From Startups to Giants: 60 Amazing Facts About American Companies

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51Rags to Riches

Rags to Riches

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.

52. 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.

53. 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.

54. 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.

55. 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%.

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56AmEx Black Card

AmEx Black Card

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.

57. 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.

58. 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.

59. 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.

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

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