Gentlemen`s agreements were a widespread discriminatory tactic that, according to reports, was more common than restrictive alliances to maintain the homogeneity of upper-class neighborhoods and suburbs in the United States.  The nature of these agreements has made it extremely difficult to prove or prosecute them and have been long after the U.S. Supreme Court`s decisions in Shelley v. Kraemer and Barrows v. Jackson.  One source indicates that gentlemen`s agreements “undoubtedly exist,” but that their use has declined sharply.  In the worst-case scenario, a gentlemen`s agreement may be entered into to engage in anti-competitive practices such as price agreements or trade quotas. Since a gentlemen`s agreement is tacit – not bound on paper as a legal and binding treaty – it can be used to create and enforce rules that are illegal. This has resulted, in some cases, in gentlemen`s agreements in which Wall Street financiers like J.P. Morgan and his “House of Morgan” would meet with the office to obtain prior authorization for mergers and acquisitions. One such example was the gentlemen`s agreement, in which regulators and the president overrided the Sherman Antitrust Act to allow United States Steel Corp.
to become the world`s first billion-dollar company. Despite its informal nature, the breach of a gentlemen`s agreement could have a negative impact on trade relations if a party decides to break its promise. A gentlemen`s agreement can also be called a “gentleman`s agreement” and can be concluded by a handshake or not. Gentlemen`s agreements have often been concluded in international trade and relations, as well as in most sectors. Gentlemen`s agreements were particularly prevalent at the birth of the industrial age and until the first half of the 1900s, with regulation often falling short of new business practices. It has been found that such agreements are used, inter alia, to control prices and limit competition in the steel, iron, water and tobacco industries. In many cases, the end result may be higher costs or poor quality products for consumers. Worse still, a gentlemen`s agreement can be used as a means of promoting discriminatory practices, such as in an “Old Boy`s” network. In 1890, the U.S.
administration banned gentlemen`s agreements in trade and commerce relations between nations. Until Jackie Robinson was hired by the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1946, a gentlemen`s agreement allowed African-American players to be excluded from organized baseball.  A gentlemen`s agreement or gentleman`s agreement is an informal and non-legally binding agreement between two or more parties. It is usually oral, but it can be written or simply understood as part of a tacit agreement by convention or mutually beneficial label. The essence of a gentlemen`s agreement is that it relies on the honor of the parties for its fulfillment, instead of being enforceable in one way or another. . . .