AND IN SOME CASES----SAME PEOPLE!!!
'After the Ball: Gilded Age Secrets, Boardroom Betrayals and the Party that Ignited the Great Wall Street Scandal of 1905" (title says it all!) by Patricia Beard is an educational and gossipy read even for us who don't know the difference between a PE ratio and Peewee Herman. Or that Hermes is not only a leather goods brand.
This is the story of the fall of Equitable Insurance, one of the biggest, if not the biggest insurance company of its time. It is what we know today as AXA.
However, all one needs to do is substiute Equitable for --AIG, Lehman, Enron, car manufacturers, etc. and this historical chronicle becomes current events. JP Morgan is in it as himself, so is Henry Clay Frick, EH Harriman and other 'bold faced' names that we now know as museums, foundations or simply RICH!
I have not read her other work (author of six non-fiction books) but it seems like Beard makes the history of Wall Street carnage her specialty. Her other book is "Blue Blood and Mutiny: The Fight for the Soul of Morgan Stanley"---which is STILL going through Hex in the Citi.
From information in After the Ball, I had one of my....
Conversations with my husband
Kitty: Was there still a Holy Roman Empire in 1900? How come Pope Pius X was able to bestow someone with the title Countess of the Holy Roman Empire?
Husband: Weren't those the Hapsburgs? Didn't Napoleon marry his son off to a Hapsburg so he could crown him Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire?
K: I think in 1900 the Hapsburgs were the Austro-Hungarian Empire and probably had Empress Sissy in Austria--the one stabbed through her corset. Empress Marie-Therese, the mother of Marie-Antoinette was a Hapsburg. Do you think Catherine Oxenburg is a Hapsburg?
H: Who is that?
K: She was on Dynasty with Joan Collins and Linda Evans.
H: She's probably not a Hapsburg. Just Euro-trash who impressed Americans.
(I read a comment somewhere that Americans are so easily impressed with titles and royalty because they can't tell the difference between a footman and the Lord Chamberlain)