American Industry In The 1980s

465 Words2 Pages
AFTER A HUNDRED YEARS of attempting to come to grips with alleged monopolies, no one expected the 1980s and 1990s to become a rev­ olution in industrial organization and a boom for Wall Street's mergers­ and-acquisitions specialists. Yet American industry was on the verge of its greatest change since the days of Gould and Vanderbilt. To add some humor and sarcasm to the financial trendiness of the 1980s, an off-Broad­ way play with a distinctly Brandeisian tone went on nationwide tour. Other People's Money was a satire of all of the favorite corporate raider devices of the decade, including poison pills, shark repellents, and greenmail. Based upon past experience, the slowdown in economic growth and the ebbing of the conglomerate trend suggested that large corporations were…show more content…
In fact, some of the largest and traditionally most vulnerable industries, such as steel and oil, were making plans to merge. Apparently corporate America and its investment bankers were correctly gauging the waning influence of the Antitrust Division even before it became readily apparent to legislators. MONOPOLIES HAVE A LONG and colorful history in the United States. They have usually been associated with industry, especially in the post-Civil War period. But their history is much older, originating in Elizabethan England. By the time the American colonies became inde­ pendent, the terms monopoly and antimonopolist were already well estab­ lished. Yet nothing was written about monopolies in the Constitution, and no mention was made of them in the writings of the founding fathers. However, several states felt strongly enough about them to prohibit them in their constitutions in the months following independence. Less than
Open Document