Published on Global Research.ca, by Dean Henderson, May 25, 2011.
… Consolidating the US Money Power:
The September 2000 marriage which created JP Morgan Chase was the grandest merger in a frenzy of bank consolidation that took place throughout the 1990’s. Merger mania was fed by a massive deregulation of the banking industry including revocation of the Glass Steagal Act of 1933, which was enacted after the Great Depression to curb the banking monopolies which had caused the 1929 stock market crash and precipitated the Great Depression.
In July 1929 Goldman Sachs launched two investment trusts called Shenandoah and Blue Ridge. Through August and September they touted these trusts to the public, selling hundreds of millions of dollars worth of shares through the Goldman Sachs Trading Corporation at $104/share. Goldman Sachs insiders were bailing out of the stock market. By the fall of 1934 the trust shares were worth $1.75 each. One director at both Shenandoah and Blue Ridge was Sullivan & Cromwell lawyer John Foster Dulles. 
John Merrill, founder of Merrill Lynch, exited the stock market in 1928, as did insiders at Lehman Brothers. Chase Manhattan Chairman Alfred Wiggin took his “hunch” to the next level, forming Shermar Corporation in 1929 to short the stock of his own company. Following the Crash of 1929, Citibank President Charles Mitchell was jailed for tax evasion. 
In February 1995 President Bill Clinton announced plans to wipe out both Glass Steagal and the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956- which barred banks from owning insurance companies and other financial entities. That day the old opium and slave trader Barings went belly up after one of its Singapore-based traders named Nicholas Gleason got caught on the wrong side of billions of dollars in derivative currency trades. 
The warning went unheeded. In 1991 US taxpayers, already billed over $500 billion dollars for the S&L looting, were charged another $70 billion to bail out the FDIC, then footed the bill for a secret 2 1/2-year rescue of Citibank, which was close to collapse after the Latin American debt crunch hit home. With their bill’s paid by US taxpayers and bank deregulation a done deal, the stage was set for a slew of bank mergers like none the world had ever seen … //
… In the US, the George Gould nightmare reached its ugly nadir just in time for the new millennium when Chase Manhattan swallowed up Chemical Bank. Bechtel banker Wells Fargo bought Norwest Bank, while Bank of America absorbed Nations Bank. The coup de grace came when the reunified House of Morgan announced that it would merge with the Rockefeller Chase Manhattan/Chemical Bank/ Manufacturers Hanover machine.
Four giant banks emerged to rule the US financial roost. JP Morgan Chase and Citigroup were kings of capital on the East Coast. Together they control 52.86% of the New York Federal Reserve Bank.  Bank of America and Wells Fargo reigned supreme on the West Coast.
During the 2008 banking crisis these firms got much larger, receiving a nearly $1 trillion government bailout compliments of Bush Treasury Secretary and Goldman Sachs alumni Henry Paulsen; while quietly taking over distressed assets for pennies on the dollar.
Barclays took over Lehman Brothers. JP Morgan Chase got Washington Mutual and Bear Stearns. Bank of America was handed Merrill Lynch and Countrywide. Wells Fargo swallowed up the nation’s 5th biggest bank- Wachovia.
The same Eight Families-controlled banks which for decades had galloped their Four Horsemen of oil roughshod through the Persian Gulf oil patch are now more powerful than at any time in history. They are the Four Horsemen of US banking. (full text and Notes 1 – 9).
(Dean Henderson is the author of Big Oil & Their Bankers in the Persian Gulf: Four Horsemen, Eight Families & Their Global Intelligence, Narcotics & Terror Network and The Grateful Unrich: Revolution in 50 Countries. See also his Left Hook blog.
Global Research Articles by Dean Henderson).