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Newspaper Page Text
THE POLITE "BUSINESS" BURGLARY OF THE
TRUST, AND THE HIGH-ERICE OF MEAT
There isn't much need to hunt
forvthe cause of the high cost of
livings after the revelations made
at 'the trial of the packers.
, These revelations are almost
sad. They show such an irurnor
al state of mind'on the part of the
packers. 3 ,'
There is now no question , but
that the packers were in a com
bine, a combine which' dominated
the meat industry which fixed
the "prices of cattle on the hoof
and the prices of dressed meats,
which bullied the railroads and
swelled the fortunes of the Ar
mours, the Swifts and the Mor
rises. The old pool, hidden' under the
name of "R0. Box 247" did that
many years ago. '
The packers were making $22,
000,000 profit oyt of this every
year on their own showing.
Taking their, own figures, ..this
was a profit of xver 12 per cent on
their invested capital.
And their own figures were, not
correct. They were' swollen by
watered stock.. Tfiis was proved
clearly when the packers tried to
raise a loan from Kuhn, Loeb &
Co., and gave their own figures
of $182,000,000 as the value of
their assets. . "
Jacab Schiff, manager of Ituhn, 1
Loeb 8 Co., laughed at them. He
told them bluntly that,, at the
most, their assets were worth J
So, b'y the old pooling agree
ment, the packers were making
a piofit Of 22 5 percent oh their
invested capital. Which is a
pretty fair profit. t
But they were not satisfied
with this. They wanted t? loot.
So they employed 'Albert H.
Veeder to " draw up a scheme
whereby they could loot.
And here is the scheme Veeder
suggested, a scheme so absolute
ly nefarious that even, such past
masters of looting as E. H. Har
rinian, James Stillman and Jacob
Schiff paused aghast.
The packers were- to merge all
their interests. v
They were to buy- tip tall inde
pendent companies. .
. They were to incorporate, and
issue bonds and preferred stock
to themselves equal to their own
idea of their actual, tangible as-aets-$132jOOOlODO.
They were to issiiejuxddition-'
a.1 $250Q00D wortJrd'frpreferred
stbckjio'be divided among them
selves. This was to be pur.e wa
ter ,and was by way of being pay
ment for having formed a mergerv ,
This done, and they them-
selves in possession of all their
real assets, they were to sell to'
the public nearly $500,000,000 '
worth of common stock.
This was the big loot, ItCrep-'
resented no real value.- ItAvastb '.
be just plain -water. s
Of course, they had to christen
this water before they could sell :
it to the public.
Lots of suckers will pay an ex- (
traordinary price for a gilded
brick if you tell them it is gold, t
But no one outside a lunatic asy-