Keiretsu, American Style

Since the trust-busting days of Teddy Roosevelt, U.S. industry has been making a virtue of necessity. Faced with lawsuits and even prison for violating antitrust laws, post-Depression executives soon came to shun any semblance of cooperation with their rivals. The go-it-alone outlook, always congenial to Americans' self-image, has often been the stuff of romance--most recently during California's silicon rush, when venture capitalists battled to throw money at entrepreneurs who were creating jobs and building a unique business culture.

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