Although the women of the United States are confined within the narrow circle of domestic life, and their situation is, in some respects, one of extreme dependence, I have nowhere seen woman occupying a loftier position; and if I were asked... in which I have spoken of so many important things done by Americans, to what the singular prosperity and growing strength of that people ought mainly to be attributed, I should reply, To the superiority of their women.

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wall Street and FDR: Chapter 4

FDR is the Consummate Salesman

This chapter finds Franklin wheeling and dealing with the firms located at good old 120 Broadway, NYC. (Let those who have read Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution understand.) The players you really need to pay attention to are Owen Young of General Electric who came up with the Young Plan of screwing over Germany. Then you've got S. Bertron, an investment banker, who along with FDR and Owen Young form a company called the American Investigation Corporation. Let's look at the correspondence from these playas:

Similar letters went to Chauncey McCormick, Frank S. Peabody of Peabody Coal, and Julius Rosenwald of Sears, Roebuck. These initiatives were followed up with personal dinners. For example, on April 21, 1921 FDR wrote to Frank Peabody:... is there any possibility you may be able to dine with Mr. Bertron, Mr. Snowden Fahnestock and several others of us at the Union Club next Monday evening at 7:30? Bertron is just back from the other side and has some very interesting data in regard to these commercial dirigibles, which have proved successful in Germany.FDR added that the group "will promise not to hold you up against your will." To which a reluctant Peabody telegraphed, "Impossible to be there, would not be at all afraid of being held up would have enjoyed visit with you immensely."To Edsel B. Ford FDR wrote, "I am sending this note by Mr. G. Hall Roosevelt, my brother-in-law, who is familiar with the whole matter." G. Hall Roosevelt, who happened to work for General Electric as a division manager, proved himself to be an alert negotiator, but not sufficiently so to win Ford during the early stages. 
Go to the book to read it all, I won't bore you with it here.
Here's a list of the subscribers as of February 1922:

W.E. BoeingPresident, Boeing Airplane Co.Seattle
Edward H. ClarkPresident, Homestake Mining Co.New York
Benedict CrowellCrowell & Little Construction Co.Cleveland
Arthur V. DavisPresident, Aluminum Co. of AmericaPittsburgh
L.L. DunhamEquitable Building AssociationNew York
Snowden A. FahnestockBertron, Griscom & Co.New York
Marshall Field, IIICapitalistChicago
E.M. HerrPresident, Westinghouse Electric & Mfg. Co.Pittsburgh
J.R. LovejoyVice President, General Electric CompanyNew York
John R. McCunePresident, Union National BankPittsburgh
Samuel McRobertsCapitalistNew York
R.B. MellonPresident, Mellon National BankPittsburgh
W.L. MellonPresident, Gulf Oil Co.Pittsburgh
Theodore PrattStandard Oil CompanyNew York
Franklin D. RooseveltVice President, Fidelity & Deposit Co.New York
Philip N. WrigleyVice President, Wm. Wrigley Co.Chicago
Owen D. YoungVice President, General Electric Co.New York

So what's the big deal? There is no big deal about all this so far. The scandal of AIC comes in when they swoop into Germany and try to rig the airship market with politics, patents, and landing rights. Sound familiar?

  • First, the A.I.C. was able through the personal intervention of Franklin D. Roosevelt to obtain seized patents as a gift or at a nominal price. The law required that such seized patents be offered for public bidding and not for the advantage of the former German owner. In practice, they were released behind closed doors as a result of private understanding between FDR and the Alien Property Custodian, possibly with Presidential intervention, although no trace of such assistance can be found. These patents, previously described as of no value, then became the subject of a contract involving payment of $250,000 to German citizen Schuette and the main asset of a company to promote airship construction in the U.S. On the face of the documents in the files, there is a prima facie violation of the law both by FDR and the Alien Property Custodian.
  • Second, these patents appear to have been released for the indirect benefit of a foreign party, a procedure subject to severe penalties under the law.
  • Third, the A.I.C. was able to obtain use of navy facilities valued at $1 million and official information from within the Navy Department.
  • Fourth, the only risk taken by the Wall Street operators was to put the enterprise together. The patents were obtained nominally, the funds came from outside New York City, and the expertise was German or that of the Ford Motor Company. Franklin Delano Roosevelt provided the political leverage to put together a deal that was on the face of it illegal and certainly a long way from the "public trust" FDR and his associates were fond of promoting in their writings and speeches.

