United States v. Morgan (1953)

Last updated
United States v. Morgan
Court United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
Full case nameUnited States v. Morgan et al.
DecidedOctober 14, 1953
Defendant17 defendants (see list in article)
Plaintiff(s)United States of America
Citation(s)118 F. Supp. 621 (S.D.N.Y. 1953)
Court membership
Judge(s) sitting Harold Medina
Investment Bankers Case

United States v. Morgan, 118 F. Supp. 621 (S.D.N.Y. 1953), more commonly referred to as the Investment Bankers Case was a multi-year antitrust case brought by the United States Justice Department against seventeen of the most prominent Wall Street investment banking firms, known as the Wall Street Seventeen. [1] [2] [3]



The Justice Department filed suit against the firms in 1947 claimed that the leading investment banking firms had combined, conspired and agreed, in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act, to control and monopolize the U.S. Securities markets.

The 17 Wall Street firms named as defendants in the case, later known as the "Wall Street Seventeen" were as follows: [1] [4]

  1. Morgan Stanley & Co.
  2. Kidder Peabody
  3. Goldman Sachs
  4. White Weld & Co.
  5. Dillon Read & Co.
  6. Drexel & Co.
  7. First Boston Corporation
  8. Smith Barney & Co.
  9. Kuhn, Loeb & Co.
  10. Lehman Brothers
  11. Blyth & Co.
  12. Eastman Dillon & Co. [5]
  13. Harriman Ripley
  14. Stone & Webster Securities Corp.
  15. Harris, Hall & Co.
  16. Glore, Forgan & Co.
  17. Union Securities Corp.

Excluded from the case were a number of prominent Wall Street firms including Bache & Co., Halsey Stuart & Co., Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Beane and Salomon Brothers & Hutzler among others.


The case, which was brought to trial in the Southern District of New York in 1952 was presided over by the controversial and politically conservative Federal judge Harold Medina, who had become internationally infamous for his rulings in the 1949 Smith Act trials of Communist Party leaders. [6] In October 1953, after a year-long trial, Medina found in favor of the investment banking firms. In his judgment, he saw "a constantly changing panorama of competition among the seventeen defendant firms."

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  1. 1 2 A financial history of the United States Vol. 3. M.E. Sharpe, 2002
  2. Nothing Short of Criminal. Time Magazine, Mar. 17, 1952
  3. Trustbusters' Retreat. Time Magazine, Dec. 3, 1951
  4. Money Monopoly?. TIME Magazine, Nov 10, 1947
  5. Eastman, Dillon Was 'Robin Hood' In Wall Street, Judge Medina Told. New York Times, March 10, 1951
  6. "VERDICT ASSAILED ABROAD; Communist Papers in Moscow, London, Paris Denounce Trial". New York, New York, USA. 16 October 1949. Retrieved 3 December 2020.