DALLAS – Even while Hurricane Harvey continued to dump records amount of rain on Houstonians, Texas trial lawyers publicly preached doomsday for insureds was rapidly approaching – warning victims to file their claims before a new law went into effect.
Hurry! Hurry! Hurry! This opportunity will not last long. You must act now! If you miss the September 1 deadline, you'll turn into a pumpkin.
That was the message some local lawyers were sending to homeowners with Hurricane Harvey-damaged properties. Well, maybe not the bit about the pumpkin, but some calls to action were so unhinged that it did seem like some genuine insurance policy catastrophe was looming.
During the Gilded Age, so-called “captains of industry” such as Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, and J.P. Morgan led an industrial revolution that transformed the nation with technological innovation, creating for Americans unparalleled improvements in the average standard of living and amassing great personal fortunes in the process. The spectacular success—and enormous power—of these newly minted tycoons earned them the sobriquet “Robber Baron,” even as their ruthless business tactics, such as Rockefeller’s cartelization of the oil industry through trusts, fostered new laws to regulate anti-competitive business practices, notably the 1890 Sherman Act. These measures are called “antitrust” laws, an often-forgotten tribute to the dynastic Standard Oil Trust, which at its peak controlled the refining of 90 to 95 percent of all oil produced in the United States.