Business as usual

Few months ago I composed several articles about the distinctive automobile brands, looking at the names behind those brands and their war profiteering business. Then my brother-in-arms Josh published his two-part essay about Smedley Butler (Part I, Part II), meticulously disclosing many details about Butler and the company of useful stooges, with all the particular names in not so distant US history and the way business was done by those individuals. A particular name appeared to connect our research work, notably Bernard Baruch, or in the case of my Citroen research, Barend Baruch Roelof Raphael Citroen of the Barend-Baruch Limoenman (Citroen) [1] family.

Kennedy confers with Bernard Baruch, 90-year-old New York financier, at the White House on July 26, 1961. | AP Photo
Kennedy confers with Bernard Baruch, 90-year-old New York financier, at the White House on July 26, 1961. | AP Photo …………………………………………….  In a speech to the South Carolina House of Representatives, where his portrait was being unveiled, Baruch said: “Let us not be deceived; we are today in the midst of a Cold War. Our enemies are to be found abroad and at home. Let us never forget this: Our unrest is the heart of their success”. The phrase caught on as a means of describing the diplomatic bipolar disorder 🙂

One would normally expect »Baruch« to be German, but of Hebrew origins. If so, it is derived from the given name ‘Baruch’ or the Yidish ‘Borekh’, both of whom have the same translation of »blessed« or »fortunate«. There are many spelling forms of the surname and even more patronymics and these are recorded in almost every European country. These spellings include Baroch, Barosch, Baruch, Barukh, and the patronymics or diminutives Baruchsohn, Boruchson, Borokhov, Borochov, Borochovski, Barochovich, and many others. However, in England there is a complication because of a spelling overlap with the locational name Barugh, often pronounced and subsequently spelt, Baruch. This name derives from a Yorkshire village recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book as ‘Berg’ (the hill). Examples of the surname recordings include Ann Barok, (a dialectal mis-spelling of Barugh?) who was married at the church of St. James, Duke Street, London, on February 6th 1665, in the year of the ‘Great Plague’. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation – in England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to morph, often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

Interesting to notice is the connection of one Aaron Baruch, son of Antonio Moses Baruch, to the Queen Elisabeth II Windsor. As it turns out, Aaron Baruch is just 14 degrees from Queen Elisabeth II Windsor, and they are connected through Stewarts and Bowes. Note the Portugese surnames in the peerage such as Pereira, Lousada or Lamego. The surname Pereira was first found in Northern Portugal near the Spanish border and has a direct meaning associated to »pear tree«. Pereira is the cultivated pear tree while the Pereiro is the wild or uncultivated peer tree. Many Portuguese immigrants to the United States chose to “Americanize” their surname to Perry.

Winsdor - Baruch connection

While researching more accurate version about the European »Spring of Nations«, I ran across another book, authored by Ferdinand Lundberg, titled »America’s 60 Familes« and first published in 1937. It proved to be a true nugget for anybody interested in USA’s oligarchy, nepotism and their connections to the World War I and later financial »crisis« of 1929, the so-called Black Tuesday. There are many other related sources I could have used, however I chose Lundberg’s book, as I was able to look into the primary source and confirm larger part of Lundberg’s claims as true. In this essay, my attempt was to explore and understand the financial machinations during the World War I, tapping into financial crisis of 1929 and institutional stock exchange as PTB’s tool to suck public treasury dry. Interesting enough, following Bernard Mannes Baruch in his footsteps allowed me to learn essential part of how this was done in practice. In short, what I discovered was another chapter of history that was hidden from me.

Trail of malpractice

The very nature of a ruling class requires the existence of special rights and privileges accessible only to its members. This has been historically true of all ruling classes.

Ferdinand Lundberg

According to Lundberg and his book, which I will be excessively quoting in the following text, the war-profiteering during 1917-1919 in the USA was investigated by a special White House committee and subcommittee, that heard evidence for more than 3 years under the chairmanship of Representative William J. Graham of Illinois. The evidence and the reports fill 21 massive volumes that contain an unparalleled panorama of graft, corruption, extortion, knavery, and incompetence, if not of treason[2].

The Graham Committee found, however, that competent persons in certain fields were deliberately removed in favor of incompetents; disinterested persons were shunted aside in favor of persons with a private pecuniary interest in decisions; experts were dismissed in favor of non-experts; military officers of probity, who protested against the plundering and looting, were demoted, transferred and sometimes discredited, and were replaced by officers of dubious inclination; higher bids were accepted in favor of lower; known inferior materials were accepted rather than good, tested materials; and many expenditures, involving huge sums, were made on the plea of a military necessity that did not exist solely for the benefit of private entrepreneurs of political influence. Business was not apportioned fairly; discrimination was practiced in favor of the politically dominant element of Wall Street finance capital.[3]

The presiding genius over war purchases was Bernard Mannes Baruch, stock promoter of the Guggenheim camp, and the Graham Committee held him largely responsible, in an individual sense, for much that took place. Supporting Baruch were the National City Bank and the copper elements which had access to President Wilson through Cleveland H. Dodge.[4]

With reference to the copper industry, House Report No. 1400, 66th Congress, 3rd session, said:

». . . the plan originally was and which plan has been fully consummated in the subsequent proceedings that the copper industry, as well as other producing industries should be so centralized that it could be dominated and controlled by one man or a very small number of men, and that this control, once established over the industries, continued throughout the war, was the paramount influence toward price-fixing and price control, and is one of the causes of high-priced commodities at this time. The plan of the Government was to centralize all industries irrespective of the results that might ultimately follow.«

To this end the government ignored the antitrust laws. The Graham Committee further found:

»The various agencies of the Council of National Defense and the War Department not only permitted this violation of the statutes, but encouraged it, and in some cases ordered combinations to be made that were in violation of the law. Every trade and business was consolidated under the directions of the Council of National Defense and its auxiliary bodies; in fact, in most instances the Government agencies refused to transact business with the particular trade or interest until such a combination had been made … It is probably exact to say that never in the history of the country was a greater impetus given to illegal trusts and combinations in restraint of trade than was given by the practices above referred to.« [5]

The Graham Committee discovered that two weeks before Wilson sent his war message to Congress on April 2, 1917, Baruch and John D. Ryan, president of Anaconda Copper Mining Company (Amalgamated Copper), arranged a combination of copper producers to sell to the government 45,000,000 pounds of copper at 16 2/3 cents a pound. The agency of combination was the United Metals Selling Company, of which Ryan was president and William C. Potter, long an executive of many Guggenheim companies and later the chairman of the Guaranty Trust Company (Morgan), a leading executive officer. Stock of United Metals was owned by Anaconda, still directed by the Stillman-Rockefeller clique at the National City Bank.

26 other companies, mostly under Morgan or Guggenheim dominance, participated with Anaconda in United Metals, from which the government during the war bought 523,338,735 pounds of copper of a total of 592,258,674 pounds purchased in all; 66,846,000 pounds were purchased from the American Smelting and Refining Company (Guggenheim).

