Arsène Pujo

ArsèNe Pujo

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Arsène Pujo

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Arsène Paulin Pujo (born in Lake Charles, Louisiana, 1861; died 1939), was a member of the United States House of Representatives best known for chairing the "Pujo Committee", which sought to expose an anticompetitive conspiracy among some of the nation's most powerful financial interests.


Pujo practiced law in Louisiana, and was elected as a Democrat in 1903. In 1908, he became a member of the National Monetary Commission, a body which sought to study foreign banking systems in search of ways to better the domestic banking system. In 1911, he was appointed to chair the House Committee on Banking and Currency. In 1912, he left the National Monetary Commission and obtained congressional authorization to form a separate committee, which came to be called the Pujo Committee, to investigate the "money trust".

The Pujo Committee found that a cabal of financial leaders were abusing their public trust to consolidate control over many industries. Although Pujo left Congress in 1913, the findings of the committee inspired public support for ratification of the Sixteenth Amendment in 1913, passage of the Federal Reserve Act that same year, and passage of the Clayton Antitrust Act in 1914. They were also widely publicized in the Louis Brandeis book, Other People's Money and How the Bankers Use It.


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