Conspiracy Nation -- Vol. 11 Num. 09 ======================================= ("Quid coniuratio est?")
-+- Frenzied Finance Is Announced -+-
"In the great financial happenings of recent years story tellers have given their version; political economists their theories; reformers their pictures; and historians their tablets. For the first time in the history of High Finance we have the High Priest tell it as it happened..." -- New York Evening Post, June 21, 1904
"Personally I know that one hundred million dollars were lost, thirty men committed suicide, and twenty previously reputable citizens went to the penitentiary, directly because of Amalgamated... [Amalgamated] was created because of my work... the plain people invested two hundred million dollars of their savings, and it was because of trickery and broken promises that the public lost the enormous sums they did." -- Thomas W. Lawson
-+- Mr. Lawson's Dedication -+-
"...that public indignation may be so aroused against the practices of high finance that it shall come to be as culpable to graft and cozen within the law as it is lawless today to counterfeit and steal."
"...that in the minds of all who read this eventful history there may grow up a knowledge and a conviction that the gaining of vast wealth is not worth the sacrifice of manhood, and that poverty and abstinence with honor are better worth having than millions and luxury at the cost of candor and rectitude."
"My profession is business. My writing is an incident. 'Frenzied Finance' was set down during the twenty-fifth and twenty-sixth hours of busy days. I pass it up as the history of affairs of which I was a part."
-+- Foreword -+-
[Synopsis of Frenzied Finance by Thomas W. Lawson. New York: Ridgway-Thayer, 1905]
Herein is the story of Amalgamated Copper and of the "System" of which it is the most flagrant example. This "System" is a process or a device for the incubation of wealth from the people's savings in the banks, trust, and insurance companies, and the public funds. Through its workings during the last twenty years there has grown up in this country a set of colossal corporations in which unmeasured success and continued immunity from punishment have bred an insolent disregard of law, of common morality, and of public and private right, together with a grim determination to hold on to, at all hazards, the great possessions they have gulped or captured. It is the same "System" which has taken from the millions of our people billions of dollars, and given them over to a score or two of men with power to use and enjoy them as absolutely as though these billions had been earned dollar by dollar by the labor of their bodies and minds.
For thirty-four years I have been actively connected with matters financial. As banker, broker, and corporation man, I have, from the vantage point of one who actually handled the things he studied, studied the causes which created the conditions which made possible the "System" which produced the Amalgamated affair. In my thirty-four years of business experience I have seen the great fortunes, which are the motive power of the "System" referred to, come out of the far West as specks upon the financial horizon and grow and grow as they travelled Eastward, until in their length, breadth, and thickness they obscured the rising sun. At short range I have seen the giant money machine put together.
In the course of this book, I shall describe such parts of the general financial structure as will place my readers, especially those unfamiliar with its more complicated conditions, in a mental state to comprehend the methods by which the savings they think are safely guarded in the banks, trust and insurance companies, are so manipulated by the votaries of frenzied finance as to be in constant jeopardy. I shall show them that while the press, the books, the stump, and our halls of statesmanship are full to overflowing with the whys, wherefores, and what-nots of "tariff," "currency," "silver," "gold," and "labor"; while our market systems are perfected educational machines for disseminating accurate statistics about the necessaries and luxuries of life, the water and land carriers, real estate, and other material things which the people have been taught to believe are the only things that vitally affect their savings; that while they imagine they understand the system by which speculation and investments are controlled and worked, and that the causes and effects of this system are at all times get-at-able by them through their bankers and their brokers; there is a tangible, complicated, yet simple trick of financial legerdemain, operated twenty-four hours in each day in the year, and which the press, the politicians, and the statesmen never touch upon -- a trick by means of which the savings of the people and the public funds of the Government, are always at the absolute service and mercy of the votaries of frenzied finance.
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