Baruch appointed a special government copper purchasing committee consisting of Ryan; W. A. Clark, of the United Verde Mining Company and the Magma Copper Company; Murry Guggenheim; James McLean, vice-president of the Phelps Dodge Corporation; Charles MacNeill, of the Utah Copper Company (Morgan-Guggenheim), the Nevada Consolidated Copper Company, the Chino Copper Company, and the Ray Consolidated Copper Company; and Stephen Birch, of the Kennecott Copper Corporation (Guggenheim).

When protest broke out against the buying of copper for the government by individuals, that owned or controlled the selling companies, this committee was disbanded. It was replaced by another, that functioned formally as the representative of the copper companies, but actually as the first committee had functioned. This new committee was assembled by Eugene G. Meyer, Jr., stock-market operator and Baruch’s assistant.[6]

Meyer, later head of the War Finance Corporation and Herbert Hoover‘s Governor of the Federal Reserve Board, was investigated in 1925 by a select House committee, which found that as treasurer of the War Finance Corporation he had bought and sold government bonds through his Wall Street office, charging a commission. Meyer told the committee he had turned over the commissions to other brokers, but while the investigation was going on:

it was discovered by your committee that alterations and changes were being made in the books of record covering these transactions, and when the same was called to the attention of the treasurer of the War Finance Corporation he admitted to the committee that changes were being made. To what extent these books have been altered during this process the committee has not been able to determine. . . . The dates of purchase of bonds as given by the Secretary of the Treasury, which would have shown that about $24,000,000 had been paid by the government for bonds in excess of the highest market rate for the various days on which it was alleged that the purchases were made, were found to be incorrect. It was also found that the dates given by the War Finance Corporation and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York City, New York, did not agree and that the records of the former also vary as to dates of purchase. . . . Only a complete audit will disclose how nearly correct is the loss of $24,000,000, which the dates given by the Secretary of the Treasury show.[7]

The second government copper purchase called for 11,595,346 pounds at 23.5 cents a pound, as of October 15, 1917. On June 15, 1918, the price was advanced to 26 cents a pound. The average cost of producing copper, the Graham Committee found, was 8 to 12 cents, so that profits ranged from 33 to more than 200 percent. The Calumet and Hecla Mining Company made 800 percent profit in 1917 and 300 percent in 1918.[8]

But, as the Graham Committee reported:

Not all the copper producers shared equally in these profits, it is true. Mr. John D. Ryan, in the first purchase of copper by the government from the United Metals Selling Co., dictated the proportion which each company in that combination should furnish of the copper and this schedule or percentage obtained through the war. 

At the time the first sale of copper was arranged at 16 2/3 cents per pound, many statements were circulated through the press of the country relative to the very excellent and patriotic work that had been done in this negotiation. The effort was then made to show that because this price was greatly below the average market price, that thereby the Government had made an immense saving and that the copper producers had patriotically turned over the production of their mines to the public for war purposes.«[9]

Owing to the great volume of business involved, prices to the government should have been much lower, as was indicated by the exorbitant profits of the copper companies, notably of the Anaconda group. »Because of the necessity and demands of the Government during the war,« said the Graham Committee, »those who operated these copper-producing properties were enabled to make and did make extravagant and extraordinary profits

»The facts reported and recorded in the evidence speak for themselves, and, in the main, have not been denied or disputed, except by the gloss of rhetoric and a profusion of words intended to cover up the administration of the business affairs of the War Department

It is difficult to determine in what division of war purchases the commonwealth was most completely betrayed. House Report No. 637, 66th Congress, 2nd session, related that although more than $1,000,000,000 had been spent for combat airplanes none was ever delivered.[10]

The airplane scandal became so notorious in 1918, indeed, that President Wilson appointed Charles Evans Hughes to investigate. After finding gross inefficiency, incompetence, ignorance, waste, extravagance, and evidence of gross self-interest and improper practices, Hughes recommended that Edward A. Deeds be court-martialed, under sections 95 and 96 of the articles of war. The recommendation was concurred in by the Attorney General and Secretary of War Newton D. Baker, but Baker then ordered the case re-opened for the hearing of new evidence from two of Deeds’ business associates. A special military board then exonerated Deeds.

»Within the sphere of Colonel Deeds’ important, if not commanding, influence,« said the Hughes report, »his former business associates were placed at once through Government contracts in a position where they had the assurance of very large profits upon a relatively small investment of their own money, and in addition were able to secure generous salaries, which they charged against the Government as part of the cost of manufacture

Deeds, a vice-president of the National Cash Register Company before the war and one of the National City Bank crowd, came from Dayton, Ohio. He was appointed head of the Equipment Division of Aviation in August, 1917, by Secretary of War Baker, another Ohioan, upon recommendation of Howard E. Coffin, vicepresident of the Hudson Motor Car Company and chairman of the Aircraft Production Board. The Graham Committee said :

Nothing appears in any of the hearings of any investigation to show why Deeds was appointed. Justice Hughes’ report found that Deeds began his activities by centering aircraft operations at Dayton, Ohio; that he gave large contracts to his business associates … although they had no previous experience in such matters . . . that Deeds was largely interested in corporations controlling the Delco ignition system used in the projected Liberty motor, whereas prior to its use on the Liberty, the magneto system had been used on all airplane engines.[11]

The Graham Committee pointed out that Deeds had a doubtful record. In 1912 he was prosecuted in Federal court for alleged bribery and criminal methods in driving competitors out of the cash-register business; he was convicted and sentenced to a year in jail. On appeal the decision was reversed, but the case was never tried again. »The charge, conviction, and court record,« said the Graham Committee, »were enough to put any responsible official on inquiry before giving Deeds a place of transcendent importance in charge of matters about which he knew nothing.«[12]

Deeds was ostensibly superseded in January, 1918, by Robert L. Montgomery, a bond dealer, but, the Hughes report said, Deeds remained in practical charge. William C. Potter headed the Equipment Division from February to May, 1918, when John D. Ryan became Director of Aircraft Production with Potter as his assistant. None of these men, it was found, knew anything about aviation.

The Graham Committee cited a special report to the Intelligence Department, dated November 23, 1918, to the effect that Ryan, a director of the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad (in which the Stillman-Rockefeller-National City group had a preponderant interest), was instrumental in giving cost-plus  contracts to lumber companies that used this railroad and tapped northwest forest land holdings of the railroad and its affiliates for aircraft timber; that he lent $6,000,000 of government money to such companies; and that he lent them $12,000,000 to construct a railroad spur into forest holdings of the railroad company. The cost of constructing the railroad spur, the Graham Committee found, was double what it should have been. Special officers of the War Department reporting on the same situation had said: »Have unearthed evidence indicating enormous graft, but do not consider the case as yet ready for submission to legal prosecution.« The officers were transferred and reprimanded; the advice of lumber experts was rejected in favor of advice from persons, who knew nothing about lumber, but were interested in fat contracts. Inferior high-priced timber was purchased rather than superior low-priced wood.[13]

Of the $1,051,000,000 (worth today staggering $14,813,875,028.57 ) disbursed for aircraft, which were never delivered, the Graham Committee found that $48,762,826 was spent for spruce supplied by companies, with which the Milwaukee road or other National City Bank interests were affiliated. Ryan favored American spruce, though Canada had better spruce at lower prices and had been supplying it for the efficient British Bristol planes.[14]

