objaven é. Om dit ook te doen, is Ralston n áhodou utopil alebo úmyselne zabil, zost áva tajomstvom.


Hodiny pot é, co byl pož ád án o rezignaci by prezidenta Bank of California, byl nalezen mocn ý z ápadn í kapitalista William Ralston v San Francisco Bay.

Jeden z prvn ích mužů, kter ý vybudoval hlavn í finančn í imp érium na D áln ém z ápadě, se Ralston narodil v Ohiu v roce 1826. V roce 1854 emigroval do prosperuj & 23 San Francisco, kdysi ospal é španělsk é mision ářsk é vesnice, kter á se stala centrem Kalifornie Gold Rush is 'n gunstige onderneming. Ons kan ook 'n paar partner en#237 společnosti a o 10 let později využil sv é zisky k uspoř ád án í Kalifornsk é banky.

Ralstonova banka se rychle stala jednou z nejdůležitějš ích finančn ích instituc í and Z ápadě. Z ápadn í obchodn íci byli hladov í kvůli kapit álu a r ádi se vypoř ádali se spolehlivou bankou ve sv ém vlastn ím regionu m ísto bank v New Yorku a Bostonu. Ralston věnoval sv é vlastn í prostředky i prostředky banky cel é řadě z ápadn ích podniků. Mnoho z nich bylo neobvykl ých, ale důležit é podniky, jako jsou vodn í společnosti. Ralston však měl tak é dobrodružnou str ánku a sv é pen íze využil na podporu bohat ých hotelů a divadel v San Franciscu a na nesm írně v ýnosn ý stř íbrnad ý

Vždy zr ádn ý ons kan dit in die Verenigde Koninkryk sien en#225zal jako Ralstonův úpadek. Pot é, co Ralston vydělal miliony v Comstock Lode, vsadil se na několik stř íbrn ých dolů, kter é prokazovaly busty. Zpr ávy o ne úspěšn ých těžařsk ých investic ích zažehly běh banky and donutily banku zavř ít dveře 26. srpna 1875.

Dalš í den pož ádala rada ředitelů of rezignaci Ralstona jako prezidenta banky. Ons kan ook 'n paar Ralston -kunstenaars in die vakansie sien en#233 obvykl é rann í plav án í in San Francisco Bay. Ons kan Ralston n áhodou utopen nebo úmyslně zabil, zůst áv á tajemstv ím.


Ons kan ook 'n goeie idee kry om die funksie van die Verenigde State in Kalifornië te verander, 'n kapitalistiese gebeurtenis in die wêreld, William Ralston, wat 'n gul en 'n besige San Francisco het.

Unul dintre primii bărbați care și-a construit un imperiu financiar major în Far West, Ralston sa născut în Ohio în 1826. În 1854, a imigrat în orașul în plină expansiune din San Francisco , en ons kan ook 'n verskaffing van die versorging van die versorging van 'n sentrale sak in Kalifornië, Gold Rush, ontvang. Besoek ons ​​webwerf en verdien 'n onderneming vir die eerste keer, en ons kan ook 'n winsgewende onderneming vir 'n organisasie in Banca Kalifornië hê.

Ons bied 'n verskeidenheid van spesiale dienste aan Occident. Ons kan ook die geleentheid vind om 'n geleentheid te kry vir die herontwikkeling van 'n regstreek van#238 in New York en Boston. Ralston kan 'n propriile fonduri hê, wat ook 'n groot deel van die gebeurtenis kan veroorsaak. Ons kan nie 'n verskoning hê nie, maar dit is 'n spesiale voorgeskrewe onderneming. As voorbeeld hiervan kan Ralston ook 'n groot deel van die avontuurlike aspekte van 'n gesinshotel en 'n luukse teater in San Francisco bied, met 'n uiterste winsgewendheid in die argitektuur in Comstock Lode in Nevada.

Ons kan ook 'n paar van die belangrikste aspekte van Ralston sien. U kan ook 'n paar miljoene gebruik in Comstock Lode, Ralston en ek kan 'n groot hoeveelheid van die argint-sorg gebruik. Irtirile investițiilor miniere șuate au provocat of fugă asupra băncii, forț ând banca să își închidă op 26 Augustus 1875.

A doua zi, un consiliu de administrație oarecare a cerut și a primit demisia lui Ralston din funcția de președinte al băncii. Ons kan ook 'n goeie idee hê om 'n goeie idee te kry vir 'n uitstekende diens in Ralston. Ons kan nie 'n heer nie.


Ór ákkal azut án, hogy a Kaliforniai Bank eln ök ének lemond ás át k ért ék, a hatalmas nyugati capitalist át, William Ralstonot a San Francisco-öb ölben fullad 225lt ák.

Az egyik első ember, aki egy nagy p énz ügyi birodalmat ép ített a T ávol-Nyugaton, Ralston 1826-ban sz ületett Ohiosban. 1854-ben bev ándorolt ​​a vir ágz ó v árosba, San Franciscoba, az egykor álmos spanyol misszion árius faluba, amely a v áros k özpontj áv á v ált. Öt évvel kor ábban a kaliforniai Gold Rush. Ott partner év é v ált egy gőzhaj óz ási t ársas ágban, és 10 évvel k ésőbb nyeres ég ét a Kaliforniai Bank megszervez és ét.

A Ralston bankja gyorsan nyugat egyik legfontosabb p énz ügyi int ézm énny é v ált. A tők ét éhezve, a nyugati üzletemberek ör ültek, hogy a New York-i és a Bostoni bank helyett megb ízhat ó bankmal folytatj ák a munk ájukat saj át 233gi ójukban. Ralston saj át és a bank p énzeszk özeit a nyugati v állalkoz ások sz éles sk ál áj ára ford ította. Sokan izgalmas, de alapvető v állalkoz ások, mint p éld ául a v ízszolg áltat ók. Ralstonnak ugyanakkor kalandos oldala is volt, és p énzeszk özeit t ámogatta a pazar sz állod ák és sz ính ázak San Francisco-ban, valamint a rendk ív Āl ez üstb ány ában Nevadaban.

A b ány ászat mindig árul ó vil ága azonban v ég ül Ralston lelkesed és ének bizonyult. Miut án milli ókat keresett a Comstock Lode-ban, Ralston sz ámos ez üstb ány án j átszott, amelyek bizony ított ák a lez ár ód ást. A sikertelen b ány ászati ​​beruh áz ásokr ól sz ól ó h írek elind ított ák a bankot, és arra k ényszer ített ék a bankot, hogy 26-án bez árja az ajt ót.

