Wall Street

Wall Street is an eight-block-long street running roughly northwest to southeast from Broadway to South Street, at the East River, in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan in New York City.[4] Over time, the term has become a metonym for the financial markets of the United States as a whole, the American financial services industry (even if financial firms are not physically located there), or New York–based financial interests.[5]

Anchored by Wall Street, New York City has been called both the most economically powerful city and the leading financial center of the world,[6][7][8][9] and the city is home to the world's two largest stock exchanges by total market capitalization, the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ.[10][11] Several other major exchanges have or had headquarters in the Wall Street area, including the New York Mercantile Exchange, the New York Board of Trade, and the former American Stock Exchange.

Wall Street
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The New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street, by a significant margin the world's largest stock exchange per market capitalization of its listed companies,[1][2] at US$23.1 trillion as of April 2018.[3]
Wall Street map2
West endBroadway
East endSouth Street
Wall Street Sign (1-9)
Street sign

History

Early years

CastelloPlanOriginal
The original city map called the Castello Plan from 1660, showing the wall on the right side
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Depiction of the wall of New Amsterdam on a tile in the Wall Street subway station, serving the 4 and ​5 trains
The Vigilant Stuyvesant's Wall Street Gate MET ap61.79
The Vigilant Stuyvesant's Wall Street Gate, 19th-century painting by John Quidor.

There are varying accounts about how the Dutch-named "de Waalstraat"[12] got its name. A generally accepted version is that the name of the street was derived from a wall (actually a wooden palisade) on the northern boundary of the New Amsterdam settlement, built to protect against Native Americans, pirates, and the British. A conflicting explanation is that Wall Street was named after Walloons—the Dutch name for a Walloon is Waal.[13] Among the first settlers that embarked on the ship "Nieu Nederlandt" in 1624 were 30 Walloon families. While the Dutch word "wal" can be translated as "rampart", it only appeared as "de Walstraat" on English maps of New Amsterdam. However, even some English maps show the name as Waal Straat, and not as Wal Straat.[12]

According to one version of the story:

The red people from Manhattan Island crossed to the mainland, where a treaty was made with the Dutch, and the place was therefore called the Pipe of Peace, in their language, Hoboken. But soon after that, the Dutch governor, Kieft, sent his men out there one night and massacred the entire population. Few of them escaped, but they spread the story of what had been done, and this did much to antagonize all the remaining tribes against all the white settlers. Shortly after, Nieuw Amsterdam erected a double palisade for defense against its now enraged red neighbors, and this remained for some time the northern limit of the Dutch city. The space between the former walls is now called Wall Street, and its spirit is still that of a bulwark against the people.[14]

In the 1640s basic picket and plank fences denoted plots and residences in the colony.[15] Later, on behalf of the Dutch West India Company, Peter Stuyvesant, using both African slaves[16] and white colonists, collaborated with the city government in the construction of a more substantial fortification, a strengthened 12-foot (4 m) wall.[17] In 1685, surveyors laid out Wall Street along the lines of the original stockade.[18] The wall started at Pearl Street, which was the shoreline at that time, crossing the Indian path Broadway and ending at the other shoreline (today's Trinity Place), where it took a turn south and ran along the shore until it ended at the old fort. In these early days, local merchants and traders would gather at disparate spots to buy and sell shares and bonds, and over time divided themselves into two classes—auctioneers and dealers.[19] Wall Street was also the marketplace where owners could hire out their slaves by the day or week.[20] The rampart was removed in 1699[13] and a new City Hall built at Wall and Nassau in 1700.

Slavery was introduced to Manhattan in 1626, but it was not until December 13, 1711, that the New York City Common Council made Wall Street the city's first official slave market for the sale and rental of enslaved Africans and Indians.[21][22] The slave market operated from 1711 to 1762 at the corner of Wall and Pearl Streets. It was a wooden structure with a roof and open sides, although walls may have been added over the years and could hold approximately 50 men. The city directly benefited from the sale of slaves by implementing taxes on every person who was bought and sold there.[23]

In the late 18th century there was a buttonwood tree at the foot of Wall Street under which traders and speculators would gather to trade securities.[24] The benefit was being in proximity to each other.[24] In 1792, traders formalized their association with the Buttonwood Agreement which was the origin of the New York Stock Exchange.[25] The idea of the agreement was to make the market more "structured" and "without the manipulative auctions", with a commission structure.[19] Persons signing the agreement agreed to charge each other a standard commission rate; persons not signing could still participate but would be charged a higher commission for dealing.[19]

New York City Hall 1789b
Conjectural view of Wall Street, as it probably looked at the time of George Washington's inauguration, 1789
Tontine coffee house
Tontine Coffee House, Wall Street in 1797

In 1789 Wall Street was the scene of the United States' first presidential inauguration when George Washington took the oath of office on the balcony of Federal Hall on April 30, 1789. This was also the location of the passing of the Bill Of Rights. Alexander Hamilton, who was the first Treasury secretary and "architect of the early United States financial system," is buried in the cemetery of Trinity Church, as is Robert Fulton famed for his steamboats.[26][27]

19th century

1847 Lower Manhattan map
1847 map showing the street layout and ferry routes for lower Manhattan
Wall street 1867
View of Wall Street from corner of Broad Street, 1867. On the left is the sub-Treasury building, now the Federal Hall National Memorial.

In the first few decades, both residences and businesses occupied the area, but increasingly business predominated. "There are old stories of people's houses being surrounded by the clamor of business and trade and the owners complaining that they can't get anything done," according to a historian named Burrows.[28] The opening of the Erie Canal in the early 19th century meant a huge boom in business for New York City, since it was the only major eastern seaport which had direct access by inland waterways to ports on the Great Lakes. Wall Street became the "money capital of America".[24]

Historian Charles R. Geisst suggested that there has constantly been a "tug-of-war" between business interests on Wall Street and authorities in Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States by then.[19] Generally during the 19th century Wall Street developed its own "unique personality and institutions" with little outside interference.[19]

In the 1840s and 1850s most residents moved further uptown to Midtown Manhattan because of the increased business use at the lower tip of the island.[28] The Civil War had the effect of causing the northern economy to boom, bringing greater prosperity to cities like New York which "came into its own as the nation's banking center" connecting "Old World capital and New World ambition", according to one account.[26] J. P. Morgan created giant trusts; John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil moved to New York.[26] Between 1860 and 1920, the economy changed from "agricultural to industrial to financial" and New York maintained its leadership position despite these changes, according to historian Thomas Kessner.[26] New York was second only to London as the world's financial capital.[26]

In 1884 Charles H. Dow began tracking stocks, initially beginning with 11 stocks, mostly railroads, and looked at average prices for these eleven.[29] When the average "peaks and troughs" went up consistently, he deemed it a bull market condition; if averages dropped, it was a bear market. He added up prices, and divided by the number of stocks to get his Dow Jones average. Dow's numbers were a "convenient benchmark" for analyzing the market and became an accepted way to look at the entire stock market. In 1889 the original stock report, Customers' Afternoon Letter, became The Wall Street Journal. Named in reference to the actual street, it became an influential international daily business newspaper published in New York City.[30] After October 7, 1896, it began publishing Dow's expanded list of stocks.[29] A century later, there were 30 stocks in the average.