Although the aviation pioneers had no share in the apportionment of the government aviation melon of $1,000,000,000, the name of Wright was purchased by many companies. Deeds bought it, and so did Charles Hayden – for Wright, first to fly, bore a magical name. In 1916 Deeds, in association with C. F. Kettering, who since 1918 has been vice-president of the General Motors Corporation, formed a paper company known as the Dayton Metal Products Company. This company formed the Dayton-Wright Airplane Company, also a paper enterprise, which held 1,000 shares of the Lincoln Motor Company, organized expressly to build Liberty engines for American airplanes and later incorporated into the Ford Motor Company. The Dayton-Wright Airplane Company, the Graham Committee found, had no paid-in capital whatever when it obtained through Deeds government contracts for 3,940 airplanes to cost  $30,000,000. This government money was the first big capital ever put into the aviation industry.[15]

Deeds was also a vice-president of the United Motors Company, a participant in the airplane deals, and transferred his stock to his wife when he became head of the Air Service. He and Kettering in 1908 had formed the Dayton Engineering Laboratories to market the Delco ignition system that was specified for the Liberty motors. This company was sold in 1918 to General Motors, of which it is now a division.[16]

As to the interlocking of the men concerned in the government aviation contracts, Deeds is a director of the National City Bank, of which Gordon S. Rentschler, a fellow Ohioan, is president. Rentschler is a director of the National Cash Register Company, of which Deeds is now chairman. Kettering is a director of the United Aircraft and Transport Company, formed by the National City Bank to consolidate numerous airplane companies on the basis of government air-mail contracts, and F. B.  Rentschler, brother of the bank’s president, is chairman of United Air Lines, Inc., director of Pan American Airways, and director of the Pratt and Whitney Company. These men, in short, are all kingpins of contemporary aviation.[17]

While the copper and automotive dynasties were exacting their pound of flesh, the steel industry was far from inactive. The Senate Committee on Naval Affairs determined in 1916 that the cost of producing armor plate by the steel companies was $262 a ton, against prices of $411 to $604 charged the government. Eugene R. Grace, president of Bethlehem Steel and Charles M. Schwab’s right-hand man, admitted that the cost did not exceed $315 a ton. While quoting their own country top prices, the United States Steel Corporation and Bethlehem Steel Corporation charged Russia $349 a ton, Italy $395 a ton, and Japan $406.35 a ton for identical plate.[18]

The steel companies, consequently, profited enormously. A Senate Committee found (as related in Senate Document No. 259, Corporate Earnings and Governmental Revenues) that profits of the United States Steel Corporation during the war were $888,931,000, or morethan the par value of its stock. War profits throughout industry, said the same report, ranged from 25 percent to 7,856 percent. House Report No. 998, 66th Congress, 2nd session, says:

The committee finds that there has been expended for construction upon the Government’s nitrate program to the present time the sum of $116,194,974.37, and that this expenditure produced no nitrates prior to the armistice, and contributed nothing toward the winning of the war. The nitrates program originated with the War Industries Board of the Council of National Defense, and is directly traceable to Mr. Bernard M. Baruch, chairman of the board, who admits that he was the moving spirit in the plans of the government. . . . There was no national necessity at any time which required the War Department to embark upon the vast building program for the manufacture of nitrates for war purposes… The various contracts made for the construction of the nitrate plants of the United States were the ordinary types of contracts made by the Ordnance Department during the war, namely, every interest of the contractor was carefully guarded, and all doubts were to be ultimately resolved against the United States.[19]

Although the nitrate plants were not necessary, as there was an abundant supply of Chilean nitrate, their construction entailed the placing of huge orders for steel, lumber, copper, cement, dynamos, etc. The Du Ponts were given $90,000,000 to build a nitrate plant at Old Hickory, Tennessee, on a cost-plus basis; after the war this plant was sold to the Nashville Industrial Corporation for $3,500,000. »Theretofore the plants built by the Du Ponts,« said the Graham Committee, »had been paid for out of the profits of contracts made with the allied nations before we entered the war «. Powder furnished to the United States by private manufacturers was priced at 49 cents a pound, and cost about 36 cents to produce, thus yielding a profit of approximately 13 cents, or more than 33 percent.[20]

Baruch said the grandiose nitrate program was launched in fear that submarines would cut off Chilean nitrate, but the Graham Committee held this fear unjustified. Neither the Old Hickory nor the Nitro plant was necessary, the committee found, and both entailed »enormous waste and extravagant expenditure of public funds« which was »not in any way justified and that the ones primarily responsible for these things very properly merit the disapproval and condemnation of the people of the country in this and the coming days of the Republic.«

The Graham Committee discovered a welter of private interests pushing for the nitrate program. The American Cyanamid Company was interested in seeing the government build these chemical plants; the Alabama Power Company and a host of Southern industrialists wanted Muscle Shoals harnessed with the intent, as it became evident after the war, of having the property turned over to private interests for a song.

Directly supervising the explosives and nitrate program under Baruch was D. C. Jackling, head of the Utah Copper Company (Morgan-Guggenheim) and the Nevada Consolidated Copper Company. The Graham Committee found Jackling had no experience whatever with explosives or chemicals.[21]

Leather goods and miscellaneous supplies were purchased by Julius Rosenwald, president of Sears, Roebuck and Company. Although most of these supplies were available in Europe at lower prices for better quality, as the Graham Committee found, purchases were made from American dealers and manufacturers with whom Rosenwald had business relations as head of the big mail-order house. Both Sears, Roebuck and Company and Montgomery Ward and Company (Morgan) had risen, incidentally, on the shoulders of the government, which about two decades earlier, in response to pressure, had instituted the rural free mail delivery without which the mailorder business could not exist. This service has been continued by the government at a loss.[22]

House Report No. 1400, 66th Congress, 3rd session, tells of huge sums wasted on artillery shells, for whose manufacture by Bethlehem Steel Corporation and its affiliate, Midvale Ordnance Company, an immense amount of material was purchased from leading corporations. The shell orders were placed by the advisory commission of the Council of National Defense, of which Baruch was chairman. Here is the Graham Committee’s summary of the shell situation (with the author’s italics) :

We had 53 contracts for 37-millimeter shells, on which we expended $9,134,592. None of these shells ever reached our firing line. We had 689 contracts for 75-millimeter shells, on which we expended $301,941,459. Of these shells, we fired 6,000. We had 142 contracts for 3-inch shells, on which we expended $44,841,844. None of these shells reached the firing line. We had 439 contracts for 4.7 inch shells, on which we expended $41,716,051. Of these shells 14,000 were fired by our forces. We had 305 contracts for 6-inch shells, on which we expended $24,189,075. None of these ever reached the firing line. We had 617 contracts for 155-millimeter shells, on which we expended $264,955,387. None of these ever reached the firing line. We had 301 contracts for 8-inch shells, on which we expended $51,371,207. None of these ever reached the firing line. We had 152 contracts for 240-millimeter shells, on which we expended $24,136,867. None of these ever reached the firing line. We had 239 contracts for 9.2 inch shells, on which we expended $545389,377. None of these ever reached the firing line. We had 71 contracts for 12-inch shells, on which we expended $9,507,878. None of these ever reached the firing line. We had 6 contracts for 14-inch shells, on which we spent $1,266,477. None of these reached the firing line. We let in contracts, to the amount of $478,828,345, for the construction of artillery of all calibres, guns, howitzers, gun carriages, limbers and recuperators. Of this immense program of  expenditures there reached our troops and were actually used in combat thirty-nine 75-millimeter antiaircraft mount trucks, forty-eight 4.7 inch guns of the 1906 model, forty-eight 4.7 inch gun carriages of the same model, twenty-four 8-inch howitzers, and twenty-four 8-inch gun carriages.[23]

Supplies, although paid for in advance, were never delivered. The government graciously permitted uncompleted contracts to be finished after the war, some by French and British companies, which did not want to shut down their factories. There were 17,689,406 shells delivered before the Armistice and 10,211,389, or thirty-seven per cent of the total, after the war ended. The contracts drawn by Baruch’s board, the Graham Committee found, were extraordinary in that few carried ordinary provisions for cancellation.

