JAMES B. DILL AND THE NEW JERSEY TRUST LAWS
[Excerpts, below, except where indented, from *The Autobiography
of Lincoln Steffens*]
"Amalgamated Copper was begotten in 1898, born in 1899, and
in the first five years of its existence plundered the
public to the extent of over $100 million. It was a
creature of that incubator of trust and corporation frauds,
the State of New Jersey." -- Thomas W. Lawson (qtd. in CN
James B. Dill was the man who put through in the State of New
Jersey the laws to enable the organization of trusts and combines
[monopolies], to free corporations, to free them to do whatever
"On April 6, 1998, the largest merger in history occurred:
Citicorp and The Travelers Group joined to become
Citigroup. (Hmmm..... Do you think there are going to be
layoffs at Citigroup?) In the April 27, 1998 issue of The
Nation magazine, the interesting legal strategy behind the
merger is noted. It seems that the merger between Citicorp
and Travelers =is illegal=. But, writes Doug Henwood, 'the
parties figure they can get the law changed. If you're
rich enough, you can present the government with a *fait
accompli* and have the law you'd like to violate
repealed.'" -- CN 12.07
James B. Dill was the man who brought Andrew Carnegie and J.P.
Morgan together for the purchase and sale of the Carnegie steel
properties and so laid the basis of the United States Steel
Company, the biggest transaction and the biggest trust of those
days [ca. 1890s].
April 13, 1998: NationsBank Corporation merges with
BankAmerica Corporation. "The new asset maintains accounts
for 30 percent of the nation's households." ("Notebook,"
by Lewis H. Lapham. Harper's magazine, August 1998.)
James B. Dill was always spoken of with awe as "James B. Dill."
No familiarity with him; Mr. Morgan might be "J.P."; he was
called that, but James B. Dill was always and only a name, a
mystery, a wonder-worker in those terrible days when the
reorganization of the debris of [the Panic of 1893] was
beginning. No one but the masters ever saw him, and I thought of
him as a silent, thinking, conspiring lawyer who sat still in the
big back room of a great suite of offices.
May 7, 1998: Daimler-Benz acquires the Chrysler
Corporation. (Source: Lapham; op. cit.)
For there was, at that time, a very general popular discontent,
the choral accompaniment of the hard times; and the passion of
the day was the anti-trust sentiment, which was a development of
the old anti-monopoly cry of the earlier period.
May 11, 1998: SBC Communications acquires the Ameritech
Corporation and takes possession of one-third of the
nation's phone lines. (Source: Lapham; op. cit.)
One day some morning newspaper printed a "roast" of James B.
Dill, the author of the criminal New Jersey trust laws. It
showed how that State had enacted statutes under which the
anti-trust laws of other States could be evaded and American
public opinion defied. The article showed what was permitted:
plain financial crimes.
May 21, 1998: The Seagram Company (Bronfman family; MCA
records, Decca) buys PolyGram. "The new company amounts to
nearly 25 percent of the American popular-music business."
(Source: Lapham; op. cit.)
This clipping was handed to me, with instructions to go and see
Mr. James B. Dill and get his denial or correction of these
charges. Mr. Dill met me with a smiling welcome. "The abuses of
the Jersey Trust laws must be exposed and stopped," he said.
"Yes," he added, as he glanced at the clipping, "yes, all that is
true, and more, much more." And to my amazement he opened up the
criminal inside of the practices under the New Jersey
legislation, a picture of such chicanery and fraud, of wild
license and wrong-doing, that I could not, I dared not, take it
all down; I was too confused.
June 1, 1998: American Home Products Corporation (Advil,
Robitussin, Preparation H) acquires Monsanto Company
(NutraSweet, Daypro, Demulen) for $34.4 billion in stock.
(Source: Lapham; op. cit.)
"You are astonished?" Dill asked. "And well you may be. But
you must write what I tell you. Don't quote me."
Why had he, of all men, provided ammunition for the exposure of
the James B. Dill laws of New Jersey?
"Why, Dr. Innocent," he said, "I was advertising my wares and the
business of my State. When you and the other reporters wrote
about what financiers could and did actually do in Jersey, you
were advertising our business -- free. For financiers are dubs.
They have to be told, and they have to be told plain so that they
get it, and so, as I say, while I gave you the facts to roast us
with, what you wrote as 'bad' struck business men all over the
United States as good, and they poured in upon us to our profit
to do business with us to their profit."
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