Get Antitrust and the Formation of the Postwar World PDF

By Wyatt Wells

ISBN-10: 023112399X

ISBN-13: 9780231123990

This day antitrust legislations shapes the coverage of just about each huge corporation, irrespective of the place established. yet this wasn´t constantly the case. ahead of international warfare II, the legislation of such a lot business international locations tolerated or even inspired cartels, while American statutes banned them. within the wake of worldwide conflict II, the U.S. dedicated substantial assets to development a liberal financial order, which Washington believed used to be essential to conserving not just prosperity but in addition peace after the conflict. Antitrust was once a cornerstone of that coverage. This attention-grabbing publication exhibits how the USA sought to impose -and with what effects -its antitrust coverage on different countries, particularly in Europe and Japan. Wyatt Wells chronicles how the assault on cartels and monopoly in another country affected every thing from strength coverage and exchange negotiations to the profession of Germany and Japan. He indicates how a small team of zealots led by way of Thurman Arnold, who turned head of the Justice Department´s Antitrust department in 1938, distinctive cartels and big businesses during the global: IG Farben of Germany, Mitsui and Mitsubishi of Japan, Imperial Chemical Industries of england, Philips of the Netherlands, DuPont and basic electrical of the U.S., and extra. Wells brilliantly indicates how as a consequence, the architects of the postwar economic system -notably Lucius Clay, John McCloy, William Clayton, Jean Monnet, and Ludwig Erhard -uncoupled political ideology from antitrust coverage, remodeling Arnold's attempt right into a capability to advertise enterprise potency and inspire festival.

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Extra resources for Antitrust and the Formation of the Postwar World

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Before 1914, German firms had dominated the market for lamps in Europe, and GE and Westinghouse each had broad-ranging patent agreements with the largest of these, Algemeine Elektrizita¨ts Gesellschaft (AEG) and Siemens, which had kept trans-Atlantic competition to a minimum. The war cut the Germans off from foreign markets and led to the rise of new competitors, strong British and French companies and, most important, the Dutch firm Philips. With the return of peace in 1918, Siemens and AEG merged their electric lamp operations into an independent company called Osram, absorbed several small German producers, and launched an export drive to recapture lost markets.

At the same time, the American government did attack international cartels that, it believed, abused their power. Here again Herbert Hoover was the critical figure. 19 This policy reflected national self-interest. In the 1920s, the United States imported large quantities of both rubber and potash, and the sharp price increases engineered by the two cartels hurt. Yet in these cases economic calculation accorded with Hoover’s convictions. 20 Nev- 34 The Context of Antitrust ertheless, no one in Washington seems to have contemplated a general attack on international cartels.

On the other, it corrupted government and robbed communities of their autonomy, eroding political democracy. Historian Matthew Josephson summed up these concerns in his classic 1934 study of the rise of big business in the late nineteenth century, The Robber Barons: “Under the new dispensation . . the strong, as in the Dark Ages of Europe, and like the military captains of old, having preempted more than others, having been [possessed] . . of land and highways and strong places, would own because they owned.

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Antitrust and the Formation of the Postwar World by Wyatt Wells


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