Welch Trashes Diamond Industry in Autobiography

General Electric top dog "Neutron" Jack Welch met his match in the diamond industry, according to his new autobiography, Jack: Straight from the Gut. Recalling the controversy in 1998 when GE first introduced its whitened Pegasus (now Bellataire) stones with partner Lazare Kaplan, Welch writes: "Breaking into Fort Knox might be easier than getting into [the] centuries-old [diamond] trade. Afraid we might undermine the pricing of gem diamonds, the old Antwerp network of traders did everything to freeze us out of the business. They leveled false statements, making our diamonds appear artificial and less desirable. An Antwerp boycott forced us to go from a strategy of selling them at wholesale, 50 to 100 at a time, to selling them in ones and twos to high-end jewelers at retail." To Welch, this was a major defeat: "In our second full year, we'll do about $30 million worth of business, l
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