Detroit Financial Group

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Detroit Financial Group


a coalition of major bankers and industrialists in the city of Detroit (USA). It began to take form in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s.

During the economic crises of the 1930’s, Detroit banks went bankrupt and, after reorganization, fell under the control of the major New York banks. However, in the 1950’s they succeeded in freeing themselves of that control, and they began to pursue an autonomous financial policy. During the same years there was a merger of Detroit industrial corporations. Within General Motors a group of large stockholders, consisting partly of managers (professional administrators), became prominent. By buying up the stock of the Du Ponts, who owned 23 percent of the corporation’s stock, they found it possible to control the operations of General Motors. The Fisher, Kettering, and Mott families play an especially important role in this group. At almost the same time the group acquired large shareholdings in banks in Detroit and a number of nearby cities. Many large commercial and industrial corporations controlled by certain extremely wealthy American families are closely associated with these banks through a system of pyramiding, personal unions, and other financial ties. For example, Dow Chemical (a chemical and military corporation) is controlled by the Dow family, Burroughs (an electronics corporation) by the Burroughs family, and Wyandotte Chemical (a chemical corporation) by the Ford family, namesakes of the US automobile magnates. The Detroit financial group has a diversified network of credit and financial institutions, consisting mainly of local commercial and savings banks and the Kettering, Mott and Sloan philanthropic foundations. Three Detroit commercial banks—the National Bank of Detroit, the Detroit Bank and Trust, and Manufacturers National Bank of Detroit, whose combined assets in 1970 reached $9.4 billion—are among the 25 largest banks in the USA. The total assets controlled by the Detroit financial group in 1970 amounted to about $20 billion.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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