This is my first post in English. It is simple, and based in “copy-paste” from the Howard Zinn’s book “A People’s History of US“. What I want to show is that “the american dream” is a fallacy. Who are in power, or the powerful, the wealthy are not because they were smarter or luckier. They are, as persons or as group, in charge because they didn’t play fair, they got rich from slavery, explotation and wars. As example of that I will choose JPMorgan. I will start from the bank web page:

1915:

J.P. Morgan arranges the biggest foreign loan in history – a $500 million Anglo/French loan.

1906:

J.P. Morgan is central to the creation of U.S. Steel, GE and AT&T.

1895:

J. Pierpont Morgan, Sr. becomes senior partner. The New York firm is renamed J.P. Morgan & Co.

1893:

J.P. Morgan is primary financier of U.S. railroads.

1848:

The Waterbury Bank opens, a predecessor of the Chase Manhattan Bank.

1824:

The Chemical Bank is established.

1799:

The Manhattan Company, the firm’s earliest predecessor institution, is chartered.

 

And then, some extracts of the book. The bolds are mine. In the year 1886, Henry Grady, an editor of the Atlanta Constitution, spoke at a dinner in New York. In the audience were J. P. Morgan, H. M. Flagler (an associate of Rockefeller), Russell Sage, and Charles Tiffany. His talk was called “The New South” and his theme was: Let bygones be bygones; let us have a new era of peace and prosperity; the Negro was a prosperous laboring class; he had the fullest protection of the laws and the friendship of the southern people. Grady joked about the northerners who sold slaves to the South and said the South could now handle its own race problem.

It was a system of periodic crisis-1837, 1857,1873 (and later: 1893, 1907, 1919, 1929)-that wiped out small businesses and brought cold,hunger, and death to working people while the fortunes of the Astors, Vanderbilts, Rockefellers, Morgans, kept growing through war and peace, crisis and recovery. During the 1873 crisis, Carnegie was capturing the steel market, Rockefeller was wiping out his competitors in oil. The wild fraud on the railroads led to more control of railroad finances by bankers, who wanted more stability-profit by law rather than by theft. By the 1890s, most of the country’s railway mileage was concentrated in six huge systems. Four of these were completely or partially controlled by the House of Morgan, and two others by the bankers Kuhn, Loeb, and Company. J. P. Morgan had started before the war, as the son of a banker who began selling stocks for the railroads for good commissions. During the Civil War he bought five thousand rifles for $3.50 each from an army arsenal, and sold them to a general in the field for $22 each. The rifles were defective and would shoot off the thumbs of the soldiers using them. A congressional committee noted this in the small print of an obscure report, but a federal judge upheld the deal as the fulfillment of a valid legal contract. Morgan had escaped military service in the Civil War by paying $300 to a substitute. So did John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, Philip Armour, Jay Gould, and James Mellon. Mellon’s father had written to him that “a man may be a patriot without risking his own life or sacrificing his health. There are plenty of lives less valuable.” In 1895 the gold reserve of the United States was depleted, while twenty-six New York City banks had $129 million in gold in their vaults. A syndicate of bankers headed by J. P. Morgan & Company, August Belmont & Company, the National City Bank, and others offered to give the government gold in exchange for bonds. President Grover Cleveland agreed. The bankers immediately resold the bonds at higher prices, making $18 million profit. A journalist wrote: “If a man wants to buy beef, he must go to the butcher…. If Mr. Cleveland wants much gold, he must go to the big banker.” By 1900, he (Morgan) controlled 100,000 miles of railroad, half the country’s mileage. Three insurance companies dominated by the Morgan group had a billion dollars in assets. Morgan then formed the U.S. Steel Corporation, combining Carnegie’s corporation with others. He sold stocks and bonds for $1,300,000,000 (about 400 million more than the combined worth of the companies) and took a fee of 150 million for arranging the consolidation. How could dividends be paid to all those stockholders and bondholders? By making sure Congress passed tariffs keeping out foreign steel; by closing off competition and maintaining the price at $28 a ton; and by working 200,000 men twelve hours a day for wages that barely kept their families alive. (Where is here free market?) J. P. Morgan and Company acted as agents for the Allies, and when, in 1915, Wilson lifted the ban on private bank loans to the Allies, Morgan could now begin lending money in such great amounts as to both make great profit and tie American finance closely to the interest of a British victory in the war against Germany. JP Morgan, one of the more powerful banks in US and in the world is the responsible of the current crisis. But the capital origin is over the sweat of millions of US workers.

 

 

Anuncios