Robert Riskin was an American Academy Award-winning screenwriter and playwright, best known for his collaborations with director-producer Frank Capra. Robert Riskin was born on New York Citys Lower East side to Jewish parents and Jakob and he and his two brothers and two sisters grew up speaking Yiddish. An enthusiast of the stage, the teen-age Riskin took every opportunity to sneak into the theatre. He was a fan of the comedians who performed there. While still a teen-ager, Riskin took a job with a firm, Heidenheim. The partners of this firm had a business, investing in the new film industry. They sent the seventeen-year-old Riskin to Florida to run a company for them. Riskin turned out one- and two-reel films until his enlistment in the Army during World War I, at the end of the war Riskin returned to New York City where in partnership with a friend, he found some success in producing plays for Broadway. Riskin began his career as a playwright, writing for many local New York City playhouses, two of his plays, Bless You and Many a Slip, had successful runs.
Riskin continued his Broadway career until the 1929 stock market crash, motion pictures had just adopted sound, and writers were needed who could write dialogue and were experienced with stage work. Riskin recognized he had the credentials and seized the opportunity by relocating to Hollywood and he moved to Hollywood in 1931 after Columbia Pictures bought the screen rights to several of his plays. His first collaboration with director Frank Capra was the Barbara Stanwyck vehicle The Miracle Woman, Riskin wrote several films for Columbia, but it was his string of hits with Capra that brought him acclaim. Deeds Goes to Town with Gary Cooper and Jean Arthur, You Cant Take It with You with Lionel Barrymore and James Stewart, Riskin joined Capra in an independent production company in 1939, but they fell out in 1941. Riskin became a producer for Samuel Goldwyn. When the U. S. entered World War II, he joined the Office of War Information in 1942, where he organized the OWIs overseas division. Riskin returned to Hollywood in 1945, with the screenplay for The Thin Man Goes Home He had a collaboration on the 1946 film noir classic The Strange Love of Martha Ivers.
Riskin and his brother Everett formed their own film company and their first film, the minor James Stewart hit Magic Town, was written and produced by Riskin, who directed initially. The directing was finished by William A. Wellman, Magic Town has a similar flavor and tone to Riskins Capra-directed films
Frank Russell Capra was an Italian-American film director and writer who became the creative force behind some of the major award-winning films of the 1930s and 1940s. Born in Italy and raised in Los Angeles from the age of five, during World War II, Capra served in the U. S. Army Signal Corps and produced propaganda films, such as the Why We Fight series. After World War II, Capras career declined as his films such as Its a Wonderful Life. In succeeding decades, these films have been favorably reassessed, outside of directing, Capra was active in the film industry, engaging in various political and social issues. He served as President of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, worked alongside the Screenwriters Guild, Capra was born Francesco Rosario Capra in Bisacquino, Sicily, a village near Palermo. He was the youngest of seven children of Salvatore Capra, a grower. The name Capra, notes Capras biographer Joseph McBride, represents his familys closeness to the land, and means goat.
For Capra, the journey, which took 13 days, remained in his mind for the rest of his life as one of his worst experiences, very few people have trunks or anything that takes up space. They have just what they can carry in their hands or in a bag, theres no ventilation, and it stinks like hell. Its the most degrading place you could ever be, Capra remembers the ships arrival in New York Harbor, where he saw a statue of a great lady, taller than a church steeple, holding a torch above the land we were about to enter. He recalls his fathers exclamation at the sight, look, thats the greatest light since the star of Bethlehem. The family settled in Los Angeless East Side which Capra described in his autobiography as an Italian ghetto, Capras father worked as a fruit picker and young Capra sold newspapers after school for 10 years, until he graduated from high school. Instead of working after graduating, as his parents wanted, he enrolled in college and he studied chemical engineering and graduated in the spring of 1918.
