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Wall Street

The Leonard Lopate Show

Sam Israel, the Secret Market, and Wall Street’s Wildest Con

Monday, August 13, 2012

Guy Lawson discusses a massive hedge fund fraud and the search for a “secret market” beneath the financial market. His book Octopus: Sam Israel, the Secret Market, and Wall Street’s Wildest Con tells the story of hedge fund manager Sam Israel, and his year-long adventure in “the Upperworld.”

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Transportation Nation

Private Ferry, Floated By Municipal $, Flourishes In New York

Monday, July 16, 2012

NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn ride the East River Ferry with the Williamsburg Bridge in the background. (photo by Jim O'Grady)

(New York, NY - WNYC) Several Brooklyn-to-Manhattan commuters were baffled at 7:45 this morning to find an unexpected boarding ritual taking place at the head of the gangway leading to their ferry. Mayor Michael Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, a likely candidate for mayor, stood there waiting to shake hands.

"Congratulations!" Quinn told the riders, one by one. "You're among the million passengers to take the East River Ferry!"

That's a million paid customers in just over a year, more than double the initial projection of 409,000 annual riders. But that success comes at a price to the city: a $3.1 million subsidy per year over the three-year life of the pilot program.

The money comes from the city's Economic Development Corporation. Private ferries that criss-cross the Hudson River, connecting New Jersey to various parts of the harbor, do not receive subsidies.

The East River Ferry started with 12 days of free service last June. From the beginning, it proved popular with New Yorkers and tourists. The boats follow a route that goes from Wall Street to East 34th Street in Manhattan with stops along the way -- four in Brooklyn and one in Queens. Then they ply the trip in reverse. (Bloomberg and Quinn boarded at the North 6th Street stop in Williamsburg, Brooklyn for a three stop ride to Wall Street.) In spring and summer, the ferry adds a Brooklyn harbor loop and makes the short hop from Lower Manhattan to Governor's Island.

Weekend service is especially popular in the warm months. Billy Bey, the company running East River Ferry, says it has had to operate larger vessels on the weekends to hold the crowds, and a new landing at Brooklyn Bridge Park has been fitted with wider gangways to speed boarding and disembarking.

The ferry isn't cheap: $4 for a one-way trip, compared to the $2.25 base fare per subway ride with a Metrocard; and the ferry charges $140 for a monthly commuter pass, compared to $104 for a 30-day unlimited ride MetroCard.

But sometimes a passenger like Bloomberg can catch a break. The mayor ordered a $2 cup of coffee from the on-board concession stand, which a woman who gave her name as Jennifer served up gratis. Jennifer said she was happy to do it "because he's the mayor," although she initially called him Mayor Giuliani. But Jennifer also noted a Bloombergian particularity: the mayor added milk to his Joe but, true to his crusade against empty calories, no sugar.

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It's A Free Blog

Opinion: Post-Libor, Romney and Obama Need a Plan to Fix Banking

Monday, July 16, 2012

This is bigger than Obamacare. It's much more significant than Romney continuing as CEO of Bain after 1999. It has a far greater impact on every American this election year than any other issue the candidates have been discussing or will address in presidential debates this fall.

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The Takeaway

Barclays CEO Resigns

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Barclays CEO Bob Diamond resigned this morning, the highest-profile casualty of an interest rate-rigging scandal that involves more than a dozen major banks around the world. The British banking giant is just one institution that is currently under investigation. 

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WNYC News

Message to Vets: Wall Street Wants You

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Military men and women leaving service are working their military skills into resumes and cover letters as they search for work. Several dozen attended a job fair on Wall Street Thursday, sponsored by financial firms, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Backstory: Matt Taibbi on JP Morgan Chase

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Matt Taibbi, Contributing Editor for Rolling Stone , joins us to talk about the recent $2 billion-plus loss at JP Morgan Chase and the state of Wall Street. Taibbi is the author of Griftopia: A Story of Bankers, Politicians, and the Most Audacious Power Grab in American History.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Will The London Whale Bring Down JP Morgan?

Monday, May 14, 2012

New York bureau chief and Wall Street correspondent for Marketplace Heidi Moore talks about the huge loss announced by JP Morgan last week, and what it means for the company, regulation and our economy.

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The Takeaway

JP Morgan Chase Announces $2 Billion Loss

Friday, May 11, 2012

In a major hit for Wall Street, JP Morgan Chase disclosed a $2 billion loss on Thursday related to its credit investment portfolio. The trickle down effect could mean a loss of another $800 million in the second quarter for the bank’s Chief Investment Office. The Takeaway talks with Michael de la Merced, reporter for The New York Times' Deal Book.

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The Takeaway

Edward Conard Argues for Income Inequality in 'Unintended Consequences'

Thursday, May 10, 2012

In 1987, Wall Street came to be personified by the Oliver Stone film of the same name, by Michael Douglas’s Gordon Gekko. "The point is, ladies and gentlemen, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good," Gekko famously preached. Today, the Occupy Wall Street Movement seems to be fighting against this same idea. How, exactly, does the one percent feel about that? Edward Conard, former managing director of Bain Capital, offers his opinion.

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WNYC News

'Bad boy' Ex-Investment Manager Sentenced in NYC

Thursday, May 03, 2012

A former investment manager known as Wall Street's "bad boy" has been sentenced to 12 years in prison.

