Business & Finance: After Insull

Chief casualty of the famed 1932 crash of Samuel InsulTs public utilities empire was the gigantic catch-all corporation called Middle West Utilities. Not to be confused with Insult's three Grade A Chicago properties (Commonwealth Edison, Peoples Gas Light & Coke and Public Service of Northern Illinois), Middle West was a holding company for a heterogeneous parcel of small and large utility companies serving 5,321 villages and towns in 36 States from Maine to Texas.

Receivership and bankruptcy proceedings riddled this catch-all with holes through which slipped many a subsidiary by foreclosure and receivership. Over-capitalized...

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