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Additional info for Institutions, Entrepreneurs, and American Economic History: How The Farmers’ Loan and Trust Company Shaped the Laws of Business from 1822 to 1929

Sample text

That move would follow the near collapse of the company. Farmers’ change of strategy had been well timed from the standpoint of leaving the fire The First Trust Company ● 37 insurance business. The company began to withdraw from the business two years before the disastrous fire of 1835 in New York. Although it still had some outstanding policies, the company certainly suffered less than if it had continued to focus on fire insurance. The timing of the move into real estate trusts, on the other hand, was followed in short order by the Panics of 1837 and 1839.

He continued to declare that the most effective strategy was to have men of inf luence directly contact members of the legislature. ”65 In previous correspondence, Davis had referred to many people in his area who had been frustrated in their attempts to obtain credit. ”66 Thus, Davis and the other inf luential men were to help make known the value of the trust company. There was an obvious parallel between the company’s approach to making loans and its approach to lobbying. Both depended on the firm’s social capital, its connections.

69 His son Horatio went on to become a two-term governor of New York. ” 70 The amendments to the charter included a provision that limited trust deposits to $5,000,000. What was supposedly being concealed from the legislature was that limiting deposits in trust to $5,000,000 implied that the company had the power to take deposits of any sort. Some critics of the company contended that trusts were distinct from deposits and that the clause would in effect confer on the company powers similar to a bank.

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