The first, the biggest, the highest, the largest – and a few other remarkable financial- and business world records.
The biggest one-day-drop in percent for the Dow Jones Industrial was on Monday, October 19, 1987 when the Dow lost 22,61%.
The highest one-day-gain in percent occurred more than 80 years ago. On Wednesday, March 15, 1933, the Dow recovered by 15,34%.
The highest price for Gold ever was noticed on Tuesday, August 23, 2011 with 1’909 USD per ounce. Adjusted for inflation, gold’s highest price ever was on Monday, January 21, 1980, when the metal hit 850 USD/ounce.
The biggest IPO – Initial Public Offering – in history was Alibaba’s stock market debut. The chinese e-commerce company went public on September 18, 2014 at 21.8 billion USD. 4 days later, underwriters exercised an option to sell more shares, bringing the total IPO to 25 billion USD. The most-hyped IPO in history was Facebook’s Nasdaq-debut on May 1, 2012. Facebook raised 16 billion USD.
Lehman Brothers, the fourth largest investment bank in the US, wins the title for the largest bankruptcy of all times. Lehman entered bankruptcy following the massive exodus of clients and devaluation of its assets. Bankruptcy filing: Sept.15, 2008; Assets: 691 billion USD
For years, William ‘Bill’ Gross of Pimco was known as the ‘Bond King’. In 2013, Gross – who managed the world’s largest bond fund – became also the ‘Bonus King’, when he cashed a year-end bonus of 290 million USD, the highest ever paid bonus in history. Shortly after receiving the mega-bonus, Gross was fired by Pimco on ‘differences with management over his personality and the firm’s business direction’. In 2014, Gross joined Janus Capital Group.
The highest annual earnings ever achieved by a public company was 53,5 billion USD by Apple in 2015. The steepest loss on record so far was delivered by AOL Time Warner with 123 billion USD in 2002.
The city with the most billionaires worldwide is Beijing. Chinas capital is home to 100 billionaires and has overtaken New York (95) last year. Moscow came in third place, with 66 billionaires, followed by Hong Kong (64) and Shanghai (50). Remarkably, China has now twice as much billionaire in the political capital Beijing than in the economic center Shanghai…
The oldest bank in continous operations in the world is Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, founded 1472 by the magistrate of the city state of Siena (in today’s Tuscany) to offer cheap loans for the poor. For the last 544 years, the bank has been in operation without interruption to the present day.
How long this history is going on is unclear however. In 2013, Monte dei Paschi was forced to ask for a 4 billion EUR taxpayer bailout. Without this cash – already the second bailout in a few years – the history would have come to an end 3 years ago. Today, the situation is not much better: Monte dei Paschi is still in deep trouble with an unhealthy portfolio of non-performing loans, regular visits by the guardia di finanza and a shattered share-price. The bank is looking for a buyer.
The biggest bank heists on record took place during war-time in Beirut (Lebanon, 1976) and Baghdad (Iraq, 2003/2007).
The largest bank-robbery in piece-time with bank-security and police-force in full attention, took place in July 1987 at London’s Knightbridge Security Deposit. Italian criminal Valerio Viccei closed the bank by threatening the manager and staff into submission with handguns. Once in control of the bank, Viccei called for backup and his guys robbed a value of 200 million USD in cash and jewellery. Viccei almost got away with it, but he was captured when he returned to Italy to retrieve his Ferrari.
The most sophisticated bank-heist took place in Brazil in August 2005. The robbers stole 160 million Real – about 70 million USD at the time – from Banco Central do Brazil in Fortaleza by tunneling below the bank. The tunnel was lined with canvas and fully anchored with wooden beams to prevent landslides, had an airconditioning and electric lighting system. 3 months before the coup, the robbers rented a property and tunneled 78 meters to a position beneath the bank. The gang posed as a landscaping company selling grass and plants. Neighbours described how they had seen van-loads of soil being removed daily, but understood this to be a normal activity of the business. Some suspects have been apprehended – but not all – and to this day the police have only been able to recover 9 million USD.
The biggest credit-card transaction on record was performed by hollywood actress Kim Basinger. In 1989, she used her card to purchase the town of Braselton, Georgia, for 20 million USD. Basinger wanted to make the town into a tourist attraction which featured a film festival and movie studios. Her plan did not work out; when she lost much of her fortune she sold the town for 1 million USD – and probably preferred a cash-payment this time.
The first home-shopping order worldwide was not given by a young tech geek, but a 72 year old grandmother. In May 1984, Jane Snowball sat in an armchair in her Gateshead home in the UK, picked up the television remote control and used a system called videotex to order margarine, cornflakes and eggs from her local Tesco-supermarket.
At noon on August 11, 1994 the internet became a shopping tool. Dan Kohn, founder of Net Market Company in Nashua, New Hampshire, made the first secure online sale worldwide. His customer, Phil Brandenberger in Philadelphia, spent 12.48 USD plus shipping costs via his credit card on Sting’s CD “Ten Summoner’s Tales,” in the first ever retail transaction on the Internet using a PGP encryption software. By the way, Douglas Hofstadter’s ‘’Fluid Concepts & Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought’’ was the first book sold by Amazon.com on July 15, 1995.
It’s not Messi or Ronaldo who signed the highest endowed sports contract, but Formula-1 driver Sebastian Vettel. While the two players from Barca and Real both earn about 25 million EUR/year, Vettels 3-year-contract with Ferrari is in another dimension: Vettel will earn 50 million USD guaranteed in first year and 30 million USD with max bonuses of around 10 million USD afterwards. As a special bonus, in case Vettel wins the F1-drivership-titel, his employer would deliver one of the highly limited supercar ‘LaFerrari’ (retail-price: 2,6 million EUR) to the garage of his new home in small town Eschenz/Switzerland.
The largest contract in the history of professional sports is the agreement between the Major League Baseball team ‘Miami Marlins’ and Outfielder Giancarlo Stanton: The 13-year-contract is valued 325 million USD.
To spend a night in the world’s most expensive hotel suite, you have to travel to New York and check-in at ‘The Mark’ on Madison Avenue near Central Park, the so called Upper East Side. Ask for ‘The Grand Penthouse’ suite with a cool 1115 sq meters. When you check-out the next day, your balance will be 86’000 USD, that’s 75’000 USD room rate plus city and state taxes of nearly 15 percent.
If you are a little short on cash after your ‘Grand Penthouse’-stay, why not refill your wallet at the site of the world’s first cash machine, installed in Enfield, north London, by Barclays Bank in June of 1967.