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Subpoena of John Pierpont Morgan Jr. to appear before the Senate Banking and Currency Committee, May 23, 1933

The Pecora Committee employed a host of researchers to gather information from questionnaires, business records, and the testimony of financial giants, including banker John Pierpont Morgan Jr. and Standard Oil heir John D. Rockefeller Jr. The investigation of such prominent individuals kept the committee in the national news.

Records of the U.S. Senate, National Archives and Records Administration

Subpoena of John Pierpont Morgan Jr. to appear before the Senate Banking and Currency Committee, May 23, 1933

The Stock Market Crash

The 1929 New York stock market crash propelled an economic collapse that resulted in the Great Depression. To understand the cause of the financial crash, the Senate Committee on Banking and Currency investigated Wall Street banking and investment practices. Informally named after its astute and dynamic chief counsel, Ferdinand Pecora, the Pecora Committee exposed practices that, while legal, were judged unethical. Congress drew on the committee’s discoveries to restructure the banking and securities industries, approving the Banking Act in 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act in 1934.

[Financial lobbyists] are powerful, but they are not powerful enough to defy Congress. They are strong, but they are not strong enough to obstruct the Government. At least that is my hope.

Senator Duncan Fletcher of Florida, Speech to the Senate, May 7, 1934