Ep.72 – I Love Capitalism with Ken Langone

Every once in a while I chat with somebody who makes me realize just how cool my job really is.

That’s the case this week with Ken Langone, the legendary financier, who helped take a bunch of companies public before co-founding Home Depot. Ken has also became a philanthropist extraordinaire, helping to rebuild the New York University hospital.

Ken dropped by for an in-studio to talk about his new book, I Love Capitalism!: An American Story, but really it was just a fascinating conversation with a guy who grew up in a working-class family on Long Island, put himself through school, and after some hard work and smart decisions and a few guardian angels, became one of the most successful businessmen in the country.

Ken Langone has seen it all on his way to a net worth beyond his wildest dreams, now in excess of $3 billion dollars.

In a series of captivating stories, Langone shows how he struggled in academics, broke into Wall Street, and scrambled for an MBA at night while competing with privileged competitors by day. He also shares how he learned to evaluate the value of a business and apply his street smarts to negotiate enormous deals.

And what happened when Langone was approached by Bernie Madoff for an investment, just weeks before the Ponzi scheme came to light? You’ll have to tune in for that chestnut…

Langone says that the book is his love song to capitalism…”Absolutely anybody is entitled to dream big, and absolutely everybody should dream big. I did. Show me where the silver spoon was in my mouth. I’ve got to argue profoundly and passionately: I’m the American Dream.”

“Better Off” is sponsored by Betterment.

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“Better Off” theme music is by Joel Goodman, www.joelgoodman.com.

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