At first glance, Friday night's meetup at the Bitcoin Center's downtown offices could have passed for any other start-up party. The crowd skewed young, many in hoodies and looking barely grown out of their Chuck Taylors, but mixed in were members of the blazer-and-blue-jeans set and even a select few people above the age of 35. Most, clustered in groups beneath the Center's green-lit high ceilings, stayed largely indifferent to the DJ spinning dance tracks.
But there were some things that were odd. First, there was no booze, due to the small but vocal contingent of grade school kids in attendance. Second, there were the dogs. Also, the people dressed [...]
"The benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average rose to an all-time record Tuesday on news that China was pledging to plow more money into its economy, returning the markets to highs not seen since before the financial crisis. By 10 a.m. Tuesday, the Dow was up nearly 90 points, or 0.74 percent, to 14,216.70, blowing past a record that was set Oct. 11, 2007, during a time when the economy was just peaking and headed toward disaster. [...] The Dow’s record high confirmed that the ongoing political paralysis in Washington has failed to spook the markets much in the last year." —The very rich don't seem to be bothered by [...]
"Calling the shooting a 'watershed event' in the national debate on gun control, Cerberus Capital, a New York-based firm that manages over $20 billion, said in a statement Tuesday it planned to sell off its investment in the Freedom Group. Freedom Group bills itself as a 'family' of more than a dozen firearm companies including Bushmaster Firearms." —Looks like a certain New York bunch of urban elitists are getting their man cards revoked.
"The three directors who oversee risk at JPMorgan Chase & Co. include a museum head who sat on American International Group Inc.’s governance committee in 2008, the grandson of a billionaire and the chief executive officer of a company that makes flight controls and work boots. What the risk committee of the biggest U.S. lender lacks, and what the five next largest competitors have, are directors who worked at a bank or as financial risk managers." —Good stuff!
Zuccotti Park is a well-manicured, block-long park in the heart of New York City’s financial district that, for the past two days, has been home to a few hundred squatters, anarchists, activists, students, a few drug addicts, several undercover cops and one lone man in a suit. Alternately calling themselves Occupy Wall Street or Take Wall Street or the 99%, they have set up camp, spending the night on rolls of cardboard, yoga mats and bare concrete, as a protest against the abuses carried out by various financial institutions and banks against the people of this country.
The protest, loosely organized by Adbusters and the internet activist group [...]
I can summarize the well-informed tripartite New York magazine cover story on Wall Street, while eliding all the details: pretty much no one learned anything, rich people really enjoying spending money, it's not unlikely there'll be a round two mortgage debacle, Wall Street is more consolidated than ever and poses a "greater systemic risk," we're off to enjoy/exploit the BRICs (and CIVETs and EAGLEs, et al), even though Goldman Sachs, among others, took a bath on them over the last few years, slightly fewer Harvard MBA graduates are going straight into Big Finance (they're all becoming consultants, which, same diff!), and lots of people on Wall [...]
Excellent! Wall Street firms claim they're going to stop giving money to political candidates, as retribution over minor regulation. That's not going to be true at all, but it'd be a great start.