Bidwell: Friday Fictioneers up for the Highest Bidder

To the highest bidder goes to the spoils, but this bidder got his spoiled – which is what should happen…

Friday Fictioneers – Rochelle Wisoff-Fields posts a pic to write a 100 word story about.

This week it’s: investigative reporting

Copyright -Renee Heath

Copyright -Renee Heath


The Bidwell Exchange sign stirs up the town occasionally. It’s not a pretty part of our past. It was left because it’s antique-y.

Some people thought it was an old market where farmers brought their goods, traded currency, or bought and sold stock.

Well, that last part is true. J. Truman Bidwell, since the 1930’s, was a member and later chairman of the New York Stock Exchange. By 1962, he was indicted for income tax evasion; though acquitted, he was later found to be influence peddling.

Nothing really changes in the world of finance. I say just leave the damn sign up.

Randy Mazie

story line from:

New York Times obituary

Published: February 19, 1987

J. Truman Bidwell, former chairman of the New York Stock Exchange and an exchange member for 55 years, died Tuesday in the Naples (Fla.) Community Hospital after suffering a stroke two weeks earlier. He was 83 years old and lived in Naples.

Mr. Bidwell was elected chairman of the exchange in May 1961, the first independent broker to be so honored.

As chairman, he was in charge of trading on the floor of the exchange and called upon to arbitrate disputes. The position, while influential, did not involve any administrative responsibility and was unpaid, except for a fee for attending governors meetings.

Mr. Bidwell resigned as chairman in February 1962 after his indictment by a Federal grand jury on charges of evading almost $60,000 in income taxes.

He was acquitted of the charge in January 1963 but was censured four months later by the stock exchange for giving gifts valued at more than $20,000 to personnel of brokerage concerns with which he did business without obtaining exchange permission. The exchange prohibits employees from giving gifts without special permission.


50 thoughts on “Bidwell: Friday Fictioneers up for the Highest Bidder

  1. Unfortunately they don’t change. You’d think we’d know better by now but unfortunately we don’t seem to learn from our mistakes, as a society at least.

    • We do learn but in the wrong ways.

      We learn to defraud via instruments that no one understands to tune of billions, or new Ponzi schemes, and lobbying in Congress for less and less oversight in the name of “deregulation means more money for investment” (Ha! investment into the wealthy’s pockets by stealing from everyone else) Randy

  2. What a lot of research and factual information – others have said it but they don’t change do they. Once a banker – always a ….
    your story matches the vibe of the photo of this old antique-y looking town.

    • Thanks for your comments.

      The old style banks and bankers were local townspeople and generally decent people. The same way it used to be with local grocers, butchers, and all retail shops. Everyone knew everyone and life was much more intimate, fair, decent, and…
      what am I smoking?

    • Thank you. I like the word “brilliantly”. My writing talents were that obvious to you?
      I’m as guilty as everyone else when it comes to greed, except I like compliments instead of stealing your money. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I appreciate it. Randy

  3. You really did your homework, and managed to tell the story in 100 words. I like the way you summed it up and ended your piece.

  4. Dear Randy,

    A bit of a departure from the usual pun and games, but told with a sharp edge. I like where the prompt took you and thank you for taking the rest of us along for the ride.



  5. Thanks for teaching me something I didn’t know. I agree with you: leave the sign up. It’s a reminder of this piece of history. Thanks for looking this up and sharing the history.

  6. Hi Randy,
    Clever of you to center your story around the Bidwell Exchange. Most of the writers I’ve read so far focused on the dancing girl. Dancing girls get all the attention, distracting us while people in the financial community rip us off! Ron

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