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Full text of "War-time financial problems"

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Monopoly/' for, as has been said, Mr Webb very
much wants monopoly, says that it cannot be helped,
and sees the fulfilment of some of his pet Socialistic
dreams in the direction of it by the bureaucrat whom
he regards as the heaven-sent saviour of society.
His very interesting argument is most easily followed
by means of a series of quotations.

" We are, it is said, within a measurable distance of
there being—save for unimportant exceptions—only one
bank, under one general manager, probably a Scotsman,
whose power over the nation's industry would be incal-
culable. Even in the crisis of the war the matter is
receiving the attention of the Government.

" In the opinion of the present writer, the amalgama-
tion of banks in this country, which has been going on
continuously for a century, though at varying rates, and
is being paralleled in other countries, notably in Ger-
many, and latterly in the Canadian Dominion, is an
economically inevitable development at a certain stage
of capitalist enterprise, and one which cannot effectively
be prevented."

Mr Webb considers that there is no economic
limit to this policy of amalgamation, and that the
gains it carries with it are obvious. He dilates upon
these as follows :—

" It may be worth pointing out:

" (a) That apart from the obvious economies in the
cost of administration, common to all business on a
large scale, there is, in British banking practice, a special
advantage in a bank being as extensive and all-pervasive
as possible. Where distinct banks co-exist, there can
be no assurance that the periodical shifting of business,
the perpetual transformations in industrial organisation,
the rise and fall of industries, localities or firms, the