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Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street by John Brooks

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10

Stockholder Season

A FEW YEARS AGO, a European diplomat was quoted in the Times as saying, “The American economy has become so big that it is beyond the imagination to comprehend. But now on top of size you are getting rapid growth as well. It is a situation of fundamental power unequalled in the history of the world.” At about the same time, A. A. Berle wrote, in a study of corporate power, that the five hundred or so corporations that dominate that economy “represent a concentration of power over economics which makes the medieval feudal system look like a Sunday-school party.” As for the power within those corporations, it clearly rests, for all practical purposes, with their directors and their professional managers (often not substantial ...

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