The Original Bailout : Planet Money In 1907, America's financial system ran into trouble. Trust in financial institutions evaporated, and contagion swept through the economy. Then John Pierpont Morgan stepped in.
NPR logo The Original Bailout

The Original Bailout

Back in 1907, America's financial system was pretty unsophisticated. There was no central bank, barely any kind of regulatory framework, and no backstop in case of a crash.

Meanwhile, the economy was growing fast, with people borrowing and investing at a dizzying rate. And when people lost confidence in a kind of unregulated lending institution called a trust, panic spread through the economy.

Fortunately, America had a secret weapon. An impeccably connected New York financier named John Pierpont Morgan. We visited his library to learn how the original J.P. Morgan saved the day.

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