Please check out the link at the bottom of this post to see the chapter from which this is based and the supporting footnotes. So we have a case of major insider trading and blatant illegalities.

From Vending Machines to Remingtons

Automatic postage stamp machine sales started in 1911, but were not really efficient outlets until development of the Shermack machine in the 1920s. In 1927 the Sanitary Postage Stamp Corporation was formed to market Shermack machines for the automatic dispensing of postage stamps, previously sold in stores in loose form that exposed the user, according to the firm's sales literature, to transmission of disease. The firm's board of directors consisted of the inventor Joseph J. Shermack, Edward S. Steinam, J.A. de Camp (120 Broadway), banker George W. Naumburg, A.J. Sach, Nathan S. Smyth, and Franklin D. Roosevelt.
FDR also was director of CAMCO (Consolidated Automatic Merchandising Corporation), but never took an active part in its flotation. CAMCO was a holding company designed to take over 70 per cent of the outstanding capital stock of a number of companies, including Sanitary Postage Stamp Corporation, and is notable because the board of directors included, not only FDR, but Saunders Norwell, who from 1926 to 1933 was president of the Remington Arms Company. In 1933 Remington Arms was sold to the Du Pont Company. In Chapter 10 we will probe the Butler Affair, an abortive attempt to install a dictatorship in the White House. Both Remington Arms and Du Pont are named in the suppressed testimony of the Congressional investigation committee. Yet in 1928 we find FDR and Saunders Norvell as co directors in CAMCO.
This connection to weapons and munitions manufacturers will come into play later on...

Warm Springs
Every bankster has to have a Foundation to hide their cash in as well as to remold society to their specifications. But according to FDR's son Elliot, not everything was milk and honey in Georgia:
On April 29, 1926, he acquired the derelict property, where Loyless was running ever deeper into debt. At the peak of his obligations as the new proprietor, Father had precisely $201,667.83 invested in the place in the form of a demand note, which was not completely paid off until after his death, and then only from a life insurance policy he had taken out in Warm Springs' favor. The $200,000-plus represented more than two thirds of everything he owned. It was the only time he took such a monumental risk. Mother was terrified that if this went the way of so many of his business ventures, none of us boys could go to college, a fate which I, for one, was more than ready to face.

Georgia Warm Springs Foundation: Trustees in 19345
Name of Trustee6Chief Affiliations
Franklin D. RooseveltPresident of the United States of America
Basil O'ConnorAttorney, 120 Broadway, former law partner of FDR
Jeremiah MilbankDirector, Chase National Bank of N.Y.
James A. MoffettVice President & director, Standard Oil of New Jersey
George Foster PeabodyOriginal owner of the property and holder of the note on Georgia Warm Springs
Leighton McCarthyDirector of Aluminum, Ltd (Canadian subsidiary of ALCOA)
Eugene S. WilsonPresident, American Telephone & Telegraph (195 Broadway)
William H. WoodinSecretary of the Treasury under FDR
Henry PopeDirector of Link-Belt Company
Cason J. CallawayPresident of Callaway Mills, Inc. of New York

 So what we have here is a listing of Wall Streeters. It's just for your information, I'll not say anything sinister is going on. We're just seeing who's hangin' with who. The Warm Springs Foundation was to be a resort for those stricken with polio. Nothing wrong with that. However, if what FDR's son said is true, it would give some credence to the charge that FDR was in the "grip of the bankers".

Read Chapter 4 of Wall Street and FDR in its entirety courtesy of Reformed Theology.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails