What is Pujo Committee

The Pujo Committee was established in 1912 by Arsène Pujo, a member of the United States House of Representatives as well as the National Monetary Commission, to investigate a U.S. group known as the money trust. The committee helped to open the eyes of the public on the issue which helped gain support for the changes that needed to be made.

BREAKING DOWN Pujo Committee

The Pujo Committee performed an investigation into the allegations that the U.S. economy, monetary system and  financial industry was being controlled by only a select few powerful individuals, a group that became known as the money trust.

Concerns about a financial monopoly began to grow it the late 1800s, as significant wealth, power and influence were increasingly controlled and monopolized by a small cartel of New York banking and insurance firms under the stewardship of such financial giants as J.P. Morgan, William Rockefeller and several others.

The resolution concerning the abuse of Wall Street’s power was originally introduced in 1911 by Congressman Charles Lindbergh Sr., father of famed aviator Charles Lindbergh. In 1912, Congressman Arsène Pujo of Louisiana, a Democrat who served from 1903 to 1913, was authorized to form a subcommittee of the House Committee on Banking and Currency. The committee to investigate the so-called money trust became known as the Pujo Committee.

Pujo Committee Report

On February 28, 1913, Pujo submitted the committee’s report to “Investigate the Concentration of Control of Money and Credit," which alleged that “the finances of many of the great industrial and railroad corporations of the country engaged in interstate commerce is rapidly concentrating in the hands of a few groups of financiers in the city of New York… and that these groups, by reason of their control over the funds of such corporations and the power to dictate the depositories of such funds…have secured domination over many of the leading national banks and other moneyed institutions… and are being used to further the enterprises and increase the profits of these groups of individuals from such transactions.”

Findings of the Pujo Committee

The investigation by the Pujo Committee Report proved that the cabal of financial leaders had abused the public’s trust to consolidate control over many industries. Ultimately, it contributed to the establishment of what we know today as the Federal Reserve central bank; the Clayton Antitrust Act, which banned operations conducive to the formation of monopolies; and to the ratification of the Sixteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which authorized a federal income tax.