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The Speculation Economy by Lawrence E. Mitchell

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PREFACE

The formative era of American corporate capitalism took place between 1897 and 1919. The American industrial landscape of the late nineteenth century had been characterized by independent factories. No matter what their size, they typically were owned by entrepreneur industrialists, their families and often a few business associates. Almost overnight American business transformed into a vista of giant combinations of industrial plants owned directly and indirectly by widely dispersed shareholders. Business reasons sometimes justified these combinations. But they might never have come into being if financiers and promoters had not discovered that they could be used to create and sell massive amounts of stock for their own gain. The result ...

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