When we last left J.P. Morgan and Charles Schwab, the early day was dawning over a night filled with figures and calculations. By the end of it all, Morgan was convinced—if, that was, the one key to it all could be collected.
Dawn Of A New Enterprise
“When dawn came, Morgan rose and straightened his back. Only one question remained.
“‘Do you think you can persuade Andrew Carnegie to sell?’ he asked.
“‘I can try,’ said Schwab.
“‘If you can get him to sell, I will undertake the matter,’ said Morgan.
The Future On A Hinge
“So far so good. But would Carnegie sell? How much would he demand? (Schwab thought about $320,000,000). What would he take payment in? Common or preferred stocks? Bonds? Cash? Nobody could raise a third of a billion dollars in cash.
“There was a golf game in January on the frost-cracking heath of the St. Andrews links in Westchester, with Andrew bundled up in sweaters against the cold, and Charlie talking volubly, as usual, to keep his spirits up. But no word of business was mentioned until the pair sat down in the cozy warmth of the Carnegie cottage hard by. Then, with the same persuasiveness that had hypnotized eighty millionaires at the University Club, Schwab poured out the glittering promises of retirement in comfort, of untold millions to satisfy the old man’s social caprices. Carnegie capitulated, wrote a figure on a slip of paper, handed it to Schwab and said, ‘all right, that’s what we’ll sell for.’
Putting A Price Tag On The Future
“The figure was approximately $400,000,000, and was reached by taking the $320,000,000 mentioned by Schwab as a basic figure, and adding to it $80,000,000 to represent the increased capital value over the previous two years.
“Later, on the deck of a trans-Atlantic liner, the Scotsman said ruefully to Morgan, ‘I wish I had asked you for $100,000,000 more.’
“‘If you had asked for it, you’d have gotten it,’ Morgan told him cheerfully.
Knowing The Worth Of Your Ideas
Morgan would have gotten it because Schwab knew the worth of his plan, and believed in it whole-heartedly. He coupled his mindset, his faith, and his desire, to create one of the biggest enterprises of the day. It was an unparalleled venture, and one that only ever came to fruition because Schwab had the soundness of planning backed by the desire and faith to see it through.
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