November 12, 2007

Walking Off the Wall Street Bears: Before the Opening Bell

As mentioned in a previous post, I'm visiting Wall Street this week to take some snapshots (more mental than photographic) of the looming economic crisis. I want to see if traders, fund managers, and other workers in the financial sector reveal any outward signs of distress. Will they walk and talk a different way? Will they be nervous and spilling their coffee on the sidewalk? We'll see! As with the other walks, I'll be commenting on buildings, restaurants, etc., but I'll also be chiming in with my amateur economic knowledge to translate the mood of the Street.

Let's begin with a few quotes, shall we?

"Of a Sunday, Wall-street is deserted as Petra; and every night of every day it is an emptiness. This building too, which of week-days hums with industry and life, at nightfall echoes with sheer vacancy, and all through Sunday is forlorn. And here Bartleby makes his home; sole spectator of a solitude which he has seen all populous—a sort of innocent and transformed Marius brooding among the ruins of Carthage!" - Herman Melville (1819-1891), Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall-street (1853)

"Out of the din, overlooking the struggle, are, here, and there oases of silence, where self-contained men sit in carpeted offices behind guarded doors, armed with pens whose briefest tracings spell poverty or wealth; their fingers pressing tiny buttons that sway the markets of the world. " - From Charcoals of New and Old New York. Pictures and Text by F. Hopkinson Smith. New York: Doubleday, Page & Company. 1912. Image here of Wall Street by F. Hopkinson Smith.

See the complete walk, Walking Off the Wall Street Bears.

No comments: