J. P. Morgan When people talk about J. P. Morgan, they often refer to one man.
The J. P. Morgan dynasty was in fact a combined effort of three generations of Morgans. In 1838, American businessman George Peabody opened the London merchant banking firm that would establish the roots of the House of Morgan. In 1854, Junius S. Morgan became the partner of George Peabody and eventually took over the firm in 1864, renaming it J.
S. Morgan & Co. At the age of twenty four, J. Pierpont Morgan inherited his father's business, renamed the business to J. P. Morgan & Co.
, and made a point to consolidate the firm's American and European interests. Under Pierpont's authority, J. P. Morgan & Co. had a great impact on enterprises such as railroads, steel, mining, and other utilities that helped establish the United States as an industrial power. The personality of J.
Peirpont Morgan is best described in a statement he made to the U. S. Congressional banking committee in 1912. "The first thing is character... before money or anything else. Money cannot buy it...
because a man I do not trust could not get money from me on all the bonds in Christendom." It should also be noted that in 1868, the Paris banking firm Drexel, Harjes & Co. was formed. Pierpont became a partner in 1871 and the firm was later renamed Morgan, Harjes & Co. Five years after his father's death, his son, J. P. (Jack) Morgan Jr.
, became senior partner and steered the company through the most unstable, fluctuating economic time period in history. Including two world wars, J. P. Morgan Jr. also led the company through the great depression.
In an appearance before Congress in 1933, J. P. Morgan Jr. defined a business philosophy for his firm: 'At all times the idea of doing not only first-class business, and that in a first-class way, has been before our minds. We have never been satisfied with simply keeping within the law, but have constantly sought to act that we may fully observe the professional code, and so maintain the credit and representation which has been handed down to us from our predecessors in the firm.' A significant bill in congress was the Banking Act of 1933, a. k.
a. Glass-Steagall. It was this act, which separated commercial and investment banking, that also divided the House of Morgan. As a result, Harry Morgan, one of Jack Morgan's sons, along with two Morgan partners and about 25 employees left to form the investment bank Morgan Stanley.
In 1943, when Jack Morgan died, Thomas Lamont became the chairman of the company. This marked the first time since 1864 that a Morgan had not managed the firm. One of the contributing factors to the success of J. P. Morgan was its financial involvements in military events of the past. J.
P. Morgan established its position as a future world power in 1870 when it extended a ten million pound loan to the French government during the Franco-Prussian war. In addition, J. P. Morgan served as the financial representative for the British and French governments during both World Wars and helped provide major reconstruction and financing after the wars as well. In 1988 Morgan developed a landmark program to enable the Mexican government to issue $2.
6 billion in bonds to creditor banks in exchange for existing debt -- a model widely used afterward in restructuring the debt of developing countries. More recently Morgan arranged a $2. 5 billion, 30-year bond to help the Russian Federation restructure its domestic short-term debt. In other emerging markets, the firm is advising a number of governments in their efforts to privatize industries and nurture free-market economies.