M ásnap egy komor igazgat ótan ács Ralston bank eln ök ének lemond ás át k érte és megkapta. N éh ány ór ával k ésőbb, miut án Ralston elindult a szok ásos reggeli úsz ásra a San Francisco-öb ölbe, felfedezt ék test ét. Az a k érd és, hogy Ralston v életlen ül megfulladt, vagy sz ánd ékosan meg ölte-e mag át.


Tycoon William Ralston verdrink - GESKIEDENIS

Ralston, 'n voormalige kabinetmaker, het die harte van werkers in die fabrieke wat hy gefinansier het, verower. Of dit nou 'n besigheid was om dwalende seuns 'n beroep te leer, 'n misdaad in die kiem, 'n eiendomsontwikkeling in Marin County, 'n myn in Washoe of 'n spoorweg, Ralston was altyd bereid om te help. Sy deur staan ​​oop vir bellers, ongeag hoe nederig en geld nodig is.

Ralston het die drome bereik van gewone mans wat tevergeefs gedroom het en sy sukses gedra met soveel meer genade as enige ander man dat hy 'n simbool was van alles wat moontlik kon wees. Hy was dapper, kleurvol en geniaal, flink en vol verbeelding. Die mans wat hy geken het toe hy op 28 by San Francisco aangekom het met niks anders as 'n klerk nie, het in 1875 dieselfde vriendelikheid ontvang as wat hy hulle in 1854 gegee het.

Die platteland, van San Francisco tot Belmont, het hom vereenselwig met die styl van Ralston vir 'n wonderlike verblyf in sy platteland, die ou Cipriani -huis in Diablo, wat hy tot vier verdiepings en 100 kamers vergroot het. Die 300 gasligte glinster in die kristalkandelare, die balsaal en grasieuse trappe was prag.

Daar was legendes van groot partytjies, van gaste met vlieënde sluiers wat in koets ry agter spanne perde wat deur die debonair Ralston gery word, met die San Jose -trein van die Valencia -straatstasie na Belmont, van aandetes, van agtergrondmusiek gespeel deur 'n ingevoerde orkes, van afrigters en piekniek -etes op die strand. Dit het op groot skaal geleef en was almal trots op die feite wat hy vertel het.

Daarom het dit duisende 'n persoonlike verlies meegebring toe 'n asemlose man op 27 Augustus 1875 in die lykskouing ineengestort het na 'n lang aanloop van Meigg's Wharf op 27 Augustus 1875:

Daar is 'n man wat nou verdrink het naby my badhuis. Ek dink dit is meneer Ralston. Ek weet dit is! ”

Die nuus weerklink deur die stad. Die ren [op die Bank van Kalifornië] het met min waarskuwing begin. Die bank het gesluit nadat hy $ 1,400,000 in een dag uitbetaal het.

Daar is oral oor die verhaal van Ralston se moeilikheid gepraat. Diegene wat gevoel het dat hulle 'n boesemvriend verloor het, het al hoe meer daarvan oortuig dat die ongeluk van die Bank of California opgestel is om Ralston te kry.

Diegene wat nie die openbare aanbidding gedeel het nie, het opgemerk dat hy bespiegel het.

Daar was sprake van selfmoord, maar die geregtelike doodsondersoek, waarop lewensversekering vir mev. Ralston en vier kinders ingegaan het, het bevind dat dokters bewyse van 'n apoplektiese beroerte waarneem, nie een van verdrinking nie. Dit is bevestig deur die lykskouing. San Francisco Call-Bulletin
Maandag, 10 Oktober 1955


Pecuniary Emulation: Die rol van tycoons in die keiserlike stadsbou

Uittreksel uit Herwinning van San Francisco: geskiedenis, politiek, kultuur. A City Lights Anthology onder redaksie van James Brook, Chris Carlsson en Nancy J. Peters, City Lights Books, San Francisco, 1998.

Ek het die geskiedenis van San Francisco in die Palace Hotel ontdek. Vir 'n kind wat die naweek uit die voorstede opgestaan ​​het, het die paleis gestaan ​​vir die uiterste in wêreldse glans, metropolitaanse luukse en mitiese individue wat deur die geskrifte van Lucius Beebe en Oscar Lewis gefiltreer is.

Misdaad het eers jare later die kans gehad om 'n besoek aan 'n besoek aan die romanse te gee de luxe hotel restaurant in Scottsdale. Die bouer van die hotel en die mees bewonderde magnaat in Arizona het eens op die stoel gesit terwyl ek sy legendariese transaksies aangegaan het. 'N Federale hof het Charles H. Keating Jr. My gedagtes verdwyn toe van perskekleurige luier, faux-Fragonards en al die ander kenmerke van megasukses in die Reagan-era, terug na San Francisco in die Grant Era, na 'n ander bankier en na die ander hotel in Market Street, waar ek my roeping as historikus gehoor het.

San Franciscans is al lank trots daarop om die Parys van die Stille Oseaan te bewoon. William Chapman Ralston beklee 'n gekoesterde plek as keiserbouer in daardie fantasie. Om mee te begin, was Ralston stigter van die eens die grootste finansiële instelling van die Weste, die Bank of California. Nie minder nie as vier biografieë handel oor die lewe van Ralston en die impak daarvan noem hy hom "The Man Who Built San Francisco." (Dana, 1936) Hy is die Westen se Lorenzo de Medici genoem. "Hy het die weg gebaan vir San Francisco se opwaartse opmars na prestasie en bekendheid" beweer 'n bronsplaat naby waar hy in die baai verdrink het. Deur dit te doen, is Ralston gered van die historiese oordeel en gevangenisstraf wat later die berugste visioenaris van Arizona getref het. Soos Ralston se vennoot na bewering gesê het oor sy lyk: "Dit is die beste ding wat hy kon gedoen het." (Ostrander, 1966, 58)

Ralston en Keating is 97 jaar en 150 myl uitmekaar in Ohio gebore. San Francisco en Phoenix was groot dorpe toe die finansiers onderskeidelik daarin beland het, die soort geldmasjiene wat gebore spekulante aantrek, soos heuning, vlieg. Ralston was betrokke by skaduryke transaksies in Nicaragua voordat hy na San Francisco verhuis het. (Lavender, 1975) Prokureur Keating was betrokke by skaduryke transaksies in Cincinatti. Keating het 'n SEC -bedrogspul verslaan deur 'n toestemmingsbevel te onderteken waarin hy sweer om dit nooit weer te doen nie; hy was nooit 'n man wat deur beloftes vertraag kon word nie. (McCombs, 1990)

Gooi bloedige vleis in 'n poel haaie, en u kry gedurende die vormingsjare iets soos die besigheidsklimaat van San Francisco. Goud van die Mother Lode en silwer van die Comstock Lode het 'n vroeë patroon van hoërisiko-dobbelary en die uitbuiting van die stroomaf gevestig, wat volgens baie historici Westerse gedrag tot op hede gekenmerk het.

