“Once in every seven to ten years, there is a period of excessive general speculation culminating in a severe panic or depression when the man who is borrowing money is at great disadvantage and he who has ready cash stands like a tower, four-square to the ill winds that blow.”
— John Loeb, partner at Wall Street firm Loeb, Rhoades & Co. who saw plenty of ups and downs over his decades in finance. Loeb was featured in a 1970 article in Fortune called “Wall Street on the Ropes.” Fortune’s Carol Loomis gathered some of Loeb’s “bullet points” that are being circulated these days.
Loeb died in 1996 at age 94, but his wisdom is evergreen, as evidenced by today’s deal in which DirecTV parent Liberty Media
took a 40% stake in Sirius XM Radio
, which was on the verge of bankruptcy. Liberty’s Chairman John Malone is known for profiting off companies caught in vulnerable circumstances. “This is a very savvy deal because, in this environment, cash is king,” Deutsche Bank analyst Doug Mitchelson told The Wall Street Journal. –Jessica Shambora