More than one hundred bank mergers during the first quarter of 1929, of which 42 involved total assets of 12 billion dollars or about one-sixth of the total resources of all banks in the United States, have directed public attention to significant changes in the field of banking and finance. The merger movement in this field began about five years ago. During 1927 and 1928 it gained rapid headway, but the scope of this year's mergers is without precedent in financial history.1
The United States today has fewer banks than it had in 1914, notwithstanding the steady increase during the last fifteen years in population and the more rapid increase in the country's wealth. Down to 1922 the number of banking institutions continued to increase, ...