Your Daily Bit of Wall Street Wit & Wisdom

Russell Sage

Russell Sage, circa 1870 h/t Hulton Archive/Getty Images

“He wears no crown upon his royal head,
But many millions in his purse, instead;

He keeps no halls of state; but holds his court
in dingy rooms where thrift and greed resort;

In iron chests his wondrous wealth he hoards;
Banks are his parlors; brokers his lords,

Bonds, bills, and mortgages, his favorite books,
Gold is his food, and coiners are his cooks; …”
— John G. Saxe, The Money-King, 1854

Saxe’s lengthy mid-nineteenth century poem is descriptive of the exalted financial state of the European banking families considered to be “Money-Kings.”

In 2019, many of the poem’s couplets ring familiar with today’s growing problem of income inequality.

It’s something to consider, when considering those running for office.

Best regards,

Steve

PS My father, Paul Sarnoff, authored a biography of Russell Sage, published in 1965, Russell Sage: The Money King.  Sage banked the tycoons and helped shape the Industrial Revolution.  He became one of the wealthiest people in US history.

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