The Rockefellers also participated in the grabbing, the Graham Committee found:

The operations of some of the “fly-by-night” war corporations that sprang up during the war arc well illustrated by the Domestic Coke Company . . . the capital stock was $2,000,000, none of which, as far as the subcommittee could find, was paid in. … Some local stockholders and persons interested in the Standard Oil Company, residing in Cleveland, seem to have been interested early in this corporation, and it is probable from what afterwards occurred that it was a Standard Oil plan from the beginning. . . . [The company] proposed to the War Department to build and operate at Cleveland a battery of 60 by-product coke ovens, which were to cost about $50,000 each. On presenting this to the ordnance officers doubts were expressed as to their financial ability. Thereupon the Standard Oil Company guaranteed the contract on behalf of the Domestic Coke Corporation, and from that time forward the Standard Oil Company paid all the bills, as work progressed, and the War Department then repaid the advancements of the Standard Oil Company. The Domestic Coke Corporation was a mere dummy and did not invest a cent in this project. . . .[24]

As we have already seen, the various Standard Oil enterprises profited enormously from the war through the stupendous volume of business and the sharp advance in oil prices.

Leading companies used war orders as a lever to expand plant capacity and to institute costly improvements at government expense, and this necessitated, of course, the placing of many orders that were in no way requisite to war victory. Coke plants costing $250,000 each on a cost-plus basis to the number of 150 units, were built by Jones and Laughlin Steel (Laughlin family), Domestic Coke Corporation (Rockefellers), Pittsburgh Crucible Steel Company (Mellon-Frick), Birmingham By-Products Company (Morgan), Donner Union Coke Corporation, Rainey-Wood Coke Company, Citizens Gas Company, United States Steel Corporation (Morgan), Sloss-Sheffield Steel Company, Seaboard By-Products Company, and International Harvester Company (McCormick). The new coke-ovens, which captured by-product oils and chemicals, replaced obsolete beehive ovens. Said the Graham Committee:

Large advances were made to some of these companies for construction purposes . . . from what has appeared in the hearings, there has been expended by the War Department in claims, construction, and loans in its by-product coke oven program, $28,641,923.18, of which $16,737,932.18 is expended and will not be repaid. It has received no by-products from any of these plants, either for war or salvage purposes. It may be questioned whether the by-product coke oven program of construction was compelled by the necessities of war.[25]

The war, in brief, provided an unparalleled opportunity for the richest families to grab, at the expense of the public; and, without exception, they made the most of this opportunity. Some of the families took profits in the stock-market, and hence did not figure directly in the industrial looting. Up to September of 1919, the War Department spent $18,501,117,999 (worth today $260,773,786,799), and, judging by the Graham Committee’s findings, at least one-third of this was dissipated in channels that had no relation to a successful prosecution of the war. The rich families, to be sure, wanted the war to be won, but they took care that the victory was as expensive as possible to the common taxpayers. They uttered no cries for government economy, as since they have done, so long as the public Treasury was at their disposal. Economy became desirable only when government funds were to be expended on war-veterans and on the unemployed.

While this plundering was taking place under the direction of sharpers hypocritically posing as patriotic »dollar-a-year« officials, the young manhood of the nation was risking its life in the army at $30 a month.

The basis for many prosecutions was laid by the Graham Committee, and there were indictments of various minor figures. But there were no convictions. By November, 1925, the last of the indictments was quashed.[26]

At a public hearing conducted by a Committee of the United States Senate, the following testimony was given by Department of Justice investigators and the United States District Attorney of Nashville:

 »That E. I. Du Pont de Nemours and Company and various of its subsidiaries had, by various devices, defrauded the government; in wholesale fashion on war contracts; that these enterprises, operating on a cost plus 5 per cent profit basis, had padded costs repklessly and had therefore been able to collect greatly inflated profits; that, for example, freight charges on bales of cotton weighing no more than five hundred pounds were billed as though the bales weighed more than two thousand pounds; that freight, for example, was charged for tonnage greatly exceeding car capacity; that the prices paid for raw materials varied greatly, apparently depending upon the identity of the seller.«

The Du Pont Company »patriotically« built the Old Hickory Powder Plant at Nashville for the government for $2. The cost of the plant was estimated in advance at $89,000,000, but the final cost was $108,000,000. According to the testimony of government experts, no less than 90 percent of the materials for the construction were purchased from Du Pont subsidiaries, which took the profits.

Attempts of Department of Justice men under Daugherty to bring a mountain of evidence against the Du Ponts into court were unavailing, it was testified. It turned out that certain men in the Department of Justice, with whom investigators were directed to confer, were formerly Du Pont lawyers. No real action was ever taken. Assistant Attorney General John W. H. Crim resigned without having succeeded in his efforts to get some action. The War Department, moreover, fought against the Department of Justice, some of the War Department officials being former Du Pont employees. [27]

There was also significant testimony about the deaths of 465 Du Pont employees in an influenza epidemic during the war period. According to the testimony of a Department of Justice auditor, George W. Storck, the bodies »were sold to the Potter’s Field at $11 a body.« He later explained that this $11 represented the price paid per corpse for burial in the Potter’s Field. Some bodies, he said, were sold for dissection to medical colleges. What happened, the record shows, was this: the Du Pont Engineering Company billed the government $75 for each body and under a contract with a local firm of undertakers turned the money over to it. In addition, according to Storck, »they would take these bodies from the plant and bring them to Weil Bros. Morgue in Nashville carrying the dead in the ambulance, charging $20 for that. . . . Pile them in, 6, 7 or 10 in the ambulance, and charge them $20 for each body.«[28] The undertakers also in many cases charged relatives of the deceased additional sums for the handling of the bodies. Moreover, according to Storck, the Du Pont Company in many instances paid over to the undertakers wages due to the deceased. Someone in the Department of Justice, the testimony shows, had given the Du Ponts in advance the Storck memorandum so they could prepare a plausible defense.

