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Financial 411: The Revolving Door Between Government and Banking

Thursday, April 14, 2011

City, State Unemployment Rates Fall

New York state and city unemployment rates fell last month and with both below the national average. For the city, the rate is 8.7 percent, more than full percentage point lower than a year ago. Employers in the education and health sectors and in professional services hired the most people over the past year. Government sector jobs continue to shrink. In New Jersey, the unemployment rate increased slightly, to 9.3 percent.

Bloomberg Launches Innovation Index

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has long taken pride in his reputation as an innovator. Now he's launched an index to track innovation in New York.

It includes factors like the flow of venture capital, the volume of patents issued to New Yorkers, and the number of graduate students in the city. The conclusion: innovation was up 12 percent from 2003 to 2009.

The index only looks at the five boroughs, so it's not possible to say how the city compares to Boston, San Francisco or the nation as a whole.

Still, there are some interesting trends. For one, about 1,100 patents were issued to New York City inventors in 2009. That's an increase of almost 25 percent from 2003.

Markets

Markets were mixed Thursday.
The Dow added 14 points, to close at 12,285.
The Nasdaq was flat, ending at 2,760.
The S&P 500 also settled close to where it began, at 1,315.

From the Government to the Private Sector

When people who work in government leave to go work in the private sector, sometimes for companies they may have had a role in overseeing, the metaphor, inevitably, is the revolving door. On Wall Street, often, former public officials move from the upper echelons of government to the upper management at banks and then back again — trading prestige for big pay packages.

A recent example is the former White House Budget Director, Peter Orszag, who joined Citigroup.

Gabriel Sherman writes about the move in this week's New York Magazine. He talks about why Orszag made the switch, after two years in the White House. He also explains whether there are any legislative measures to slow down the revolving door.

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