the greatest depression

Boulevard of Broken Dividends

Stamford, Connecticut, has been forced into reduced circumstances owing to the downturn, today’s Wall Street Journal soberly informs us. Unemployment in the city the mayor once deemed the “capital of financial services” hit 7 percent in March, and though this is lower than the national average, most of these jobs belonged to finance professionals, and we do believe it hurts them more. Plus, office vacancy rates have doubled, and developers “have shelved luxury projects like a Ritz-Carlton hotel.” It is grim, people. Which is why Stamford has decided to sell its soul.

To weather the downturn, city officials know they can no longer bank only on banks. Instead, they are looking west — to Hollywood. Stamford recently has landed several deals to bring production of television shows to the city, adding to the city’s cadre of media and entertainment-related businesses. It already is home to both World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. and Comcast Corp.’s Versus sports channel, and the city has been used as a location for scenes in films including “Rachel Getting Married” and “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2.”

Sure. This is how it starts. You get a few lucky breaks. Some small parts in big pictures. You’re riding high. You’re gonna to be a star! And the next thing you know, you’re taking off your shirt so a guy called Tito can hold an ice cube up to your nipples. We’ve seen this before, and it isn’t pretty. Get out before it’s too late, Stamford. Go back to college. Learn a little something about alternative energy.

Trouble in ‘Wall Street North’ Spurs Search for New Identity [WSJ]

Boulevard of Broken Dividends