Die eerste paar jaar van placermynbou het gedoen bied ongewone geleenthede vir beskeie lotgevalle. Maar toe die ryk oppervlakte-afsettings opraak, het harde rots en hidroliese mynbou vinnig die plek van mynwerkers ingeneem, en dit het aandelemarkte sowel as die soort waagkapitaal vereis wat slegs finansiers met internasionale verbindings kon insamel. Nietemin het die algemene oortuiging in & quotanybody's gold & quot; primêre aas geword vir diegene wat dit ryk op die mark wou slaan, soos ander dit ryk in die strome van die Sierra getref het.

Hoofstadskonsentrasie vereis stede waarvan die gemak en luukse die swaarkry van mynkampe oortref. Mynpapier op die San Francisco ruil opgewonde waansin wat op godsdienstige wegraping lyk. Slegs vyf van die honderde myne wat op die Comstock Lode opgeneem is, het uiteindelik winsgewend geblyk, maar dit was voldoende om duisende & quotsuckers na die San Francisco Mining Exchange te lok waar insiders 'n tweede kans gehad het om dit ryk te maak deur hulle van hul spaargeld te bedrieg. Gold Rush -bankier, William Tecumseh Sherman, het in 1856 skerp opgemerk dat "Die aard van die land spekulasie, uitspattigheid, mislukkings en wreedheid veroorsaak." (Lavender, 1975, 391)

Baie ander stem dikwels saam met Sherman se oordeel. In 1883 het die Oorland maandeliks redaksioneel dat "Die werklike eienaardigheid van ons huidige Stille Oseaan -beskawing is dat dit miskien die mees volledig besef van die suiwer kommersiële beskawing op die aarde is."Oorland maandeliks, Desember, 1883, 657) Kalifornië het die weg gewys vir minder ontwikkelde streke, veral in sy 'onberispelike morele sin'. 'Besoekers was dit eens. Die onlangs besette graf van William Ralston het die toeris Joshua Speed ​​van Kentucky in 1876 laat waarneem dat byna alle Kaliforniërs super-materialiste is. Hulle meet alles aan die goue standaard, mans sowel as muile. U hoor nooit van meneer Smith as 'n goeie man nie, of meneer Brown as 'n eerlike man of meneer Jones as 'n Christen nie. Maar meneer S. het twintigduisend miljoen en so meer. Hoe meer hy het, hoe beter is hy — en dit maak nie saak hoe hy dit gekry het nie, so hy het dit. "

Sedert hy in 1854 in San Francisco aangekom het, was Ralston 'n toonaangewende speler in die hoë-spel van Westerse uitbuiting. In 'n land waarvan die oorvloed hulpbronne skaars geskraap is en waarvan die vaste waarde by elke nuwe immigrant gestyg het, behoort die toekoms aan die genadelose en aan die prokureurs wat die spelreëls vir hulle geskryf het. Hulle was gereeld dieselfde.

Ralston het in 'n aantal skemas ingegaan voordat hy sy pos gekry het. Sommige dinge, soos om te help met die finansiering van die oorname van Nicaragua deur die fortuinsoldaat William Walker —, het net nie vrugte afgewerp nie. (Lavender, 1975, 94) Dit was in die Comstock Lode suid van die huidige Reno dat & quotBilly & quot Ralston sy ster kort nadat dit in 1859 gevind is, vasgekeer het. Vyf jaar later was hy tesourier of direkteur van die meeste Bonanza-myne. (Wilson, 1969, 27) In daardie jaar het die kongres Nevada tot die Unie toegelaat as die winsgewendste kolonie van San Francisco, 'n staat wat algemeen bekend staan ​​as die land se groot rotte stad.

Ook in 1864 stig Ralston The Bank of California. Tot sy misnoeë van sy voormalige vennote het Ralston die meeste van hul beste kliënte saamgeneem toe hy vertrek om die mededingende bank te stig. Gerugte was volop dat Billy $ 50,000 betaal is om dit te doen deur die sowat vyf en twintig bankdirekteure waarmee hy hom omring het. (Lavender, 1975, 179) Met hierdie mans het Ralston steeds veranderende vennootskappe en verraad aangegaan. Hulle het bekend geword as Ralston's Ring, of bloot The Bank Crowd, en hulle was die rykste kapitaliste van die Weste tydens die burgeroorlog.

Vir die titelhoof van die Bank het Ralston Sacramento se Darius Ogden Mills aangewys, die mees gerespekteerde finansier aan die kus, hoewel Ralston eintlik die bank as sy kassier bestuur het. As sy agent op die Comstock het Ralston 'n voorraadwerker met die naam William Sharon geïnstalleer.

Om Sharon 'n piranha te noem, sou wees om die karakter van die vis te beledig. Sharon verslind myne, meulens, sakevennote, vervoer, woude en die waterwerke van Virginia City. Hy het die aandelemark kundig gemanipuleer met die voordeel van insiderinligting wat uit die mynkoppe verkry is. Hy het die wins teruggestuur na sy vennote in The Bank Crowd.

Ralston het sy hoofstad van Comstock omskep in kusvervoer, versekering, telegraaflyne, valutaspekulasie, wol- en syfabrieke, kanaalmaatskappye, hidrouliese myne, politieke en geregtelike omkopery, pelse uit Alaska, gaswerke, raffinaderye en gevaarlike eiendomskemas. Dit het gelyk asof daar skaars 'n onderneming was waarin Billy Ralston nie belang gehad het nie. Collis P. Huntington, baas van die Central Pacific Railroad, skryf aan sy vennoot Mark Hopkins: "Ek dink die tyd sal wys dat Ralston 'n groter instelling het as wat hy kan bestuur." (Lavender, 1975, 278) Ralston het Huntington se vertroue teruggegee deur in gekodeerde telegramme na hom te verwys as & quotHungry. & quot (Lavender, 1975, 287) Albei was skerp beoordelaars van karakter.