20th century

Early 20th century

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Wall Street around 1914
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Wall Street Bombing 1920. Federal Hall National Memorial is at the right.
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Wall Street in the stock market crash of 1929
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Picture of Wall Street, from the Brooklyn Museum collection

Business writer John Brooks in his book Once in Golconda considered the start of the 20th century period to have been Wall Street's heyday.[26] The address of 23 Wall Street, the headquarters of J. P. Morgan & Company, known as The Corner, was "the precise center, geographical as well as metaphorical, of financial America and even of the financial world".[26]

Wall Street has had changing relationships with government authorities. In 1913, for example, when authorities proposed a $4 stock transfer tax, stock clerks protested.[31] At other times, city and state officials have taken steps through tax incentives to encourage financial firms to continue to do business in the city.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries the corporate culture of New York was a primary center for the construction of skyscrapers, and was rivaled only by Chicago on the American continent. There were also residential sections, such as the Bowling Green section between Broadway and the Hudson River, and between Vesey Street and the Battery. The Bowling Green area was described as "Wall Street's back yard" with poor people, high infant mortality rates, and the "worst housing conditions in the city".[32] As a result of the construction, looking at New York City from the east, one can see two distinct clumps of tall buildings—the financial district on the left, and the taller midtown district on the right. The geology of Manhattan is well-suited for tall buildings, with a solid mass of bedrock underneath Manhattan providing a firm foundation for tall buildings. Skyscrapers are expensive to build, but when there is a "short supply of land" in a "desirable location", then building upwards makes sound financial sense.[33] A post office was built at 60 Wall Street in 1905.[34] During the World War I years, occasionally there were fund-raising efforts for projects such as the National Guard.[35]

On September 16, 1920, close to the corner of Wall and Broad Street, the busiest corner of the financial district and across the offices of the Morgan Bank, a powerful bomb exploded. It killed 38 and seriously injured 143 people.[36] The perpetrators were never identified or apprehended. The explosion did, however, help fuel the Red Scare that was underway at the time. A report from The New York Times:

The tomb-like silence that settles over Wall Street and lower Broadway with the coming of night and the suspension of business was entirely changed last night as hundreds of men worked under the glare of searchlights to repair the damage to skyscrapers that were lighted up from top to bottom. ... The Assay Office, nearest the point of explosion, naturally suffered the most. The front was pierced in fifty places where the cast iron slugs, which were of the material used for window weights, were thrown against it. Each slug penetrated the stone an inch or two and chipped off pieces ranging from three inches to a foot in diameter. The ornamental iron grill work protecting each window was broken or shattered. ... the Assay Office was a wreck. ... It was as though some gigantic force had overturned the building and then placed it upright again, leaving the framework uninjured but scrambling everything inside.

— 1920[37]

The area was subjected to numerous threats; one bomb threat in 1921 led to detectives sealing off the area to "prevent a repetition of the Wall Street bomb explosion".[38]

Crowd outside nyse
A crowd at Wall and Broad streets after the 1929 crash. The New York Stock Exchange is on the right. The majority of people are congregating in Wall Street on the left between the "House of Morgan" (23 Wall Street) and Federal Hall National Memorial (26 Wall Street).

Regulation

September 1929 was the peak of the stock market.[39] October 3, 1929 was when the market started to slip, and it continued throughout the week of the 14th.[39] In October 1929, renowned Yale economist Irving Fisher reassured worried investors that their "money was safe" on Wall Street.[40] A few days later, on October 24,[39] stock values plummeted. The stock market crash of 1929 ushered in the Great Depression in which a quarter of working people were unemployed, with soup kitchens, mass foreclosures of farms, and falling prices.[40] During this era, development of the financial district stagnated, and Wall Street "paid a heavy price" and "became something of a backwater in American life".[40]

During the New Deal years as well as the 1940s, there was much less focus on Wall Street and finance. The government clamped down on the practice of buying equities based only on credit, but these policies began to ease. From 1946 to 1947, stocks could not be purchased "on margin", meaning that an investor had to pay 100% of a stock's cost without taking on any loans.[41] But this margin requirement was reduced four times before 1960, each time stimulating a mini-rally and boosting volume, and when the Federal Reserve reduced the margin requirements from 90% to 70%.[41] These changes made it somewhat easier for investors to buy stocks on credit.[41] The growing national economy and prosperity led to a recovery during the 1960s, with some down years during the early 1970s in the aftermath of the Vietnam War. Trading volumes climbed; in 1967, according to Time Magazine, volume hit 7.5 million shares a day which caused a "traffic jam" of paper with "batteries of clerks" working overtime to "clear transactions and update customer accounts".[42]

In 1973 the financial community posted a collective loss of $245 million, which spurred temporary help from the government.[43] Reforms were instituted; the SEC eliminated fixed commissions, which forced "brokers to compete freely with one another for investors' business".[43] In 1975 the Securities & Exchange Commission threw out the NYSE's "Rule 394" which had required that "most stock transactions take place on the Big Board's floor", in effect freeing up trading for electronic methods.[44] In 1976, banks were allowed to buy and sell stocks, which provided more competition for stockbrokers.[44] Reforms had the effect of lowering prices overall, making it easier for more people to participate in the stock market.[44] Broker commissions for each stock sale lessened, but volume increased.[43]

The Reagan years were marked by a renewed push for capitalism and business, with national efforts to de-regulate industries such as telecommunications and aviation. The economy resumed upward growth after a period in the early 1980s of languishing. A report in The New York Times described that the flushness of money and growth during these years had spawned a drug culture of sorts, with a rampant acceptance of cocaine use although the overall percent of actual users was most likely small. A reporter wrote:

The Wall Street drug dealer looked like many other successful young female executives. Stylishly dressed and wearing designer sunglasses, she sat in her 1983 Chevrolet Camaro in a no-parking zone across the street from the Marine Midland Bank branch on lower Broadway. The customer in the passenger seat looked like a successful young businessman. But as the dealer slipped him a heat-sealed plastic envelope of cocaine and he passed her cash, the transaction was being watched through the sunroof of her car by Federal drug agents in a nearby building. And the customer — an undercover agent himself -was learning the ways, the wiles and the conventions of Wall Street's drug subculture.

— Peter Kerr in The New York Times, 1987.[45]
1 Wall Street
1 Wall Street, at Wall Street and Broadway

In 1987 the stock market plunged[24] and, in the relatively brief recession following, lower Manhattan lost 100,000 jobs according to one estimate.[46] Since telecommunications costs were coming down, banks and brokerage firms could move away from Wall Street to more affordable locations.[46] The recession of 1990–91 was marked by office vacancy rates downtown which were "persistently high" and with some buildings "standing empty".[28] The day of the stock market drop, October 20, was marked by "stony-faced traders whose sense of humor had abandoned them and in the exhaustion of stock exchange employees struggling to maintain orderly trading".[47] Ironically, it was the same year that Oliver Stone's movie Wall Street appeared. In 1995, city authorities offered the Lower Manhattan Revitalization Plan which offered incentives to convert commercial properties to residential use.[28]

Construction of the World Trade Center began in 1966 but had trouble attracting tenants when completed. Nonetheless, some substantial firms purchased space there. Its impressive height helped make it a visual landmark for drivers and pedestrians. In some respects, the nexus of the financial district moved from the street of Wall Street to the Trade Center complex. Real estate growth during the latter part of the 1990s was significant, with deals and new projects happening in the financial district and elsewhere in Manhattan; one firm invested more than $24 billion in various projects, many in the Wall Street area.[48] In 1998, the NYSE and the city struck a $900 million deal which kept the NYSE from moving across the river to Jersey City; the deal was described as the "largest in city history to prevent a corporation from leaving town".[49] A competitor to the NYSE, NASDAQ, moved its headquarters from Washington to New York.[50]

21st century

Lower Manhattan Aerial
Wall Street as seen from the air in 2009

In 2001 the Big Board, as some termed the NYSE, was described as the world's "largest and most prestigious stock market".[51] But when the World Trade Center was destroyed on September 11, 2001, it left an architectural void as new developments since the 1970s had played off the complex aesthetically. The attacks "crippled" the communications network.[51] One estimate was that 45% of Wall Street's "best office space" had been lost.[24] The physical destruction was immense:

Debris littered some streets of the financial district. National Guard members in camouflage uniforms manned checkpoints. Abandoned coffee carts, glazed with dust from the collapse of the World Trade Center, lay on their sides across sidewalks. Most subway stations were closed, most lights were still off, most telephones did not work, and only a handful of people walked in the narrow canyons of Wall Street yesterday morning.

— Leslie Eaton and Kirk Johnson of The New York Times, September 16, 2001.[52]

Still, the NYSE was determined to re-open on September 17, almost a week after the attack.[52] During this time Rockefeller Group Business Center opened additional offices at 48 Wall Street. The attack hastened a trend towards financial firms moving to midtown and contributed to the loss of business on Wall Street, due to temporary-to-permanent relocation to New Jersey and further decentralization with establishments transferred to cities like Chicago, Denver, and Boston.

After September 11, the financial services industry went through a downturn with a sizable drop in year-end bonuses of $6.5 billion, according to one estimate from a state comptroller's office.[53] Many brokers are paid mostly through commission, and get a token annual salary which is dwarfed by the year-end bonus.

