By Wyatt Wells
At the present time antitrust legislation shapes the coverage of just about each huge corporation, irrespective of the place founded. yet this wasn´t continuously the case. earlier than global struggle II, the legislation of such a lot commercial international locations tolerated or even inspired cartels, while American statutes banned them. within the wake of worldwide warfare II, the us committed huge assets to development a liberal financial order, which Washington believed used to be essential to holding not just prosperity but in addition peace after the battle. Antitrust was once a cornerstone of that coverage. This interesting e-book indicates how the USA sought to impose -and with what effects -its antitrust coverage on different international locations, particularly in Europe and Japan. Wyatt Wells chronicles how the assault on cartels and monopoly overseas affected every little thing from strength coverage and exchange negotiations to the career of Germany and Japan. He exhibits how a small crew of zealots led by way of Thurman Arnold, who grew to become head of the Justice Department´s Antitrust department in 1938, distinct cartels and big businesses in the course of the global: IG Farben of Germany, Mitsui and Mitsubishi of Japan, Imperial Chemical Industries of england, Philips of the Netherlands, DuPont and normal electrical of the USA, and extra. Wells brilliantly indicates how as a consequence, the architects of the postwar economic climate -notably Lucius Clay, John McCloy, William Clayton, Jean Monnet, and Ludwig Erhard -uncoupled political ideology from antitrust coverage, reworking Arnold's attempt right into a capability to advertise enterprise potency and inspire festival.
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Additional info for Antitrust and the Formation of the Postwar World
The country would accept large companies as long as they were efficient and stopped short of monopoly. Accordingly, many industries developed into oligopolies, dominated by a handful of very big enterprises that competed, albeit cautiously. Some dissented from this compromise. Many businessmen wanted to cooperate to stabilize markets, and they sometimes developed sub rosa ways of doing so. Many reformers continued to draw inspiration from Brandeis and to distrust all large companies. Experts also disagreed on how strictly Washington needed to enforce the antitrust laws to preserve competition.
This attitude may have reflected his upbringing in Wyoming, where most citizens assumed that large, eastern companies exploited the state’s natural resources with little regard for the well-being of the inhabitants. ”44 Arnold’s importance sprang as much from the people he trained and inspired as from his own achievements. His subordinates at the Antitrust Division included Tom Clark, a Texan who later became attorney general and a Supreme Court justice; Wendell Berge, a Nebraskan who had been with the Antitrust Division since 1930 and who, as its chief after 1943, would launch some of the most important prosecutions of international cartels; and Corwin Edwards, a Nevada-bred economist brought in from the Federal 42 The Context of Antitrust Trade Commission who provided much of the economic rationale for the antimonopoly program and who later became a major figure in occupation policy toward Japan.
The key development, however, came in 1890, when Congress enacted the first measure directed against big business, the Sherman Act. It banned “restraint of trade,” a common-law The Context of Antitrust 31 term on which legal experts often disagreed. The courts initially interpreted the measure very narrowly, striking down only agreements among independent firms that set prices and production—that is, cartels. Individual companies, no matter how large, were exempt. 10 Thus in the United States, large unitary companies emerged in sectors where in Europe (particularly Germany) cartels predominated.
Antitrust and the Formation of the Postwar World by Wyatt Wells