100 Surprising Facts About American Companies and Their History

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76Pfizer

In 1996, Pfizer may have killed 50 kids in Nigeria while improperly testing experimental anti-meningitis drugs.


77. The only employee of Goldman Sachs to go to jail in the aftermath of the financial crisis was Michael Lewis, an employee that Goldman Sachs specifically told authorities to arrest for stealing computer code the employee helped write. He was arrested 48 hours after they informed authorities without a warrant.


78. In 1987, a man named Steve Rothstein took advantage of the AAirpass (a promotion by American Airlines that let people pay a one-time $250,000 and have a lifetime of unlimited flights) and quit his job so he could fly continuously. This ended up costing the airline more than $21 million.


79. When the Sears catalog began to be printed on glossy paper instead of “regular” paper, the company received complaints because people found it harder to use as toilet paper.


80. Norway stopped investing money into Wal-Mart after determining that the company is guilty of “serious violations of fundamental ethical norms.”


81Skymall Magazines

The removal of Skymall magazines saved American Airlines an estimated $350,000 per year in fuel costs.


82. Comcast has won the “Worst Company in America” award twice, first in 2010 and second in 2014.


83. In the 1960s, General Electric sold some new-fangled color TV sets that emitted excessive amounts of radiation. This is where the myth that sitting too close to the TV will make you go blind came from.


84. One air crash, Delta Flight 1141, was caused by the pilots talking about another air crash, Continental Flight 1713. They were so distracted by their own conversation that they forgot to lower the flaps. The other air crash they were talking about also involved too much non-relevant discussion.


85. Sidney Weinberg joined Goldman Sachs as a janitor’s assistant and worked his way up the corporate ladder to eventually become the CEO of the company.


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86FedEx vs DEA

FedEx was charged by DEA with the distribution of controlled substances and conspiracy to distribute misbranded drugs when the DEA told it to stop serving a list of drug dealers. Then DEA refused to give the list when FEDEX tried to comply. FedEx pleaded not guilty since they had no way to tell who was on the list.


87. Wal-Mart and McDonalds are the 3rd and 4th largest employers in the world. Only the armies of the United States and China employ more people.


88. The Citigroup Center in Manhattan was built with major structural design flaws and was at risk of falling over, until they secretly fixed it in 1978, less than a year after it was built. The $12 million repairs were kept secret until 1995.


89. San Diego County Inspectors, through the use of 'Secret Shoppers', found that Target overcharges customers on 10.3% of the items they ring up, Brookstone by 10.6% and Sears by 15.7%.


90. Prior to 1999, the mythical American Express Black Card was just that: a myth. The myth became so pervasive that AmEx decided to capitalize on it and actually make a black, ultra-exclusive credit card.


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91Union-Busting

Wal-Mart gives its managers a 53-page handbook called “A Manager’s Toolbox to Remaining Union-Free” which provides helpful strategies and tips for union-busting.


92. Vioxx was a drug produced by Merck & Co, which resulted in the death of approximately 60,000 people. The company allegedly was aware of the side effects and did not withdraw the drug from the market until the FDA caught on.


93. Sears once used to sell an entire house as a giant mail-order DIY kit. There were over 370 home designs, and the house had over 30,000 parts worth 25 tons. Sears claimed a man of “average” abilities could assemble it in 90 days.


94. An Oregon survey found that panhandlers outside of Wal-Mart were making more than the employees working inside.


95. An investment bank that lost 75% of its employees in 9/11 sued American Airlines for negligence in allowing terrorists on board and won $135 million.


96Procter & Gamble

Procter & Gamble has spent decades and millions to suppress rumors that the executives worship Satan and that their profits support the Church of Satan.


97. Pepsico wholly owns the rights to a variety of potato known as FC5, grown exclusively for their Lay's potato chips. In April, Pepsico sued four farmers in India for illegally growing and dealing their patented potato variety.


98. In 1975 P&G released the super-absorbent and long-lasting 'Rely' Tampon brand, marketed under the tagline “It Even Absorbs the Worry.” However, because women left the tampon in so long, the bloody tampon was the perfect environment to culture bacteria, causing an epidemic of Toxic Shock Syndrome.


99. Goldman Sachs maintains its own proprietary programming language (Slang) that is known only to its employees.


100. In 2014, a UPS worker named Walter Morrison stole a $160,000 diamond and traded it for $20 worth of weed.

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