The House of Morgan: An American Banking Dynasty and the Rise of Modern Finance by Ron Chernow
Rereading the house of morgan.
I think I have read it before in 2021 but I only have vague recollections of the non-crypto stuff I did that year. Everything else seems like it was a blur in some insane fever dream. Previously I read it and watched a couple documentaries and didn't take notes but really learned a lot and the stories about The House of Morgan really opened my eyes to the world of banking from the American civil war era to the World Wars.
Ok so this how The House of Morgan worked.
Peabody (mentor to Junius) -> Junius Spencer Morgan -> John Pierpont Morgan (JP Morgan, THE DUDE)
Pierpont sends a telegram to his father Junius to alert him about the Confederates losing the Siege of Vicksburg which allowed his father (Junius) to profit from sudden rise in American securities.
Chernow states "Such calamity trading wasn't thought bloodthirsty or reprehensible among merchant bankers but had an honored place in their mythology. As one Rothschild boasted, "When the streets of Paris are running with blood, I buy".
The Morgans would be proud to learn that we are now trading dog coins through Elon Musk tweets, bio changes, twitter likes, posting of dog pictures and more. Oh how times have changed (and at the same time not really!). Recently, the start of the invasion of Ukraine was traded and when the streets were "running with blood", people who bought Bitcoin/Tech stocks were up 20% in like a week due to a 'buy the news' type event. But then again news/narrative follows price so these are just fun stories to make up for price movements.
Ok so now it's talking about Junius's father (Joseph aka JP Morgan's grandfather) and their family. Joseph had an estate worth $1 million in 1847 which is $36.2 million in today's money. BUT HOLD ON.
America's richest man at the time and America's first millionaire was Jacob Astor who had a net worth of $20 million at his passing in 1848 which was 0.9% of America's GDP.
So Joseph had a net worth that was around 0.045% of America's GDP which would be the equivalent of $11.25 Billion today.
America's GDP was around $40b 1913 dollars back in the day and JP Morgan died with a net worth of $63 million so that was around 0.1575% of America's GDP which is the equivalent to around $40b today.
In 3 generations, they 4x'ed the insane generational wealth.
Turns out this Joseph guy was a lot more influential and crucial to the family's start in banking. He pivoted the family from farming to banking in the early 1800s. He had a coffeehouse and then bought a bank and later an insurance company. He then made bank on fire insurance which saw a boom after the 1835 Great Fire of New York.
Sadly there's not much information about Joseph. He doesn't even have his own wikipedia page. For a guy who turned his family farming business into a fortune the equivalent of $10b in todays money and cemented his family's name in American financial history, you would think there would be a lot more books.