Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Dusky Lee Smith
This thesis examines the financial-industrial networks in Canada and the United States, with the purpose of identifying the major tendencies and patterns in the relationships between Canadian banks and the conglomerates of U.S. financial and industrial corporations. Previous research by U.S. interest group theorists indicates that the dominant structures in the American economy are huge super-corporate communities of interest centered around the largest commercial banks in the U.S. The largest banks influence the decision-making process in the industrial sector because a) industrial corporations rely on banks for their financing and, b) vast amounts of industrial stock are held in the trust departments of these banks. These two factors guarantee the largest commercial banks membership on the boards of directors of the industrial corporations with which they have these relationships. Prior studies indicate that the majority of individuals holding multiple directorships are indeed bankers. The most powerful banks, and hence the most powerful financial interest groups, are located in the New York area. Research for this thesis suggests that these New York interest groups play a major role in the Canadian economy. More than two-thirds of the U.S. multinationals interlocked with the five largest Canadian banks are also interlocked with the six largest New York banks. Two factors lend support to the claim that U.S. interest groups retain their shapes in Canada: 1) the patterns of interlocking of the subsidiaries of U.S. corporations are similar to those patterns of interlocking for the U.S. parent corporations and, 2) each of the three powerful New York interest groups tends to focus the bulk of its operations on a specific Canadian bank, as indicated by the frequency of interlocks between corporations associated with these groups and identifiable Canadian banks. Furthermore, it appears that with respect to the U.S. multinationals, Canadian bank directors tend not to be selected randomly from the entire population of qualified individuals, but rather from the interest group most closely associated with each Canadian bank.
Desmond, Bruce Lincoln, "Canadian Banks and U.S. Financial Groups" (1979). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 2799.
McMaster University Library