Antitrust and the Formation of the Postwar World

Kobo ebook | August 14, 2012

byWyatt Wells

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Today antitrust law shapes the policy of almost every large company, no matter where headquartered. But this wasn't always the case. Before World War II, the laws of most industrial countries tolerated and even encouraged cartels, whereas American statutes banned them. In the wake of World War II, the United States devoted considerable resources to building a liberal economic order, which Washington believed was necessary to preserving not only prosperity but also peace after the war. Antitrust was a cornerstone of that policy. This fascinating book shows how the United States sought to impose-and with what results-its antitrust policy on other nations, especially in Europe and Japan.

Wyatt Wells chronicles how the attack on cartels and monopoly abroad affected everything from energy policy and trade negotiations to the occupation of Germany and Japan. He shows how a small group of zealots led by Thurman Arnold, who became head of the Justice Department's Antitrust Division in 1938, targeted cartels and large companies throughout the world: IG Farben of Germany, Mitsui and Mitsubishi of Japan, Imperial Chemical Industries of Britain, Philips of the Netherlands, DuPont and General Electric of the United States, and more. Wells brilliantly shows how subsequently, the architects of the postwar economy-notably Lucius Clay, John McCloy, William Clayton, Jean Monnet, and Ludwig Erhard-uncoupled political ideology from antitrust policy, transforming Arnold's effort into a means to promote business efficiency and encourage competition.

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Today antitrust law shapes the policy of almost every large company, no matter where headquartered. But this wasn't always the case. Before World War II, the laws of most industrial countries tolerated and even encouraged cartels, whereas American statutes banned them. In the wake of World War II, the United States devoted considerable...

Wyatt Wells is associate professor of history at Auburn University at Montgomery. He is the author of Economist in an Uncertain World: Arthur F. Burns and the Federal Reserve, 1970-1978.

other books by Wyatt Wells

Format:Kobo ebookPublished:August 14, 2012Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231502737

ISBN - 13:9780231502733

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction
1. The Cartel Ideal
2. The Context of Antitrust
3. Reform versus Mobilization
4. Making the World Safe for Competition
5. Among Unbelievers: Antitrust in Germany and Japan
6. The New Order in Practice: The Cases of Oil and Steel
Conclusions
Essay on sources

Editorial Reviews

A carefully crafted volume that should be of great interest to students of business and political history. With style and verve, Wells sheds much-needed light on a murky, widely misunderstood, but vital subject. With an insight and thoroughness seldom encountered in histories of international cartels, he probes the underlying logic that led to their creation and persistence. This is a book that will become the standard in its field.