Overflight, 12

“All cartels, however, have an internal self−destruct mechanism. Sooner or later, one of the members inevitably becomes dissatisfied with his agreed−upon piece of the pie. He decides to compete once again and seeks a greater share of the market. It was quickly recognized that the only way to prevent this from happening was to use the police power of government to enforce the cartel agreement. The procedure called for the passage of laws disguised as measures to protect the consumer but which actually worked to ensure the elimination of competition. Henry P. Davison, who was a Morgan partner, put it bluntly when he told a Congressional committee in 1912: «I would rather have regulation and control than free competition.» John D. Rockefeller was even more to the point in one of his often repeated comments: «Competition is a sin.»
This trend was not unique to the banking industry. Ron Paul and Lewis Lehrman provide the historical perspective:
After 1896 and 1900, then, America entered a progressive and predominantly Republican era. Compulsory cartelization in the name of "progressivism" began to invade every aspect of American economic life. The railroads had begun the parade with the formation of the ICC in the 1880s, but now field after field was being centralized and cartelized in the name of "efficiency," "stability," "progress," and the general welfare… In particular, various big business groups, led by the J.P. Morgan interests, often gathered in the National Civic Federation and other think tanks and pressure organizations, saw that the voluntary cartels and the industrial merger movements of the late 1890s had failed to achieve monopoly prices in industry. Therefore, they decided to turn to governments, state and federal, to curb the winds of competition and to establish forms of compulsory cartels, in the name, of course, of "curbing big business monopoly" and advancing the general welfare.