Jim Ling In Oil And Gas, But The Shadow Of LTV Still Lingers

Jim Ling In Oil And Gas, But The Shadow Of LTV Still Lingers

Warren Buffett recommended this article in his big 2014 shareholder letter

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Jim Ling In Oil And Gas, But The Shadow Of LTV Still Lingers by Chris Tucker, D Magazine

Rodney Dangerfield likes to talk about the time he looked up “ugly” in the dictionary and found a picture of his mother-in-law.

By the same logic, a dictionary entry for “conglomerate” should carry a picture of Jim Ling, or at least a cross-reference: see also Ling, James J. Through the Sixties and early Seventies, conglomerate-in Texas and throughout the country -meant Jim Ling, creator of the huge Dallas-based Ling-Temco-Vought (LTV).

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How big was LTV? Massive.

At its peak in 1969, Ling’s company controlled Wilson, the nation’s largest producer of sporting goods and its third-largest meatpacker; Jones and Laughlin, America’s sixth-largest steel company; Braniff, the eighth-largest airline; and Vought, the eighth-largest defense contractor. Toss in a string of other companies with their innumerable subsidiaries and you have Ling-Temco-Vought, at the time the 14th-largest company in America.

How big was LTV? So big, some say, that only the U.S. government was big enough to stop it. Calling LTV “a force destructive of competition,” the Justice Department filed an antitrust suit to force LTV to give up Jones