International Forecaster Weekly

A Look Back At JP Morgan

  And yet, as impressive as Rumsfeld's credentials as wheeler-dealer of our era are, they pale in comparison to the man who towered over late 19th and early 20th century America: J. P. Morgan.

James Corbett | March 8, 2014

    Every era has its kingmakers, its wheeler-dealers, its string-pullers, its financiers, and its master villains. They are not difficult to identify when you know what to look for. In our own era we can look to someone like Donald Rumsfeld for an example of such a figure. No matter what New World Order cornerstone of the past half century you peer under, it seems you will find some trace of Rumsfeld slithering around beneath it. He was the youngest and oldest Defense Secretary in American history, presiding over the development of the cruise missile and the B-1 bomber in the former stint and the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq in the latter.


He brought Dick Cheney into the White House during his tenure in the Ford Administration, and then collaborated with him throughout the Reagan era on top secret “continuity of government” contingency plans for suspension of the constitution during times of emergency (presumably the same c.o.g. plans that they implemented and carried out as Defense Secretary and Vice President on 9/11). He engaged in the infamous on-camera handshake and meet-and-greet with Saddam Hussein in 1983, back when Hussein was America's golden boy in the Middle East. He acted as CEO, President, and chairman of G.D. Searle & Company, helping it to win FDA approval for aspartame despite serious health concerns raised by clinical trials, then helping to sell Searle to Monsanto and personally pocketing an estimated $12 million in the process.

He sat on the board of the Swiss-based engineering company ABB during the time the company won a contract to provide the design and components for North Korea's own nuclear reactor, which it later parlayed into its nuclear weapons program. He sat on the board of Gilead Sciences Inc., the developer of Tamiflu, from 1997 until 2001, amassing holdings in the company that ensure that he is set to personally benefit from any future flu pandemic. And even by the official fairytale account of 9/11, Rumsfeld's staggering refusal to act in any meaningful way during the greatest crisis in modern American history (calmly proceeding with his regularly scheduled briefings as the crisis unfolded and remaining out of contact with subordinates who were desperately attempting to communicate with him) would alone be enough to indict him for misprision of treason.

    This is what the career of an elite super-gopher looks like. Like some evil twin of Forrest Gump, we find Donald Rumsfeld at the scene of nearly every major crime of the past half century, finding ways to personally profit and/or advance the globalist agenda.

    And yet, as impressive as Rumsfeld's credentials as wheeler-dealer of our era are, they pale in comparison to the man who towered over late 19th and early 20th century America: J. P. Morgan. Although remembered today mainly by way of the banking giant that still bears his name (and indirectly through the Monopoly character “Uncle Moneybags” that is said to be based on him), Morgan's influence over his own era is not well-remembered today, even as the shadow of that influence continues to cast its dark cloud over our own era.

    John Pierpont Morgan, or “Pierpont” as he preferred to be called, was born in Hartford, Connecticut in 1837 to Junius Spencer Morgan, a successful banker and financier, and Juliet Pierpont, daughter of John Pierpont, a fiery Unitarian preacher whose social activism forced him to resign from the pulpit. If there is any moment from Morgan's early life that prove particularly telling from today's standpoint, it is perhaps his choice of “hero” for a high school commencement composition: Napoleon Bonaparte. This is not from any military prowess on the part of the corpulent Morgan; when conscripted to fight in the civil war in 1861, he paid a substitute (whom he called the “other” J.P. Morgan) to fight in his place for $300, which is coincidentally the exact amount that he spent on cigars in just one year (1863). No, his choice of Napoleon as his personal hero was instead indicative of his outsized ambition and dreams of grandeur; dreams that, save for the title of “Emperor” and the crown to place upon his head, he would eventually realize.

    In the ensuing decades, this reckless spirit and the monetary head start that his background and connections afforded him were to help him amass one of the largest fortunes in history. In the process, he became one of the most powerful men in the country. By 1860 he had started J. Pierpont Morgan and Company, acting as an agent for his father's firm. By 1864 he was a partner in his own firm, and by 1871 he had partnered with Anthony J. Drexel of Philadelphia, one of the architects of the modern era of global finance. After Drexel's death, the firm was renamed “J.P. Morgan and  Company,” and Morgan had already cemented a name for himself as one of the richest and savviest financiers in the country.