To guard against a vehicular bombing in the area, authorities built concrete barriers, and found ways over time to make them more aesthetically appealing by spending $5000 to $8000 apiece on bollards:

To prevent a vehicle-delivered bomb from entering the area, Rogers Marvel designed a new kind of bollard, a faceted piece of sculpture whose broad, slanting surfaces offer people a place to sit in contrast to the typical bollard, which is supremely unsittable. The bollard, which is called the Nogo, looks a bit like one of Frank Gehry's unorthodox culture palaces, but it is hardly insensitive to its surroundings. Its bronze surfaces actually echo the grand doorways of Wall Street's temples of commerce. Pedestrians easily slip through groups of them as they make their way onto Wall Street from the area around historic Trinity Church. Cars, however, cannot pass.

— Blair Kamin in the Chicago Tribune, 2006[54]

Wall Street itself and the Financial District as a whole are crowded with highrises. Further, the loss of the World Trade Center has spurred development on a scale that had not been seen in decades. In 2006, Goldman Sachs began building a tower near the former Trade Center site.[33] Tax incentives provided by federal, state and local governments encouraged development. A new World Trade Center complex centered on Daniel Libeskind's Memory Foundations and was under development after the 9/11 attacks. The centerpiece, which is now a 1,776-foot (541 m) tall structure, opened in 2014 and named the One World Trade Center.[55] New residential buildings are sprouting up, and buildings that were previously office space are being converted to residential units, also benefiting from tax incentives. A new Fulton Center is planned to improve access. In 2007, the Maharishi Global Financial Capital of New York opened headquarters at 70 Broad Street near the NYSE, in an effort to seek investors.[56]

The Guardian reporter Andrew Clark described the years of 2006 to 2010 as "tumultuous" in which the heartland of America is "mired in gloom" with high unemployment around 9.6%, with average house prices falling from $230,000 in 2006 to $183,000, and foreboding increases in the national debt to $13.4 trillion, but that despite the setbacks, the American economy was once more "bouncing back".[57] What had happened during these heady years? Clark wrote:

But the picture is too nuanced simply to dump all the responsibility on financiers. Most Wall Street banks didn't actually go around the US hawking dodgy mortgages; they bought and packaged loans from on-the-ground firms such as Countrywide Financial and New Century Financial, both of which hit a financial wall in the crisis. Foolishly and recklessly, the banks didn't look at these loans adequately, relying on flawed credit-rating agencies such as Standard & Poor's and Moody's, which blithely certified toxic mortgage-backed securities as solid ... A few of those on Wall Street, including maverick hedge fund manager John Paulson and the top brass at Goldman Sachs, spotted what was going on and ruthlessly gambled on a crash. They made a fortune but turned into the crisis's pantomime villains. Most, though, got burned – the banks are still gradually running down portfolios of non-core loans worth $800bn.

— The Guardian reporter Andrew Clark, 2010.[57]
Wall Street and Trinity Church 2014
Looking west toward Trinity Church; a crowd on Wall Street is pictured in the foreground

The first months of 2008 was a particularly troublesome period which caused Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke to "work holidays and weekends" and which did an "extraordinary series of moves".[58] It bolstered U.S. banks and allowed Wall Street firms to borrow "directly from the Fed".[58] These efforts were highly controversial at the time, but from the perspective of 2010, it appeared the Federal exertions had been the right decisions. By 2010, Wall Street firms, in Clark's view, were "getting back to their old selves as engine rooms of wealth, prosperity and excess".[57] A report by Michael Stoler in The New York Sun described a "phoenix-like resurrection" of the area, with residential, commercial, retail and hotels booming in the "third largest business district in the country".[59] At the same time, the investment community was worried about proposed legal reforms, including the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act which dealt with matters such as credit card rates and lending requirements.[60] The NYSE closed two of its trading floors in a move towards transforming itself into an electronic exchange.[26] Beginning in September 2011, demonstrators disenchanted with the financial system protested in parks and plazas around Wall Street.[61]

Wall Street investment banking fees in 2012 totaled approximately $40 billion,[62] while senior bank officers managing risk and compliance functions earned as much as $324,000 annually in New York City in 2013.[63]

On October 29, 2012,—ironically, the 83rd anniversary of "Black Tuesday," the culmination of the disastrous Wall Street Crash of 1929—Wall Street was disrupted when New York and New Jersey, an area not normally known as a hotbed of hurricane activity the way that areas much further south are, were blasted by Hurricane Sandy. Its 14-foot-high storm surge, a local record, caused massive street flooding in many parts of Lower Manhattan. Power to the area was knocked out by a transformer explosion at a Con Edison plant. With mass transit in New York City already suspended as a precaution even before the storm hit, the New York Stock Exchange and other financial exchanges were closed for two days, re-opening on Oct. 31.[64] It was the first weather-related closing for the NYSE since Hurricane Gloria in September 1985 and the first two-day weather-related shutdown since the Blizzard of 1888.

Architecture

USA-NYC-New York Stock Exchange
Detail of New York Stock Exchange

Wall Street's architecture is generally rooted in the Gilded Age, though there are also some art deco influences in the neighborhood. The streets in the area were laid out prior to the Commissioners' Plan of 1811, a grid plan that dictates the placement of most of Manhattan's streets north of Houston Street. Thus, it has small streets "barely wide enough for a single lane of traffic are bordered on both sides by some of the tallest buildings in the city", according to one description, which creates "breathtaking artificial canyons" offering spectacular views in some instances.[28] Construction in such narrow steep areas has resulted in occasional accidents such as a crane collapse.[65] One report divided lower Manhattan into three basic districts:[28]

  1. The financial district proper—particularly along John Street
  2. South of the World Trade Center area—the handful of blocks south of the World Trade Center along Greenwich, Washington and West Streets
  3. Seaport district—characterized by century-old low-rise buildings and South Street Seaport; the seaport is "quiet, residential, and has an old world charm" according to one description.[28]

Landmark buildings on Wall Street include Federal Hall National Memorial, 14 Wall Street (Bankers Trust Company Building), 40 Wall Street (The Trump Building), 55 Wall Street (the former world headquarters of Citicorp), the New York Stock Exchange at the corner of Broad Street and the US headquarters of Deutsche Bank at 60 Wall Street. The Deutsche Bank building (formerly the J.P. Morgan headquarters) makes Deutsche Bank the last remaining major investment bank to have its headquarters on Wall Street.

The older skyscrapers often were built with elaborate facade, which have not been common in corporate architecture for decades; the nearby World Trade Center, built in the 1970s, was very plain and utilitarian in comparison. Excavation from the World Trade Center was later used as landfill for Battery Park City residential developments.[24] 23 Wall Street, built in 1914, was known as the "House of Morgan" and served for decades as the bank's headquarters and, by some accounts, was viewed as an important address in American finance. Cosmetic damage from the 1920 Wall Street bombing is still visible on the Wall Street side of this building.

A key anchor for the area is the New York Stock Exchange. City authorities realize its importance, and believed that it has "outgrown its neoclassical temple at the corner of Wall and Broad streets", and in 1998 offered substantial tax incentives to try to keep it in the financial district.[24] Plans to rebuild it were delayed by the events of 2001.[24] In 2011 the exchange still occupies the same site. The exchange is the locus for an impressive amount of technology and data. For example, to accommodate the three thousand persons who work directly on the Exchange floor requires 3,500 kilowatts of electricity, along with 8,000 phone circuits on the trading floor alone, and 200 miles of fiber-optic cable below ground.[52]

Surrounding neighborhood

During most of the 20th century, Wall Street was a business community with practically only offices which emptied out at night. A report in The New York Times in 1961 described a "deathlike stillness that settles on the district after 5:30 and all day Saturday and Sunday".[28] But there has been a change towards greater residential use of the area, pushed forwards by technological changes and shifting market conditions. The general pattern is for several hundred thousand workers to commute into the area during the day, sometimes by sharing a taxicab[66] from other parts of the city as well as from New Jersey and Long Island, and then leave at night. In 1970 only 833 people lived "south of Chambers Street"; by 1990, 13,782 people were residents with the addition of areas such as Battery Park City[24] and Southbridge Towers.[46] Battery Park City was built on 92 acres of landfill, and 3,000 people moved there beginning about 1982, but by 1986 there was evidence of more shops and stores and a park, along with plans for more residential development.[67]

Lower Manhattan by night
The Wall Street area from Brooklyn. The South Street Seaport is at the lower middle, a little to the right

