Learn what happened in business in today’s past
1999: The bull market reaches another milestone of madness as FORTUNE Magazine reveals that Barbra Streisand has been functioning as an unregistered investment adviser, day-trading dot-com stocks for bosom buddies like clothing designer Donna Karan. As of mid-May, brags Barbra, "I'm up 89% today on my account since August 31st!" No word on how the Funny Girl did after the bear market set in. But, after all, "Send in the Clowns" is one of her best-known tunes.
FORTUNE Magazine, June 21, 1999, pp. 210-211.
1990: After decades of closure under Communist rule, the Budapest Stock Exchange reopens for trading.
Museum of American Financial History (www.financialhistory.org).
1970: The Penn Central, one of the world's largest and oldest railroad operators, declares bankruptcy when the Federal government refuses to guarantee $200 million in emergency loans. Investors -- especially banks and holders of the railway's commercial paper -- were caught almost completely by surprise.
The New York Times, June 22, 1970, p. 1; reprinted in Floyd Norris and Christine Bockelmann, The New York Times Century of Business (McGraw-Hill, New York, 2000), pp. 211-213; John F. Stover, The Routledge Historical Atlas of the American Railroads (Routledge, New York and London, 1999), p. 121.
1948: One of the world's earliest modern computers, the Small-Scale Experimental Machine (SSEM, or "The Baby"), runs its first program successfully, proving that it can store data and user programs and process them at electronic speed. The Baby is the ancestor of the Ferranti Mark I, one of the first commercially-sold computers, whose designers include the parents of Internet pioneer Tim Berners-Lee.