Set in eighteenth century Philadelphia, “The Financier” is the story of the early life of Frank Cowperwood, the son of a low level banker who realizes his skill at finances and business. He is able to grow a rather large fortune through stock speculation and purchases of shares in the growing street railway industry. He marries an older woman and has two children. He uses his riches to become socially prominent.
Things begin to crumble when he falls in love with, Aileen Butler, the daughter of a politically prominent Irish industrialist. They have an affair, which is discovered just when Cowperwood's business is under great duress as a result of a financial panic caused by the great Chicago fire. Pressed to cover large loans, Cowperwood engages in some legally questionable acts. When these are discovered, he is abandoned by his political allies. This is further complicated by the animosity of Aileen's father.
Cowperwood is put on trial for larceny. He is convicted and sent to prison, but pardoned after a year. He then proceeds to recoup his fortune, eventually leaving Philadelphia with Aileen for the greater promise of the west.
This report prepared by Jack Goodstein