According to one description in 1996, "The area dies at night ... It needs a neighborhood, a community."[46] During the past two decades there has been a shift towards greater residential living areas in the Wall Street area, with incentives from city authorities in some instances.[24] Many empty office buildings have been converted to lofts and apartments; for example, the office building of Harry Sinclair, the oil magnate involved with the Teapot Dome scandal, was converted to a co-op in 1979.[46] In 1996, a fifth of buildings and warehouses were empty, and many were converted to living areas.[46] Some conversions met with problems, such as aging gargoyles on building exteriors having to be expensively restored to meet with current building codes.[46] Residents in the area have sought to have a supermarket, a movie theater, a pharmacy, more schools, and a "good diner".[46] The discount retailer named Job Lot used to be located at the World Trade Center but moved to Church Street; merchants bought extra unsold items at steep prices and sold them as a discount to consumers, and shoppers included "thrifty homemakers and browsing retirees" who "rubbed elbows with City Hall workers and Wall Street executives"; but the firm went bust in 1993.[53]

There were reports that the number of residents increased by 60% during the 1990s to about 25,000[24] although a second estimate (based on the 2000 census based on a different map) places the residential (nighttime and weekend) population in 2000 at 12,042.[28] By 2001 there were several grocery stores, dry cleaners, and two grade schools and a top high school.[24] There is a barber shop across from the New York Stock Exchange which has been there a long time.[68] By 2001 there were more signs of dogwalkers at night and a 24-hour neighborhood, although the general pattern of crowds during the working hours and emptiness at night was still apparent.[28] There were ten hotels and thirteen museums by 2001.[28] Stuyvesant High School moved to its present location near Battery Park City in 1992 and has been described as one of the nation's premier high schools with emphasis on science and mathematics.[28] In 2007 the French fashion retailer Hermès opened a store in the financial district to sell items such as a "$4,700 custom-made leather dressage saddle or a $47,000 limited edition alligator briefcase".[69] Some streets have been designated as pedestrian–only with vehicular traffic prohibited at some times.[69] There are reports of panhandlers like elsewhere in the city.[70] By 2010 the residential population had increased to 24,400 residents[71] with crime statistics showing no murders in 2010.[71] The area is growing with luxury high-end apartments and upscale retailers.[59]

Tourism

Wall Street is a major location of tourism in New York City. One report described lower Manhattan as "swarming with camera-carrying tourists".[72] Tour guides highlight places such as Trinity Church, the Federal Reserve gold vaults 80 feet below street level (worth $100 billion), and the NYSE.[73] A Scoundrels of Wall Street Tour is a walking historical tour which includes a museum visit and discussion of various financiers "who were adept at finding ways around finance laws or loopholes through them".[74] Occasionally artists make impromptu performances; for example, in 2010, a troupe of 22 dancers "contort their bodies and cram themselves into the nooks and crannies of the Financial District in Bodies in Urban Spaces" choreographed by Willi Donner.[75] One chief attraction, the Federal Reserve Building in lower Manhattan, paid $750,000 to open a visitors' gallery in 1997.[72] The New York Stock Exchange and the American Stock Exchange also spent money in the late 1990s to upgrade facilities for visitors.[72] Attractions include the gold vault beneath the Federal Reserve and that "staring down at the trading floor was as exciting as going to the Statue of Liberty".[72]

Importance

As an economic engine

In the New York economy

Finance professor Charles R. Geisst wrote that the exchange has become "inextricably intertwined into New York's economy".[51] Wall Street pay, in terms of salaries and bonuses and taxes, is an important part of the economy of New York City, the tri-state metropolitan area, and the United States. In 2008, after a downturn in the stock market, the decline meant $18 billion less in taxable income, with less money available for "apartments, furniture, cars, clothing and services".[76] A falloff in Wall Street's economy could have "wrenching effects on the local and regional economies".[76]

Estimates vary about the number and quality of financial jobs in the city. One estimate was that Wall Street firms employed close to 200,000 persons in 2008.[76] Another estimate was that in 2007, the financial services industry which had a $70 billion profit became 22 percent of the city's revenue.[77] Another estimate (in 2006) was that the financial services industry makes up 9% of the city's work force and 31% of the tax base.[78] An additional estimate (2007) from Steve Malanga of the Manhattan Institute was that the securities industry accounts for 4.7 percent of the jobs in New York City but 20.7 percent of its wages, and he estimated there were 175,000 securities-industries jobs in New York (both Wall Street area and midtown) paying an average of $350,000 annually.[26] Between 1995 and 2005, the sector grew at an annual rate of about 6.6% annually, a respectable rate, but that other financial centers were growing faster.[26] Another estimate (2008) was that Wall Street provided a fourth of all personal income earned in the city, and 10% of New York City's tax revenue.[79] The city's securities industry, enumerating 163,400 jobs in August 2013, continues to form the largest segment of the city's financial sector and an important economic engine, accounting in 2012 for 5 percent of private sector jobs in New York City, 8.5 percent (US$3.8 billion) of the city's tax revenue, and 22 percent of the city's total wages, including an average salary of US$360,700.[80]

The seven largest Wall Street firms in the 2000s were Bear Stearns, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup Incorporated, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers.[76] During the recession of 2008–10, many of these firms, including Lehman, went out of business or were bought up at firesale prices by other financial firms. In 2008, Lehman filed for bankruptcy,[57] Bear Stearns was bought by JP Morgan Chase[57] forced by the U.S. government,[58] and Merrill Lynch was bought by Bank of America in a similar shot-gun wedding. These failures marked a catastrophic downsizing of Wall Street as the financial industry goes through restructuring and change. Since New York's financial industry provides almost one-fourth of all income produced in the city, and accounts for 10% of the city's tax revenues and 20% of the state's, the downturn has had huge repercussions for government treasuries.[76] New York's mayor Michael Bloomberg reportedly over a four-year period dangled over $100 million in tax incentives to persuade Goldman Sachs to build a 43-story headquarters in the financial district near the destroyed World Trade Center site.[77] In 2009, things looked somewhat gloomy, with one analysis by the Boston Consulting Group suggesting that 65,000 jobs had been permanently lost because of the downturn.[77] But there were signs that Manhattan property prices were rebounding with price rises of 9% annually in 2010, and bonuses were being paid once more, with average bonuses over $124,000 in 2010.[57]

Versus Midtown Manhattan

A requirement of the New York Stock Exchange was that brokerage firms had to have offices "clustered around Wall Street" so clerks could deliver physical paper copies of stock certificates each week.[24] There were some indications that midtown had been becoming the locus of financial services dealings even by 1911.[81] But as technology progressed, in the middle and later decades of the 20th century, computers and telecommunications replaced paper notifications, meaning that the close proximity requirement could be bypassed in more situations.[24] Many financial firms found that they could move to midtown Manhattan four miles away[28] or elsewhere and still operate effectively. For example, the former investment firm of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette was described as a Wall Street firm but had its headquarters on Park Avenue in midtown.[82] A report described the migration from Wall Street:

The financial industry has been slowly migrating from its historic home in the warren of streets around Wall Street to the more spacious and glamorous office towers of Midtown Manhattan. Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan Chase, Citigroup, and Bear Stearns have all moved north.

— USA Today, October 2001.[24]

Nevertheless, a key magnet for the Wall Street remains the New York Stock Exchange. Some "old guard" firms such as Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch (bought by Bank of America in 2009), have remained "fiercely loyal to the financial district" location, and new ones such as Deutsche Bank have chosen office space in the district.[24] So-called "face-to-face" trading between buyers and sellers remains a "cornerstone" of the NYSE, with a benefit of having all of a deal's players close at hand, including investment bankers, lawyers, and accountants.[24]

In 2011, the Manhattan Financial District is one of the largest business districts in the United States, and second in New York City only to Midtown in terms of dollar volume of business transacted.

