Conspiracy Nation -- Vol. 12  Num. 24
                     ("Quid coniuratio est?")


[Excerpts, below, except where indented, from The Autobiography of Lincoln Steffens]

"Amalgamated Copper was begotten in 1898, born in 1899, and in the first five years of its existence plundered the public to the extent of over $100 million. It was a creature of that incubator of trust and corporation frauds, the State of New Jersey." -- Thomas W. Lawson (qtd. in CN 11.10)

James B. Dill was the man who put through in the State of New Jersey the laws to enable the organization of trusts and combines [monopolies], to free corporations, to free them to do whatever they pleased.

"On April 6, 1998, the largest merger in history occurred: Citicorp and The Travelers Group joined to become Citigroup. (Hmmm..... Do you think there are going to be layoffs at Citigroup?) In the April 27, 1998 issue of The Nation magazine, the interesting legal strategy behind the merger is noted. It seems that the merger between Citicorp and Travelers =is illegal=. But, writes Doug Henwood, 'the parties figure they can get the law changed. If you're rich enough, you can present the government with a fait accompli and have the law you'd like to violate repealed.'" -- CN 12.07

James B. Dill was the man who brought Andrew Carnegie and J.P. Morgan together for the purchase and sale of the Carnegie steel properties and so laid the basis of the United States Steel Company, the biggest transaction and the biggest trust of those days [ca. 1890s].

April 13, 1998: NationsBank Corporation merges with BankAmerica Corporation. "The new asset maintains accounts for 30 percent of the nation's households." ("Notebook," by Lewis H. Lapham. Harper's magazine, August 1998.)

James B. Dill was always spoken of with awe as "James B. Dill." No familiarity with him; Mr. Morgan might be "J.P."; he was called that, but James B. Dill was always and only a name, a mystery, a wonder-worker in those terrible days when the reorganization of the debris of [the Panic of 1893] was beginning. No one but the masters ever saw him, and I thought of him as a silent, thinking, conspiring lawyer who sat still in the big back room of a great suite of offices.

May 7, 1998: Daimler-Benz acquires the Chrysler Corporation. (Source: Lapham; op. cit.)

For there was, at that time, a very general popular discontent, the choral accompaniment of the hard times; and the passion of the day was the anti-trust sentiment, which was a development of the old anti-monopoly cry of the earlier period.

May 11, 1998: SBC Communications acquires the Ameritech Corporation and takes possession of one-third of the nation's phone lines. (Source: Lapham; op. cit.)

One day some morning newspaper printed a "roast" of James B. Dill, the author of the criminal New Jersey trust laws. It showed how that State had enacted statutes under which the anti-trust laws of other States could be evaded and American public opinion defied. The article showed what was permitted: plain financial crimes.

May 21, 1998: The Seagram Company (Bronfman family; MCA records, Decca) buys PolyGram. "The new company amounts to nearly 25 percent of the American popular-music business." (Source: Lapham; op. cit.)

This clipping was handed to me, with instructions to go and see Mr. James B. Dill and get his denial or correction of these charges. Mr. Dill met me with a smiling welcome. "The abuses of the Jersey Trust laws must be exposed and stopped," he said. "Yes," he added, as he glanced at the clipping, "yes, all that is true, and more, much more." And to my amazement he opened up the criminal inside of the practices under the New Jersey legislation, a picture of such chicanery and fraud, of wild license and wrong-doing, that I could not, I dared not, take it all down; I was too confused.

June 1, 1998: American Home Products Corporation (Advil, Robitussin, Preparation H) acquires Monsanto Company (NutraSweet, Daypro, Demulen) for $34.4 billion in stock. (Source: Lapham; op. cit.)

"You are astonished?" Dill asked. "And well you may be. But you must write what I tell you. Don't quote me."

Why had he, of all men, provided ammunition for the exposure of the James B. Dill laws of New Jersey?

"Why, Dr. Innocent," he said, "I was advertising my wares and the business of my State. When you and the other reporters wrote about what financiers could and did actually do in Jersey, you were advertising our business -- free. For financiers are dubs. They have to be told, and they have to be told plain so that they get it, and so, as I say, while I gave you the facts to roast us with, what you wrote as 'bad' struck business men all over the United States as good, and they poured in upon us to our profit to do business with us to their profit."

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