Dances With Risk
John Pierpont Morgan founded J.P. Morgan and Company in the late 1800s, helping to finance America’s railroads and underwriting such powerhouse companies as U.S. Steel, AT&T and General Electric Corporation. More recently, J.P. Morgan and Co. merged with Chase Manhattan Corporation to form J.P. Morgan Chase in 2000. They navigated the collateralized mortgage debt fiasco and its ensuing recession with aplomb -snatching up at bargain prices the assets of those who stumbled. Somehow, however, the grand old J. P. Morgan alchemy backfired recently, turning gold back into junk metal to the sum of two billion dollars and counting.