Antitrust and the Formation of the Postwar World (Columbia by Wyatt Wells

By Wyatt Wells

This day antitrust legislations shapes the coverage of just about each huge corporation, irrespective of the place based. yet this wasn't constantly the case. ahead of global warfare 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 conflict II, the us dedicated significant assets to development a liberal financial order, which Washington believed was once essential to maintaining not just prosperity but additionally peace after the conflict. Antitrust was once a cornerstone of that coverage. This attention-grabbing booklet exhibits 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 alternate negotiations to the career of Germany and Japan. He indicates how a small crew of zealots led through Thurman Arnold, who grew to become head of the Justice Department's Antitrust department in 1938, certain cartels and massive 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 common electrical of the USA, and extra. Wells brilliantly indicates how in this case, the architects of the postwar financial system -- significantly Lucius Clay, John McCloy, William Clayton, Jean Monnet, and Ludwig Erhard -- uncoupled political ideology from antitrust coverage, reworking Arnold's attempt right into a potential to advertise company potency and inspire festival.

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A company might force a better deal. 57 Such promotion did not come easily, however. 58 In the 1920s and 1930s, the makers of tires and other rubber goods used natural latex tapped from rubber trees grown largely on hundreds of plantations scattered throughout Southeast Asia. Though the automobile boom provided an expanding market for tires and, therefore, rubber, planters suffered from severe cycles of boom and bust. Rubber trees only begin to produce latex about six years after first planted, which prevented producers from rapidly adjusting supply to demand.

At first, both focused on the domestic scene, but the TNEC did not ignore conditions abroad, and the Antitrust Division would eventually make international cartels one of its prime targets. The TNEC, which drew members from both Congress and the administration, launched an exhaustive investigation of economic power that, its The Context of Antitrust 39 supporters believed, would suggest reforms. By the time it had finished its work, however, the outbreak of war in Europe had diverted public attention from the question of monopoly.

Soon, however, prices began to fall as the growth of demand slowed and the Dutch East Indies began to exploit the reduction in British output by exporting more rubber. By 1927, the Dutch colony was producing 37 percent of the world’s rubber, whereas the British Empire’s share had slipped to 54 percent. 223 a pound. 60 The Depression led rubber producers to organize a new cartel. 034 a pound in 1932, the lowest ever, creating desperation among producers. Governments led the way to restructuring.

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