[Marxism] Fwd: 'House of Morgan': a Chinese mogul, an anti-capitalist artist and an icon of Wall St | Business | The Guardian

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Jan 2 05:23:20 MST 2016

Through 1913 and into 1914, J Pierpoint Morgan spared no expense in the 
construction of an imposing headquarters that might suitably represent 
his reputation as the era’s pre-eminent financial baron – a lair for the 
capitalist’s capitalist smack in the heart of Wall Street.

He imported blocks of pink Knoxville marble weighing as much as 35 tons, 
commissioned a vault with a door weighing another 52, a massive crystal 
chandelier and panelling of English oak.

Morgan believed 23 Wall Street would be so well-known as the 
headquarters of JP Morgan & Co – the “House of Morgan” – that he didn’t 
even bother to order his name inscribed over the facade.

But for the past nine years this imposing monument to America’s most 
famous banker has stood neglected, its windows dirty and plastered with 
advertising, and without use save for occasional fashion industry 
parties or TV shoots. Its ownership is tied to Sam Pa, a jet-setting 
Hong Kong-based businessman with seven names, links to the Chinese 
intelligence services and a network of business contacts stretching from 
Pyongyang to Luanda, whose whereabouts since being detained by Chinese 
communist party authorities investigating corruption in China’s energy 
industry are unknown.

If that was not sufficiently rich in symbolism, keys to the 
102-year-old, 150,000 sq ft Sam Pa-JP Morgan edifice will soon by handed 
over to Simon Birch, a 41-year-old Brighton-born artist who plans to 
fill the space with contemporary art and sculpture based on 
anti-capitalist themes, he says, “of empires expanding and contracting”.


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