In the period after the initial realization of Roosevelt’s reforms, a large amount of cash had accumulated in the nation’s banking system, due to lower demand of loans. Simultaneously, bonds were very cheap. Bear Stearns cashed in for its first share of substantial profits by selling bonds to banks high in cash.
Bear Stearns’ operations were highly influenced by its chairman, Salim L. “Cy” Lewis, who built the company into a large, influential firm. Lewis’s outspokenness and drive had made him a legend in Bear Stearns as well as other business circles, and these qualities were what gave Bear Stearns the style that made it stand out on Wall Street for decades to come.
Opportunities came in the way in 1940s from an uprising revolution in the freight and transportation industries. With engineering excellence in auto manufacturing sectors and the cost-effectiveness of the aviation industry, this directly impacted the railways industry. The company saw it as a major bright prospect to capitalize on its services of mediating between railways companies going bankrupt and playing an effective role in their subsequent mergers and acquisitions.
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