83 Fascinating Facts About American Conglomerates

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26Bank of America

Bank of America

Bank of America once mistakenly foreclosed a couple, who sued and won a judgment for $2500 in Legal expenses. When the bank didn't pay the couple, they showed up at the bank with a moving company, a deputy, and a writ allowing them to foreclose the bank and start seizing furniture and cash.


27. AT&T almost caused a nuclear war in 1961. When the USA lost contact with its early warning systems, assuming that the USSR had attacked, bombers were scrambled but recalled when contact was made with an EWS base. The phone blackout was caused by a faulty AT&T switch they had promised to replace.


28. Costco sells $400 million of toilet paper a year. It is often their best selling product.


29. General Electric in Schenectady, New York has the zip code 12345 and they receive thousands of letters to Santa yearly from kids who guess Santa’s address. Employees there often use their breaks to write response letters.


30. In 2007, a Chicago man faked his own death to get out of a Verizon Wireless contract.


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31Ford

Ford

Ford slowly sped up the car production line until workers couldn't cope. Unions were formed with the agreement that production line speeds couldn't be altered unless agreed upon.


32. In 2005, a German court upheld the right of citizens to flirt at work in response to Wal-Mart Germany’s policy banning any sign of attraction between its workers. The court said that such regulations may be acceptable in the US, but they are incompatible with German labor law and employees’ personal rights.


33. Target Retail Corporation has 2 U.S. based forensic labs where they solve retail crimes, felonies, homicides, and special circumstances cases for law bureaus that need the extra manpower, facilities, resources and time – free of charge.


34. NBC and AT&T used corporate and government bullying to destroy the life of Edwin Armstrong, inventor of the FM radio, leading to his suicide.


35. One of the biggest companies you’ve never heard of is Acxiom. It gathers information on some 700 million people, with up to 1,500 data points per person, for ultra-targeted marketing. Their database is detailed enough to list the people who buy a particular brand of cereal in your local supermarket.


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36FedEx Planes

FedEx Planes

FedEx uses several empty cargo planes that roam the country’s skies overnight in circuitous flight paths, ready to divert on demand in order to accommodate unexpected package volume.


37. Mexican shamans began to use Coca-Cola in their religious rituals to heal worshippers. When PepsiCo discovered this, they offered commissions to shamans for using Pepsi instead. When Coca-Cola began paying too, rival religious groups were formed based on which soft drink they used.


38. General Motors chemist Thomas Midgley Jr. invented both chlorofluorocarbons and leaded gasoline, having “more impact on the atmosphere than any other single organism in Earth’s history.”


39. AT&T made a working answering machine in 1939 but suppressed it, thinking public fear of being recorded would lead to widespread abandonment of the telephone.


40. Wal-Mart, Coca-Cola, American Airlines and two other corporations released a movie called Proud American in 2008. The movie featured an overly-patriotic storyline about the wonders of American life. It was a failure, and became IMDB's worst movie of the 2000's.


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41Citigroup

Citigroup

Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit apologized for Citigroup’s board of directors’ misuse of bailout money on increasing his salary, condemned their purchase of a private jet plane, and worked for 2 years for only $1 a year until they returned to profitability.


42. Ford was the first American Company to give its workers both Saturday and Sunday off, in hope that it would encourage more leisure use of automobiles, and thus popularizing the idea of the “weekend.”


43. In order to stand out from competing catalogs, Sears simply printed their catalogs on smaller paper so when a stack of catalogs were delivered, theirs would always be on top.


44. Tropicana OJ is owned by PepsiCo and Simply Orange by Coca Cola. They strip the juice of oxygen for better storage, which strips the flavor. They then hire flavor and fragrance companies, who also formulate perfumes for Dior, to engineer flavor packs to add to the juice to make it “fresh.”


45. When the Camaro name was unveiled by General Motors in 1966, 200 journalists present asked Chevrolet managers what it meant. They replied, “a small, vicious animal that eats Mustangs.”


46PepsiCo

PepsiCo

When PepsiCo entered India, the Indian government stipulated part of its local profits be used to purchase tomatoes. This requirement worked for PepsiCo because it also owned Pizza Hut at the time.


47. The FedEx logo has won over 40 design awards and was ranked as one of the eight best logos in the last 35 years. The white arrow in the logo was an intentional design choice, created by blending two different fonts together.


48. Wal-Mart loses around $3 Billion a year to theft. In 2015, $3 billion dollars lost due to theft constituted only 1% of Wal-Mart’s $300 billion revenue.


49. Boeing was banned from bidding on contracts for US spy satellites after one of their contracts went over budget by at least $4 billion before it was ultimately canceled and given to Lockheed Martin.


50. In 2009, General Motors declared bankruptcy, took billions in government bailout money and issued new stock for the "New GM," with no compensation for the old shareholders now worthless "Old GM" stock.

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