“It was sheer unmitigated crime, a sort of selling bear on a huge scale in a sinking world. The aim of the gang was money, and they already had made scandalous profits. Partly their business was mere conscienceless profiteering well inside the bounds of the law, such as gambling in falling exchanges and using every kind of brazen and subtle trick to make their gamble a certainty . Partly it was common fraud of the largest size… These fellows were wreckers on the grand scale, merchants of pessimism, giving society another kick downhill whenever it had a chance of finding its balance, and pocketing their profits.”
– John Buchan, The Three Hostages (Hodder & Stoughton, London 1924) Graphic: ft.com.