Capra wrote that his education had changed his whole viewpoint on life from the viewpoint of an alley rat to the viewpoint of a cultured person. Soon after graduating college, Capra was commissioned in the US Army as a second lieutenant, in the Army, he taught mathematics to artillerymen at Fort Point, San Francisco. His father died during the war in an accident, in the Army, Capra contracted Spanish flu and was medically discharged to return home to live with his mother. He became a naturalized U. S. citizen in 1920, living at home with his siblings and mother, Capra was the only family member with a college education, yet he was the only one who remained chronically unemployed. After recovering at home, Capra moved out and spent the few years living in flophouses in San Francisco and hopping freight trains
Benj. Franklin Savings and Loan
Benj. Franklin Savings and Loan was a thrift based in Portland, in the U. S. state of Oregon. Founded in 1925, the company was seized by the United States Government in 1990, in 1996 the United States Supreme Court found that this and similar seizures were based on an unconstitutional provision of the Financial Institutions Reform and Enforcement Act of 1989. Shareholders of the thrift sued the government for damages caused by the seizure. In 2013, $9.5 million was allocated for disbursement to shareholders, Benj. Franklin S&Ls television commercials featured its President, Bob Hazen. A short fellow with a nasal voice, Hazen hawked toasters and other free gifts to woo new depositors and to pitch other financial products. Hazen is credited with inventing the thrift marketing phrase, Pay Yourself First, hazens father founded the Benj. Franklin in 1925. Although the name on signs and letterhead was Benj. in promotions and discussions, between 1982 and 1989 the thrift made a profit in 16 consecutive calendar quarters and became the number one mortgage lender in the Portland metropolitan area.
It had strong lending positions in major areas of the Northwest. Their named headquarters building was 1 SW Columbia, in Portland, Hazen was a fan of cast-iron architecture, a technique popular in the 19th century to early 20th century. He had collected castings from a great many, as the old buildings were torn down over the years by developers, several of these iron fronts were incorporated into the executive level and board room of the building. Interest rates on savings deposits were over 15% at a time when the industry was invested in long-term mortgages charging about 8%, when regulators seize a bank or a thrift, they find a healthy bank or thrift to acquire the assets and customers of the failing enterprise. There are various incentives, including a strategy that values the negative net worth of the failing thrift as a capital asset of Goodwill to the acquiring thrift. These were called Supervisory Goodwill Agreements, the acquiring thrift was allowed to show this Goodwill as an asset for regulatory compliance purposes, depreciating over a long period of years.
Supervisory Goodwill was called Blue Sky, absent Blue Sky most acquiring thrifts would be instantly out of compliance with regulatory capitalization requirements, so it was a necessary component of most forced mergers. In 1982, Benj. Franklin was asked by the FSLIC to acquire a failing thrift, Equitable Savings, the agreement with the government included a 40-year amortization of over $340 million in Supervisory Goodwill. Benj. Franklin and the government made an agreement in 1985 concerning the acquisition of Western Heritage Savings. These agreements had the approval of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board. In the middle of the S&L crisis of the late 1980s, critics suggest that FIRREA was a hasty reaction to the frauds and scandals that actually exacerbated the S&L problem, from crisis to a true disaster
Cassatt & Company
Cassatt & Company was a Philadelphia based investment banking and brokerage firm founded in 1872. The firm was acquired by Merrill Lynch & Co. in 1940, shortly after Merrills merger with E. A. Pierce & Co. that created Merril Lynch, the Cassatt name was dropped in 1940 when the newly combined firm acquired New Orleans-based Fenner & Beane. The firm, which was known as Lloyd, Cassatt & Company was founded by Robert S. Cassatt. By 1919, the firm had offices in Philadelphia, New York, Pittsburgh, in 1931, the firm split its investment banking business from its traditional brokerage business. In 1934, Cassatt began discussions with E. A. Pierce & Co. the largest brokerage firm in the U. S. at the time about a potential merger, in 1935, these discussions resulted in a partnership between the two firms. As part of the deal, Cassatt transferred its business to E. A. Pierce and focused exclusively on investment banking. In the late 1930s, E. A. Pierce began discussions with Merrill Lynch about a potential merger, E. A.
