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one of the largest financial industrial groups in the USA.
The oil business served as the foundation for the Rockefellers’ power. In 1870, John D. Rockefeller (1839–1937) founded the Standard Oil Company, which monopolized the distillation, refining, and sale of oil and oil products in the USA in the late 19th century. In the 1920’s the Rockefeller group ranked second (after the Morgans) among the eight largest monopolistic groups in the USA. After World War II (1939–45), the Rockefellers substantially expanded their sphere of influence. By the beginning of the 1970’s they controlled assets totaling $124.6 billion. The nucleus of the Rockefellers’ industrial financial empire consists of the Standard Oil Company of New Jersey, a monopoly that was renamed Exxon in 1972, and the Chase Manhattan Bank, a large commercial bank with assets totaling $36.8 billion in 1973. The bank ranks third in total assets among the 50 largest US commercial banks.
The Rockefellers own an extensive network of credit and financial institutions, including banks and insurance companies. They also control the Chemical New York Corporation, a commercial bank (1973 assets, $18.6 billion), and two life insurance companies—Metropolitan Life (1973 assets, $32 billion) and Equitable Life (1973 assets, $17.2 billion).
The development of state-monopoly capitalism and the scientific and technological revolution have resulted in considerable changes in the structure of the Rockefeller industrial financial group. The Rockefellers’ interests are concentrated not only in the oil industry and in banking but also in other industries. In the early 1970’s the Rockefellers controlled many machine-building, electrical engineering, and food-processing companies. However, Exxon continues to serve as the foundation for the family’s power. In 1972 Exxon’s profits (after taxes) totaled $1.5 billion. In the early 1970’s the company ranked second in total assets (after General Motors) among the 500 largest US corporations. The Rockefellers and other US financial groups exercise joint control over a number of the largest American industrial corporations (American Telephone and Telegraph, International Business Machines, Westinghouse Electric, and McDonnell Douglas) and several leading investment banks, including Stone and Webster and the First Boston Corporation.
In the early 1970’s the group was headed by the five sons of John D. Rockefeller, Jr. According to American estimates, the Rockefeller family fortune is between $4 billion and $ 10 billion. The organizational center for family capital is the Rockefeller Brothers, Inc., which was founded in 1946. It participates in speculative transactions and buys up stock in small, promising firms.
The financial industrial interests of the Rockefellers are represented in many parts of the world. The Rockefellers have substantial influence on US politics, especially the election of the president and members of Congress.
REFERENCESMen’shikov, S. M. Millionery i menedzhery. Moscow, 1965. Pages 57–58, 371, 373–74, 378.
Fursenko, A. Dinastiia Rokfellerov, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1970.
Zhukov, E. F. Strakhovye monopolii ν ekonomike SShA. Moscow, 1971.
Beglov, I. SShA.• sobstvennost’ i vlast’. Moscow, 1971.
Kapitalisticheskie i razvivaiushchiesia strany: Sotsial’no-ekonomicheskii spravochnik. Moscow, 1973. Page 217.
E. F. ZHUKOV