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The Takeaway

Michael Kirk on "Money, Power and Wall Street"

Monday, April 23, 2012

Three years after America's largest financial collapse since the Great Depression, the country is still recovering. Some banks have received huge bailouts, but countless Americans are still struggling to get back on their feet. A new four-hour documentary, "Money, Power and Wall Street" investigates what has been done (and not done) to secure America's financial future. Michael Kirk is one of the producers of "Money, Power and Wall Street," which will premiere on Frontline April 24 and May 1 on your local PBS station.

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The Takeaway

Can Goldman Sachs Restore Its Image?

Monday, March 19, 2012

In the days since former Goldman Sachs vice president Greg Smith resigned with a scalding New York Times Op-Ed, the company's reputation has come under fire on all sides. But how fair has the criticism been? And what can Goldman do to rehabilitate its image?

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Joe Nocera on the NCAA, Fracking and Wall Street

Friday, March 16, 2012

Joe Nocera, op-ed columnist for The New York Times and WNYC contributor, discusses his proposal to fix college sports. Plus, continued conversations on fracking and the culture of Wall Street. 

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Goldman Sachs and Wall Street's Culture Problem

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Josh Brown, financial advisor aka The Reformed Broker, and author of Backstage Wall Street: An Insider’s Guide to Knowing Who to Trust, Who to Run From, and How to Maximize Your Investments, to discuss the ripple effect of yesterday's New York Times op-ed by Greg Smith "Why I'm Leaving Goldman Sachs".

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The Takeaway

Fallout from Former Goldman Sachs Employee Piece in New York Times

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Former Goldman Sachs employee Greg Smith has cost the company more than $2 billion in stock value since his op-ed piece ran in the New York Times yesterday. Smith's very public jump from the company at the top of the Wall Street food chain has raised some questions about Goldman's internal culture, it's capacity to learn lessons from past mistakes and it's ability to control its own brand.

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The Takeaway

Goldman Sachs Employee's Public Letter of Resignation

Thursday, March 15, 2012

When Goldman Sachs employee Greg Smith handed in his letter of resignation, he did so in the most public manner possible — by posting it in the pages of The New York Times. In his letter, the former derivatives trader described the firm's working environment as "toxic and destructive" and accused their culture of placing company profits over client interest whenever possible.

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It's A Free Country ®

The Political Pitfalls of Mitt's NY Money

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Mitt Romney was born in Michigan and governed in Massachusetts, but New York is fundraising home.

He's raised more money here than any other state, and nine of his top ten fundraising zip codes are in New York City or its suburbs - in Fairfield County, Connecticut, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. He’s back on Wednesday for fundraisers in New York City and Stamford, Connecticut.

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It's A Free Country ®

Graphic: Obama Campaign Sees Fundraiser Turnover

Friday, February 17, 2012

Despite the talk about Wall Street’s grousing with the Obama administration, New York’s Obama bundlers in 2012 are still dominated by fundraisers in finance, consulting, law and real estate.

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The Takeaway

GOP Candidates Go Anti-Corporate for Anti-Romney Ads

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Newt Gingrich’s ad campaign against front-runner Mitt Romney has been all about attacking his record at the private equity firm Bain Capital. Most recently, a pro-Gingrich super-PAC released a 28 minute film called "When Mitt Romney Came to Town" which portrays Romney as a "corporate raider" whose policies ran four companies into the ground for his own benefit. Given Republicans' long legacy of running on pro-business platforms and promoting laissez-faire legislation, this recent turn is highly ironic. But how the nominees are articulating these sentiments are decidedly different from their liberal counterparts.

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The Empire

State's highest court delivers half of Assemblyman Lancman's Martin Act reform bill

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

In a ruling by the state’s highest court on December 20th, a major disagreement over one of the biggest tools the state’s Attorney General has in regulating Wall Street. In a unanimous decision, the Court of Appeals ruled that New York’s Martin Law didn’t preempt private individuals from going after Wall Street firms that mismanaged or defrauded investors.

In a statement, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office called the decision "an important recognition that private lawsuits brought by harmed investors are compatible with our office's public enforcement role under the Martin Act."

The New York Law Review has a detailed (and technical) breakdown of the Martin Law’s and the history of this issue.

But for those not plugged into the securities industry, the Martins Law is a Depression Era law unique to New York, that allows the state’s Attorney General broad powers to go after firms that swindled investors. In light of the 2007 Wall Street-created meltdown of the economy, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has taken the baton passed down from former AG Eliot Spitzer to use the previously unused law to go after big Wall Street firms.

The Court of Appeals decision settles a disagreement over how the Martin Act impacts private investors’ attempts to recoup funds they believe were inappropriately lost. Some state and federal courts had ruled that the act preempts investors from seeking damages because the facts of the case could be used by the Attorney General to make his or her own case.

Now, the two are separated and can happen concurrently: the Attorney General’s office can sue a firm for fraud and investors can also try to get back some of the money they invested, using the same facts to build their separate cases. No longer does the AG’s office have sole domain over pursuing firms thanks to the Martin Act.

This is partly what Queens Assemblyman Rory Lancman has been pushing for with a bi-partisan bill he has cosponsored with State Senator Tom Libous of Binghamton.

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