Troubled Hunts: Is there a silver lining?

Is there a silver lining?

When Texas Oilmen Nelson Bunker Hunt and his brother William Herbert went headlong into the silver market in 1979 and 1980, they pushed the value of the precious metal from $6 to $50 per oz. and accumulated a hoard worth about $10 billion. That forced up the cost of everything from photographic film to jewelry, and tempted thousands of Americans to sell the family sterling. But the Hunts lost as much as $1 billion in a day in early 1980, when the speculative bubble burst and silver prices collapsed. Five years later, the Hunt family's woes continue to grow.

The Commodity...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!