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Occupy Wall St.

Been going on for a while, but I couldn't find a thread on it here.

Thought it was somewhat relevant, what does everybody think?

My thoughts: why isn't anyone picketing Fannie and Freddie, or the homes of Franklin Raines, Barney Frank, etc. Much to easy/popular to use Wall St. as the scapegoat? Heck, even the people who signed the contracts for those variable rate loans should hold some accountability. If you make $20k a year, you probably can't afford that 500k house, sorry buddy.
Instead of holding up signs about what they don't like (capitalism, banks, ...money), I'd like to signs for what they support ... I mean why don't they just hold up signs that are blatantly honest like "I want rich people to pay for my free stuff" or "health care is a right (paid for by you)"

Nobody owes anybody else anything, the sooner these goons figure that out the better.
The problem is they think Wall Street is the enemy, when in fact only a few players really caused harm and the blame is across the board. At the end of the day, just because someone is going to give you a loan doesn't mean you should take it. If someone leaves the door open it doesn't make it ok for me to rob them.

You would think people would be happy. Banks basically let people live them dream and now all they have to do is walk away. Their credit is ruined, but it probably was never that good and what did you expect when you make 20k a year and you just bought a mansion with 100% financing.

How come the people who didn't overspend during the boom, who bought reasonable house and who kept their debt load low, even though their neighbors were buying the new toys, how come you don't see those people protesting the people walking away from their mortgage and leaving gutted houses and torn up lawns, destroying everyone else's property values.

I got it that people are angry, but if they think Communism or something other than Capitalism would make their life better they are delusional.

Diego Calderon

Grad Student
I take it at face value. I think people want SOME WAY of saying something, the best way is to gather in large groups of people because it is easier to become a symbol this way. They may not know exactly what they're pissed off about yet, but this is generally how things start. I'm interested to see how this develops; if it will develop further. Never underestimate the power of people. Don't forget that the people create the markets...as for the other direction, well that's a different discussion.
People do create markets, but not those people.

For all the anti Wall Street protesters, I ask this, suppose we do away with Wall Street. How are companies supposed to raise debt and equity? When they merge, will they over pay or get less than they should for their company? Will markets be efficient or will small investors get hurt the most?

People just don't understand basic economics. They want to go against human emotion and then expect people to act in ways that decrease their utility. So silly.

Anyway. This little protest is nice, this is what the USA is all about. With that said, some protests are righteous and some are misguided.
Oh yeah. Question for anyone who works/lives around there: is it actually 50k-75k as some reports say, or what?
There's is nothing interesting going on down here at least when I came in this morning. It was hundreds at best and they're over in zucotti park where no one cares because wall street was all barricaded. Total non-story, media making it look bigger than it really was. It had a couple thousand on the weekend but it's nothing now.
Oh yeah. Question for anyone who works/lives around there: is it actually 50k-75k as some reports say, or what?

Definitely not anywhere near that number. More like ~500. The 50,000 number was from the first day (the 17th) and referenced the number of people participating in protests *globally*.
I hope the government is not influenced by them to take further actions. I think these people need to be explained what people do at wall street.

The only thing they are concerned about is why wall streeters get paid more. They dont understant that these people go to college and lot of them even to grad school(in case of financial engineers) and even after that the job is not 9-5. They work very very hard to get to the place where they are.
I disagree. I think they are primarily concerned with why those who work on wall street do not actually shoulder the risk they claim to take. As this subprime experiment has proven, America as a country cannot shoulder the risks that these entities take in the name of marginally higher profits. Which means things on Wall Street have to change, otherwise there will literally no longer be an America or Wall Street. Furthermore, Wall Street more or less recognizes this fact - that America and Wall Street are mutually dependent entities.

Capitalism rewards results. And based on the last 4 years, I think many question why Wall Street-ers aren't getting third and fourth morgtages on their homes trying to salvage the companies they work for, as the story that gets told about the crash in the '80's goes.

Working really long hours should only be rewarded if you have something to show for it. This, however, is only a small part of a surface argument.

Like I already said, if you really want to talk about what happened, where things are going and what needs to be done, that is a complicated matter that requires no less than two beers... ;)

i like the beer part of it.
Everyone talks about deregulation, that's not the problem. You wouldn't need stacks of regulations to make sure wall street did the "right thing" if you didn't have all the implicit guarantees that the government provides. And if you didn't have all the regulation, smaller outfits could afford to compete if they didn't have to have swarms of lawyers, SOX/DF/Whatever compliance officers.

I think its ironic, is that these useful idiots play right into the hands of the people they are protesting.

BTW, did radiohead ever play down there? A bunch of the analyst apparently left work early to see them. I am not quite sure they knew why/cared they were playing.
ya i have seen the movie. But i think EVERYONE seems to be confused about the wall street. I think Wall Street is a big target because of the concentration of lot of Investment banks at one place. People donot like lawyers and doctors earning huge money (especially the ones who dropped out of high school and are working at McDonald) but then these two fields are spread around so they cannot target them. Hence the Wall STREET
If that is the perception, people are grossly misinformed...

I have always maintained that in order to earn the right to complain, one must personally take positive, affirmative action to change the situation. Walking past Zuccotti park on a daily basis, I sure hear a lot of complaining.

