As the Nixon Administration's chief trustbuster, Assistant Attorney General Richard McLaren slapped down hard on conglomerate mergers and generally set a blistering pace. On a single day this month, he filed suit against the Chicago Board of Trade, challenging its right to fix commission rates on commodity-futures trading, and urged the

Securities and Exchange Commission also to stop commission fixing on stock trading. The next day he was on his way out, confirmed by the Senate as a federal district judge in Chicago without debate and with little publicity.

The speed fanned inevitable speculation that McLaren had been booted as a...

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