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The Rise and Fall of Bank Control in the United States: 1890-1939


  • Miguel Cantillo Simon

    (University of California, Berkeley)


This article studies how equity ownership and corporate control were separated in the United States. Initially, railroads and industrial firms were tightly controlled by a few shareholders; this situation was altered in the 1890s by massive mergers and reorganizations, which allowed private banks to control railroads and industrial firms. Between 1912 and 1939, bank control faded away as a result of a political reaction against financial institutions. Using stock market data from 1914, I show that the eviction of banks from corporate boards depressed firm values by about 7 percent, and that part of this value came from cartelization.

Suggested Citation

  • Miguel Cantillo Simon, 1998. "The Rise and Fall of Bank Control in the United States: 1890-1939," Finance 9803005, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpfi:9803005
    Note: Sent pdf file in binary Revised January 1997.

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jackwerth, Jens Carsten & Rubinstein, Mark, 1996. " Recovering Probability Distributions from Option Prices," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(5), pages 1611-1632, December.
    2. Breeden, Douglas T & Litzenberger, Robert H, 1978. "Prices of State-contingent Claims Implicit in Option Prices," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(4), pages 621-651, October.
    3. Rubinstein, Mark, 1994. " Implied Binomial Trees," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(3), pages 771-818, July.
    4. Mark Rubinstein., 1994. "Implied Binomial Trees," Research Program in Finance Working Papers RPF-232, University of California at Berkeley.
    5. Cox, John C. & Ross, Stephen A. & Rubinstein, Mark, 1979. "Option pricing: A simplified approach," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 229-263, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gorton, Gary & Winton, Andrew, 2003. "Financial intermediation," Handbook of the Economics of Finance,in: G.M. Constantinides & M. Harris & R. M. Stulz (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Finance, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 8, pages 431-552 Elsevier.
    2. Eric Hilt, 2014. "History of American Corporate Governance: Law, Institutions, and Politics," Annual Review of Financial Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 6(1), pages 1-21, December.
    3. Stefan ARPING, 2000. "Banking, Commerce, and Antitrust," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 00.22, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP, revised May 2002.
    4. Eric Hilt, 2014. "Corporate Governance and the Development of Manufacturing Enterprises in Nineteenth-Century Massachusetts," NBER Chapters,in: Enterprising America: Businesses, Banks, and Credit Markets in Historical Perspective, pages 73-102 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Carney Richard, 2011. "The Domestic Political Origins of Global Financial Standards: The Agrarian Roots of American Securities Regulations," Business and Politics, De Gruyter, vol. 13(3), pages 1-41, October.
    6. Mervyn K. Lewis, 2014. "Principles of Islamic corporate governance," Chapters,in: Handbook on Islam and Economic Life, chapter 13, pages iii-iii Edward Elgar Publishing.
    7. Ueda, Kenichi, 2013. "Banks as coordinators of economic growth and stability: Microfoundation for macroeconomy with externality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(1), pages 322-352.
    8. Higgins, Huong N., 2013. "Conflicts of interest between banks and firms: Evidence from Japanese mergers," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 156-178.
    9. Spagnolo, Giancarlo, 1998. "Debt as a (Credible) Collusive Device, or: "Everybody Happy but the Consumer"," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 243, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 01 Aug 2004.
    10. Josef Schroth, 2012. "Financial Crisis Resolution," Staff Working Papers 12-42, Bank of Canada.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage
    • G3 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance
    • K21 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Antitrust Law
    • L41 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Monopolization; Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices
    • N21 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913


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