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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



one of the oldest and most prominent financial groups in the USA, together with the Rockefellers holding the foremost position in the financial oligarchy of the country.

Total assets controlled by the Morgans at the end of 1970 amounted to more than $90 billion, of which about $40 billion was in the credit and finance sector. The Morgan group is comprised of an extensive coalition of banking and industrial monopolies, linked by a network of personal and financial ties. The center of the Morgan group prior to World War II was the New York banking house of J. P. Morgan and Company; its assets in 1972 were $16.5 billion.

The group’s original founder, Junius Spencer Morgan, and his son, John Pierpont Morgan, Sr., built up a great fortune during the American Civil War. After the death of J. P. Morgan, Sr., the banking house was headed by J. P. Morgan, Jr. Through financial machinations and stock market speculation in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Morgans gained a leading position in a number of manufacturing industries, including steel, copper, and machinery, as well as in railroad transport and especially in banking. J. P. Morgan and Company dominated the issuance of securities for industrial firms and controlled the major commercial banks in New York and Philadelphia.

Since World War II the financial center of the Morgan group has been composed of two commercial banks, Morgan Guaranty Trust Company and Bankers Trust, the latter having assets in 1972 of $13.3 billion, and the investment bank of Morgan Stanley Company. The Morgans control nearly 50 percent of the assets of two powerful life insurance companies, Prudential (1972 assets, $33.9 billion) and New York Life (1972 assets, $11.9 billion), and have similar sway over the network of investment banks headed by the Wellington Fund, which provides the Morgans with credit resources. The Morgan industrial empire includes such corporations as United States Steel, General Electric, General Motors, Kennecott Copper, and American Telephone and Telegraph, as well as major concerns in coal, textiles, oil, chemicals, and other industries. The absence of control over sectors closely tied to the contemporary scientific and technological revolution, such as radio electronics and aerospace, somewhat weakens the group’s position. Another source of weakness has been a relative decline in the international position of British and French capital, which the Morgan banks long represented in a capacity as broker of the securities of foreign governments for the American market.

The financial and industrial interests of the Morgans are represented throughout the capitalist world. The group exerts substantial influence on political life in the United States.


Soedinennye Shtaty Ameriki. Slovar’-spravochnik. [Moscow, 1960.] Pages 284–85.
Soedinennye Shtaty Ameriki (Ekonomika i politika stran sovremennogo kapitalizma). [Moscow, 1972.] Page 145.
Zhukov, E. F. Strakhovye monopolii v ekonomike SShA. Moscow, 1971. Page 141.
Fortune (magazine). July 1973. Pages 122–24.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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