In the New Jersey economy

After Wall Street firms started to expand westward in the 1980s to New Jersey,[83] the direct economic impacts of Wall Street activities have gone beyond New York City. The employment in the financial services industry mostly in the "back office" roles has become an important part of New Jersey economy.[84] In 2009, the Wall Street employment wages were paid in the amount of almost $18.5 billion in the state. The industry contributed $39.4 billion or 8.4 percent to the New Jersey's gross domestic product in the same year.[85]

The most significant area with Wall Street employment is in Jersey City. In 2008, the "Wall Street West" employment contributed to one third of the private sector jobs in Jersey City. Within the Financial Service cluster, there were three major sectors: more than 60 percent were in the securities industry; 20 percent were in banking; and 8 percent in insurance.[86]

Additionally, New Jersey has become the main technology infrastructure to support the Wall Street operations. A substantial amount of securities traded in the United States are executed in New Jersey as the data centers of electronic trading in the U.S. equity market for all major stock exchanges are located in North and Central Jersey.[87][88] A significant amount of securities clearing and settlement workforce is also in the state. This includes the majority of the workforce of Depository Trust Company,[89] the primary U.S. securities depository; and the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation,[90] the parent company of National Securities Clearing Corporation, the Fixed Income Clearing Corporation and Emerging Markets Clearing Corporation.[91]

Having a direct tie to Wall Street employment is problematic for New Jersey, however. The state lost 7.9 percent of its employment base from 2007 to 2010 in the financial services sector in the fallout of the subprime mortgage crisis.[85]

Competing financial centers

Of the street's importance as a financial center, New York Times analyst Daniel Gross wrote:

In today's burgeoning and increasingly integrated global financial markets — a vast, neural spaghetti of wires, Web sites and trading platforms — the N.Y.S.E. is clearly no longer the epicenter. Nor is New York. The largest mutual-fund complexes are in Valley Forge, Pa., Los Angeles and Boston, while trading and money management are spreading globally. Since the end of the cold war, vast pools of capital have been forming overseas, in the Swiss bank accounts of Russian oligarchs, in the Shanghai vaults of Chinese manufacturing magnates and in the coffers of funds controlled by governments in Singapore, Russia, Dubai, Qatar and Saudi Arabia that may amount to some $2.5 trillion.

— Daniel Gross in 2007[26]

An example is the alternative trading platform known as BATS, based in Kansas City, which came "out of nowhere to gain a 9 percent share in the market for trading United States stocks".[26] The firm has computers in the U.S. state of New Jersey, two salespersons in New York City, but the remaining 33 employees work in a center in Kansas.[26]

In the public imagination

Trinity Church NYC 004b
Trinity Church from Wall Street.

Wall Street in a conceptual sense represents financial and economic power. To Americans, it can sometimes represent elitism and power politics, and its role has been a source of controversy throughout the nation's history, particularly beginning around the Gilded Age period in the late 19th century. Wall Street became the symbol of a country and economic system that many Americans see as having developed through trade, capitalism, and innovation.[92]

Wall Street has become synonymous with financial interests, often used negatively.[93] During the subprime mortgage crisis from 2007–10, Wall Street financing was blamed as one of the causes, although most commentators blame an interplay of factors. The U.S. government with the Troubled Asset Relief Program bailed out the banks and financial backers with billions of taxpayer dollars, but the bailout was often criticized as politically motivated,[93] and was criticized by journalists as well as the public. Analyst Robert Kuttner in the Huffington Post criticized the bailout as helping large Wall Street firms such as Citigroup while neglecting to help smaller community development banks such as Chicago's ShoreBank.[93] One writer in the Huffington Post looked at FBI statistics on robbery, fraud, and crime and concluded that Wall Street was the "most dangerous neighborhood in the United States" if one factored in the $50 billion fraud perpetrated by Bernie Madoff.[94]

When large firms such as Enron, WorldCom and Global Crossing were found guilty of fraud, Wall Street was often blamed,[40] even though these firms had headquarters around the nation and not in Wall Street. Many complained that the resulting Sarbanes-Oxley legislation dampened the business climate with regulations that were "overly burdensome".[95] Interest groups seeking favor with Washington lawmakers, such as car dealers, have often sought to portray their interests as allied with Main Street rather than Wall Street, although analyst Peter Overby on National Public Radio suggested that car dealers have written over $250 billion in consumer loans and have real ties with Wall Street.[96]

When the United States Treasury bailed out large financial firms, to ostensibly halt a downward spiral in the nation's economy, there was tremendous negative political fallout, particularly when reports came out that monies supposed to be used to ease credit restrictions were being used to pay bonuses to highly paid employees.[97] Analyst William D. Cohan argued that it was "obscene" how Wall Street reaped "massive profits and bonuses in 2009" after being saved by "trillions of dollars of American taxpayers' treasure" despite Wall Street's "greed and irresponsible risk-taking".[98] Washington Post reporter Suzanne McGee called for Wall Street to make a sort of public apology to the nation, and expressed dismay that people such as Goldman Sachs chief executive Lloyd Blankfein hadn't expressed contrition despite being sued by the SEC in 2009.[99] McGee wrote that "Bankers aren't the sole culprits, but their too-glib denials of responsibility and the occasional vague and waffling expression of regret don't go far enough to deflect anger."[99]

60 Wall Street building
US headquarters of Deutsche Bank on Wall Street in 2010.

But chief banking analyst at Goldman Sachs, Richard Ramsden, is "unapologetic" and sees "banks as the dynamos that power the rest of the economy".[57] Ramsden believes "risk-taking is vital" and said in 2010:

You can construct a banking system in which no bank will ever fail, in which there's no leverage. But there would be a cost. There would be virtually no economic growth because there would be no credit creation.

— Richard Ramsden of Goldman Sachs, 2010.[57]

Others in the financial industry believe they've been unfairly castigated by the public and by politicians. For example, Anthony Scaramucci reportedly told President Barack Obama in 2010 that he felt like a piñata, "whacked with a stick" by "hostile politicians".[57]

The financial misdeeds of various figures throughout American history sometimes casts a dark shadow on financial investing as a whole, and include names such as William Duer, Jim Fisk and Jay Gould (the latter two believed to have been involved with an effort to collapse the U.S. gold market in 1869) as well as modern figures such as Bernard Madoff who "bilked billions from investors".[74]

In addition, images of Wall Street and its figures have loomed large. The 1987 Oliver Stone film Wall Street created the iconic figure of Gordon Gekko who used the phrase "greed is good", which caught on in the cultural parlance.[100] Stone commented in 2009 how the movie had had an unexpected cultural influence, not causing them to turn away from corporate greed, but causing many young people to choose Wall Street careers because of that movie.[100] A reporter repeated other lines from the film: "I'm talking about liquid. Rich enough to have your own jet. Rich enough not to waste time. Fifty, a hundred million dollars, Buddy. A player."[100]

Wall Street firms have however also contributed to projects such as Habitat for Humanity as well as done food programs in Haiti and trauma centers in Sudan and rescue boats during floods in Bangladesh.[101]

Versus Main Street

Wall Street & Broadway
Not just a metonym, Wall Street has a sign post.

As a figure of speech contrasted to "Main Street", the term "Wall Street" can refer to big business interests against those of small business and the working or middle classes. It is sometimes used more specifically to refer to research analysts, shareholders, and financial institutions such as investment banks. Whereas "Main Street" conjures up images of locally owned businesses and banks, the phrase "Wall Street" is commonly used interchangeably with the phrase "Corporate America". It is also sometimes used in contrast to distinguish between the interests, culture, and lifestyles of investment banks and those of Fortune 500 industrial or service corporations.

As a culture

Fairbanks and Chaplin, Wall Street Rally, New York Times, 1918
Charlie Chaplin stands on Douglas Fairbanks' shoulders during a rally at Wall Street in 1918.

According to the discipline of anthropology, the term culture represents the customs, values, morals, laws and rituals which a particular group or society shares. In the public imagination, Wall Street represents economics and finance. However, although Wall Street employees may exhibit greedy and self-interested behaviours to the public, these behaviours are justified through their own value system and social practices. Various anthropologists have conducted research on Wall Street and it is their research which can confirm the negative views of Wall Street while providing the public with information that can contribute to a better understanding of how Wall Street workers perceive themselves. Anthropologist Karen Ho, who has conducted ethnographic research on Wall Street, states in Situating Global Capitalisms that the markets are beginning to self-regulate themselves in terms of neoliberalism.[102] Through the perception of the public, financial investors take on a role that has already been established for them. It is both appropriate and fitting to call Wall Street a culture because of the system of values and practices it holds onto. Moreover, anthropological insight can help improve the general public's understanding of Wall Street and in turn allow the public to appreciate the culture of Wall Street which is both logical and sensible to the workers themselves.

