By John B. McFerrin
Now again in print! the increase and fall of a Southern monetary empire.
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Extra resources for Caldwell and company: a southern financial empire
81¼ per share. Soon the payments on the notes were in arrears, but this was worked out. There were the usual multi-levels of corporationsthe Court referred to at least some of them as dummyand there was the characteristic shifting of funds from one corporation to another. As early as 1939, some two years after the Caldwells took over, a minority stockholder asked for a receivership. This was denied, partly at least because of the position taken by Potter, who assured the Court that no such action was justified.
The phrase "we elected Cordell Hull" is also interesting. Hull, in his memoirs (page 135), noted the strong opposition he received from both Luke Lea and Ed Crump in his 1930 race for the Senate. He also related that he defeated Luke Lea's renomination for the Senate in 1915. Caldwell's concern with and influence on political affairs is also indicated by his admission that Caldwell and Company and the Bank of Tennessee "should have collapsed a week before they did. But it was the end of October 1930, and we were afraid of what effect the bank closing would have on Governor Horton's re-election.
For some two years Rogers Caldwell was content to carry on his bond business on a small scale through his father's insurance firm, James E. Caldwell and Son. No commitments were made for bonds in the name of the company but Rogers Caldwell earned small commissions by obtaining buyers for various issues. Under this arrangement the danger of being unable to secure a buyer for a given issue remained and, since James E. Caldwell did not want to add a bond department to his business and Rogers Caldwell wanted a business of his own, an entirely distinct organization, Caldwell and Company, was established in September, 1917.