Wilson received much pushback and watched the House do all they could to react. These actions were able to avert the severe recessions that had followed the previous crashes. This was my second go-around after Titan. At 812 pages, this is a very detailed story with meticulous research into the backgrounds of the family and their associates. On the other hand, many incidents are related through anecdotes and other materials gleaned from personal memoirs.
This book was published in 1990. What really counts is not so much its money as its reputation and brains. My favorite of his: Titan - the John D. The problem is that he, himself, seems to run out of enthusiasm for his subject. The House used its significant influence to help foster stability within the European countries, providing key loans and, at times, propping up their national currencies to the point of steering away from significant devaluation. For comparison, read the descriptions of same events by, say, Ferdinand Lundberg. There are so many nuggets of info here that help chart the evolution of banks from 1960-90, and a lot of the issues continue to echo today -- banks trading against clients, too big to fail, capital shortfalls, etc.
However, Chernow's strong ability to lay out a thought-provoking and timely narrative pushes the reader through the various situations with ease. It might better help people to understand the complex world in which they live. The London branch, Morgan Grenfell, is covered. Chernow for shedding so much light on these men and their empire, which showed numerous changes over its development. I think at the end of the story, with about 80 managing directors, there was finally one female managing director. The American presidents tried to turn away from some of the ventures being undertaken, but those heading up various investment branches of Morgan were able to turn politics on its head with bold and daring moves.
This is the sign of a good historian and biographer, something that I know Chernow has fostered after reading a number of his works. Backed by representatives of Barings and Brown Brothers, Pierpont offered the railroad presidents a deal: if they refrained from rate-cutting and cutthroat competition, the financiers would stop underwriting competing railways. Pierpont died in 1913 and his son, John Pierpont, Jr. But The House of Morgan is not his finest work. This led to concerns over insider trading by banks.
The author continues the history of Morgan Stanle I took me nearly a year of sporadic listening to finish this audiobook of approximately 35 hours. Chernow first examines the House of Morgan by exploring the lives and ventures of Junius and Pierpont Morgan in what he coins as the Baronial Age. So, more securities were sold to foreigners who held Eurodollars. I've always felt that I'm missing some fundamental facts about economics and finance ever since I was in high school reading the news or a history book. It seems to me that non-fiction runs from textbook-like to fiction-like. The only other caveat I have regarding this book is that it was published in 1990, and the bank has obviously undergone a lot of changes since then, including its merger with Chase Bank. The third section was filled with names I recognized, many of which I could readily put faces to.
I look back and have learned a great deal, but it was an incredible pain to get there. It traces the history of four generations of the financial empire, on both sides of the Atlantic, from its obscure beginnings in to the. Rockefeller was known as a Robber Baron, whose Standard Oil Company monopolized an entire industry before it was broken up by the famous Supreme Court anti-trust decision in 1911. The problem for me is that the details were just stultifying. It should be required reading for finance or business majors.
Morgan made a million dollars a year. Many of them sacrificed their health and died because of overwork, or they were incredibly incompetent at least one of J. Even after the Great War commenced, the House of Morgan invested heavily in munitions and metals that became essential to the war effort. In addition to covering the fascinating personalities of the Morgans, this book also gives a very good overview of the early days of merchant banking, the rise of brokerage houses and developments in international banking and capital. He gave speeches and published pamphlets on every conceivable subject.
I am fascinated with the subjects of history and economics. With the onset of the Cold War, the world proved divided along ideological lines, but this did not force the House of Morgan to shy away from their business ventures. The most hilarious part was the description of the London branch in the fifties and sixties. He also saw competition as a destructive, inefficient force and instinctively favored large-scale combination as the cure. As we shall see, the House of Morgan always favored government planning over private compilation, but private planning over either. I liked the book - it reads like an epic novel; Chernow writes so well that at times it almost seemed like I was reading fiction. I've always felt that I'm missing some fundamental facts about economics and finance ever since I was in high school reading the news or a history book.