The concentration of financial and economic
resources in a few hands has been a major
concern throughout American economic history.
Business consolidations after the Civil
War led to public concern over the growth of
"trusts" and "monopolies," culminating in
the passage of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act of
1890. More recently, concern with corporate
control of financial resources led to the passage
of the Bank Holding Company Act of
1956 and the Bank Merger Act of 1960.