In the summer of 1890 in New York City, a young gentleman named George Parker approached a young immigrant couple. He talked to them, asked where they’re from and started a really nice conversation. He told them he was an engineer—and not just any engineer. He said he had the ownership rights of the Brooklyn Bridge.
So they got to talking and he finally admitted that he didn’t have a lot of business sense, but they seemed like they did. Before they knew it, they’d bought the Brooklyn Bridge. Parker sold the bridge to hundreds of immigrants during his years a con artist, for as much a $50,000—that’s $1.3 million in today’s money.
TMSIDK is going on a spending spree, from the Brooklyn Bridge to Ethiopia, meeting up with fundraisers, ancient traders and some money that should probably be laundered. Our panelists are:
Brian Koppelman, filmmaker and co-creator of Billions, tried to make it big as a tournament table tennis player.
Cheryl Dorsey, social entrepreneur and president of Echoing Green, needed her mom to sell her Girl Scout cookies.
Hari Kondabolu, comedian and co-host of Politically Re-Active, just saw Star Wars for the first time and needs a discussion buddy.
Our real-time fact-checker is A.J. Jacobs, host of Twice Removed, who knows the true value of a $1,000 haircut.