Professor Katarina Sjöberg argues in The Wall Street Culture that within the media negative images of Wall Street are painted in terms of the district's market falls, money losses and deceitful gains.[103] However, this is not what Wall Street investors are bothered by. Instead, it is the public's words and opinions which they feel mold their image.[103] Sjöberg notes that in the American culture, money making is of utmost importance and knowing how to make money is considered to be respectable.[103] Therefore, Wall Street investors prioritize their work as well as strive to climb the corporate ladder.[103] They also feel obligated to maintain the image the public creates, because it strengthens their position as a Wall Street employee. They value seeing themselves as experts in their field, especially since they live in a society that values wealth.[103] This justifies their acts of greed, and allows them to take part in activities often deemed as criminal because they feel as though it is expected. Moreover, they do not regret their actions because to them, it is part of being an American.[103] Aside from living up to the public's image, Wall Street workers justify their high salaries with an argument pointed out by Karen Ho in Disciplining Investment Bankers, Disciplining the Economy: Wall Street's Institutional Culture of Crisis, the Downsizing of Corporate America. She argues that due to the fact that the financial market is volatile in conjunction with the existence of job insecurity, Wall Street workers are compensated through their salaries.[104]

In Situating Global Capitalisms: A View from Wall Street Investment Bankers by Karen Ho, she interviews a banker who believes that working for Wall Street puts them at the top of the hierarchal ladder in society. The banker feels that everything goes through Wall Street, in terms of loans, investments, change or growth.[105] From his point of view, Wall Street values are embedded in power.[103] Similarly to Sjöberg's article, The Wall Street Culture, she states that as she was entering the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) to conduct an interview, she was questioned by many employees regarding her purpose, how she gained access into their workplace without an appointment, and how she passed security.[103] In their view, there is a "dividing line between 'us on the inside' and 'those on the outside'".[103] These factors strengthen the power relations as well as establish a hierarchy between them as Wall Street employees, and the public.[103]

Additionally, in Disciplining investment Bankers, Disciplining the Economy: Wall Street's Institutional Culture of Crisis and the Downsizing of "Corporate America", Karen Ho states that as we continue to learn more about Wall Street, we learn about each independent banker. As the banker brings their life experiences into the business, we can see the reasons for their actions. Each investor has a unique identity which contributes to the culture of Wall Street. Ideally, they live in the moment.[104] However, job insecurity and the volatile nature of the market creates a constant state of fear within the investor.[103] Therefore, they must organize themselves and follow a pattern to ensure security, profit and prosperity for the long run.[103] Karen Ho wishes for us to see Wall Street through the lens of the everyday investor and banker, as well as understand the experiences and everyday situations that they must endure. Ho also believes that the individuals within the public can counteract the stereotypes and negativity that both the media and society associates with Wall Street by learning more about the personal experiences of the investors and their everyday lives.[103] Similarly to regular wage earners, Wall Street employees are just trying to earn a day's pay. Their work is sometimes undervalued, because the public does not see them in this manner. Thus, Wall Street cannot be understood in black and white terms. One needs to understand that they have a value system which is not only logical to them, but also reflective of North America's values of individual power, prestige, and social practices based on individualism. For example, throughout the 1940s and into the 1950s Manhattan was a "white-only" community.[106] Within that time period, there was a lot of racial segregation.[106] The values of America and the social practices were not like they are today, so African Americans were not within the Wall Street community.[106]

In popular culture

  • Herman Melville's classic short story "Bartleby, the Scrivener" (first published in 1853 and republished in revised edition in 1856) is subtitled "A Story of Wall Street" and portrays the alienating forces at work within the confines of Wall Street.
  • Many events of Tom Wolfe's 1987 novel The Bonfire of the Vanities center on Wall Street and its culture.
  • The film Wall Street (1987) and its sequel Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010) exemplify many popular conceptions of Wall Street as a center of shady corporate dealings and insider trading.[107]
  • In the Star Trek universe, the Ferengi are said to make regular pilgrimages to Wall Street, which they worship as a holy site of commerce and business.[108]
  • On January 26, 2000, the band Rage Against The Machine filmed the music video for "Sleep Now in the Fire" on Wall Street, which was directed by Michael Moore.[109] The New York Stock Exchange closed early that day, at 2:52 p.m.[110]
  • In the film The Dark Knight Rises (2012), Bane attacks the Gotham City Stock Exchange. Scenes were filmed in and around the New York Stock Exchange, with the J.P. Morgan Building at Wall Street and Broad Street standing in for the Exchange.[111]
  • The film The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) is a black comedy about Jordan Belfort, a New York stockbroker who ran Stratton Oakmont, a firm that engaged in securities fraud and corruption on Wall Street from 1987 to 1998.

Personalities associated with the street

Many people associated with Wall Street have become famous; although in most cases their reputations are limited to members of the stock brokerage and banking communities, others have gained national and international fame. For some, their fame is due to skillful investment strategies, financing, reporting, legal or regulatory activities, while others are remembered for their notable failures or scandal.[112]

Transportation

Pier 11 at Wall Street ferry
Pier 11

With Wall Street being historically a commuter destination, a plethora of transportation infrastructure has been developed to serve it. Pier 11 at the foot of the street is a busy terminal for New York Waterway and other ferries.

The New York City Subway serves three stations under Wall Street:

Motor traffic, particularly during working hours, is often congested but driving late at night and on weekends can be easier. The roads are not arranged according to midtown's distinctive rectangular grid pattern with staggered lights, but have small often one-lane roads with numerous stoplights and stop signs. The FDR Drive, East River Esplanade, and South Street run along the East River, and the Downtown Manhattan Heliport serves Wall Street.

See also

References

Notes

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  • Caplan, Sheri J. Petticoats and Pinstripes: Portraits of Women in Wall Street's History. Praeger, 2013. ISBN 978-1-4408-0265-2
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  • Finkelman, Paul. Encyclopedia of African American History 1896 to the present. Oxford University Press Inc, (2009)
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  • Gordon, John Steele. The Great Game: The Emergence of Wall Street as a World Power: 1653–2000. Scribner, (1999)

External links

Route map:

40 Wall Street

40 Wall Street, also known as the Trump Building, is a 71-story neo-gothic skyscraper between Nassau Street and William Street in Manhattan, New York City. Erected by The Manhattan Company as its headquarters, the building was originally known as the Bank of Manhattan Trust Building, and also as the Manhattan Company Building, until its founding tenant merged to form the Chase Manhattan Bank. The structure was completed in 1930 after 11 months of construction.

Bernie Madoff

Bernard Lawrence Madoff (; born April 29, 1938) is an American former market maker, investment advisor, financier, fraudster, and convicted felon, who is currently serving a federal prison sentence for offenses related to a massive Ponzi scheme. He is the former non-executive chairman of the NASDAQ stock market, the confessed operator of the largest Ponzi scheme in world history, and the largest financial fraud in U.S. history. Prosecutors estimated the fraud to be worth $64.8 billion based on the amounts in the accounts of Madoff's 4,800 clients as of November 30, 2008.Madoff founded a penny stock brokerage in 1960 which eventually grew into Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities. He served as its chairman until his arrest on December 11, 2008. The firm was one of the top market maker businesses on Wall Street, which bypassed "specialist" firms by directly executing orders over the counter from retail brokers.At the firm, he employed his brother Peter Madoff as senior managing director and chief compliance officer, Peter's daughter Shana Madoff as the firm's rules and compliance officer and attorney, and his now deceased sons Andrew and Mark. Peter has since been sentenced to 10 years in prison and Mark committed suicide by hanging exactly two years after his father's arrest. Andrew died of lymphoma on September 3, 2014.On December 10, 2008, Madoff's sons told authorities that their father had confessed to them that the asset management unit of his firm was a massive Ponzi scheme, and quoted him as saying that it was "one big lie". The following day, FBI agents arrested Madoff and charged him with one count of securities fraud. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had previously conducted multiple investigations into his business practices but had not uncovered the massive fraud. On March 12, 2009, Madoff pleaded guilty to 11 federal felonies and admitted to turning his wealth management business into a massive Ponzi scheme. The Madoff investment scandal defrauded thousands of investors of billions of dollars. Madoff said that he began the Ponzi scheme in the early 1990s, but federal investigators believe that the fraud began as early as the mid-1980s and may have begun as far back as the 1970s. Those charged with recovering the missing money believe that the investment operation may never have been legitimate. The amount missing from client accounts was almost $65 billion, including fabricated gains. The Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) trustee estimated actual losses to investors of $18 billion. On June 29, 2009, Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison, the maximum allowed.

