The History of Chase Bank

For more than 200 years, J.P. Morgan Chase has stood as a financial institution that has seen it all. Over the years, the banking giant has seen the country through World War I and played a direct hand in several important contributions to the financial industry. This is a brief history of this landmark bank.

The Beginning

Aaron Burr began the Manhattan Company in 1799. It began life as a supplier of water to New York City. In 1831, John Pierpont Morgan was born. He takes the name “Pierpont” for most of his life, and remained insignificant until he met a Philadelphia banker named Anthony Drexel. The two founded “Drexel, Morgan & Co,” which began as a brokerage company for businessmen bringing European investment money into the Americas.

The Early 1900s

JP Morgan & Co was well established by the turn of the 20th century. They had offices at 23 Wall Street and were ready to continue expanding. When World War I hit, the company made a landmark $500 million loan to help the Allied war effort.

Not everyone was pleased with JP Morgan. An anarchist group planted a bomb in front of the building in 1920. The detonation killed 38 people and injured 400.

Modern JP Morgan

The 1960s marked a few important mergers and financial deals in the bank’s history. Chase purchased the firm that oversaw the Apple IPO, and they would eventually advise Exxon on the merger that would create one of the largest companies in the world. Eventually, JP Morgan was bought out by Chase Manhattan in the year 2000, helping to continue the bank’s epic history.


By Phin Upham

Part 3

The third part of Cartwright’s model is the simulacrum. She begins her discussion of simulacra by giving the secondary OED definition: “Something having merely the form or appearance of a certain thing, without possessing its substance or proper qualities.” The simulacrum moves away from reality in order to be able to generate laws. The process begins with a set of laws of phenomena but then develops causal relationships and fundamental laws. Cartwright envisions the simulacrum as a home to these laws. Continue reading


By Phin Upham

Part 2

In The Dappled World, Cartwright (1999, 31) upholds “metaphysical nomological pluralism,” which is “the doctrine that nature is governed in different domains by different systems of laws not necessarily related to each other in a systematic or uniform way; by a patchwork of laws.” In this view, “covering laws,” such as those of gravity, which hold over several unrelated domains, are distorted and lack realism when we disregard the necessity to apply them differently to the different domains. Continue reading


By Phin Upham

Part 1

ABSTRACT: The usefulness of models that describe the world lies in their simplicity relative to what they model. But simplification entails inaccuracy, so models should be treated as provisional. Nancy Cartwright’s account of science as a modeling exercise, in which fundamental laws hold true only in theory—not in reality, given the complexities of the real world—suggests that Rational Choice Theory (RCT) should not be rejected on the traditional basis of its lack of realism: that, after all, is to be expected of any simulacrum model. But when RCT has been extended to domains, such as politics, in which there is no necessary reason to expect systemic pressures against people who depart too far from the model, RCT is a simulacrum without any par­ticular claim to expressing underlying causal laws. This cautions against the tendency to rest content with models and to treat their assumptions as if they were true. The question of whether economics and other social sciences are really “scientific” is often answered by taking some view of the natural sci­ences for granted, and then seeing how well the social “sciences” mea­sure up. But an equally illuminating approach might be to see how a prominent challenge to conventional views about natural science affects our understanding of social science. Continue reading

Positioning knowledge: schools of thought and new knowledge creation – Part 3

By Phin Upham

Part 3

Previous research in local and distant search suggests that new knowledge which is core to its school of thought is likely to be intellectually embedded within that school and have less impact outside of that school, and new knowledge located closer to the periphery of its school tends to more explicitly engage ideas meaningful both to its own field and to audiences beyond its field (McCain 1986, 1987). Even within a school, new knowledge that remains too close to the core ideas of a school and does not search for and use new ideas is less likely to have innovative impact (Meyer and Zucker 1989; Fleming 2001; Fleming and Sorenson 2001) and is thus less likely to influence others and be more highly cited by those within its school (Rosenkopf and Nerkar 2001). At the same time, knowledge too distant from the core might not reap as many of the benefits of membership. This would imply that the relationship between a position at the center and periphery of a school is curvilinear—that a position at the semi-periphery of a school, straddling more than one school or reaching beyond one’s school, would tend to draw the largest audience for new knowledge and receive the most overall citations. Such boundary-spanning research is more likely to draw fresh, interesting outside work into a school, which would potentially result in more impact (Fig. 2).

