83 Fascinating Facts About American Conglomerates

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51Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo

In 2012 Wells Fargo fired a customer service representative for putting a cardboard dime in a laundry machine when he was a kid back in 1963.

52. Wal-Mart once pulled Midge, a doll in the Barbie line, from the shelves due to concerns she was pregnant with no wedding ring and it would promote teen pregnancy.

53. In the 1920s and 30s, Procter & Gamble (originally known for soap and candles) sponsored several radio shows, those shows becoming known as “soap operas.”

54. UPS drivers don’t take the shortest routes. UPS has special software which optimizes each route by eliminating as many left-hand turns as possible. As a result, UPS claims it uses 10 million gallons of less fuel, emits 20,000 tons of less carbon dioxide and delivers 350,000 more packages every year.

55. An algorithm developed for Target to predict who was pregnant in order to optimize advertising predicted a specific teenage girl's pregnancy, even before her family knew about it.

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56Ralph Nader

Ralph Nader

General Motors once hired prostitutes to attempt to seduce Ralph Nader in order to discredit him in his campaign to force the automobile industry to include seatbelts in its cars.

57. In 2011, a man killed his wife inside the Wal-Mart she was working at. Rather than close the store, they chose to just rope off the gore-splattered area while police investigated.

58. Dr Pepper is owned by neither PepsiCo or The Coca-Cola Company, but are instead only distributors. This is why you can find Dr Pepper in both Pepsi and Coke soda fountains and vending machines.

59. In the early days of FedEx, CEO Fred Smith took the company’s last $5,000 to Las Vegas and won $27,000 gambling on blackjack to cover the company’s $24,000 fuel bill.

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

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61Michael Lewis

Michael Lewis

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.

62. 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.

63. 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.

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

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

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

67. 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.

68. 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.

69. 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.

70. 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.

71Largest Employers

Largest Employers

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.

72. 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.

73. 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%.

74. 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.

75. 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.

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