Pujo Committee

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The Pujo Committee was a United States congressional subcommittee which was formed between May 1912 and January 1913 to investigate the so-called "money trust", a community of Wall Street bankers and financiers that exerted powerful control over the nation's finances. After a resolution introduced by congressman Charles Lindbergh Sr. for a probe on Wall St. power, Arsène Pujo of Louisiana obtained congressional authorization to form a subcommittee of the House Committee on Banking and Currency.

Overview[edit]

Despite the fact that lead attorney Samuel Untermyer had predetermined that no money trust would be found as part of the Investigation because “There is no agreement existing among these men that is in violation of the law” [1] and despite the refusal of aid by the Comptroller of the Currency, the failure of the Senate to pass the bill to amend section 5241 of the Revised Statutes and the lack of any authoritative decision by the courts sustaining the committee's right to access the books of the national banks, the Pujo Committee Report concluded in 1913 that a community of influential financial leaders had gained control of major manufacturing, transportation, mining, telecommunications and financial markets of the United States.[clarification needed] The report revealed that no fewer than eighteen different major financial corporations were under the control of a cartel led by J.P Morgan, George F Baker and James Stillman. These three men, through the resources of seven banks and trust companies (Banker’s Trust Co., Guaranty Trust Co., Astor Trust Co., National Bank of Commerce, Liberty National Bank, Chase National Bank, Farmer’s Loan and Trust Co.) controlled an estimated $2.1 billion. The report revealed that a handful of men held manipulative control of the New York Stock Exchange and attempted to evade interstate trade laws.

The Pujo Report singled out individual bankers including Paul Warburg, Jacob H. Schiff, Felix M. Warburg, Frank E. Peabody, William Rockefeller and Benjamin Strong, Jr.. The report identified over $22 billion in resources and capitalization controlled through 341 directorships held in 112 corporations by members of the empire headed by J.P. Morgan.[2]

Although Pujo left Congress in 1913, the findings of the committee inspired public support for ratification of the Sixteenth Amendment in 1913, passage of the Federal Reserve Act that same year, and passage of the Clayton Antitrust Act in 1914. They were also widely publicized in the Louis Brandeis book, Others People's Money--and How the Bankers Use It.[citation needed]

House of Morgan partners blamed the April 1913 death of J.P. Morgan on the stress of testifying in the Pujo hearings, though other health factors were certainly involved.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Say Money Trust is Now Exposed NY Times Jan 12,1913 http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?_r=2&res=9F00E2DB163FE633A25751C1A9679C946296D6CF
  2. ^ Report of the Committee Appointed Pursuant to House Resolutions 429 and 504 to Investigate the Concentration of Control of Money and Credit. February 28, 1913 http://www.scribd.com/doc/34121180/Pujo-Committee-Report-Report-of-the-Committee-Appointed-Pursuant-to-House-Resolutions-429-and-504-1912-1913-Pujo-Committee-Report

References[edit]

  • Louis Brandeis, Other Peoples’ Money (1913) ch 1
  • Ron Chernow, The House of Morgan: An American Banking Dynasty and the Rise of Modern Finance (2001) ISBN 0-8021-3829-2

External links[edit]