Black Monday (1987)

In finance, Black Monday refers to Monday, October 19, 1987, when stock markets around the world crashed. The crash began in Hong Kong and spread west to Europe, hitting the United States after other markets had already sustained significant declines. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) fell exactly 508 points to 1,738.74 (22.61%). In Australia and New Zealand, the 1987 crash is also referred to as "Black Tuesday" because of the time zone difference.

The terms Black Monday and Black Tuesday are also respectively applied to October 28 and October 29, 1929, which occurred after Black Thursday on October 24, which started the Stock Market Crash of 1929.

Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act

The Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Pub.L. 111–203, H.R. 4173, commonly referred to as Dodd–Frank) was signed into United States federal law by US President Barack Obama on July 21, 2010.

Passed in response to the 2008 global financial crisis, the Act brought the most significant changes to financial regulation in the nation since the regulatory reform that came following the Great Recession. It made changes in the American financial regulatory environment affecting all federal financial regulatory agencies and almost every part of the nation's financial services industry.The law was initially proposed by the Obama administration in June 2009, when the White House sent several proposed bills to Congress. The legislation was introduced in the House in July 2009. On December 2, 2009, revised versions of the bill were introduced in the House of Representatives by then–financial services committee chairman Barney Frank, and in the Senate Banking Committee by former chairman Chris Dodd. Dodd and Frank were both involved with the bill; the conference committee that reported on June 25, 2010, voted to name the bill after both men.Studies have found the Dodd–Frank Act has improved financial stability and consumer protection, although there has been debate regarding its economic effects. The Act established the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which from inception to April 2017 had "returned almost $12 billion to 29 million consumers and imposed about $600 million in civil penalties."On June 8, 2017, the Republican-led House passed the Financial CHOICE Act, which, if enacted, would roll back many of the provisions of Dodd–Frank. In June 2017 the Senate was crafting its own reform bill.On March 14, 2018, the Senate passed a bill by a 67 to 31 vote, easing financial regulations and reducing oversight for banks with assets below $250 billion. The law passed the House of Representatives on May 22, 2018 in a 258–159 vote. The legislation was then signed into law by President Donald Trump on May 24, 2018.

Dow Jones

Dow Jones is combination of the names of business partners Charles Dow and Edward Jones and may refer to:

Dow Jones & Company, the company they founded

Dow Jones Newswires

any of the stock market indices they published, notably:

Dow Jones Industrial Average, a stock market index published by the company

Dow Jones Transportation Average, the oldest stock index in use

S&P Dow Jones Indices, the joint venture that is the current publisher of the indices

Dow Jones Sustainability Indices, a strategic partner of the S&P Dow Jones Indices

Financial District, Manhattan

The Financial District of Lower Manhattan, also known as FiDi, is a neighborhood located on the southern tip of Manhattan Island, where the City of New York itself originated in 1624. The district comprises the offices and headquarters of many of the city's major financial institutions, including the New York Stock Exchange and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Anchored on Wall Street in the Financial District, New York City has been called both the most financially powerful city and the leading financial center of the world, and the New York Stock Exchange is the world's largest stock exchange by total market capitalization. Several other major exchanges have or had headquarters in the Financial District, including the New York Mercantile Exchange, NASDAQ, the New York Board of Trade, and the former American Stock Exchange.

The neighborhood roughly overlaps with the boundaries of the New Amsterdam settlement in the late 17th century.

Jordan Belfort

Jordan Ross Belfort (; born July 9, 1962) is an American author, motivational speaker, and former stockbroker. In 1999, he pleaded guilty to fraud and related crimes in connection with stock-market manipulation and running a boiler room as part of a penny-stock scam. Belfort spent 22 months in prison as part of an agreement under which he gave testimony against numerous partners and subordinates in his fraud scheme. He published the memoir The Wolf of Wall Street in 2007, which was adapted into a film with the same name and released in 2013.

Margot Robbie

Margot Elise Robbie ( MAR-goh ROB-ee; born 2 July 1990) is an Australian actress and film producer. She has received nominations for an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and three BAFTA Awards. In 2017, Time magazine named her as one of the 100 most influential people in the world, and Forbes featured her on its 30 Under 30 list.Born and raised on a farm in Dalby, Queensland, Robbie studied drama at Somerset College. She began her career in Australian independent films in the late 2000s, before working in the soap opera Neighbours (2008–2011), which earned her two Logie Award nominations. After moving to the United States, she starred in the short-lived ABC drama series Pan Am (2011–2012). In 2013, she had a supporting role in the romantic comedy About Time, and made her breakthrough later that year, by co-starring in Martin Scorsese's biographical black comedy The Wolf of Wall Street. Robbie launched a production company, named LuckyChap Entertainment in 2014.

Her profile continued to grow with leading roles in the romantic drama Focus (2015), as Jane Porter Clayton in the action-adventure film The Legend of Tarzan (2016), and as Harleen Quinzel/Harley Quinn in the superhero film Suicide Squad (2016). Robbie received critical acclaim in 2017 for her portrayal of the disgraced figure skater Tonya Harding in the biographical film I, Tonya, which she also produced, receiving a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress. Her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth I in Mary Queen of Scots (2018), gained her a nomination for the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.

New York Stock Exchange

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE, nicknamed "The Big Board") is an American stock exchange located at 11 Wall Street, Lower Manhattan, New York City, New York. It is by far the world's largest stock exchange by market capitalization of its listed companies at US$30.1 trillion as of February 2018. The average daily trading value was approximately US$169 billion in 2013. The NYSE trading floor is located at 11 Wall Street and is composed of 21 rooms used for the facilitation of trading. A fifth trading room, located at 30 Broad Street, was closed in February 2007. The main building and the 11 Wall Street building were designated National Historic Landmarks in 1978.

The NYSE is owned by Intercontinental Exchange, an American holding company that it also lists (NYSE: ICE). Previously, it was part of NYSE Euronext (NYX), which was formed by the NYSE's 2007 merger with Euronext.The NYSE has been the subject of several lawsuits regarding fraud or breach of duty and in 2004 was sued by its former CEO for breach of contract and defamation.

Occupy Wall Street

Occupy Wall Street (OWS) was a left-wing protest movement that began on September 17, 2011, in Zuccotti Park, located in New York City's Wall Street financial district, against economic inequality.The Canadian anti-consumerist and pro-environment group/magazine Adbusters initiated the call for a protest. The main issues raised by Occupy Wall Street were social and economic inequality, greed, corruption and the undue influence of corporations on government—particularly from the financial services sector. The OWS slogan, "We are the 99%", refers to income and wealth inequality in the U.S. between the wealthiest 1% and the rest of the population. To achieve their goals, protesters acted on consensus-based decisions made in general assemblies which emphasized redress through direct action over the petitioning to authorities.The protesters were forced out of Zuccotti Park on November 15, 2011. Protesters turned their focus to occupying banks, corporate headquarters, board meetings, foreclosed homes, and college and university campuses.

Occupy movement

The Occupy movement, an international progressive, socio-political movement, expressed opposition to social and economic inequality and to the lack of "real democracy" around the world. It aimed primarily to advance social and economic justice and new forms of democracy. The movement had many different scopes; local groups often had different focuses, but the movement's prime concerns included how large corporations (and the global financial system) control the world in a way that disproportionately benefited a minority, undermined democracy, and were unstable. "Occupy" formed part of what Manfred Steger called the "global justice movement".The first Occupy protest to receive widespread attention, Occupy Wall Street in New York City's Zuccotti Park, began on 17 September 2011. By 9 October, Occupy protests had taken place or were ongoing in over 951 cities across 82 countries, and in over 600 communities in the United States. Although the movement became most active in the United States, by October 2012 Occupy protests and occupations had started in dozens of other countries across every inhabited continent. For the first month, overt police repression remained minimal, but this began to change by 25 October 2011, when police first attempted to forcibly remove Occupy Oakland. By the end of 2011 authorities had cleared most of the major camps, with the last remaining high-profile sites – in Washington, D.C. and in London – evicted by February 2012.The Occupy movement took inspiration in part from the Arab Spring, from the 2009 Iranian Green Movement, and from the Spanish Indignados Movement, as well as from the overall global wave of anti-austerity protests of 2010 and following. The movement commonly uses the slogan "We are the 99%" and the #Occupy hashtag format; it organizes through websites such as Occupy Together.

