Ten Years Later and Richer

The Story

Ten years ago, things looked bleak in New York City after the implosion of the financial industry, followed by the arrest of Bernard Madoff for massive fraud. Since then, finance has come roaring back, and its high salaries and bonuses have fed the city’s tax coffers. But how has the city spent all this money, and what has it got to show for it?

The Facts You Need to Know

  1. Taxes: 7% of New York City’s tax haul—and 18% of New York State’s—derives from levies on the securities industry. Read more.

  2. Hiring: New York City has gone on a hiring spree of municipal workers; each additional employee increases the city’s growing unfunded pension and retiree health-care liabilities. Read more.

  3. Spending: City spending under Mayor de Blasio continues to outpace inflation dramatically. Read more

“A strong local economy has enabled the City to pay for this expanded workforce; however, it will be hard-pressed to maintain this level of staffing when an economic downturn occurs.”

Citizens’ Budget Commission

Twitter Take

The Past is Present

Reading the Financial Crisis By Nicole Gelinas (October 26, 2012)

“Where is the great American financial-crisis novel, comparable to the classic 1980s Wall Street sendup, Tom Wolfe’s The Bonfire of the Vanities?”

And in other news...

“Getting stuck for hours on a stalled subway car or pushed on the tracks or caught in the train door — those are just a few scary scenarios that many commuters have thought about at some point or another. We’d like to add getting trapped inside a subway station elevator to the list.”