Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Death by Greed


Greed fuels many a motivation.  More, they say,,, I want more.  More of anything and everything, seems to be the mantra of many people.  Being content seems to of disappeared.

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Small sugar factories like this, dot the plains.  Most are now shuttered and joining the landfill of lost dreams. 

Raising sugar beets was a major crop for farmers and still is in some areas.  Cooperatives were formed to process the sugar beets and factories in rural areas like this popped up.  Sugar was finding its way into lots of foods and the demand for sugar was growing. 

The sweet smell of money was rolling off sugar.  Corporations were being formed and investors were snooping around.  Some multi-billionaire brothers in Texas began acquiring numerous sugar factories and Great Western Sugar was formed.  The Hunt brothers of Texas now had control of numerous sugar plants in Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming.  The big GW on the sleek white barrels that rose into the prairie sky was an icon on the plains and sugar beet farmers. 

The Hunt brothers had their money in all types of investments.  One of them was the silver market.  They accumulated enough shares of silver bullion that they cornered the world market for silver.   This caught the attention of the federal government and an investigation into the Hunt brothers began. 

With the government investigation, the silver market began to collapse and the Hunt boys were now holding an empty purse.  To cover their losses in silver, they sol;d off Great Western Sugar.

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The new owner of the sugar plants was not interested in keeping the business going.  Instead he began milking the profits, then assets to keep his playboy life style going.  In a few years, the plants were broke and being closed down by creditors. Greed and a lavish lifestyle collapsed a once very profitable business

With the collapse of Great Western Sugar, many of the plants were left vacant.  A few were bought out by other sugar companies and survived.  Most were like this plant, fading glory, being demolished into piles of rubble. 

They had classic style of architecture and were great looking buildings.  Now they are collectors of dust and echoes of memories.

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It is a story of the rise sand fall of fortunes.  New birth from the ashes.  The greed of the few, how they impact the lives of many.  For as the Hunt brothers, scrambled after more money then sold off to another who wanted untold wealth. 

How hard driving ambition went to the top, rode the peak, greed pushed them off the hill and toppled fortunes.  Yet it is a cycle for so many businesses. 

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