Pierce was struggling financially in the 1930s and was thinly capitalized. Following the death of Edmund C. Lynch in 1938, Winthrop Smith began discussions with Charles E. Merrill, on April 1,1940, Merrill Lynch, E. A. Pierce & Cassatt was formed when the two firms merged and acquired Cassatt & Co
1906 San Francisco earthquake
The 1906 San Francisco earthquake struck the coast of Northern California at 5,12 a. m. on April 18 with an estimated moment magnitude of 7.8 and a maximum Mercalli intensity of XI. Severe shaking was felt from Eureka on the North Coast to the Salinas Valley, devastating fires soon broke out in the city and lasted for several days. As a result, about 3,000 people died and over 80% of the city of San Francisco was destroyed, the events are remembered as one of the worst and deadliest natural disasters in the history of the United States. The death toll remains the greatest loss of life from a disaster in Californias history. The San Andreas Fault is a transform fault that forms part of the tectonic boundary between the Pacific Plate and the North American Plate. The strike-slip fault is characterized by mainly lateral motion in a dextral sense, the 1906 rupture propagated both northward and southward for a total of 296 miles. This fault runs the length of California from the Salton Sea in the south to Cape Mendocino in the north, the maximum observed surface displacement was about 20 feet, geodetic measurements show displacements of up to 28 feet.
The 1906 earthquake preceded the development of the Richter magnitude scale by three decades. The most widely accepted estimate for the magnitude of the quake on the moment magnitude scale is 7.8. According to findings published in the Journal of Geophysical Research, severe deformations in the earths crust took place both before and after the earthquakes impact. Accumulated strain on the faults in the system was relieved during the earthquake, the main shock epicenter occurred offshore about 2 miles from the city, near Mussel Rock. Shaking was felt from Oregon to Los Angeles, and inland as far as central Nevada, a strong foreshock preceded the main shock by about 20 to 25 seconds. The strong shaking of the main shock lasted about 42 seconds, there were decades of minor earthquakes – more than at any other time in the historical record for northern California – before the 1906 quake. For years, the epicenter of the quake was assumed to be near the town of Olema, in the Point Reyes area of Marin County, because of evidence of the degree of local earth displacement.
In the 1960s, a seismologist at UC Berkeley proposed that the epicenter was more likely offshore of San Francisco, at the time,375 deaths were reported, partly because hundreds of fatalities in Chinatown went ignored and unrecorded. The total number of deaths is uncertain today, and is estimated to be roughly 3,000 at minimum. Most of the deaths occurred in San Francisco itself, but 189 were reported elsewhere in the Bay Area, nearby cities, such as Santa Rosa and San Jose, in Monterey County, the earthquake permanently shifted the course of the Salinas River near its mouth. Where previously the river emptied into Monterey Bay between Moss Landing and Watsonville, it was diverted 6 miles south to a new channel just north of Marina
Farmers and Merchants Bank of Los Angeles
Farmers and Merchants Bank is a historic lending institution based in Downtown Los Angeles, California. It is known both for its architecture and its role in the economic development of early Los Angeles. Other, non-related F&M Banks exist in cities and towns across the United States. The Farmers and Merchants Bank was founded in 1871 by 23 prominent Los Angeles businessmen, Downey was named the first president, with Isaias actually running the bank. Isaias served as president of the bank from 1990 until his death in 1920, I. W. Hellman, was a cautious lender, insisting that major borrowers have good character and provide good security. Its subsequent presidents, J. A. Graves and Victor H. Rosetti, continued Hellmans conservative practices, as a result, the Bank survived every economic panic period, from the Panic of 1873, Panic of 1893, and Panic of 1896, through the Great Depression. However, a downtown bank was eventually seen as not likely to continue to grow. In 1956, it merged with Security First National Bank, which became in years Security Pacific National Bank and its two-story facade, reminiscent of a Roman temple, is punctuated by an entrance framed with Corinthian columns topped by a large triangular pediment.
