They called her a Witch.
The Wicked Witch of Wall Street.
They thought she was a tight-fisted old bag;
Never wasting a penny. Always wearing the same tired black dress. Taking cold baths because she refused to pay for hot water. And shunning the preening and primping ladies of her time.
But she didn’t hesitate to splash the cash when blood was in the water.
“I buy things when nobody else wants them.” she said.
She took the small sum she inherited and did that again and again.
She bought railroad stocks when they crumbled.
She bought green dollar bills when everyone thought they were paper trash.
She bought out her husband’s debt but never paid him any interest after that.
When the stock market crashed in 1907, Hetty Green bailed out the City of New York and the banks, extending a loan to help JP Morgan escape the furor.
In an age of excess, she was known for her thriftiness.
But she never hesitated to donate to a cause she believed in.
When she died in 1916, Hetty was the wealthiest woman in America, amassing the equivalent of $5 billion.
And now they call her, The Queen of Finance.