Business: Broken Broker

On one of the darkest days of the 1929 stockmarket crash, when almost every rumor was a libel, Broker Michael J. ("Mike") Meehan sauntered up to one of his partners, said cheerily: "Well, I understand I'm broke. Guess we'd better give all the boys in the office a two weeks' bonus to prove it."

Having pulled Radio Corp. of America to a high of $549 per share in the most spectacular pool operations of the New Era, Mike Meehan was certainly vulnerable when the great decline set in. How much of his fortune, once...

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