January 16, 2007
News & Opinion: Daily Dose of The Executive Almanac Part 6
Today's Dose from The Executive Almanac:
"JPMorgan Chase, the third largest bank in the United States, has a lot of ancestors--and now it's making amends for two of them.
Between 1831 and 1865, two predecessor banks, Citizens Bank and Canal Bank, both operating in Louisiana, apparently made loans with some 13,000 slaves as collateral. When planation owners defaulted on the loans, the banks took possession of 1,250 slaves. When this history came to light, JPMorgan Chase apologized on its Web site and established a $5 million scholarship fund for African-American college students.
The information orginally surfaced as a result of a regulation established in 2002 by the Chicago City Council requiring companies doing business with the city to disclose whether they profited from slavery. After looking at records stored at Tulane University, 12 historians spent more than 3,500 hours researching property and bank records in 39 Louisiana parishes, where the incriminating evidence was discovered."