JP Morgan Chase SignCredit: newscircle.infoJPMorgan Chase is one of the Big Four US based banks, and is reported by Bloomberg to have passed Bank of America in total assets in 2011 making it the largest of the Big Four by assets.  Wells Fargo and Citigroup round out the list.

Forbes considers JP Morgan Chase to be the largest public company by a composite measurement, and the bank has over $2.2 Trillion in assets.  Traded under the symbol JPM the bank is part of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 Indexes.

JP Morgan Chase & Co Memorabilia

OJ Simpson's HomeSince JP Morgan Chase & Co was only founded in 2000 when JP Morgan & Co merged with Chase Manhattan Corporation, there is not a lot of memorabilia around the company in it's present form. 

In fact, searching for JP Morgan Chase Memorabilia brings up news articles that report how JP Morgan foreclosed on O J Simpson's Florida home as the Juice was facing charges for storming in and threaten a sports memorabilia dealer.  Buying up foreclosures is big business and celebrity homes come with a certain appeal. but most collectors of corporate memorabilia are looking for something a little smaller and unassociated with crime.

JP Morgan Chase Share of StockCredit:

Perhaps the best way to get a piece of JP Morgan is to buy into the company itself.  A unique way to get something physical and collectible is to order a single share of JP Morgan Chase. 

Owing a share of the bank comes with voting rights, rights to dividends (yes they will mail you small checks) and the privilege of attending the annual general meetings of the bank. This is what the framed JP Morgan Chase share certificate looks like.

Origins of Chase Bank

The Chase Bank side of business traces its history back to the founding of The Manhattan Company by Aaron Burr on September 1, 1799, in a house at 40 Wall Street:

After an epidemic of yellow fever in 1798, during which coffins had been sold by itinerant vendors on street corners, Aaron Burr established the Manhattan Company, with the ostensible aim of bringing clean water to the city from the Bronx River but in fact designed as a front for the creation of New York's second bank, rivaling Alexander Hamilton's Bank of New York.
The Economist

Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton were fierce political and personal rivals who also competed in banking business. In 1804, their rivalry erupted into a duel, leading to the death of Alexander Hamilton. The dueling pistols are owned by the successor of Burr's bank today and can be found on display in the lobby of the JP Morgan Chase building at 383 Madison Ave, New York City.

Over two centuries after their duel, Burr's company (Bank of the Manhattan) ultimately won the "business" side of the rivalry when in 2006, the modern-day successor Chase bought the retail banking division of the Bank of New York, who then only months later merged with Pittsburgh-based Mellon Financial to form the present-day BNY Mellon.

Origins of JP Morgan

The origins of JP Morgan date back to 1854 when Junius S. Morgan joined a George Peabody & Co., a London-based banking business. Over the next ten years, Junius took controlled and chang the name to J.S. Morgan & Co. Junius's son, J. Pierpont Morgan, went to work with his father. He would later found what would become J.P. Morgan & Co.

The younger Morgan Philadelphia banker Anthony J. Drexel ( founder of what is now Drexel University), teamed up and founded as Drexel, Morgan & Co. in New York in 1871.  The new merchant banking partnership initially focused on facilitating European investing in the United States. In 1895, Drexel, Morgan & Co. became J.P. Morgan & Co.

JP Morgan was involved in a number of significant deals in the early years including: 

  • financed the formation of the United States Steel Corporation, which took over the business of Andrew Carnegie and others and became the world's first billion-dollar corporation.
  • financed the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad and through a series of acquisitions helped make it the dominant railroad in New England. 
  • supplied the United States government with $62 million in gold in 1895 to float a bond issue and restore the treasury surplus of $100 million.
  • In August 1914, J.P. Morgan & Co. made a deal with the Bank of England to make  the sole underwriter of war bonds for the UK and France. The Bank of England became a fiscal agent of J.P. Morgan & Co., and vice versa.
  • J.P. Morgan also invested in the suppliers of war equipment to Britain and France, thus profiting from the financing and purchasing activities of the two European governments.

Credit: oneshare.com23 Wall Street was known as "The Corner" and "The House of Morgan," and was for decades the bank's headquarters and the most important address in American finance. The building was built in 1914 but just a few years later at noon, on September 16, 1920, an anarchist bomb exploded in front of the bank, killing 38 and injuring 400. Many theories abound about who was behind the Wall Street bombing and why they did it, after twenty years of investigation the FBI rendered the file inactive without ever finding the perpetrators

What is known is that shortly before the bomb went off, an unknown person placed a warning note in a mailbox at the corner of Cedar Street and Broadway which read  "Remember we will not tolerate any longer. Free the political prisoners or it will be sure death for all of you. American Anarchists Fighters.

1935 representing a significant development in the business and creation of another S&P 500 company. The federal government passed the Glass–Steagall Act in 1933, forcing the separation of the securities/investment banking business from the commercial banking business. Two J.P. Morgan partners, Henry S. Morgan (son of Jack Morgan and grandson of J. Pierpont Morgan) and Harold Stanley, took the securities business and founded Morgan Stanley with $6.6 million of nonvoting preferred stock from J.P. Morgan partners. Morgan Stanley's early headquarters were at 2 Wall Street, just down the street from J.P. Morgan and the companies remained friendly.

Collectibles From Other Financial Companies

Bank of America's FlagscapeCredit: bank of america

The Bank of America Collectibles

The Bank of America is one of the Big Four US Banks. Started in California, it is now headquartered in Charlotte, NC. As of 2010, Bank of America Corporation is the 5th largest company in the United States by total revenue. 

General Electric (GE) Vintage SignCredit: wikipedia creative commonsGeneral Electric Gifts

General Electric is a conglomerate that actually generates most of its income from financial services.  It also is a significant manufacturer of a diverse range of products.
amex symbolAmerican Express GiftsCredit: american express

American Express was founded by Henry Wells and William Fargo, the same visionaries that started the Wells Fargo Bank (also formed as an express or shipping company). It is a large financial services company today.