The end of U.S. Steel and the triumph of the corporation

Molten iron. PHOTO: Clint Budd, Flickr CC-BY

This morning we learned that Nippon Steel of Japan will purchase U.S. Steel for $14.9 billion as part of a deal approved by both companies’ boards over the weekend. My latest for the Minnesota Reformer explores the deal and its historic implications.

U.S. Steel owns or has a stake in three mines on the Mesabi Iron Range and employs about 2,500 people here. The local implications of the merger will take time to understand.

I suspected that the U.S. Steel news would drop this week. Mining companies love to dump complicated news on Friday afternoons or during holiday lulls. The week before Christmas certainly qualifies. But I joined many in anticipating that ArcelorMittal or Cleveland-Cliffs would probably be the leading candidates to acquire U.S. Steel.

My essay for the Reformer digs into the corporate philosophy that forged the beginnings of U.S. Steel. I argue that this philosophy lives on, even if U.S. Steel fades into the corporate system of an even bigger global steelmaking giant.

Read “U.S. Steel sold, but the founding philosophy of rapacious profit lives on” at the Minnesota Reformer.


  1. Bill Peterson says

    I admire your writing greatly. I read your similar piece at the Reformer. One thing: James J Hill was a robber baron? I dunno about that. Railroad magnate yes. Robber baron… not sure that isn’t a sloppy category label on a figure who was not.

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