Stephen Fry's Great Leap Years - Let's Play Monopoly

Stephen Fry's Great Leap Years - Let's Play Monopoly

"The War of the Currents and a new type of person arises, an almost wholly American invention - the salesman. The foundations are set for the rise of one of the mightiest company's the world had ever seen - International Business Machines. Or as we all know it today, IBM."

In this episode, Stephen takes a fascinating look at the rise and domination of John Patterson and the National Cash Register Company of the cash register market in the US in the late 1800's. This company went on to become IBM in later years but it created some really unsavoury business practices such as taking money from some of its businesses and ruthlessly undercutting the competition to put them out of business, and then to raise its own prices. But it did not stop there and they also sabotaged their competition by selling dud equipment and pretending that these were competitor's products. NCR went still further than this but you need to listen to the podcast to appreciates how they manipulated and abused the market. They were found guilty of a criminal conspiracy in restraint of trade and maintaining a monopoly.

If a free market is abused in this way it is hardly any longer a free market operating in the interests of citizens. Many don't support government intervention in the markets but sometimes action is needed to keep things competitive and to allow new entrants (and products) to have a chance in the market.

Listen to this podcast episode at https://www.acast.com/greatleapyears/5-letsplaymonopoly and there is also a good book about this called "Father, Son & Co.: My Life at IBM and Beyond" By Thomas J. Watson, Peter Petre.


5 - Let's Play Monopoly | Stephen Fry's Great Leap Years on acast
The War of the Currents and a new type of person arises, an almost wholly American invention - the salesman. The foundations are set for the rise of one of the mightiest company's the world had ever seen - International Business Machines. Or as we all know it today, IBM. Researched, written & read by Stephen Fry. Music composed and conducted by Guy Farley with The Chamber Orchestra of London

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