It's difficult to live in this city and not learn a little about the financial sector. After all, it is one of the engines, only slightly more glamorous than tourism, that keeps this city moving forward.
As with most things that happen in this gigantic small town, moments with global implications often take on a local feel. With this in mind, I took a stroll up Seventh Avenue this morning past the global headquarters of Lehman Brothers on my way to work.
The building I work in also houses a large Lehman presence, but I knew the real action today would be on Seventh, between 49th and 50th.
I wasn't sure what to expect; there was obviously something seismic happening on Wall Street. After a year or more of shifting quicksand revealing the fatal structural flaws in the backbone of our financial system, the Fed had finally grown a pair and told the douchebag contingent to suck it up and deal with their own mess. There was a last-minute hail mary for Merrill Lynch, but no such luck for Lehman Brothers or
AIG (Correction! We found an extra $85B lying around!). The essential interconnectedness that these companies have to the larger global economy seems to have given these "too big to fail" entities a certain amount of hubris that has led inexorably to a tragedy of Greek proportions.