The word “extremely” in the title is a kind of pun, because the histories represent extremes of various sorts that were manifest on Wall Street in recent years. They hold instruction, and grave warnings, for everyone who has a serious connection with the world of stocks and bonds—not only for ordinary investors and speculators but for professionals, security analysts, fund managers, trust-account administrators, and even for bankers who lend money to corporations. The four companies to be reviewed, and the different extremes that they illustrate are:

Penn Central (Railroad) Co. An extreme example of the neglect of the most elementary warning signals of financial weakness, by all those who ...

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