This section is from the book "Problems In Private Finance", by Charles W. Gerstenberg. See also: The Private Equity Edge: How Private Equity Players and the World's Top Companies Build Value and Wealth.
1. What will be the amount required for fixed capital and for working funds for the projected interurban railroad described in the Engineer's Report (pp. 457-88)?
2. From statistics of other interurban railways, does it appear that the amounts thus estimated are understated?
3. What facts are given in the report to show that the second principle underlying the "discovery"of the enterprise will be complied with?
4. From statistics of other interurban railways do you believe the operating revenues are overstated and the operating costs understated?
5. What, according to the report, (p. 488) will be the form of capitalization of the projected company?
6. Assuming all the estimates are conservative, do you think the company could be "floated"on the basis outlined in problem No. 5?
7. Show how each of the steps in promotion is illustrated in the complaint of Haskins v. Ryan. (pp. 489-95.)
8. Of the various items of cost mentioned on page 455 which may be charged to (a) financing during construction, (b) financing construction, and (c) financing business?
9. Do you agree with Mr. Bemis's conclusions as to "going concern"value, pp. 822-4?
10. Are the owners of the properties which are to be consolidated (pp. 526-35) to be paid in stock or in cash?
11. What was the basis of capitalization for the consolidations formed in Chapter X, problems 6 and 7.
12. Why is it wise for private businesses to incorporate on the basis of average earning power rather than on the basis of actual investment?
13. Why should public-service corporations capitalize on the basis of actual investment or appraisal value?
14. A owns a piece of land (Plot No. 1), inherited from his father, reasonably worth $20,000. Five years thereafter he purchases, from X, Plot No. 2 for $15,000. Each plot appreciates in value, $1,000 a year. At the end of five years A conceives the idea of getting his money out of the land by selling to a company which he purposes organizing. The company is formed in the following year, but in the meantime A purchases another plot (No. 3) for $10,000. For how much may he sell all the property to the company?
15. Under what circumstances could A make a bargain "at arm's length"with the company?
16. Company A is being promoted by X and Y. X sells stock to M on the representation that the company has an oil well in operation. The statement is not true; the company fails and M loses his money. What rights has he?
17. A offers to sell his plant to a corporation of which he is a promoter. He writes to the dummy directors: "I paid comparatively little for my plant twenty years ago, but have added much to the investment. Moreover, I want to be very frank with you and say that while I believe my plant is worth more than I am offering it to you for, I don't think I could get as much from a cash buyer. Of course, you are to pay in stock which may turn out, under the company's management, not to be worth a dollar."
Is this statement sufficient to entitle A to deal with the company "at arm's length"?
18. When you find that a promoter has made a secret profit, under what various circumstances would you use each of the three remedies mentioned in the Syllabus?
19. Write a biography (about 1,000 words) of one of the following: J. P. Morgan (the late), E. H. Harriman, J. J. Hill (the late), Daniel Drew, Commodore Vanderbilt, Jay Gould, Henry Ford, J. D. Rockefeller (Sr.), Andrew Carnegie (the late), Stephen Girard, Charles M. Schwab, John N. Willys, Lord Leverhulme, George W. Perkins, Samuel Insull, Otto H. Kahn. Pay especial attention to their early careers.
20. Write a short account of the promotion and first two years of existence of the United States Steel Corporation.
21. Write up the Alton case. (pp. 920-8.)