200 Years of Leadership in Banking
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This bronze sculpture, A River, is a cast of a famous work created by Jean-Jacques Caffieri in 1759. It depicts Oceanus, the Greek god of water. Oceanus was portrayed in the bank’s first logo, representing its origin as a water company. The Bank of The Manhattan Company used numerous versions of Oceanus from its founding in 1799 through the mid-1950s when it merged with Chase National Bank.
Introduction The Beginning: The Manhattan Company Early Growth of Banks The Civil War and National Banking Origins and Influence of J.P. Morgan & Co. Financing Major Projects Banking at the Beginning of the 20th Century The World War I Years The Roaring ’20s The 1929 Market Crash and the Great Depression First-Class Business Glass-Steagall World War II Global Banking Banking Industry Consolidation Development of Credit Cards ATMs and Debit Cards Home Banking by Computer Difficult Competitive Environment Erosion and Repeal of Glass-Steagall Deregulation and Industry Consolidation Key Mergers That Shaped JPMorgan Chase & Co. JPMorgan Chase & Co. Today Cover Image References
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The History of JPMorgan Chase & Co.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. is one of the world’s oldest, largest and best-known financial institutions. Since our founding in New York in 1799, we have succeeded and grown by listening to our customers and meeting their needs. As a global financial services firm with operations in more than 50 countries, JPMorgan Chase & Co. combines two of the world’s premier financial brands: J.P.Morgan and Chase. The firm is a leader in investment banking; financial services for consumers, small business and commercial banking; financial transaction processing; asset management; and private equity. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of consumers in the United States and many of the world’s most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients. JPMorgan Chase & Co. is built on the foundation of more than 1,000 predecessor institutions that have come together over the years to form today’s company. Our many well-known heritage banks include J.P.Morgan & Co., The Chase Manhattan Bank, Bank One, Manufacturers Hanover Trust Co., Chemical Bank, The First National Bank of Chicago and National Bank of Detroit, each closely tied in its time to innovations in finance and the growth of the United States and global economies. The pages that follow provide highlights of the JPMorgan Chase & Co. story – our history, our predecessor institutions, our people, our services and our philosophy.
The Bank of The Manhattan Co., JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s earliest predecessor, commissioned this striking silver Tiffany & Co. ashtray in the 1950s.
The Beginning: The Manhattan Company
Commercial banking in the United States got its start immediately after the Revolutionary War. The earliest American banks played a central role in the nation’s economic and industrial growth by lending money, safeguarding deposits and issuing bank notes that were used as currency. The Bank of New York – founded in 1784 by Alexander Hamilton, who became George Washington’s Treasury Secretary – was the first commercial
bank in New York City. It had no competition until 1799 when Hamilton’s political rival, Aaron Burr, a U.S. Senator and future vice president of the United States, founded The Bank of The Manhattan Co. JPMorgan Chase traces its beginnings to Burr’s fledgling institution. The Bank of The Manhattan Co. had an unusual beginning. Burr led a group of New Yorkers, including Hamilton, in obtaining a state charter for a company to supply fresh water to the residents of Lower Manhattan. At Burr’s initiative, the charter included a provision
allowing the company to employ its excess capital in any activity “not inconsistent with the...