Solank Ralston deur die golf van rykdom gery het, was hy 'n voorbeeld van deug in die stad, 'n rolmodel vir geldelike navolging. Sy weelderige vermaaklikheid, sy waens, sy hertoglike landgoed in Belmont en sy vele liefdadigheidsorganisasies het hom, net soos Keating later, 'n verdienstelike plek in die ontwikkelingsgeskiedenis van sy aangenome stad besorg. Hy was ongetwyfeld 'n visioenêr, en sy gesprekke met Frederick Law Olmsted het byvoorbeeld gelei tot die verbouing van Golden Gate Park. As dit handel met insiderhandel, rugsteek en grootkorrupte korrupsie verg om sy doel te bereik, was dit die spelreëls en sou almal wat dit kon bekostig, dieselfde doen. Gelukkig vir Ralston het William Sharon min omgegee vir die algemene opinie en was hy die bliksemstraal van die bankier.

'N Vertroulike brief van Ralston aan sy maat stel voor dat hulle modus operandi. Ralston het Sharon aangeraai om 'n welgestelde medewerker te besit wat waardevolle aandele besit wat hulle wil hê. Gee hom tans suiker en melasse, maar as dit tyd is, gee hom asyn van die skerpste soort. Hy is ons vriend en ek dink dit sal ons help. & Quot (Ostrander, 1966, 48)

Ralston se bankvennoot in New York skryf hom in 1870 dat & quotAlmal praat oor jou, jou prinslike gasvryheid en grootskaalse uitgawes. Almal wat na Kalifornië gaan, wil u sien en 'n inleidingsbrief hê. & Quot (Lavender, 1975, 280) Hierdie woorde kon meer as 'n eeu later oor 'n ewe skouspelagtige bankier geskryf gewees het.

Die eiendomsmagnaat in Arizona, Tom Arnold, het gesê oor Charlie Keating se steeds verenigende ondernemings van die 1980's: & quot , die Phoenician Resort gebou vir honderdduisende dollars per kamer, die Estrella -ontwikkeling op 20.000 hektaar en net 151 groot dinge. En ek dink almal het hom bewonder, maar het gewonder hoe hy sulke dinge kan doen. & Quot (Lavin, 1990)

ACC was die in Phoenix gevestigde beheermaatskappy wat Lincoln S & ampL in 1984 ingesluk het met die spysverteringskanaal van $ 51 miljoen aan rommelobligasies wat deur die toonaangewende owerheid op die gebied, Michael Milken van Drexel Burnham Lambert, verskaf is. (McCombs, 1990) Die toekomstige bloeitydperk van die vrye mark van die Grant Era het die beau ideaal waarop die Reagan -dereguleerders#151 gemik het met 'n skouspelagtige uitsondering wat deur Franklin Roosevelt se New Deal verskaf is. Federale versekerde deposito's het magne soos Keating in staat gestel om S & ampL's soos Visa-kaarte wat op die Amerikaanse tesourie getrek is, te behandel, met die IRS as hul invorderingsagentskap. In vyf jaar het Keating's Crowd die bates van Lincoln se miljard dollar omskep in 'n aanspreeklikheid van $ 2,6 miljard vir die Amerikaanse belastingbetaler — wat in die handel as 'n zombie bekend staan ​​as gevolg van sy onnatuurlik lang lewensduur.

Hoe het Keating en die maatskappy so 'n wonderkind bereik? Kortom, hulle het die stoere Lincoln in 'n pionier in aggressiewe uitleen en kreatiewe rekeningkunde verander, volgens die Chicago Tribune, & kwota perfekte kontantkoei & quot; volgens William Black van die Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco. (Lavin, 1990)

Onder die kreatiewe bestuur van Keating het Lincoln se federaal-versekerde deposito's skerp uit huislenings en in rommelobligasies, spekulasie in buitelandse valuta, regs- en politieke fooie, luukse hotelle en, wat bekend is in eiendomsmagte in Arizona, as "land" gekenmerk. daardie volkleur borde van saguaro-geklede woestyn in Arizona snelweë tydskrif wat ontwikkelaars droom om te skraap en te bedek met winkelsentrums, gholfbane en jachthavens. (Beard & Morrell, 1990)

Keating het in werklikheid ACC bedryf soos een van Billy Ralston se hidrouliese myne onder hoë druk. Ralston se bedrywighede het vloede van kwikbesmette slyk stroomaf gestuur nadat die goud onttrek is, wat 'n permanente woesteny agtergelaat het waaroor ander bekommerd kon wees. In wat hy 'n 'kwotaksverdelingsplan' genoem het, het 'Keating' 94 miljoen dollar in federale versekerde fondse van Lincoln na ACC, wat deposante en reguleerders laat kies deur die gruis en bene wat oorgebly het. (Lavin, 1990)

Om sulke verwoesting te saai, het die soort "politieke bydraes" nodig gehad wat in Ralston se tyd 'n korter en veel ruwer naam gehad het. Keating het die prys van mans beter geken as die muile. Hy spog dat hy vyftig rekenmeesters weg van sy ouditeure gehuur het met wonderlike verhogings. Hy het Alan Greenspan — lank die voorsitter van die Federale Reserweraad — aangestel om Lincoln se saak te pleit as 'n kwotasie wat 'n finansieel sterk instelling is in 1985 toe dit nie so was nie. (Lavin, 1990) Hy het probeer om Edwin Gray — die lastige voorsitter van die Federal Home Loan Bank Board aan te stel. (Lavin, 1990) Politici van Phoenix -stadsraadslede (McCombs, 1990) aan Amerikaanse senatore het sy vrygewigheid gedeel, net soos moeder Theresa. Die dankbaarheid van die politici is op meer wêreldse maniere uitgespreek as die kruis wat die geseënde Moeder Keating vir sy veldtog teen pornografie gegee het. (Irving, 1989)

In die laaste vyf jaar van hul skouspelagtige loopbane het die lotgevalle van Ralston en Keating saamgevloei en ewewydig gelyk soos ysterrails. Vir beide mans het hotelle en vaste eiendom die obsessies geword wat hulle (wat hulle gehoop het) van die verstrengelde weefsels sou verwyder en hul reputasie as stadsbouers sou verseker.

