J.P. Morgan: The Man Who Financed America (Twice)

Jeremi Suri / University of Texas

J.P. Morgan is more than just the name on the largest banks in America. He was a man who altered the course of American finance and the chief financier for the strategic interests of the tight-knit business community of the day, including Carnegie and Rockefeller. He also financed new and ingenious technologies developed by Thomas Edison and was a visionary who saw the potential in Nikola Tesla.

His ability was not limited to Wall Street, though, and his reputation was not bound by the shores of America. He touched core industries in his lifetime–from shipping, to power, to steel–and provided the spark that reignited the economic soul of America after the Crash of 1907. Morgan’s astounding success transformed the financial industry and left behind a powerful legacy of both genius and often ruthless behavior, though there’s no doubt he was the principal architect of the financial world we live in today. Although he twice bailed out the U.S. Treasury, his ability to do so left many unsettled, spurring the creation of the Federal Reserve System in late 1913.

Purchase of this class includes the Curiosity Stream documentary The House of Morgan which is part of the multi-part series Titans: The Rise of Wall Street  

Jeremi Suri holds the Mack Brown Distinguished Chair for Leadership in Global Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. He is a professor in the University’s Department of History and the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. The author and editor of nine books on contemporary politics and foreign policy, his most recent is entitled: The Impossible Presidency: The Rise and Fall of America’s Office. In 2007, Smithsonian magazine named him one of America’s “Top Young Innovators” in the Arts and Sciences. In 2018, Suri received the President’s Associates Teaching Excellence Award from the University of Texas, and the Pro Bene Meritis Award for Public Contributions to the Liberal Arts.

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