According to The Washington Post, the movement, which Cornel West described as a "democratic awakening", is difficult to distill to a few demands. On 12 October 2011 Los Angeles City Council became one of the first governmental bodies in the United States to adopt a resolution stating its informal support of the Occupy movement. In October 2012 the Executive Director of Financial Stability at the Bank of England stated that the protesters were right to criticise and had persuaded bankers and politicians "to behave in a more moral way".

The Game (rapper)

Jayceon Terrell Taylor (born November 29, 1979), better known by his stage name The Game (or simply Game), is an American rapper, songwriter, record producer and actor. He is best known as a rapper in the West Coast hip hop scene and for being one of Dr. Dre's signees under Aftermath Records. Born in Compton, California, he released his first mixtape You Know What It Is Vol. 1 in 2002; shortly after, he was signed to Dr. Dre's Aftermath Entertainment label. He rose to fame in 2005 with the success of his major-label debut album The Documentary and found continued success with the 2006 follow-up Doctor's Advocate. The Recording Industry Association of America certified The Documentary double platinum in March 2005.

A rising artist in the 2000s, The Game was considered to be a driving force in bringing back the West Coast hip hop scene into the mainstream and competing with many of his East Coast counterparts. The Game was placed into G-Unit by Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine. As a result of his disputes with 50 Cent, Game left Aftermath Entertainment and signed with Geffen Records, another label under Universal Music Group's Interscope Geffen A&M unit, to terminate his contractual obligations with G-Unit in the summer of 2006. The Game's second major label album Doctor's Advocate was released on November 14, 2006 and it became his second straight album to debut at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart. Doctor's Advocate did not feature any production from Dr. Dre. Pitchfork Media placed The Documentary at number 35 on their list of Top 50 Albums of 2005. The Game was nominated with a total of two nominations, including Grammy Award for Best Rap Song and Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group for the smash single "Hate It or Love It". The New York Times named Doctor's Advocate best hip-hop album of 2006.His next album LAX was released in 2008. With his eighth studio album The R.E.D. Album, The Game again debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. In addition to music, The Game has starred in motion pictures and founded The Black Wall Street Records. In September 2011, The Game started working on his ninth studio album, Jesus Piece, which was released on December 11, 2012, his final album released by Interscope. After releasing a mixtape OKE, on October 12, 2013, Birdman announced The Game had signed to Cash Money Records, which is distributed by Republic Records. However, The Game later refuted this claim. His latest album 1992 was released on October 14, 2016, and spawned two official singles.

The Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal is a U.S. business-focused, English-language international daily newspaper based in New York City. The Journal, along with its Asian and European editions, is published six days a week by Dow Jones & Company, a division of News Corp. The newspaper is published in the broadsheet format and online. The Journal has been printed continuously since its inception on July 8, 1889, by Charles Dow, Edward Jones, and Charles Bergstresser.

The Wall Street Journal is one of the largest newspapers in the United States by circulation, with a circulation of about 2.475 million copies (including nearly 1,590,000 digital subscriptions) as of June 2018, compared with USA Today's 1.7 million. The Journal publishes the luxury news and lifestyle magazine WSJ, which was originally launched as a quarterly but expanded to 12 issues as of 2014. An online version was launched in 1996, which has been accessible only to subscribers since it began.The newspaper is notable for its award-winning news coverage, and has won 37 Pulitzer Prizes (as of 2017). The editorial pages of the Journal are frequently conservative in their position. The Journal editorial board has promoted fringe views on the science of climate change, acid rain, and ozone depletion, as well as on the health harms of second-hand smoke, pesticides and asbestos.

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013 film)

The Wolf of Wall Street is a 2013 American biographical black comedy crime film directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Terence Winter, based on the memoir of the same name by Jordan Belfort. It recounts Belfort's perspective on his career as a stockbroker in New York City and how his firm, Stratton Oakmont, engaged in rampant corruption and fraud on Wall Street, which ultimately led to his downfall. Leonardo DiCaprio, who was also a producer on the film, stars as Belfort, with Jonah Hill as his business partner and friend, Donnie Azoff; Margot Robbie as his wife, Naomi Lapaglia; and Kyle Chandler, as the FBI agent, Patrick Denham, who tries to bring him down. Matthew McConaughey, Rob Reiner, Jon Bernthal, Jon Favreau, Joanna Lumley, and Jean Dujardin also star. The film marks the director's fifth collaboration with DiCaprio, after Gangs of New York (2002), The Aviator (2004), The Departed (2006) and Shutter Island (2010), as well as his second collaboration with Winter, since the television series Boardwalk Empire (2010–14).

The Wolf of Wall Street premiered in New York City on December 17, 2013, and was released in the United States on December 25, 2013, distributed by Paramount Pictures. The film was the first to be released entirely through digital distribution. It was a major commercial success, grossing more than $392 million worldwide during its original theatrical run to become Scorsese's highest-grossing film and the 17th-highest-grossing film of 2013. The film was controversial for its morally ambiguous depiction of events, explicit sexual content, extreme profanity, depiction of hard drug use, and its use of animals during production. The film also met controversy in 2016 when it was named in a series of civil complaints filed by the DOJ "for having provided a trust account through which hundreds of millions of dollars belonging to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) fund were illicitly siphoned," which had included the funds to finance the film.The film received mostly positive reviews from critics, with praise for Scorsese's direction, the comedic performance of DiCaprio and the fast-paced and consistent humor. The film was nominated for several awards including five nominations at the 86th Academy Awards ceremony: Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay, as well as Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor nominations for DiCaprio and Hill, respectively. The film did not win in any category, although DiCaprio did win Best Actor – Musical or Comedy at the 71st Golden Globe Awards, where the film was also nominated for Best Picture – Musical or Comedy. It was also recognized by numerous other awards ceremonies, as well as guilds and critics' associations.

Trinity Church (Manhattan)

Trinity Church is a historic parish church in the Episcopal Diocese of New York located near the intersection of Wall Street and Broadway in the lower Manhattan section of New York City, New York. Known for both its location and endowment, Trinity is a traditional high church, with an active parish centered around the Episcopal Church and the worldwide Anglican Communion in missionary, outreach, and fellowship.

Wall Street (1987 film)

Wall Street is a 1987 American drama film, directed and co-written by Oliver Stone, which stars Michael Douglas, Charlie Sheen, and Daryl Hannah. The film tells the story of Bud Fox (Sheen), a young stockbroker who becomes involved with Gordon Gekko (Douglas), a wealthy, unscrupulous corporate raider.

Stone made the film as a tribute to his father, Lou Stone, a stockbroker during the Great Depression. The character of Gekko is said to be a composite of several people, including Dennis Levine, Ivan Boesky, Carl Icahn, Asher Edelman, Michael Milken, and Stone himself. The character of Sir Lawrence Wildman, meanwhile, was modeled on the prominent British financier and corporate raider Sir James Goldsmith. Originally, the studio wanted Warren Beatty to play Gekko, but he was not interested; Stone, meanwhile, wanted Richard Gere, but Gere passed on the role.

The film was well received among major film critics. Douglas won the Academy Award for Best Actor, and the film has come to be seen as the archetypal portrayal of 1980s success, with Douglas' character declaring that "greed is good." It has also proven influential in inspiring people to work on Wall Street, with Sheen, Douglas, and Stone commenting over the years how people still approach them and say that they became stockbrokers because of their respective characters in the film.

Stone and Douglas reunited for a sequel titled Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, which was released theatrically on September 24, 2010.

Wall Street Crash of 1929

The Wall Street Crash of 1929, also known as the Stock Market Crash of 1929 or the Great Crash, is a major stock market crash that occurred in late October 1929. It started on October 24 ("Black Thursday") and continued until October 29, 1929 ("Black Tuesday"), when share prices on the New York Stock Exchange collapsed.

It was the most devastating stock market crash in the history of the United States, when taking into consideration the full extent and duration of its after effects. The crash, which followed the London Stock Exchange's crash of September, signaled the beginning of the 12-year Great Depression that affected all Western industrialized countries.

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