Legendary lawyer of the people, Louis Brandeis, displays his knowledge of the banking financial system and describes how it asserts staggering control over the economy of the United States. As relevant today as it was when first published in 1914, this book serves to demystify aspects of the banking system which are lost on those who are not employed within the finance sector. Explaining how banks have become a powerful oligarchy, Brandeis describes how the money trusts hold enormous and growing influence upon almost every large industry in the United States and much of the wider world. The monopolies of money trusts, and their role in controlling the economy, is described in detail. The deposits and savings of millions of ordinary Americans are put to work by the likes of J. P. Morgan who both lend to and purchase other banks and parts of companies. The trend towards small banks combining into larger entities, and the anti-competitive monopolies this entails are detailed. If mistakes are made within these large banks, the knock-on effects to the economy are wide-ranging and potentially dire. For his part, Brandeis suggests a number of solutions - the strict regulation by government of the financial markets to stop what he terms 'The Curse of Bigness' chief among them. He also recommends the popular media inform and educate people about how the monopoly trusts and banks rob the economy of dynamism, rendering it inefficient and prone to recessions and depressions. Many of the dysfunctions which Brandeis describes would go on to contribute to the Great Depression of the late 1920s and 1930s. Several of the reforms Brandeis promoted would be incorporated into the regulations enacted in the years following the economic crash.
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