Tydens die silwer oplewing van die 1870's het Montgomerystraat van San Francisco bekend gestaan ​​as die Wall Street of the West. Net soos Manhattan se Wall Street doodloopstraat op Broadway, so het Montgomery koud by Market gestop. Ralston het planne gehad om die hoë waarde van Montgomery uit te brei na moontlik waardevolle grond wat hy suid van Market besit het. So 'n uitbreiding sal deur die stadsblokke moet sny en 'n heuwel gelykmaak waarop sy mede -magnate hul herehuise gebou het. Maak nie saak hoe sterk Ralston was nie, ewe vasberade plutokrate wat nie die ooreenkoms aangegaan het nie, het sy New Montgomerystraat twee blokke suid van Market geblokkeer, en dit het probleme opgelewer.

Aangesien Ralston se ander beleggings galsterig geword het, het die bankier die lotte wat hy in New Montgomery besit, nodig gehad om te waardeer soos beplan. Om beleggers na sy land te lok, het hy eers 'n miljoen dollar-hotel met die naam The Grand op die oostelike hoek van Market en New Montgomery gebou. Toe dit nie werk nie, begin hy The Palace in die westelike blok.

Ralston's Palace sou die weelderige hoeksteen van sy loopbaan en ego wees. Toe dit in 1875 voltooi is, was dit letterlik die grootste hotel ter wêreld. Sy luukse afsprake, hoëtegnologie-uitrustings, Paryse restaurante en sentrale ligte in 'n reeks, het dit in 'n liga geplaas met die beste hotelle van Wene, Parys en New York. 'N Historikus het opgemerk dat die staat Kalifornië van die Palace -kroeg af bestuur is, alhoewel hy moontlik ook verskeie ander Westerse state, gebiede en Hawaii bygevoeg het. Koste -oorskrydings het uiteindelik die prys van die paleis tot byna drie keer die oorspronklike skatting laat beloop. Vir San Franciscans het die hotel bewys dat hul stad binne vyf-en-twintig jaar van wêreldgehalte geword het.

Die paleis was ook ongeveer vier keer te groot vir die stad van Ralston. Dit sal dekades lank nie vul nie. (Lewis & amp Hall, 1940)

Die gebou het voltooiing bereik toe Ralston se ryk oor hom val. Hy was nog nooit belemmer deur 'n vaste grens tussen sy bank se finansies en sy eie nie. Hy het eiendomme begin verkoop en geld geleen op byna alles wat hy besit, en baie wat hy nie het nie. Onder laasgenoemde was die private watermaatskappy van San Francisco, waarop hy 'n opsie gehad het en wat hy daarop gereken het om met groot wins aan die stad terug te verkoop. Ander eksperimente in kreatiewe rekeningkunde sluit in die geheim uitreiking van aandele van Bank of California. Hy het $ 300 000 geleen aan die skuld in die suidelike Stille Oseaan wat hy uit die bankkluise verwyder het. (Laventel, 1975, 372-4)

Piramideskemas gebaseer op die fantasie van voortdurende groei is berug skraal en groei meer namate die ekonomie vertraag. Op 26 Augustus 1875, terwyl gerugte oor San Francisco gegaan het, het 'n lopie begin met die Bank of California. Om 14:35 was die kluise leeg, die bank het sy deure gesluit en duisende het te gronde gekom. Die besonderhede van hul mislukkings is nog nooit bekend gemaak nie.

Die Fenisiese hotel was 'n ewe persoonlike obsessie met Charlie Keating. Dit is, net soos Ralston, ontwerp om die prys van aangrensende grond die hoogte in te skiet, maar daar was meer as dit. (Furlong, 1989) Keating was mal oor die hotel. Hy en sy vrou spook op die bouperseel, net soos Ralston die paleis gehad het. Hul ontelbare ontwerpveranderinge het die finale koste tot 'n geraamde $ 300 miljoen verhoog. Tot vandag toe kan die Fenisiese personeel nie seker weet wie die argitekte was nie, en sê dat dit meestal Charlie Keating was. Weer 'n weergawe van sy voorganger, het Keating aan 'n verslaggewer gesê: "Ek het die suksesvolste oord wat ooit in die geskiedenis van die Verenigde State gebou is." (McCombs, 1990) Ook een van die leegste.

In die laaste maande van sy glorie het Keating & amp; Friends op 'n buiging gegaan wat soortgelyk was aan die van Ralston, maar groter. Sy bekendste stunt was om 'n kwart miljard dollar in onversekerde rommelverpligtinge by Lincoln-takke te verkoop, en#151 die beroemde hoë-opbrengs-sertifikate wat 23 000 hoofsaaklik bejaarde beleggers uitgewis het. (Lavin, 1990) House Banking Committee chair Henry Gonzalez later told those plaintiffs that they'd put their savings in inventive hands: "We find Mr. Keating a player on the international scene, a dabbler in the foreign currency markets, an operator of a security subsidiary in General Noriega's Panama, a member of the board of a Saudi-European bank, a good customer of Credit Suisse, a banking corporation that played a big role in the Lincoln-Kuwait partnership in the $300 million Phoenician extravaganza in Phoenix." (Irving, 1989)

On April 13, 1989, ACC declared bankruptcy and the following day the feds belatedly siezed Lincoln. At midnight on November 16, 1989, federal regulators and armed FBI agents captured the Phoenician Hotel in a midnight raid. (McCombs, 1990)When Keating came to work the next morning, the locks had been changed. He would soon be wearing a few of his own.

At the end, the bankers' fates diverged, for no federal regulators plagued Ralston. His corporate board summoned him to appear the day after his bank closed. It seemed that he owed the institution nearly five million dollars, approximately its entire capitalization. All directors professed shock and claimed to have no inkling of their partner's felonious activities, though subsequent lawsuits blew holes in their avowed naiveté. Years later, when lawyers cornered Darius Mills with a subpoena at the Palace Hotel, he suddenly grew deathly ill, retired to his bed, and lost all memory of everything pertaining to the management of the bank during his presidency.

On August 27, 1875, however, Mills' mind was in fine shape. He and his partners forced Ralston's resignation. They also made him sign over all of his assets to William Sharon whom, they trusted, would attempt to straighten out the mess. Ralston left the bank for his daily swim.

He was a strong swimmer, but on the day of his downfall, he was under considerable stress. An hour after plunging into the Bay, his body was retrieved by observers who watched him flounder and sink.

