Banking: The Chase Goes National

The first duel between Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton, who favored strong central authority, was not fought with pistols but with banknotes. Burr in 1799 founded the Bank of the Manhattan Co. to help finance the young Democratic-Republican Party and battle Hamilton's Bank of New York, which underwrote the Federalists. Hamilton's bank is still prospering, and Burr's grew into today's Chase Manhattan, with assets of $13 billion the U.S.'s third largest savings institution (after San Francisco's Bank of America and Manhattan's First National City Bank). Last week, breaking with a tradition...

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