JPMorgan Chase, a prime symbol of financial sector misconduct and reckless behavior in recent years, represents the consolidation of several of the most powerful New York and Chicago money center banks as well as the investment house founded by the legendary financier and robber baron J.P. Morgan. In 2008 two failing institutions—brokerage house Bear Stearns and mortgage lender Washington Mutual—were added to the mix. Those two acquisitions played a key role in the $13 billion settlement JPMorgan reached with the U.S. Justice Department in 2013 to resolve allegations of abuses in the period leading up to the financial crisis.
“Before World War I, two opposing systems of political economy competed for dominance in the United States. One operated out of Wall Street, the New York financial district that came to be the symbol of American finance. Its most important address was 23 Wall Street, known as the “House of Morgan.” J. P. Morgan was an agent of powerful British banking interests. The Wizards of Wall Street and the Old World bankers pulling their strings sought to establish a national currency that was based on the “gold standard,” one created privately by the financial elite who controlled the gold.
The other system dated back to Benjamin Franklin and operated out of Philadelphia… The Philadelphia faction favored a bank on the model established in provincial Pennsylvania, where a state loan office issued and lent money, collected the interest, and returned it to the provincial government to he used in place of taxes. President Abraham Lincoln returned to the colonial system of government-issued money during the Civil War; but he was assassinated, and the bankers reclaimed control of the money machine. The silent coup of the Wall Street faction culminated with the passage of the Federal Reserve Act in 1913.”
Ellen Brown in her book “Web of Debt”