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The Story According to Coasters

Yahoo Finance, Value Line, the Wall Street Journal and Barons are a few examples of the huge storehouse of business information.  Rummaging through file cabinets and desk drawers generates another lodestone of material.  There you will find coasters.

These desk protectors  were standard swag given to visitors. Sometimes investment bankers, sometimes analysts, sometimes customers, sometimes visiting experts and sometimes friends. On certain circumstances coveted coasters found their way surreptitiously into visitor’s pockets or brief cases.

Popular giveaways  now includes pens, note paper, note books, flash lights, hats, key chains and golf accessories.  Not so much coasters.  They seem to occupy an unusual space. Their endurance is out of proportion with other giveaways.  Perhaps because coasters are not consumed, they do not need batteries, and they are well-preserved  in the dark confines of a bottom drawer or in the remote parts of a book case.

Most importantly these logo-festooned coasters are a permanent record, supplying an interesting snapshot of business history. They are reminders of the ever-changing landscape. Each one offers a window into business history, acting as an index of stories of failure, self-induced implosion, successes, mergers, acquisitions, fortunes made, lost and  scams.

Sort of an abbreviated list of Harvard Business School case studies.  Coasters are ageless, and provide  a mountain of archival material. History  buffs might well lobby swag developers for the reintroduction of coasters.

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