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Look, I've got no problem with Mayor Bloomberg ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange, and I realize how integral Wall Street is to the identity of New York City (as well as to Bloomberg's own success). But I think that Bloomberg doing it today -- to the ecstatic cheers of traders on the floor -- shows a kind of tone-deafness to the immediate needs of everyone in the NY area. It feels like one of those "Go Shopping" moments to me.

While countless New Yorkers lack power, heat, and water, and thousands across at least 4 of the 5 NYC boroughs lack homes right now, it seems to me that the mayor of the largest city in the country, by far the highest-profile politician in the storm's destructive path, should be, both in deed and in message, laser-focused on the highest-priority and most immediate needs of his residents.

In other words, the emphasis should be on humans, not markets. The big Wall Street banks will return to business-as-usual without any help from Mayor Bloomberg. But recovery from Hurricane Sandy will not be measured by the operations of the NYSE or the level of the Dow, but rather by the rebuilding of lives and communities that have been affected. Despite Mitt Romney's recent proclamation that "Corporations are people too, my friend," they are, in fact, not. And while reopening Wall Street may have large symbolic and practical value for the city, its immediate, short-term impact on getting lives, roads, power, water, heat, transit, schools, waste collection, and essential social services back to normal is virtually nil.

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Comment Preferences

  •  100% disagree (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Red Bean, lotac, vcmvo2

    Wall Street is a New York institution... one could argue that it is what makes "New York" what it is.  It would never have become the dominant city of the United States without being the financial capital of America, and thus of all Western Civilization.

    The Mayor's job is to get that city back on its feet.  I've no doubt that he will highlight every major re-opening: Wall Street, subway, airports, stadiums, etc.

    The mayor's personal job is to get New York City back to being NEW YORK CITY.  Its the same kind of thing Rudy Giuliani was praised for so much post-9/11.

    Not to mention, NYSE being closed costs a MASSIVE amount of money in both lost trading and for many local business that are centered around the exchange.

    There are plenty of agencies hard at work pumping water, clearing debris, delivering supplies, reconnecting power, etc.  This is not detracting anything from those efforts but is a very significant step forward to getting things back to normal.

    Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

    by Wisper on Wed Oct 31, 2012 at 08:43:29 AM PDT

    •  Sometimes symbols are important (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mndan

      Such as when Rudy Giuliani went on Saturday Night Live 3 weeks after 9/11 to open the show after a long period of darkness. Producer Lorne Michaels ended the intro asking "Can we be funny?" Rudy replied with a laugh "Why start now?"

      That was actually an iconic moment. I can give you a laundry list of shitty things Rudy has done, but that moment was good and proper, and necessary.

      The moment made a statement: Really bad things are still happening, and it will take a long time to clean up this mess, but life must go on. It was important not just for SNL, not just for NYC, not just for the USA, but for the world.

      Likewise, re-opening the NYSE is one of those moments. It doesn't mean that it is more important than other things going on during the recovery. It means that this institution is ready to resume doing what it does, because it is ready. Other institutions, such as hospitals, subways, tunnels, and the like, will have their moment too, to say "we're back".

      Life goes on, as it must.

      "Please proceed, Governor" - President Barack Obama, correctly sensing that RomneyBot 2012 is about to make a huge blunder on terrorist attacks.

      by lotac on Wed Oct 31, 2012 at 08:57:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That was a great SNL moment (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lotac

        And I too have a whole list of complaints about Guiliani, but I will hand it to him for being a great leader for "New Yorkers" after 9/11.  

        Terrorism, Wars and Politics aside, Guiliani stepped up  and helped that city, its citizens and its unique collective identity get back on its feet.  

        He did everything he could personally, with the on-the-ground power of the Mayoral Office, to show that New York was still New York and could live on and get back to work, play and LIFE after an unspeakably horrible event.

        Sandy is not 9/11, but it is a more widespread logisitcal disaster.  Bloomberg needs to do the same kind of thing and ringing the bell at the NYSE is part of that.

        Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

        by Wisper on Wed Oct 31, 2012 at 09:32:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Ring ok, but ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jack23

    OK! Ring the bell, but, I do not like that he told our President he had no time to show him the damage today.  Not only is it disrespectful, but I think NY citizens would be encouraged to see their President today.  I think if I were a NY resident I would like seeing my President first hand in this time if crisis.  Chris Christie gets that.

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