High Finance: Anatomy of a Big Deal

It was quite a deal. At one point or another, it involved several of the biggest U.S. industrialists, a few of Manhattan's storied financial institutions and a former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury. It stretched across basic industries—coal, oil, mining and automobiles. Even to experts, it was dazzling in its complexity, yet beautiful in its money-making simplicity. All this loomed behind the seemingly ordinary announcement last week that Manhattan's Continental Oil Co. (1964 sales: $1.4 billion) had agreed to acquire Pittsburgh's $305 million Consolidation Coal Co.

Toward "Total Energy." Consolidation Coal Chairman...

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