The Financial Crisis of 1929

The investigation of Wall Street by the Senate Banking and Currency Committee in 1933 is reported in 8 thick, closely printed volumes of more than 10,000 pages. This investigation was preceded by the inquiry of 1932, the report of which fills 3 thick volumes. The findings of both have been supplemented by exhaustive inquiries of the Federal Trade Commission into the electric utilities companies and the American Telephone and Telegraph Company, by inquiries of the Senate Committee on Interstate Commerce into the looting of railroads by banks, and by special inquiries of the Securities and Exchange Commission. The record throughout is one of wrong-doing. The wrong-doing, indeed, was so complete, so thorough, so pervasive that it had neither beginning nor end, and baffles full comprehension in the lifetime of any single individual. It is, therefore, manifestly impossible to give a complete report. Selections from the evidence are therefore made (1) with the view to showing the general sanction given to the irregularities and intrigue by the rich and (2) with a view to showing that most of the rich were personally and almost exclusively involved, using their political power to confer upon themselves immunity.[29]

Senate Report No. 1455, Stock Market Practices, Banking and Currency Committee, 73rd Congress, 2nd session, relates that it was the largest banks and the largest corporations which threw artificially created surplus cash funds into the money market, to act like gasoline upon the speculative fires. The persons in control of these banks and corporations, as officers, directors, or stockholders, were the persons that contributed most heavily to the campaign funds of the two leading political parties. The continuity of policy was insured by the control the dominant elite of wealth exercised over the Federal Reserve System.

According to the Senate Report, in 1929 the 33 leading commercial banks, from Chase National and National City down through the list of New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and Chicago institutions, made thirty-four loans of $76,459,550 to stock-market pools and in 1930 they made forty-five such loans of $34,922,750 to pools. On their own account these banks themselves participated, through their securities affiliates, in 454 pools, whose objective was to unload stocks at artificially advanced prices upon a public misled by its newspapers and its political leaders. There were no fewer than 105 separate Stock Exchange issues subject to pool manipulation in 1929, according to the Senate Report.[30]

The origin of bank securities affiliates, it will be recalled, was political. The National City Bank received permission from President Taft to launch the National City Company. The Solicitor General in the Taft Administration, as we have seen, decided that the affiliates were illegal, but he was overruled and his report hidden until the Senate Banking and Currency Committee brought it to light.

Credit from the banks to fuel the stock boom was supplemented by credit from the big corporations. Call loans to brokers in 1929 made by some leading corporations were as follows (in US dollars) [31]:

American Founders Corporation                                               23,629,166

American and Foreign Power (Morgan)                                   30,321,000

Anaconda Copper Mining Company (National City Bank) 32,500,000

Bethlehem Steel Corporation (Charles M. Schwab)              157,450,000

Chrysler Corporation (Walter P. Chrysler)                               60,150,000

Cities Service Company (Henry L. Dohcrty)                             41,900,000

Consolidated Oil Corporation (Harry F. Sinclair)                    15,000,000

Electric Bond and Share Company (Morgan)                          157,157,900

General Foods Company (E. F. Hutton)                                        3,400,000

International Nickel Company (Morgan)                                       500,000

General Motors Corporation (Morgan-Du Pont-Fisher)         25,000,000

Pan-American Petroleum and Transport Company (Rockefeller) 8,000,000

Radio Corporation (Morgan-Rockefeller)                               1,000,000

Radio-Keith-Orpheum Corporation (Morgan-Rockefeller) 8,000,000

Standard Oil of New Jersey (Rockefeller)                             97,824,000

Tri-Contincntal Corporation                                                    62,150,000

United Corporation (Morgan)                                                    3,000,000

United Gas and Improvement Company (Morgan)               3,600,000

The participation of the leading industrial corporations in the money market was unprecedented.

Individuals as well as corporations and banks placed funds in the call-money market. Pierre S. du Pont, for example, had $32,000,000 of cash in the market for his personal account. J. P. Morgan and Company had nearly $110,000,000 in the call-loan market.

For profits to be made on these funds the public had to be induced to speculate, and it was so induced by misleading newspaper accounts, many of them bought and paid for by the brokers that operated the pools. No losses were incurred in lending money, and no losses were possible, for as soon as a speculator’s margin was impaired he was sold out and the loan to the broker was liquidated.

Banks and corporations behind the speculative commotion were far from abstract entities. Personalities lay in ambush behind these institutions, and they were and are personalities from the richest hereditary family dynasties ever seen in the history of the world.

On the board of the National City Bank, for example, sat Cleveland Earl Dodge, son of the late Cleveland H. Dodge, vice-president of the Phelps Dodge Corporation, and head of a fortune dating back to the Civil War; Cyrus Hall McCormick, chairman of the International Harvester Company and representative of another Civil War fortune; Percy R. Pyne, representative of a fortune antedating the Civil War; Fred J. Fisher, representative of a twentieth-century automobile fortune (General Motors and Fisher Bodies) ; James A. Stillman, surviving head of a financial fortune dating back to the 1880’s; Percy A. Rockefeller, son of John D. Rockefeller’s brother; Beekman Winthrop, of the pre-Civil War landed aristocracy; and Nicholas F. Brady, son of Anthony Brady. Among the lesser figures on this board were Sosthenes Behn, president of the International Telephone and Telegraph Company (Morgan), William Cooper Procter (Procter and Gamble), Gordon S. Rentschler, Edward A. Deeds, John D. Ryan (Anaconda Copper), Robert W. Stewart (Standard Oil of Indiana), P. A. S. Franklin (International Mercantile Marine), and Joseph P. Grace (Grace Lines).

On the board of the Chase National Bank sat these representatives of established rich families: J. N. Hill, son of the late James J. Hill, 19th century railroad promoter; Henry O. Havemeyer (American Sugar Refining Company), Jeremiah Milbank (law), Theodore Pratt (Standard Oil), and F. W. Roebling. Sitting with them were agents of dynastic wealth like D. C. Jackling, of the Utah Copper Company (Guggenheim), Charles M. Schwab of Bethlehem Steel, Alfred P. Sloan, Jr., of General Motors, and F. H. Brownell of American Smelting and Refining Company (Guggenheim).

On the board of the Guaranty Trust Company, directing its participation in situations like the Van Sweringen bubble, sat E. J. Berwind, head of a great 19th century coal fortune; Marshall Field, representative of a great 19th century merchandising and real-estate fortune; R. W. Goelet, head of a great 19th century real-estate and banking fortune; W. A. Harriman, legatee of a great 19th century railroad fortune; Clarence H. Mackay, heir to a great 19th century mining and communications fortune; Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney, scion of two great 19th century fortunes, one in railroads, the other in petroleum; and Harry Payne Whitney, heir of two great Standard Oil fortunes. There were also T. W. Lamont and George Whitney, Morgan partners, Cornelius F. Kelley of Anaconda Copper, and Grayson M.P. Murphy.[32]

George F. Baker and his son alone sat on the board of the First National Bank as representatives of first-line 19th century fortunes. Directors with them included Myron C. Taylor (U. S. Steel) and Walter S. Gifford (American Telephone and Telegraph). But on the board of the First Security Company, securities affiliate of the bank, were Arthur Curtiss James (Phelps Dodge Corporation and various railroads), L. W. Hill, son of the late James J. Hill, J. P. Morgan, and Thomas W. Lamont.

