Fortune rank: 18
2008 profit: $5.61 BillionJ.P. Morgan avoided the massive losses from toxic complex debt securities and subprime mortgages that wrecked other Wall Street firms in 2008.
Though profits fell 64%, the bank, led by chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon, acquired Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual in fire sales and actually increased Tier I capital - a key measure of strength - during the year.
2009 might be another story: J.P. Morgan has high exposure to consumer lending as the recession continues.