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The First Wall StreetChestnut Street, Philadelphia, and the Birth of American Finance$
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Robert E. Wright

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780226910260

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226910291.001.0001

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Wall Street Ascendant

Wall Street Ascendant

(p.147) 10 Wall Street Ascendant
The First Wall Street
University of Chicago Press

This chapter discusses how Philadelphia's finest passed to eternity and how, as its trade fled to New York, Baltimore, and New Orleans, Chestnut Street's lifeblood—deposits—also began to dry up. Increasingly, Americans had credits in, or had to make payments to, Manhattan, not the Quaker metropolis. Therefore, the nation's banks, which numbered nearly four hundred by 1830, kept their big deposit balances in Wall Street, not Chestnut Street, institutions. Manhattan's banks lent those deposits to New York's merchants, giving them a further advantage over Philadelphia's merchants. Moreover, they lent them—overnight with strong collateral—to securities brokers, dealers, stockjobbers, and anyone else who wanted to play in the securities markets. Therefore, New York's stock market was soon awash in liquidity (a good thing for investors) and hence attracted yet more investment funds.

Keywords:   Wall Street, deposits, banks, investment funds, liquidity

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