First-line established dynasties of wealth were represented on the board of the New York Trust Company by Robert W. de Forest (law), Walter Jennings (Standard Oil), and Vanderbilt Webb, descendant of Cornelius Vanderbilt I. Other directors included Charles Hayden and Grayson M.P. Murphy of the Morgan camp.

First-line fortunes on the board of the Bankers Trust Company were represented by Pierre S. du Pont, Horace Havemeyer, Herbert L. Pratt (Standard Oil), Winthrop W. Aldrich (Rockefeller), and Arthur Woods, Rockefeller executive married to a Morgan daughter. The secondary Altman fortune was represented by Michael Friedsam. Others on the board included John J. Raskob (Du Pont and General Motors), Samuel Mather (steel), Stephen Birch (Kennecott Copper, Morgan-Guggenheim), and James G. Harbord (Radio Corporation).

A wealthy family, but of lesser standing, on the board of the Irving Trust Company was represented by William Skinner (textiles). On the board of the Bank of New York and Trust Company sat Cleveland Earl Dodge, R. C. Hill, W. Emlen Roosevelt, of the late President’s family, and Allen Wardwell, of J. P. Morgan’s law firm. On the board of the Equitable Trust Company were Otto Kahn, H. R. Winthrop, Bertram Cutler (Rockefeller), and T. M. Debevoise (Rockefeller). The board of the Corn Exchange Bank included Robert Lehman, Philip Lehman, F. D. Bartow (Morgan), W. H. Nichols and C. H. Nichols, both of the Nichols Copper Company and the Allied Chemical and Dye Corporation. On the Chemical

National Bank board were Robert Goelet and Philip Roosevelt, a cousin of the late Theodore Roosevelt; and on the Bank of Manhattan board were Stephen Baker, Paul M. Warburg, Marshall Field, Walter Jennings, and Michael Friedsam.

These men and others from the wealthiest families also manned the boards of the leading industrial corporations. The Morgan partners in 1929, for example, held directorates in 89 corporations controlling assets of $18,000,000,000, equivalent at the time to the national debt. The Morgan directorates interlocked with additional directorates of other individuals, giving J. P. Morgan and Company a pervasive influence throughout American industry. In short, the wealthy families stood united behind the disastrous policies, political and corporate, of the 1920’s.

Of all these wealthy bank and corporation directors only one, Paul M. Warburg, spoke out, and at a very late date, early in 1929, against the politico-financial speculative scandal. Warburg, to be sure, indicated by his remarks that he was not concerned about the public interest, but about the threat of disaster to the Wall Street community. His warnings were generally scoffed at by the newspapers or were given an inconspicuous position that contrasted oddly with the bold display given the provocatively encouraging remarks of Charles E. Mitchell, chairman of the National City Bank, and others.

The bank directors and big stockholders were permitted, for example, to buy stock units of Boeing, which became United Aircraft, at $590 per unit, while the units were being quoted to the public at $771 in the open market. The differential of $181 per unit amounted to a gift. Percy Rockefeller received 400 of these stock units, James A. Stillman 150 units, Francis Bartow, Morgan partner, 645 units, and Edward A. Deeds 200 units. To make unloading easy, speculative enthusiasm was stirred up by planted newspaper rumors and by sudden sharp advances in price.

Not deeming the presents of stock and of stock dividends from the airplane companies sufficient, the National City group voted itself enormous salaries and bonuses. F. B. Rentschler, for example, in 1929 received $429,999 in salaries and bonuses from United Aircraft, and in 1930 he got $242,150.61. From 1927 through 1933 he received more than $1,250,000 in cash from the United Aircraft Company, in addition to the fantastically huge stock profit realized on an investment of less than $300.

From 1926 through 1932 the government gave this company $40,174,412, and the company profited by $1,000,000 annually on each original investment of $750. On the other hand the airplane pilots, who daily took great risks, received very low pay, as a Senate committee discovered in the investigation of air-mail contracts.[33]

So much has been said about the indirect value to society of the great fortunes that it is necessary to stress once more in the case of the privately owned airplane industry that it was financed in its initial stages by the government and by pioneer entrepreneurs who have since been frozen out. The Wright brothers received practically nothing; obscure interlopers like Rentschler and Deeds, and the aggregates of private finance for which they acted, reaped the harvest. But this has also been the story in the shipping, the railroad, the automobile, the radio, and other industries. It was Andrew Carnegie who said: »Pioneering don’t pay.«

The National City Bank participated in the unloading of more than $100,000,000 of Peruvian bonds, although the bank’s agents in Peru warned that the country was economically unsound. The bonds soon passed into default. Huge commissions were paid to agents that induced the Peruvian authorities to float these bonds. J. and W. Seligman and Company, participants in the underwriting syndicate, paid Juan Leguia, son of the President of Peru, $415,000 to obtain the bond issue.

During and after the war the bank lent money to Cuban sugar planters on the basis of wartime prices. When sugar prices slumped, the planters were unable to pay $30,000,000 owing to the bank. Federal bank examiners criticized these loans, upon which there was slight possibility of realizing. The bank therefore in 1927 formed the General Sugar Corporation to assume the obligations, and on the day this corporation was formed, the bank increased its capital from $50,000,000 to $75,000,000 by selling more stock. The increased capital was turned over to the National City Company, which with this money bought the stock of the General Sugar Corporation. The sugar corporation then gave the National City Bank $23,000,000 of the same money, plus notes for $11,000,000 on $34,000,000 of its obligation. All this was a questionable bookkeeping transaction to expunge the bad debt on the books of the bank, and it remained a secret until the Senate discovered it in 1933.

The Guaranty Trust Company (Morgan), 3rd largest commercial bank of the United States i 1920’s, engaged in similar off-color operations. With the National City Company it joined in selling $50,000,000 of Peruvian bonds in 1927, sharing in the huge “spread” of five points that accrued to the underwriting syndicate. With Kuhn, Loeb and Company, which also helped itself in the general scramble for unwholesome profits, it sold between 1925 and 1929 $90,000,000 of Chilean bonds, since defaulted, and failed to mention in the prospectuses that Chile was in the grip of a military dictatorship that ruled over a hostile populace. The chairman of Guaranty Trust was William C. Potter, erstwhile agent of the Guggenheims.

Absence of rules

Did you know, that USA considered insider trading as legal until 1933? It was not until 27th May, 1933, that US Congress passed the Securities Act of 1933, which was enacted as a result of the market crash of 1929. Here you can find published the history of USA insider trading, from 1611 to 2012, with an emphasis on Congressional insider trading.

Historical timeline

At Wikipedia we can learn that Securities Act of 1933 was :

part of the New Deal, with the Act drafted by Benjamin V. Cohen, Thomas Corcoran, and James M. Landis and signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt

This shoud trigger multiple red flag alerts and I would again refer you to Josh’s meticulous disclosure of both FDR and New Deal for what they really were – the former was an actor and the latter was a true racket.