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Positioning knowledge: schools of thought and new knowledge creation – Part 2

By Phin Upham


Hotelling (1929) described a competitive game that was later adapted to explore strategic positioning in ideological space. In the game, two hypothetical newspaper sellers, competing for readers who are distributed evenly along ‘‘Main Street,’’ can set up their stand anywhere in town. Assuming that, for the same price, customers will buy the closest newspaper if one newspaper seller were to position himself anywhere but the center of Main Street, the other would position himself a little closer to the center point and gain the majority of the customers. Thus both sellers end up converging at the midpoint of Main Street. In this model each player explicitly takes into consideration the moves of other players when acting. A political variant of this principle was applied to the ideological landscape of voters to explain the middle-of-the-road views generally espoused by candidates of major political parties (Downs 1957). Given an even distribution of voters, politicians in a two-party race, in order to appeal to the greatest number of voters, will converge to mainstream positions where they maximize their access to voters in a Nash equilibrium. More generally, Downs’ work finds that in an intellectual landscape, given Hotelling’s assumptions, a central position closest to the greatest number of consumers is optimal.

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Positioning knowledge: schools of thought and new knowledge creation – Part 1

By Phin Upham


Cohesive intellectual communities called ‘‘schools of thought’’ can provide powerful benefits to those developing new knowledge, but can also constrain them. We examine how developers of new knowledge position themselves within and between schools of thought, and how this affects their impact. Looking at the micro and macro fields of management publications from 1956 to 2002 with an extensive dataset of 113,000? articles from 41 top journals, we explore the dynamics of knowledge positioning for management scholars. We find that it is significantly beneficial for new knowledge to be a part of a school of thought, and that within a school of thought new knowledge has more impact if it is in the intellectual semi-periphery of the school. Keywords Innovation Management Schools of thought Clustering. Continue reading

A New Perspective on Plato’s Socratic Dialogues

plato phin upham
I recently re-read the essay “A New Interpretation of Plato’s Socratic Dialogues,” by Charles H. Khan, included in my book Space of Love and Garbage. Charles H. Kahn is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania. He has published The Art and Thought of Heraclitus, The Verb ‘Be’ in Ancient Greek, and Pythagoras and the Pythagoreans, as well as his first book, Anaximander and the Origins of Greek Cosmology. The present article reflects the views developed in his Plato and the Socratic Dialogue (1996). Continue reading

Hercules Firing Arrows at his Children

By Phin Upham
Hercules Firing Arrows at his Children - Antonio Canova
The painting “Hercules Firing Arrows at His Children,” by Italian artist Antonio Canova is a moving work of genius. The brilliance of this painting is revealed in its delicate use of detail to express the moment and in the way it expresses emotion. “Hercules Firing Arrows at his Children” was painted in 1799 using oil on paper and glued to canvas. It is 42 X 66 cm. The painting features the infamous madness of Hercules. After being driven mad by the goddess Hera and by drink, he murders his whole family in blind furry. When finally sober, Hercules is surprised and heartbroken by his actions. He agrees to twelve labors in order to partially atone for his sins. Continue reading

Does the Economic Downtown Need another World War?

By Phin Upham
world war
When it comes to examining the world of investing from a global perspective, it helps to take a step back from the details. It’s important to view the market through several lenses, not only to see the bigger picture but also to see what other people might not notice.

The seriousness of the global economic climate and the structural dependency on globalization might just mean that things will not get any better until a few serious and possibly horrible changes are made. World War II was responsible for ending The Great Depression – it’s true that FDR did not revive the US but that it was brought back to life by the war. World War II required plenty of resources, from nearly every factory to every person in the country, including many women. The entire war effort fueled the economy. If The Great Depression was lifted by a world war, could our downturn benefit from one, too?

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