Wall Street’s Recovery — I begrudge them, but I’m glad
So life’s not fair, we knew that. Droves of working class folks and hopeful college grads still hanker for elusive jobs. Many retirement accounts are still in the tank. The climate’s still changing, Deepwater Horizon is still gushing, most of the world is not in recovery.
So against that backdrop we find out that Wall Street firms are again so profitable that they are on a hiring spree. According to the New York Times, profit for members of the New York Stock Excahnge gleaned — I simply refuse to say earned — a combined $61.4 billion last year, an all-time record. And they’ve added 20,000 jobs since February, and all the experts are predicting many more hires in the next few months. And please don’t think that compensation packages aren’t again through the roof. They are.
So much for suffering aftermaths of the economic implosion that they caused.
But I can’t pretend that I’m not heartened by the news anyway. I’m a New Yorker — and this city has long dependended on tax revenues from Wall Street to fund services that reach people who don’t even know where Wall Street is (unless they’re cleaning Goldman’s bathrooms). And business travelers to Wall Street tend to spend big, staying in plush hotels, eating in fancy restaurants — more economic boosts in terms of sales taxes as well as corporate income taxes.
Each job in the securities sector generates two additional positions in New York City, according to the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis. In part, that is because the average salary is much larger, with Wall Street employees earning an average of $392,000, compared with $63,875 for other workers in the city.
“It’s a big deal for both the city and the state,” said Robert D. Yaro, president of the Regional Plan Association, a leading independent planning group. “This is a significant turnaround.” Twenty percent of the state’s tax revenue comes from the financial sector, he said, while Wall Street accounts for about 12 percent of the city’s budget.