J. P. Morgan

American financier, banker, philanthropist and art collector
John Pierpont Morgan
Morgan's role in the economy was denounced as overpowering in this political cartoon

John Pierpont Morgan (April 17, 1837 – March 31, 1913) was an American financier, banker, philanthropist and art collector who dominated corporate finance and industrial consolidation during his time.


  • It will fluctuate.
    • Said of the stock market, as quoted in Jean Strouse, Morgan: American Financier (Random House, 1999), p. 11
  • I owe the public nothing.
    • Quoted in the New York World (11 May 1901) during the Northern Pacific Corner. See Morgan: American Financier by Jean Strouse

Testimony to the Pujo Committee (1912)[1]Edit

  • The first thing [in credit] is character … before money or anything else. Money cannot buy it.… A man I do not trust could not get money from me on all the bonds in Christendom. I think that is the fundamental basis of business.
  • Money is gold, and nothing else.
    • Often misquoted as: Gold is money. Everything else is credit. Or: Gold and silver are money ...
  • Untermyer: Is not commercial credit based primarily upon money or property?
    Morgan: No, sir; the first thing is character.


  • If you have to ask the price, you can't afford it.
    • About purchasing a yacht; quoted in "Business Education World" (Gregg Publishing Company, 1961)
  • Well, I don't know as I want a lawyer to tell me what I cannot do. I hire him to tell how to do what I want to do.

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