William Sharon had recently been elected to the U.S. Senate from Nevada, thanks to the generosity of his "sack bearers" in the Silver State. It was in the Senator's best interests to rehabilitate Ralston's reputation, for California law held him and his partners financially liable for the failed bank's debts. He did so with the same skill with which he played poker and the stock market.

Fifty thousand mourners marched in the banker's funeral cortege. Orators thundered his virtues. Die Alta Kalifornië mourned that "His was the vast vision of the Builders and his like shall never pass this way again." Ralston biographer David Lavender claims that Sharon deliberately prolonged the city's "emotional jag" to make the work of the bank's reorganization committee easier. Sharon chaired that committee. (Lavender, 1975, 382)

The reclamation of both Ralston's reputation and institution worked like a charm. On October 2 1875, the new Bank of California opened its doors. Jubilant crowds surged from the bank to the nearly-complete Palace where Senator Sharon delivered a touching eulogy to his late friend. In addition to the Palace, Sharon now owned the Grand Hotel, New Montgomery Street, Ralston's country estate and town house, the city's water works, and so many other lucrative properties that he, rather than Ralston's widow, could claim to be California's second wealthiest citizen. He just trailed Darius Mills who soon left the State to cultivate a major dynasty in New York City. Sharon founded his own in California with his vastly enhanced fortune.

San Franciscans argue to this day whether Ralston's death was accidental. Historian Hubert Howe Bancroft, Ralston's contemporary, had no such doubts in his copy of a city history, Bancroft scrawled in the margin "Ralston, though a daring, dashing pet of the people was a bad man and committed suicide rather than face his friends, after his frauds should become public. [sic]" (Hittell, 410-411)

Though a habitual swimmer himself, Keating stayed around to serve time in a state prison while his attorneys fought to free him. ("Banker's Sentence: Ten Years for Fraud," San Francisco Examiner, April 11, 1992) His crash forced the Senate to investigate five of its own colleagues for their connections to Keating, including Senate Whip Allan Cranston of California who soon thereafter resigned. California Governor Pete Wilson and President George Bush were momentarily brushed by the Arizona banker's dark wing. Had it not been for the cornucopia of other scandals during the Reagan years, the Keating chapter of the S&L disaster would easily rank with other national stenches such as Teapot Dome, Julian Pete, and the crash of Chicago's Sam Insull. Lincoln's $2.6 billion price tag represented the biggest of all thrift failures. (McCombs, 1990)

The Resolution Trust Company sold the remainder of the Phoenician Hotel to the Kuwait Investment Company at a hefty discount. The Japanese had long before acquired the Palace with the Sheraton chain and the Bank of California in San Francisco.

Keating's appearance in manacles and jail togs during his first trial momentarily sated some of the tribal lust for revenge. In 1996, after serving considerably less than half of a nearly thirteen-year sentence, a federal judge sprang Keating from prison on a technicality. ("Keating Conviction Overturned," San Francisco Chronicle, December 3, 1996) In the midst of a hysterical bull maarket in the late 90s, the unwelcome lessons of the S&L crashes of the 80s joined such ancient history as the Depression and the Grant Era, and were happily forgotten. Keating's release, like so much else, was eclipsed by the saga of O.J. Simpson.

In the last analysis, Charlie Keating and Billy Ralston were far from the titans of free enterprise that their admirers claimed. Both danced a long and awkward tango with The Government which they loved to hate.

Historian Bernard DeVoto once succinctly defined the Western attitude to the federal government as "Get out and give us more money." (DeVoto, 1955, 245) Despite his loud patriotism, Charles Keating had scant regard for the U.S. federal government when it got in his way. After one of his victories over the regulators hounding him, Keating leaped upon a desk with a foaming magnum of champagne and ripped open his shirt to reveal a T-shirt inscribed "Death to the Feds." (Irving, 1989) It's a sentiment shared by many of his Sunbelt colleagues along with Arizona's private militias.

The buccaneers of Ralston's era shared that sentiment as they built their fortunes on federal largesse. In personal letters to his attorney, Southern Pacific president Collis Huntington referred to the judges and senators whom the railroad was forced to buy as "damned hogs" and "worthless dogs." Congress, he felt, was "the worst set of men that have ever been collected together since man was created." (Lewis, 1938, 228-9)

Such strong words were strange ingratitude for services rendered, for Huntington, Ralston, & Friends had used their famous "profit mill," the Contract & Finance Company, (Wilson, 1969, 33) to skim off extra millions of public dollars and millions of public acres that were meant to finance the building of the transcontinental railroad. When Congress and creditors got nosy, the books got burnt.

A similar amnesia prevails in Arizona today, extending far beyond the federally-insured deposits that built fortunes on the credit of the U.S. Treasury. The lakes, fountains, and Kilarney-green lawns eseential for Keating's luxury developments were largely provided by the feds, along with the cheap wired energy that makes life on the desert bearable. Phoenix itself, with its astonishing boom-town sprawl, would have been impossible without the Bureau of Reclamation, created in 1902 by Representative Francis G. Newlands of Nevada. Newlands was Senator Sharon's son-inlaw, and soon after the passage of the Newlands Act, moved on to the Senate himself.

Snaking over the mountains from the Colorado River, the Granite Reef Aqueduct of the $3 billion Central Arizona Project may, as water historian Marc Reisner has written, "come as close to socialism as anything this country has ever done." (Reisner, 1986, 12) But, for the moment, it keeps the desert cities growing without end.

San Francisco by the 1990s has grown to its limits, and so must grow by tearing down and building anew. It does so in a giddy atmosphere of "public-private partnerships" that now extends all the way from the local level to Clintonian Washington, and relies, as it always has, on popular amnesia of how often the public gets snookered.

When, for example, the owners of the San Francisco 49ers announced early in 1997 that they wanted to build a half billion dollar stadium cum shopping mall to replace a windy arena long known as Scandalstick Park, they demanded a $100 million subsidy or threatened to leave town. No one recalled a Fortune Magazine analysis of such projects that concluded with the warning that "The stadium's recurring deficits prove to be much higher than promised and the taxpayer discovers that civic pride has been compromised by special interest, blind boosterism, and intept planning." (Burck, 1973) Skeptics did recall that a similar deal nearly bankrupted Oakland, but Mayor Willie Brown insisted that San Francisco, by contrast, is a world-class city and would have no trouble repaying the bonds:"This is not a shaky city," Brown told the Kroniek, "There is no reason to equate us against any city that is shaky." ("Stadium Strategies Revealed," San Francisco Chronicle, February 7, 1997) Brown's law firm specialized in such public-private partnerships, since it represented some of California's biggest corporations while he served as Speaker of the Assembly.

