Sunday, October 12, 2008

Economic Downturn

So the economy is going down the tubes. How does that affect me? Well living in New York it is a little more up close. When we were in mid-town I walked past the Lehman Brothers building. The building had a huge video billboard on the outside and only 1 day after its bankruptcy they had already changed the logo to “Barclays”. It took them all of a week to change the 2 story foot tall steel and copper sign to the new logo. (I guess someone paid for a rush job.)
Wall street is a different matter. All the camera crews around remind me of the OJ Simpson trial in Los Angeles. It’s kind of scary that the nations economy is in a similar circus. All the reporters standing around make it seem like a death watch with them waiting for something to happen. There is a lot of extra security though. After September 11th. giant brass blockades were installed so that only police, limos, and Bentleys could drive down Wall Street. (If you think I am joking go there.) Now there are the armed police everywhere with the flack jackets. They all look like cops standing around after a bank has been robbed and all the money is gone. hmmmm.
For the government budget, of course NYC, and New York depended on taxing all the obscene paychecks that you kept hearing about for wall street workers. Now I’ve heard emergency conferences by the Mayor and Governor talking about emergency budget cuts because the people on wall street are not getting their Christmas bonuses. I thought it kind of odd that Christmas bonuses would account for that big of a chunk of a city or state budget until I heard the average bonus is $645,000.
Obviously the company I work for does a lot of business with wall street. Meetings have been rescheduled because people had roommates that worked on wall street that suddenly had to move because of lost jobs. Even though the company I work for is doing fine they, rightly so, have decided that wall street will not be ordering anything new for a while so they have cut travel expenses to offset the lost sales. The silly thing is that I had already bought my ticket,hotel, and conference admission for an upcoming trip, all non-refundable for better prices. They are still reimbursing me for the trip expenses since I bought everything before the freeze, I’m just not going. Right hand meet left hand.

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