An Interesting JP Morgan Testimony Worth Reading

November 23, 2014 0 Comments

Most people know about JP Morgan  Er, or rather, most people know about the bank JP Morgan Chase & Co. It’s a muti-national banking corporation with locations in the United States (the largest bank in the US by assets and deposits), Germany, United Kingdom, New Zealand, etc. The company became what was known as JP Morgan Chase & Co after the repeal of what is known as the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, when JP Morgan & Co merged with Chase National Bank. After the passage of Glass-Steagall, JP Morgan & Co decided to remain a commercial bank and branch off from their investment arm of banking, currently known to investors as Morgan Stanley.

But enough about the brief history of JP Morgan Chase & Co. I want to discuss the man behind the company: JP Morgan. Most JP Morgan customers know very little about this man (not that they care). However, to make a long story short, JP Morgan undisputabily considered the Father of Finance, if not one of its founding fathers. Like many great men, he had a few shortcomings, such as being accused by his critics of controlling high finance of the nation. In a 1912 testimony in front of congress, he justified the existence of Wall Street (something that may be all but impossible to do in this economic climate) with something called ’33 Epigrams.’

Here is the list, with the interesting parts highlighted in bold:

Morgan’s Epigrams

1. I have absolute faith in the patriotism and public spirit of the Stock Exchange. 

2. The moral responsibility has to be defended as long as you live.

3. Securities do not always prove good. 

4. It is difficult to get stockholders to take active interest in their companies. 

5. I do not believe I could carry any question through any board against the views of the other directors. I like a little competition, but I should rather have co-operation. Without actual control, you can do nothing.

6. I want to control nothing. 

7. There is nothing in the world by which you can make a money trust.

8. I do not feel that I have vast power. 

9. I do not think I have power in any department of industry; I am not seeking it, either.

10. All the money and all the banks in Christendom cannot control credit. 

11. My firm is not run by me; I am not the final authority.

12. I believe in divided as against concentrated responsibility.

13. I do not compete for deposits. 

14. I do not care whether they ever come, but they do come.

15. A bank, if it transacts its business right, will get its share of the business. 

16. Nobody wants to put money into a new railroad in these times.

17. I always assist young men. 

18. If it is good business for the interests of the country, I do it.

19. If I should attempt to tell where the money is in every transaction I make, I should have a hard time of it.

20. I did it because I thought it was the thing to do.

21. I should not allow a man to be associated with me that I thought was a fraud, simply because he owned a bank which at that moment was solvent.

22. Money is gold, and nothing else.

23. If a man had the credit, and I had the money, his customer would be badly off.

24. I have given a man a check for a million when I knew he had not a cent in the world.

25. The first thing is character, before money or property or any- thing else.

26. A man I do not trust could not get money from me on all the bonds in Christendom.

27. I never heard of a bank being controlled by anybody who gave it business.

28. The first thing is to get the business, and the next thing is the way you transact your business.

29. I think manipulation is always bad.

30. I never sold short in my life that I know of, but I do not see how you will get along without it. It is a principle of life, I think.

31. I would not favor legislation that would reduce the volume of speculation. You cannot prevent the public buying a thing that they think is low, or selling a thing that they think is high

32. You cannot in a bank in which you are a director, not in any first-class bank, at any rate, go and find out how much I have got in that bank.

33. You can get combinations that can control business, but you cannot control money.

Here is the full transcript of the. Has much changed during this time in the financial industry?

JPMorgan Testmony 1912

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