“I think New York’s economy may be at least stable, not quite as depressed as you might have thought if, for instance, there hadn’t been any bonuses, or if there were some legislation to limit their amount. Wall Street drives between 20 and 25 percent of New York’s economy. There are fewer workers, but the bonuses seem to be healthy. I think that will keep it propped up. But I wouldn’t think it would grow. That’s reason not to be pessimistic, if not optimistic. I don’t think you’re going to see a lot of resurgence in the investment-banking business for the rest of this year. The economy itself is certainly stabilized. What I’m saying here about Wall Street and New York City is sort of what the Fed just said about the economy: It’s not going down anymore.”
Charles R. Geisst
Author of Wall Street: A History and Collateral Damaged: The Marketing of Consumer Debt to America; chair in Global Economics at Manhattan College
Do I See Some Sun?
“Last winter and spring, there was a much greater level of anxiety. Now people have learned how to cope. The city has got a great number of indicators that have been able to continue to do well: higher education, health care, and certainly tourism—the tour buses are jammed. It doesn’t mean there aren’t going to be continued foreclosures, and certainly the housing market is going to have to adapt to the reduction in incomes. Retail stores are gradually learning they have to adapt to a different customer culture. That’s why the stores are promoting their own brands. The strength for many outer-borough neighborhoods is the underground economy, which is still strong. The core assets of the city are quite intact. Let me put it this way: There are still crowds at the Apple Store.”
Professor of urban policy and planning, NYU Wagner School of Public Service