    His trademark move was to take over failing businesses, rejigger their structures and operations, modernize their practices, and restore them to profitability. As compensation, he always took a seat on the board, meaning that by the latter part of the 19th century he was on the boards of numerous companies all across the country, giving him further leverage for his next takeovers. The process was dubbed “Morganization.”

    The list of businesses that he helped to finance is bewildering. He helped negotiate the largest business mergers in history to that point, including the infamous merger of Federal Steel and Carnegie Steel (amongst others) in 1901 that created United States Steel, and the merger of several leading agricultural giants into International Harvester. He financed Adolph Simon Ochs' 1896 purchase of the New York Times. Also in 1896, as the US Treasury was running out of gold, he formed a syndicate that included the Rothschilds to purchase 30-year bonds in exchange for $62 million worth of gold. The dollar stabilized and the syndicate immediately resold the bonds at a marked up price, pocketing a tidy profit in the process and raising public anger over the growing power of the financial class that increasingly held the pursestrings of the government.

    Throughout it all, Morgan retained the wanton disregard for everything but the bottom line that had served him so well during the Brazilian coffee venture at the beginning of his career. In 1892, he presided over the merger of Thomas Edison's Edison General Electric and the Thomas-Houston Electric Company to form General Electric, a firm large enough to take on Morgan competitor George Westinghouse. In 1900, would-be Edison rival Nikola Tesla began working on what he envisioned as a world system of wireless electrical transmission, a working model of which was able to light 200 electric lamps at a distance of 25 miles. When Morgan, the backing investor, found out that the plan was to use this system to create a worldwide network of free wireless electricity, funding was cut, and Tesla fell into poverty and obscurity until his death in 1943. For Morgan, the crisis of free energy had been averted, and his General Electric could safely go on profiting from providing electricity to an increasingly power-hungry nation into perpetuity.

    Of all the gambits in Morgan's storied career, however, the most important came in 1907, during what came to be known as the Panic of 1907. It started on October 21, when the Morgan-controlled National Bank of Commerce announced it was refusing to act as a clearinghouse for the Knickerbocker Trust Company, a Morgan competitor and one of the largest financial institutions in the country at the time. The next day, the Trust faced a run as customers lined up to withdraw their funds. The bank was forced to suspend operations in the afternoon, and by the 24th a domino effect had caused a chain of failures throughout the entire trust company sector. The panic spread quickly, and soon the entire banking sector and stock market was facing a complete meltdown.

    To understand what the panic of 1907 was all about, we have to understand that the crisis and resulting loss of faith in the public was parlayed into a call for action for the government to step in and stabilize the banking sector. After all, men like Morgan and the “money interest” (as the banksters were known in that day) could not be allowed the power to save (or sink) the economy by themselves. This public outcry led to the creation of the National Monetary Commission, a study group headed by Senator Nelson Aldrich, the father-in-law of John D. Rockefeller Jr. and close ally of the Morgan banking interest. The commission's final report called for the creation of a “national reserve association” for the United States to stabilize the banks. It was during the period of the commission's work that Aldrich and the Morgan/Rockefeller interests slipped away to Jekyll Island in the middle of the night to draft what eventually became the Federal Reserve Act.

    From Pierpont's perspective, it was doubtless a shame that he never saw the Federal Reserve, the culmination of his entire life's work, come to fruition. He died in March 1913, just months before the passage of the Federal Reserve Act. But Morgan's legacy lives with us to this day, through his namesake, John Pierpont Jr,. who was instrumental in founding the Council on Foreign Relations and ensnaring the apparatus of the State Department and the foreign policy of the country in the Morgan orbit. Pierpont's legacy also lives on in the bank that still bares his name, appropriately enough now wedded to the “Chase” of David Rockefeller's old Chase Manhattan stomping grounds. And, of course, the Morgan influence continues to this day in the Federal Reserve, that institution which he was so instrumental in founding and shaping, that continues to exercise monopoly control over the monetary system of the country in the interest of the banksters.