When Life Gives You Bananas: United Fruit Company

I’d like to tell you a story. It was 1910, and I, a young man only 33 years of age, had just arrived in Honduras with big dreams of turning my modest banana trade in the States into a multinational empire. But the local President, Miguel Dávila, granted massive concessions to my competition and was going to tax me out of business. Naturally, I had no choice but to overthrow him and his government.

As you can see, I mean business. And that business is bananas. But I couldn’t stand to see the great United Fruit Company, to which I’d sold my legacy, being mismanaged by fools. Foolish central planning, careless labor management, abysmal crisis management.

The Great Depression might actually be the best thing to ever happen to this company. It made taking over this joint easy. Welcome, gentlemen, to the new United Fruit Company. When life gave me bananas, I made a fortune. What will you make?


– Sam “The Banana Man” Zemurray