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A Study in Merger: Formation of the International Mercantile Marine Company

Thomas R. Navin and Marian V. Sears
The Business History Review
Vol. 28, No. 4 (Dec., 1954), pp. 291-328
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3111799
Page Count: 38
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A Study in Merger: Formation of the International Mercantile Marine Company
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Abstract

Generalizations about the merger movement in America at the turn of the century have too often been predicated upon inadequate information about the motives and mechanisms involved and the results achieved. This has been particularly true of those combinations in which the firm of J. P. Morgan & Company was involved. The International Mercantile Marine Company merger of 1902 has hitherto been misrepresented as a promotion of Wall Street. The subsequent course of this venture shows how even a combination of the world's most astute bankers and shipping men could be misled in analysis and held powerless to affect their own destiny by the march of economic and political events. Not all the grand combinations of the early twentieth century yielded lush promotional profits; neither should the evidence of overcapitalization in such combinations always be accepted at face value.

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