Downtown's Big Shift

Lower Manhattan Has Transformed Into a Place to Call Home in the Past 10 Years

Even before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Lower Manhattan—salted with shabby government offices, storefront delis and foreboding bank buildings—was rarely counted among the city's more charming residential neighborhoods. And for a while after the attacks, its streets grew seemingly more inhospitable.​

An acrid sting lingered in the air, along with a palpable anxiety. The wreckage at Ground Zero smoldered for months. Barriers and debris blocked streets. The National Guard was a constant presence, checking the identification of residents.​

A decade later, Lower Manhattan has undergone a significant shift into one of the fastest-growing residential sections of New York. Adding 26,800 residents over the past 10 years, the southern tip of the island below Canal Street has nearly doubled the population it had in 2000, according to U.S. Census data.

"As things were rebuilding, we were returning to some semblance of normal. I just realized one day, it just struck me that it was a new normal. But it was normal," said Michael Kaufman, who has lived in Battery Park City for 16 years.​

Businesses have returned to Lower Manhattan, with more firms operating there than in 2001, according to the Alliance for Downtown New York. There are now just 4% fewer jobs in Lower Manhattan than were there on Sept. 11, 2001, though many higher-paying financial-sector jobs have been replaced by lower-wage positions in the hotel and retail industries.

"After the first few months, it was very difficult to figure out where we'd be," said Madelyn Wils, chairwoman of the local community board during the time of the attacks and a resident of TriBeCa for the past 26 years.​

While the future was uncertain, the yearning for a rebirth for downtown inspired many to stay, she said.​

"The hope of the dream was what everybody hung their hat on," Ms. Wils said.​
Residents who stuck around organized into various community groups to figure out how the neighborhood would rebuild. Newcomers were lured by high-achieving schools, easy access to the waterfront and tax incentives that made it more affordable to buy new homes.​

Lower Manhattan still faces challenges. Conde Nast's announcement that it would move into the new World Trade Center was a boon for the neighborhood. But it's still unclear how many more private businesses will opt to move to an area that was the target of terrorist attacks in 1993 and 2001.​

The commercial-office market still struggles. After 9/11, vacancy rates for commercial office space jumped to nearly 15%, according to real-estate brokerage firm Cushman & Wakefield.​

Those rates began falling in the middle of the decade, but that recovery was spoiled by the recession. Vacancy rates currently hover at around 10%, about double the rate in 2001.​

Helping the area regroup was $30 billion in public and private investments. Condo owners returned to their homes. Developers took advantage of new tax incentives to build new residential buildings.​

While Battery Park City is a vastly different place compared to when he first moved in, Mr. Kaufman said he's thrilled by the new schools and influx of new residents. "When Seven World Trade​
opened, I was ready to dance," said Mr. Kaufman, who works as a chief information officer for Downtown Magazine, which focuses on Lower Manhattan.​

But as Battery Park City has become more desirable, the cost of living has made it difficult for working-class families to afford to buy homes. A condo purchased in 2001 had a median sales price of $285,000, according to real-estate website StreetEasy. In 2011, the median sales price is $725,000.​

Mr. Kaufman, who is married with three children, said his family may eventually move out of their two-bedroom condo for a bigger space.​

"I just may be priced out, is the bottom line," he said.​

Young families moving into the neighborhood with children have driven most of the growth Lower Manhattan, said Julie Menin, the current chairwoman of the local community board. "The new schools were absolutely critical," she said.
Among the new public schools in the area are Public School/Intermediate School 276 and the Spruce Street School. A new school will also be built in the Peck Slip post office as well.

TriBeCa was on the cusp of transforming from an area primarily inhabited by artists into an affluent neighborhood at the time of the attacks. In 2011, that shift is nearly complete. The median sales price for condos in TriBeCa during 2001 was $1.272 million, according StreetEasy. In 2011, it's $2.325 million.​

Bruce Ehrmann and his wife were among those who stayed in TriBeCa after 9/11. "To me the most striking change is that the neighborhood went from a place that was contaminated in every aspect…to a place that is thriving," said Mr. Ehrmann, a real-estate broker who has lived in TriBeCa since 1987.​

There is now a Whole Foods and a Barnes & Noble and other signs of suburban life, said Jane Rosenthal, co-founder of the TriBeCa Film Festival, who lived in the neighborhood during the 1990s.​

"They used to call TriBeCa 'Triburbia,'" Ms. Rosenthal said. "I think now it's actually living up to that nickname."​
The financial district underwent one of the most substantial character changes as many office buildings converted into residential towers, said Sofia Song of StreetEasy.com. "When the market was hot, these buildings were selling out very quickly," Ms. Song said.​
Sales have been fueled by young buyers—many of them in creative and technical, rather than financial, careers.​

Christian Ewton runs an online sustainable-goods shop. On the roof of their Gold Street building with views of New Jersey, Mr. Ewton and a gang of recent Ivy League graduates who work in or around the tech industry gather to hang out and hold popular bocce ball tournaments. "There's something wonderfully calming about playing bocce 53 stories in the air," Mr. Ewton said.​

Wall Street continues to be the biggest source of private jobs in Lower Manhattan, according to the Alliance for Downtown New York, and firms such as Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan Chase employ thousands of people. But many financial-services companies continued their decades-long migration to Midtown after the attacks.

"There are just a lot less people working at the stock exchange," said Ted Weisberg, president of the family-run firm Seaport Securities, which has been in business downtown for more than 30 years. "It has been a very dramatic change."​