Built in 1905, the bank was designed by the firm of Morgan, the Farmers & Merchants Bank building has been established as Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument #271. Much of the banking room remains, including light fixtures, a central skylight. Operating as a bank until its closure in the late 80s, the building is slated for renovation by developer Tom Gilmore and Associates. Farmers and Merchants Bank of Los Angeles people Yule marble Isaias W. Hellman, putnam (The Huntington Library, San Marino Guide Français de Los Angeles et du Sud de la Californie, published in 1932 by F. Loyer et C. Beaudreau 1872 Los Angeles City and County Directory Farmers and Merchants Bank and Annexes Los Angeles Conservancy Website, accessed 6 November 2013 Scripophily. com 1872 Farmers and Merchants Bank of Los Angeles document — signed by Isaias W. Hellman Pioneer and U. S. C. Scripophily. com An 1874 Farmers and Merchants Bank of Los Angeles check — dated 1874 signed by California Governor John G. Downey
California is the most populous state in the United States and the third most extensive by area. Located on the western coast of the U. S, California is bordered by the other U. S. states of Oregon and Arizona and shares an international border with the Mexican state of Baja California. Los Angeles is Californias most populous city, and the second largest after New York City. The Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nations second- and fifth-most populous urban regions, California has the nations most populous county, Los Angeles County, and its largest county by area, San Bernardino County. The Central Valley, an agricultural area, dominates the states center. What is now California was first settled by various Native American tribes before being explored by a number of European expeditions during the 16th and 17th centuries, the Spanish Empire claimed it as part of Alta California in their New Spain colony. The area became a part of Mexico in 1821 following its war for independence.
The western portion of Alta California was organized as the State of California, the California Gold Rush starting in 1848 led to dramatic social and demographic changes, with large-scale emigration from the east and abroad with an accompanying economic boom. If it were a country, California would be the 6th largest economy in the world, fifty-eight percent of the states economy is centered on finance, real estate services and professional, scientific and technical business services. Although it accounts for only 1.5 percent of the states economy, the story of Calafia is recorded in a 1510 work The Adventures of Esplandián, written as a sequel to Amadis de Gaula by Spanish adventure writer Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo. The kingdom of Queen Calafia, according to Montalvo, was said to be a land inhabited by griffins and other strange beasts. This conventional wisdom that California was an island, with maps drawn to reflect this belief, shortened forms of the states name include CA, Cal. Calif. and US-CA.
Settled by successive waves of arrivals during the last 10,000 years, various estimates of the native population range from 100,000 to 300,000. The Indigenous peoples of California included more than 70 distinct groups of Native Americans, ranging from large, settled populations living on the coast to groups in the interior. California groups were diverse in their organization with bands, villages. Trade and military alliances fostered many social and economic relationships among the diverse groups, the first European effort to explore the coast as far north as the Russian River was a Spanish sailing expedition, led by Portuguese captain Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, in 1542. Some 37 years English explorer Francis Drake explored and claimed a portion of the California coast in 1579. Spanish traders made unintended visits with the Manila galleons on their trips from the Philippines beginning in 1565
Charlotte, North Carolina
Charlotte /ˈʃɑːrlət/ is the largest city in the state of North Carolina. It is the county seat of Mecklenburg County and the second-largest city in the southeastern United States, just behind Jacksonville, Charlotte is the third-fastest growing major city in the United States. In 2014 the estimated population of Charlotte according to the U. S. Census Bureau was 809,958, the Charlotte metropolitan area ranks 22nd-largest in the U. S. and had a 2014 population of 2,380,314. The Charlotte metropolitan area is part of a sixteen-county market region or combined statistical area with a 2014 U. S. Census population estimate of 2,537,990, residents of Charlotte are referred to as Charlotteans. It is listed as a global city by the Globalization. Charlotte Douglas International Airport is an international hub, and was ranked the 23rd-busiest airport in the world by passenger traffic in 2013. Charlotte has a subtropical climate. The city is located several miles east of the Catawba River and southeast of Lake Norman, Lake Wylie and Mountain Island Lake are two smaller man-made lakes located near the city.
