New York City Is Wall Street’s Trophy Wife

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Photo: Djamilla Rosa Cochran/WireImage

New York City's relationship with Wall Street is not unlike that of a trophy wife married to a mercurial, arrogant billionaire. Sure, the superficial perks of the relationship are great. The fancy restaurants and the shopping. Sometimes they'll even give us a really big gift, like a new library or a hospital or a stadium. But in exchange, we have to live with them. With their drunkenness and boorish behavior and thoughtlessness and the callous way they treat us, like we're just scenery in their lives, there to entertain them. It makes us feel used. And sometimes, we have to wonder: Is the lifestyle really worth it? What would happen if one night we just put a pillow over Wall Street's head while it was sleeping?

This is an idea we quickly dismiss, of course. Because without Wall Street, who would keep us in the lifestyle to which we have become accustomed? Yesterday, a group of economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reminded us how dependent we have become.


Ms. Rosen traced the rise in the city’s dependence on Wall Street, showing how financial jobs had provided about one-eighth of all wages paid in New York in 1972. By 2007, more than one-third of all wages came from the “very volatile” financial sector, she said.

So once again, we must just grit our teeth, call our therapists, schedule a Botox appointment, and soldier on. Because what else can we do? It's not like we're going to move back to Nebraska.

Wall Street Must Recover Before City Can Overcome Recession, Economists Say [NYT]