Pujo, Arsène Paulin

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Arsène Paulin Pujo (arsĕn´ pôlăN´ püzhō´), 1861–1939, U.S. congressman, b. Lake Charles, La. He practiced law in Louisiana before serving (1903–13) as a Democratic Congressman in the U.S. House of Representatives. From 1908 to 1912 he was a member of the National Monetary Commission, which was established to study international banking systems with a view to improving the American system. He became chairman of the House Banking and Currency Committee in 1911, and, dissatisfied with the monetary commission's report, he obtained congressional authorization in 1912 to investigate the "money trust." The hearings of the Pujo committee, which were highlighted by a spectacular interrogation of J. P. Morgan by the committee's counsel, Samuel Untermeyer, uncovered evidence that a few financial leaders had achieved an unhealthy control of the nation's money and credit. The committee's disclosures helped create a climate of public opinion that led to the passage of the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 and the Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914.