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Work life balance. A golfer perspective on the meaning of life

The weighty subject of work-life balance and the competing priorities of earning money and spending it as we pleased was the topic of conversation on the 19thhole at an excellent golf weekend with friends the other day. Talk of the golf, of course, dominated, but eventually talk turned from bogies, birdies and what could have been, to more weighty subjects. 

Paul’s excellent ‘Official Guide’ to this year’s ‘Bandit Trophy Weekend’ provided some material for discussion. Do you know any of the answers to these questions? 

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In 1923, who was:

1. President of the largest steel company?
2. President of the largest gas company?
3. President of the New York Stock Exchange?
4. Greatest wheat speculator?
5. President of the Bank of International Settlement?
6. Great Bear of Wall Street?
7 The winner of the US Open?

These men were considered some of the worlds most successful of their days.  What ultimately became of them?

The Answers:
1. The president of the largest steel company was Charles Schwab, who died a pauper.
2. The president of the largest gas company was Edward Hopson, who went insane.
3. The president of the NYSE was Richard Whitney, who was released from prison to die at home.
4. The greatest wheat speculator was Arthur Cooger, who died abroad, penniless.
5. The president of the Bank of International Settlement was Leon Frazer who committed suicide
6. The Great Bear of Wall Street was Cosabee Livermore, who also committed suicide.
7. The PGA Champion, Gene Sarazen won the most important golf tournament, the US Open in 1923. What became of him? He played golf until he was 92, died in 1999 at the age of 97. He was financially secure at the time of his death.

I will leave you to draw your own conclusions about what this means about work-life balance.

A final word, though: Whilst all these people are real, what happened to them at the end of their lives (apart from Sarazen) is partially apocryphal.

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