Over drinks in a New York bar, four men conduct a meeting that will greatly impact the U.S. economy. Orren Boyle wants Jim Taggart to use his influence with various Washington politicians to pass legislation that will strip Rearden of his ore mines. Taggart agrees to do it. Taggart and Boyle are counting on Paul Larkin, who is present at the meeting, to receive the mines from Rearden and to provide Boyle with first claim on the ore. Taggart, meanwhile, wants Boyle to speak to friends on the National Alliance of Railroads regarding the competition that Dan Conway's Phoenix-Durango Railroad gives Taggart Transcontinental in Colorado. Taggart wants the Alliance to force the Phoenix-Durango out on the grounds that it provides "cutthroat competition" to Taggart Transcontinental in a region where the latter company has historical priority. Boyle states that
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