Although Josh listed and described many of FDR’s Brain Trust members, a group of informal advisers to the President, it appears that Benjamin Victor Cohen was another member. As attorney he served as the legal representative for the World Zionist Organization during the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. The “Make Germany Pay” attendees agreed to hand over Palestine to the zionists as a »pound of flesh« for the efforts of world zionist in drawing the US into World War I. During World War II he was general counsel to the Office of War Mobilization and Recoversion. Cohen was later at Dumbarton Oaks (creating the United Nations Security Council), Potsdam and the Teheran Conference. Much of Cohen’s work during the New Deal was in conjunction with Corcoran. Together they were known as the »Gold Dust Twins« and appeared on the cover of Time magazine’s September 12, 1938, edition.

Cohen & Corcoran - Time front cover
Cohen and Corcoran, “Gold Dust Twins”

Thomas Gardiner Corcoran was another advisor in FDR’s brain trust during the New Deal, and later, a close friend and advisor to President Lyndon B. Johnson. Nicknamed “Tommy the Cork” by Roosevelt, Corcoran was the outgoing yang to Cohen’s shy and retiring yin. A protégé of Felix Frankfurter, Corcoran was considered the leader of the “New Dealers,” a group of young lawyers that became prominent within the Roosevelt administration in the wake of the renewed economic recession of 1937. Corcoran went into private practice as a lawyer along with former U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chief counsel William J. Dempsey, whom Corcoran had installed in that job in 1938. Dempsey and Corcoran managed the takeover of New York radio station WMCA for Corcoran’s friend, Undersecretary of Commerce Edward J. Noble. That resulted in both an FCC and a congressional investigation.

James McCauley Landis – served as a member of the Federal Trade Commission (1933–1934), as a member of the Securities and Exchange Commission (1934–1937) and as chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (1935–1937). FDR then sent him to Egypt as American Director of Economic Operations in the Middle East (1943–1945). A friend of the Kennedy family for years, he served as a legal advisor to Joseph P. Kennedy and as Special Counsel to President John F. Kennedy. To remind you quickly, JFK was most famous for his fake assassination.

While learning about this particuar tentacle of financial cartel, so-called stocks and stock exhange mechanism (and according attached values), it is absolutely neccessary to read about the brief history of related economic terms.

For better understanding of how we ended up living in the capitalist mess among financial trusts, funds, investment banks, stock exchanges and regularly occuring financial crisis, all dominating our lives, we need to look at the Dutch East India Company, or Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie in modern Dutch spelling; VOC.

149px-VOC-Amsterdam.svg
The VOC monogram was possibly the first globally-recognized corporate logo. The letter »A« stands for Amsterdam’s lodge, one out of six within the organizational structure

As Wikipedia leads :

VOC was originally established as a chartered company in 1602, when the Dutch government granted it a 21-year monopoly on the Dutch spice trade. A pioneering early model of the multinational corporation in its modern sense, the company is also often considered to be the world’s first true transnational corporation.[note 2][4] In the early 1600s, the VOC became the first company in history to issue bonds and shares of stock to the general public.[note 3] In other words, the VOC was the world’s first formally listed public company,[note 4] because it was the first corporation to be ever actually listed on an official (formal) stock exchange.[note 5][7] 

But VOC was much more than super-profitable enterprise and it is astonishing what can be read about it even at Wikipedia:

»VOC pioneered globalization and invented what might be the first modern bureaucracy.«

»VOC fostered disease, slavery and exploitation on a scale never before imaged.«

»The company [VOC] was arguably the first megacorporation the world has ever seen, possessing quasi-governmental powers, including the ability to wage war, imprison and execute convicts, negotiate treaties, coin money and establish colonies.«

»The VOC’s territories were even larger than some countries.«

»By 1669, the VOC was the richest company the world had ever seen, with over 150 merchant ships, 40 warships, 50,000 employees, a private army of 10,000 soldiers and a dividend payment of 40% on the original investment.«

»…the fleet of the British East India Company (EIC), the VOC’s nearest competitor, was a distant second to its total traffic with 2,690 ships and a mere one-fifth the tonnage of goods carried by the VOC.«

The VOC, as has been stated above, started off as a commercial and maritime enterprise. The original setup was simple: sail a fleet to Asia, buy spices, sail back, sell spices at the highest possible profit, and equip another fleet to do the same. By implication, VOC warfare started off as being naval.

Although the pre-VOC fleets as well as the first VOC fleet did not have explicit military goals, they certainly did go armed. In Europe, trade was also quite a violent activity in these times. Merchant ships trading within Europe always went armed, as piracy was rife and market competition was practiced by coercion and violence as often as not.[34] The Dutch fleets sailing to Asia not only had to be prepared for what might await them on the other side of the Cape: they might run into trouble with Spanish fleets before they had even left European waters.

The centralization of the VOC administration in Asia, as well as the increasing number of ships that the VOC had operating in Asian waters, led to what many authors describe as a maritime hegemony of the VOC, as early as halfway into the 17th century. The VOC ruled supreme at sea, both with respect to other European colonial powers and towards the Asian societies it encountered.[35]

In the years after 1642, when Antonio van Diemen had just made a great number of conquests on the Portuguese, which all needed to be guarded, about 1000 soldiers were sent eastwards each year. The total number of soldiers would increase up to what must have approached 10,000 by the end of the 17th century. Pieter van Dam wrote at the end of the 17th century that 8,200 soldiers should suffice for the Company’s aims in Asia, in what appears to be a suggestion for cutting back on costs. The VOC, in addition to its European soldiers, had its mercenaries, its locally recruited soldiers and its allies.[36]

The extensive reliance on artillery and firearms made gunpowder the lifeblood of the Company’s defences. Each Company ship leaving from the Dutch Republic was equipped with up to 10,000 pounds of it. This was not just meant for the defence of the ship: the demand for gunpowder in Asia was also supplied from the reserves that the fleets took with them: when the ship arrived in Batavia, the  authorities there simply redistributed the gunpowder in the way they saw fit.[37]

What can we find about some of the names behind VOC, the founders, shareholders and Governor-Generals?

Isaac Le Maire – applied for shares for the sum of 85,000 guilders and he became the largest shareholder in the VOC. Brother of Salomon Le Maire, father of Jacob and Sara.

Jan Pietersz Coen – alternatively Jan Pieterszoon Coen, held two terms as VOC’s Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies territory. More extensive actions perpetrated by order of Coen, are recounted in a BBC Television documentary series »The Spice Trail« (episode 2: »Nutmeg and Cloves«). The series also contains details of wanton acts of destruction committed by the Dutch (?) in the spice Banda Islands of (now) eastern Indonesia, the purpose of which was to create scarcity of natural produce in order to maintain price levels. In 1621, he led an armed assault of Banda Islands using Japanese mercenaries, taking the island of Lonthor by force after encountering some fierce resistance, mostly by cannons that the natives had acquired from the English. Many thousands of inhabitants were massacred and replaced by slave labour from other islands to make way for Dutch planters. Of the 15,000 inhabitants it is believed only about 1,000 survived on the island. 800 people were deported to Batavia[38].

Laurens Reael – Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies from 1616 to 1619 and an admiral of the Dutch navy from 1625 to 1627. His father was Laurens Jacobsz Reael, and his mother was Geerte Pietersdr, whose father was Pieter Meeusz den Hartog[39]. Hartog and de/den Hartog are Dutch surnames meaning »(the) duke« (in modern Dutch »hertog«). Hartog is also a Jewish given name and surname, derived from »hert« as Dutch word for »deer«.

