The faltering economy and the fall of Wall Street banks has turned city leaders into counselors trying to calm New Yorkers down, given the huge impact of those businesses on the city.
Yesterday, Mayor Bloomberg commented about Barclays buying Lehman Brothers' broker-dealer business, pointing out how he said NYC was prepared to deal with these events:
"Today's agreement demonstrates how the ideas, skills, and enterprise of our City's workforce offer world-class value that is more lasting and reliable than ups and downs of the market. But this deal is happening not just because financial services firms worldwide know that New York City offers the most highly trained, best experienced, workforce in the world, but also because the members of our workforce want to remain in New York. Talent attracts capital more effectively than capital attracts talent. As City officials, our job is to keep making the investments in our streets, schools, parks and cultural institutions that continue to make New York the most attractive place for the best and brightest to live and work - and thus the financial capital of the world."
Bloomberg even congratulated Lehman CEO Dick Fuld for orchestratin the deal! This morning, City Comptroller William Thompson said at an NYU Wagner School breakfast, “With every downturn, New Yorkers have encountered our city has rebounded stronger than before... This is the spirit of New York City. We are fighters. We are resilient. We are innovators.” And for those worrying about the city's pension, Thompson said, "We’ve been reducing our exposure to risk by diversifying our portfolio beyond stocks and bonds. This approach is helping us weather these tough times better than we would have ever before.”
As for the state pension, State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said there's no danger with the state pension fund--it's fully funded "oday, tomorrow and well into the future."