The scions of well-aged money keep a low profile today, marrying one another or those of metropolitan dynasties elsewhere. They constitute a cousinage almost unknown to those ooutside their circle. Five and six generations beyond, the fortunes made from the poisoned rivers and the fallen redwoods, from bribery or from the pockets of suckers picked on the Stock Exchange continue to propel numerous heirs through the Chronicle's society pages. That destruction, and those scandals, have become local color, if remembered at all. The heirs regard the brassy nouveaux riches of Silicon Valley and Las Vegas with the contempt of the well-bred, and invest their capital in growth in those parts.

We must forget the mistakes of the past in order to repeat them again. The Keatings and Ralstons recur like avatars in every generation because we want them to. We need those men to give us hope. They are what the myth of the self-made man is all about. That the myth is often as much a fraud as were they is fundamental to its eternal return.


Tycoon William Ralston drowns - Aug 27, 1875 - HISTORY.com

TSgt Joe C.

Hours after being asked to resign as president of the Bank of California, the powerful western capitalist William Ralston is found drowned in San Francisco Bay.

One of the first men to build a major financial empire in the Far West, Ralston was born in Ohio in 1826. In 1854, he immigrated to the booming town of San Francisco, a once sleepy Spanish missionary village that had become the center of the California Gold Rush five years earlier. There he became a partner in a steamship company, and 10 years later he used his profits to organize the Bank of California.

Ralston’s bank quickly became one of the most important financial institutions in the West. Starved for capital, western businessmen were happy to deal with a reliable bank in their own region instead of the New York and Boston banks. Ralston committed his own funds as well as those of the bank to a wide array of western businesses. Many were unexciting but essential enterprises like water companies. Ralston also had an adventurous side, though, and used his money to support lavish hotels and theaters in San Francisco as well as the hugely profitable Comstock Lode silver mine in Nevada.

The always-treacherous world of mining, however, eventually proved to be Ralston’s undoing. Having made millions in the Comstock Lode, Ralston gambled on several silver mines that proved busts. News of the failed mining investments sparked a run on the bank, forcing the bank to close its doors on August 26, 1875.

The next day, a somber board of directors asked for and received Ralston’s resignation as bank president. A few hours later, after Ralston had gone for his usual morning swim in San Francisco Bay, his body was discovered. Whether Ralston had accidentally drowned or deliberately killed himself remains a mystery.


Tycoon William Ralston drowns - HISTORY

William Ralston, after his Bank of California closed its doors on "Black Friday" in 1875, took his daily swim off the end of Larkin Street in the shadow of the Selby Lead Smelting Works and unexpectedly drowned.
Image: Harper's Weekly

William Chapman Ralston is held to be the most influential catalyst of San Francisco's growth after the Gold Rush of 1849. As a successful banker and investor in San Francisco, Ralston established a monopoly of the gold mine industry from 1864 to his death in 1875. Using his incredible clout, Ralston was able to generate millions of dollars for San Francisco during its heady boom years.

Like fellow San Francisco citizen Mark Twain, William Ralston worked on Mississippi riverboats as a youth. In the late 1850s, he captained a ship that brought "Argonauts" from Central America to work in the newly created gold mines. He stayed in San Francisco and soon became a successful banker.

In 1864, Ralston joined with Darius Ogden Mills to open the Bank of California at the corner of Battery and Washington. Through this entity, Ralston became involved in a number of dicey schemes, some of which proved to be complete shams (e.g. The Great Diamond Hoax of 1871). However, it was the silver-producing Comstock Lode that would eventually become the Bank of California's cash cow. Ralston was convinced that there was still plenty of silver ore to be extracted from Sun Mountain, even though many thought it had already played out after the initial Silver Rush of 1859. The same year Ralston opened the Bank of California, he commissioned William Sharon, a failed real-estate broker, to oversee the bank's interests in Nevada. The Bank of California offered loans to the failing mining companies at a competitive 2% interest rate. Since the average interest rate then was in the range 3% to 5%, the companies flocked to Ralston, seeking loans to continue their operations. Then, when most of the mines were unable to repay the debt, Ralston took control of the mines, either by foreclosing on them or accepting majority stock as payment. In addition, Ralston bought the silver mills of Virginia City, where all of the mining companies sent their silver ore to be refined. Thereby Ralston insured that even those mines that had not sold their interests to him were subject to his influence. Ralston had effectively established a monopoly on the Comstock Lode.

Once he had control, Ralston poured money into new machinery to extract silver ore from Sun Mountain. Whereas earlier mining companies had run into problems trying to prick the buried veins of silver, Ralston hired new engineers to deal with typical mining problems like drainage, ventilation and removal of the precious ore. Soon some of the mines had gone bonanza again and mining stocks were again being bought and sold like crazy at Ralston's own Mining Exchange across the street.

Thus began the rapid development of San Francisco's financial district. William Ralston was now in a position to generate incredible amounts of revenue from investors on the east coast, while continuously strengthening his stranglehold on the Comstock Lode by purchasing mines, mills, lumber companies and stage lines. The money garnered from speculation was far more crucial to the growth of San Francisco than from the actual mining of precious metals. The excitement over the potential output from Sun Mountain led to a speculation frenzy that put San Francisco on the map in a short amount of time. From 1865-1875, more money was wrapped up in Comstock speculation than existed on the entire Pacific Coast in real dollars.

Needless to say, Ralston was living large. He invested in opera houses and theaters in San Francisco, in addition to building a gargantuan eighty-room mansion in Belmont, which lies south of San Francisco. Ralston bought up fur companies, furniture factories, sugar refineries, railways and watch companies. He gained controlling interest of the Spring Valley Water Company -- San Francisco's major water supplier at that time. Ralston also poured money into the formation of the nascent Golden Gate Park, which, at that time, was merely a bunch of sand dunes.