The full list of VOC’s Governor-Generals can be found here, many details of Dutch and Portugese conquests can be found here.

Other trade companies of the age of the sail

Similar to the case of In England, King William III sought to modernize the kingdom’s finances to pay for its wars, and thus the first government bonds were issued in 1693 and the Bank of England was set up the following year. Soon after, English joint-stock companies began going public.

As the very end, I should as well remind you that New York city was originally called New Amsterdam, and it was part of the colony conceived by the Dutch West India Company (WIC) in 1621 to capitalise on the North American fur trade. New Amsterdam was renamed New York on 8th  September, 1664, in honor of the Duke of York (later James II of England), in whose name the English had captured it.


Footnotes:

[1] What seems strange to notice is the last name used as the first name or vice-versa. We can trace Roelof’s mother as Roosje Isaac Smit, whose mother was Betje Barend Baruch Cohen and maternal grandfather Barend Baruch Isaac Cohen. So was his first name actually Isaac? His daughter’s maiden last name (Isaac, married Smit) suggests this was not the case and that Isaac was actually her father’s last name, with Cohen dropped in the process of marriage.

[2] Baker, p. 189

[3] Ibid, p.190

[4] Ibid, p.190

[5] Ibid, p.191

[6] Ibid, p.192

[7] Ibid, p.192

$24,000,000 based on US dollar value in 1925 is worth $338,280,685.71 in 2017.

[8] Ibid, p.193

[9] Ibid, p.193

As Lundberg wrote in his own footnote there :

»Mr. Baruch, in various appearances before legislative committees, has stressed that during the war he owned no stock in the companies that benefited from war orders and that he conducted no market operations for his own account. This is true. What Baruch did was to route the lion’s share of business into the hands of interests that had

been responsible for his rise to financial eminence before the war and that have been associated with him, to his immense personal profit, since the war.«

[10] Ibid, p.193

[11] Ibid, p.194

[12] Ibid, p.195

[13] Ibid

[14] Ibid, p.196

[15] Ibid, p.196

[16] Ibid

[17] Ibid

[18] Ibid, .197

[19] Ibid, p.197

[20] Ibid, p.198

[21] Ibid

[22] Ibid

[23] Ibid, p.199

[24] Ibid, p.200

[25] Ibid, p.201

[26] Ibid

[27] Ibid, p.202

[28] Ibid, p.203

[29] P. 219

[30] P.220

[31] P.221

[32] P. 223

[33] P.227

[34] Jan Glete, “Warfare at sea” in: Black, “War in the Early Modern World”, p. 25-52 , http://www.gbv.de/dms/sub-hamburg/229260675.pdf

[35] Tristan Mostert, “Chain of command – The military system of the Dutch East India Company 1655-1663”, Master’s thesis, 2007;  http://vocwarfare.net/pdf/chain-of-command-complete.pdf

[36] Ibid, p. 19

The first non-European troops ever to be incorporated into the VOC forces were 70 Japanese samurai, recruited as early as 1612. The head of the Hirado factory wasn’t the first European to decide to make use of the fighting skills of the Japanese, as the Portuguese and Spaniards had done so before. More Japanese were hired since, until the Tokugawa regime forbade the practice in 1621. They were the only ones for a while: in the first decades of the voc’s activities, mutual trust and understanding between the voc and various local societies was as yet not of such a nature that it would be conceivable that Asians would fight with or for the Company.

[37] Ibid, p.34

[38] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_Pieterszoon_Coen#Life

[39] https://www.geni.com/people/Pieter-Meeusz-in-den-gouden-Reael/6000000013657997219

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7 thoughts on “Business as usual

  1. Good lord, Vex, this is indicative of the true scandal of the era, passage of the Federal Reserve Act, which turned eh money supply over to private bankers, who then systematically attacked the wealth of the nation, using war as their foothold. It was a looting extravaganza. You are on a roll.

    One small note, and only to emphasize and not disagree, has to do with Anaconda Copper, a Rockefeller enterprise that owned my home state of Montana during a phase of its history nicknamed the “copper collar.” The key word there is “history,” as it is presumed the era ended. The state’s major newspapers were all owned by Anaconda, but were sold off to Lee Enterprises, which runs them to this day. The state’s biggest resource, the Berkeley Pit open pit copper mine, was exhausted in the mid-20th century, and pumps that held back ground water were turned off, and to this day the pit has been filling with water so toxic that it is thought to be a mining resourcs for arsenic and other heavy metals. I have suggested in letters to the editor when I lived there that the pit be dedicated as a national recreation area, and that local politicians be required to water ski there once yearly.

    Right next to the Berkeley Pit is another mine still in operation, part of the original Rockefeller holdings, and run by none other than Dennis Washington, who I have written about. What I suggested (my blog post about him mysteriously disappeared) was that ownership of the mine never changed, and that it is still a Rockefeller Enterprise, with Washington (note the name) merely appointed manager. So too have the state’s newspapers never changed ownership for real. The copper collar is still in place. Lee newspapers are some of the worst journalism around, even given the low standards why which all American journalism is judged.

    Anyway, with your permission, I want to link to this very important piece of work, an essential chronicle of how bankers can steal the resources of a nation and concentrate them in a few hands, and done without tedious genealogy.

    Like

  2. That’s a very interesting connection indeed, Rockefeller – Lee Enterprise – Washingotn, no wonder your blog post disappeared. I guess they don’t want your attention, just your money occasionally. Or even better, permanent instalments.

    I don’t mind at all, just feel free to link. US readers should read with interest, these people still live among you.

    Like

  3. Hi Vexman. There’s something wonky going on with my link to your account, so I didn’t even know that you had posted new articles. I haven’t read this yet, but it looks imposing, as usual.

    To be honest, I’m just going to go back to your first post and work from there. Your articles are very dense with information, but I need to read it all as an aid in my research. I plan to have a website launching in the spring, so having an intimate knowledge of your work will be an immense help and also prevent me from needlessly researching subjects that you have already established.

    Finally, I’m going to assume that English is not your first language and commend you for your mastery of it. You are much more articulate than 95% of the Americans that I encounter on a daily basis, including myself. Keep on keeping on, and thanks for your time and devotion to the truth.

    Like

  4. Very fitting to leave the flag comparison at the end to make your point. This was popping in my head as I was reading this piece. Problem (they create) Reaction (they stir up) Solution (all the rackets to line their own pockets). Yep business as usual.

    Like

  5. Thank you for compiling this, and your other extremely detailed reports. Any lingering scrap of respect I might’ve had for these self-appointed ruling families has now dissipated, along with any hope for their redemption. No compassion, no humanity, no scruples, and absolutely no shame. Classless parasites. Their audacity and contempt for their fellow man, off whom they continue to prosper, completely boggles the mind, at least this mind. To plunder billions and trillions with impunity but then to deny veterans and their families a decent living standard or any fair recompense is the worst part. I suppose they enjoy watching the ‘üntermenschen’ starving and fighting for table crumbs. If that is what money does to the human soul I’m glad I am poor.

    Like

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