The Catawba Native Americans were the first to settle Mecklenburg County and were first recorded in European records around 1567, by 1759 half the Catawba tribe had been killed by smallpox. At the time of their largest population, Catawba people numbered 10,000, Mecklenburg County was initially part of Bath County of New Hanover Precinct, which became New Hanover County in 1729. The western portion of New Hanover split into Bladen County in 1734, Mecklenburg County formed from Anson County in 1762. Further apportionment was made in 1792, with Cabarrus County formed from Mecklenburg and these areas were all part of one of the original six judicial/military districts of North Carolina known as the Salisbury District. The area that is now Charlotte was settled by people of European descent around 1755, Thomas Polk, who married Thomas Spratts daughter, built his house by the intersection of two Native American trading paths between the Yadkin and Catawba rivers. One path ran north–south and was part of the Great Wagon Road, within decades of Polks settling, the area grew to become Charlotte Town, incorporating in 1768.
The crossroads, perched atop the Piedmont landscape, became the heart of Uptown Charlotte, in 1770, surveyors marked the streets in a grid pattern for future development. The east–west trading path became Trade Street, and the Great Wagon Road became Tryon Street, in honor of William Tryon, the intersection of Trade and Tryon—commonly known today as Trade & Tryon, or simply The Square—is more properly called Independence Square. While surveying the boundary between the Carolinas in 1772, William Moultrie stopped in Charlotte Town, whose five or six houses were very ordinary built of logs, local leaders came together in 1775 and signed the Mecklenburg Resolves, more popularly known as the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. While not a declaration of independence from British rule, it is among the first such declarations that eventually led to the American Revolution
Bank of America
Bank of America is a multinational banking and financial services corporation headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. It is ranked 2nd on the list of largest banks in the United States by assets, as of 2016, Bank of America was the 26th largest company in the United States by total revenue. In 2016, it was ranked #11 on the Forbes Magazine Global 2000 list of largest companies in the world and its acquisition of Merrill Lynch in 2008 made it the worlds largest wealth management corporation and a major player in the investment banking market. As of December 31,2016, it had US$886.148 billion in assets under management, as of December 31,2016, the company held 10. 73% of all bank deposits in the United States. It is one of the Big Four banks in the United States, along with Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America operates—but does not necessarily maintain retail branches—in all 50 states of the United States, the District of Columbia and more than 40 other countries. It has a retail banking footprint that serves approximately 46 million consumer, Bank of America provides its products and services through 4,600 retail financial centers, approximately 15,900 automated teller machines, call centers, and online and mobile banking platforms.
The history of Bank of America dates back to October 17,1904, Giannini was raised by his mother and stepfather Lorenzo Scatena, as his father was fatally shot over a pay dispute with an employee. When the 1906 San Francisco earthquake struck, Giannini was able to all deposits out of the bank building. Because San Franciscos banks were in smoldering ruins and unable to open their vaults, from a makeshift desk consisting of a few planks over two barrels, he lent money to those who wished to rebuild. In 1922, Giannini established Bank of America and Italy, in 1918 another corporation, Bancitaly Corporation, was organized by A. P. Giannini, the largest stockholder of which was Stockholders Auxiliary Corporation. Monnette and consolidated it with other holdings to create what would become the largest banking institution in the country. Bank of Italy was renamed on November 3,1930 to Bank of America National Trust and Savings Association and Monnette headed the resulting company, serving as co-chairs.
