Abstract: What Did Morgan's Men Really Do?

Leslie Hannah

Abstract

Before 1914, London, the financial centre of a country half the size of the United States, had a stock exchange that was larger and qualitatively more developed than New York for both domestic and overseas financing needs. J. P. Morgan's higher profits in New York arose partly from conflicted deals that would later be illegal, as they already were in London. His contributions to the rapid catch-up process by New York are more plausibly seen in terms of successful emulation of European precedents than the information signaling alleged in over-determined, "Whig" models of American financial innovation.