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Quote of the Day
In the end banking is a very good business unless you do dumb things. You get your money extraordinarily cheap and you don’t have to do dumb things. But periodically banks do it, and they do it as a flock, like international loans in the 80s. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist when your raw material cost is less than 1.5%.
-Warren Buffett. His favorite bank, Wells Fargo, was founded on this day in 1852.
March 18th – This Day in Stock Market History
March 18th, 1852 – Wells Fargo & Company founded by Henry Wells and William Fargo with $300,000 in capital.
Now one of the nation’s largest banks, Wells Fargo started as a small regional California bank with the purpose of helping to finance entrepreneurs out west. It was the middle of California’s gold rush, and California’s economy in particular was booming.
Today, Wells Fargo is worth $230 billion dollars, representing a compound annual growth rate of 8.45% since its founding.
March 18th, 1999 – Traders cheer as it appears the Dow will close above 10,000 for the first time in history. But it was just a tease as the index ends up closing at 9997.62 after last minute selling. The Dow would finally close above 10,000 11 days later.
Source: The Market’s Measure
Best March 18th in Dow Jones Industrial Average History
2008 – Up 3.51%, 420.41 points.
(This was two days after Bear Stearns was sold for $2 per share to JP Morgan)
Worst March 18th in Dow Jones Industrial Average History
1938 – Down 2.97%, 3.62 points.
Read(s) of the Day
Wells Fargo has an extensive archive of the company’s Annual reports back to 1967 on their website:
Today’s annual reports for Wells Fargo don’t strike me as that interesting. But it is always fun to look back 50 years ago, before Wells Fargo was a dominate player in the industry and see what they were doing right. There is also some interesting comments about high inflation in the late 70’s and early 80’s and loan practices in the early 90’s.
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