In 1870, Ralston commissioned the construction of the most ostentatious monument to his wealth, the Palace Hotel, which was $7 million in the making and sat on two-and-a-half acres. When it opened, the Palace Hotel was the largest hotel in the country and it boasted a bar tended by 30 men. For it's construction, Ralston had linen, marble, wood and china from all over the world. It was equipped with state-of-the-art water and safety systems, and had a seven-story atrium for guests to drive their carriages into. The Palace would eventually host such prestigious visitors as Ulysses Grant, Rudyard Kipling and Emperor Dom Pedro III of Brazil. But one person who did not get to enjoy the opulence of the Palace hotel was Ralston himself, who fell victim to a stroke while swimming off North Beach and drowned, only two months before its opening in October of 1875. The refurbished post-earthquake Palace that was built after 1906 is now the property of Sheraton and stands today at the corner of New Montgomery and Market Street.

In spite of his apparent taste for grandeur, Ralston was reputedly a modest man. It was once proposed during a banquet that an agricultural community to the south of San Francisco be named after Ralston. Ralston respectfully declined the honor, not wishing to be lionized in this manner. The next speaker quipped that the town be named after Ralston's modesty. Thus, the town of Modesto was born and a good laugh was had by all.

Although Ralston moved a lot of cash in his lifetime, he actually died severely in debt, observing a fine tradition of rags-to-riches-to-rags entreprenuers in the history of San Francisco. At the time of his death, it was rumored that Ralston had actually committed suicide to escape from his accruing debt. However, his successors managed to keep the largest monument to his wealth -- the Palace Hotel -- up and running until it burned down in the fire of 1906.


William C. Ralston

William "Billy" Chapman Ralston (January 12, 1826 - August 27, 1875) was a San Francisco, California businessman and financier, and was the founder of the Bank of California.

William Chapman Ralston was born at Wellsville, Ohio on January 12, 1826, the son of Robert Ralston III and Mary Wilcoxen Chapman. He was known as "Chap" when he was young.

With riches derived from Nevada's Comstock Lode, he became one of the richest and most powerful men in California. He founded the Bank of California and was known for having a nothing-is-impossible attitude.

He built Ralston Hall in Belmont, California as a summer home. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it is now part of the campus of Notre Dame de Namur University.

He built the California Theatre on Bush Street in San Francisco, which opened on January 18, 1869.

His dream was the construction of the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, California at the corner of New Montgomery and Market. He spent $5M on its construction, draining his banking empire in the process. John Painter Gaynor was the architect and engineer. It opened on October 2, 1875. The hotel had early elevators or "rising rooms" and electric call buttons in the rooms. The hotel survived the 1906 earthquake, but was destroyed in the fire that followed. It was rebuilt and reopened in 1909. There is still a Ralston Room in the hotel off the main corridor to the left.

In 1871, following a severe drought in California, he initiated work on the surveying for an irrigation scheme in the San Joaquin Valley, and his lobbying was successful in securing the passage through Congress in 1873 of an Act to set up a Water Commission to advise on the irrigation of California.

He was also involved in Philip Arnold's diamond-mining hoax of 1872.

The collapse of his financial empire

In 1875, his financial empire collapsed as a result of the combination of the expense of building the Palace Hotel, the failure of his attempt to buy and then resell the Spring Valley Water Company, the after-effects of the Panic of 1873, and a crash in the stock value of the Bank of California. The crash occurred just weeks before the opening of the Palace Hotel.

The day after the collapse, his body was found in the San Francisco Bay, due either from a stroke during his regular swim or from suicide. About 50,000 people were said to have watched his funeral procession, and 8,000 of his friends were said by Robert Brereton to have attended the public meeting held in Union Hall on September 8, 1875 to express the community's loss. His partner, U.S. Senator William Sharon, acquired many of his assets, including the Palace Hotel and Ralston Hall.

Ralston Avenue is one of the principal roads in Belmont, California. Ralston Street in Reno is named for William Ralston. There are Ralston Avenue exits from both Highway 92 and Highway 101. Ralston Middle School, Ralston Hall, and the William Chapman Ralston Award are all named after him. A small mining town in southwest New Mexico was named Ralston City in honor of William Ralston, its largest investor, but has since been renamed Shakespeare, New Mexico. The town of Modesto was to be named for Ralston he declined, however, and it was called Modesto as one of the Spanish-speaking workers at the naming ceremony for that town said he was "muy modesto" or very modest. Modesto is home to Ralston Tower, an 11-floor building dedicated to elderly living. It is the second-tallest building in the city.


Tycoon William Ralston drowns - HISTORY

William Ralston, after his Bank of California closed its doors on "Black Friday" in 1875, took his daily swim off the end of Larkin Street in the shadow of the Selby Lead Smelting Works and unexpectedly drowned.

Saturday, August 27, 1875, the day after "Black Friday," the fiscal panic that destroyed his Bank of California, William C. Ralston, "the financial autocrat of the Pacific," went for his habitual afternoon swim near Meigg's Wharf -- and never came back. His pale, bloated body was recovered some time later.

Ralston's death caused a nationwide sensation. He had been the biggest mover-and-shaker on the West Coast prior to the collapse of his bank. During the Gold Rush, Ralston had skippered a steamship carrying passengers between Panama and San Francisco. By the late 1850's, he had settled down and gone into banking. In 1864, he opened the Bank of California at Battery and Washington Streets. Though an immensely rich and popular figure, he was famous for his modesty: when they tried to name a town after him, he refused, and so they named it for his modesty instead. Hence the Central Valley metropolis of Modesto.

Ralston was also legendary for his wildly immodest financial speculation and construction projects. He built an eighty-room mansion in Belmont and staffed it with a whole city of servants even its stables were built with mahogany and lined with mother-of-pearl. He raised theaters and operas. He built San Francisco's all-time most magnificent architectural landmark, the Palace Hotel. And during the epidemic of speculation that fed off San Francisco's 1865-75 silver boom, Ralston managed to buy up most of the Comstock lode, including its epicenter, Virginia City. His bulimic appetite for Comstock-related investments--lumber stocks, stagecoach companies, mills and mines--proved his downfall. When the transcontinental railroad (completed in 1868) failed to bring the economic boom all had expected, and when competitors threatened his silver interests, Ralston's overextended holdings collapsed.

On Black Friday, 1875, depositors lined up outside his bank soon the whole area around Sansome and California Streets was swarming with customers hoping to close their accounts. Ralston harangued the crowd to no avail, for the bank was forced to close. The next day, Ralston took his fatal swim.

View southeast from Black Point (today's Fort Mason) across North Beach when it was heavily industrialized, and Telegraph Hill was still largely unoccupied, c. 1890s.


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