Branch banking was introduced by Giannini shortly after 1909 legislation in California that allowed for branch banking in the state and its first branch outside San Francisco was established in 1909 in San Jose. By 1929, the bank had 453 banking offices in California with aggregate resources of over US$1.4 billion. There is a replica of the 1909 Bank of Italy branch bank in History Park in San Jose, and the 1925 Bank of Italy Building is an important downtown landmark. Giannini sought to build a bank, expanding into most of the western states as well as into the insurance industry, under the aegis of his holding company. In 1953, regulators succeeded in forcing the separation of Transamerica Corporation, the passage of the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 prohibited banks from owning non-banking subsidiaries such as insurance companies. Bank of America and Transamerica were separated, with the company continuing in the insurance business
American Madness is a 1932 American Pre-Code film directed by Frank Capra and starring Walter Huston as a New York banker embroiled in scandal. The story is Sterling Holloways feature-film debut, in the Great Depression era, the Board of Directors of Thomas Dicksons bank want Dickson to merge with New York Trust and resign. One night, Dicksons bank is robbed of $100,000, the suspect is Matt Brown, an ex-convict whom Dickson hired and appointed Chief Teller. Brown, whos very loyal to Dickson, refuses to say where he was that night. He has two witnesses for his alibi, Mrs. Dickson and fellow worker Cyril Cluett, but Brown is protecting Dickson from finding out that Mrs. Dickson was with Cluett having a romantic evening. Cluett, who has a $50,000 gambling debt, is responsible for the robbery, word of the robbery causes a run on the bank, but friends of the banker come to his aid, and the bank is saved
Barnett Bank, founded in 1877, eventually became the largest commercial bank in Florida with over 600 offices and $41.2 billion in deposits. The purchase by NationsBank was announced August 29,1997, but even before signs on Barnetts branches were changed, NationsBank merged with BankAmerica in 1998, creating Bank of America. William Boyd Barnett was a merchant and a banker in northeast Kansas when he journeyed with his wife to Jacksonville to visit their oldest son in 1875. Sarah Barnetts health improved during their time in Florida, so the Barnetts returned to Kansas, liquidated their assets, their youngest son, was a senior at the University of Kansas and withdrew from school to join his parents. In the spring of 1877, the United States was in the middle of the Depression of 1873-79, the citys population was under 10,000 and there was no infrastructure to support a beginning tourism industry. On May 7,1877, Barnett opened the Bank of Jacksonville on the corner of Main, William was president, Bion acted as bookkeeper, and one other person was hired as teller/clerk.
Most Florida banks at the time were private and unregulated, in spite of being a newcomer and a Yankee and the new institution slowly gained the peoples trust, but at the end of their first year, deposits amounted to only $11,000. Undeterred, William invited his son, Bion Barnett, to be partner and passed along Barnetts five rules of business and you cannot go wrong treating the other man as you would be treated. Give a man 50 cents if you can make an out of him. In other words, be liberal in your dealings but always have a net profit, do not do business at a loss. If a young man is of good habits - honest, saving, giving attention to his business and making progress. The young man of today is the businessman of tomorrow, never make a promise you cannot and do not fulfill. Investigate carefully before granting a line of credit, once granted, there being no adverse change in your clients financial condition and your word must be as good as your bond. Watch your expense account and your losses, your profits will take care of themselves, according to Bion Barnett, I have never found a flaw in it.
A conversation between Bion Barnett and Henry L’Engle changed the banks fortunes, LEngle, the Duval County Tax Collector, was annoyed because the bank holding the countys funds charged $6.25 for each transfer to New York City banks. Bion immediately offered to waive the fee if Duval County deposited their funds in the Bank of Jacksonville, LEngle agreed, and the BoJ began to prosper. Within a year, LEngle was appointed Treasurer for the State of Florida, within a few years, operating capital exceeded $150,000, and the Barnetts applied for and received a National Charter, pursuant to the National Bank Act. This allowed them to become the National Bank of Jacksonville, the institutions deposits exceeded $1 million in 1893