ON THE BRINK
Cyril Josh Barker | 4/12/2011, 4:34 p.m.
other top city elected officials. Bloomberg outlined the financial impact of the blunder on the city.
He said, "As sobering as the economic news is, the city is as well positioned as it's ever been to handle turmoil on Wall Street. Like everyone else, I had hoped Lehman Brothers could be saved, along with the jobs that employ more than 12,000 people who live in the New York area. Lehman Brothers had provided countless New Yorkers with an opportunity to pursue the American Dream, and it's a sad day for our city to see it close its doors. However, everyone is continuing to work to structure takeovers of various divisions of the company that will protect many of the people who have worked so hard to build them."
Bloomberg also said that the loss of jobs would have an impact on the city's tax revenue. Because of the number of jobs that one Wall Street company creates, families would be directly affected as well as
local government tax revenues. Comptroller Bill Thompson also gave his comments on the situation, saying that Monday was a "sad and stunning day" and that "thousands of people are losing their jobs and many are unsure about their futures." During the press conference, Thompson cited the back-office workers and support staff who are suddenly out of work. "The city's pension funds are healthy, and we are ready for the trying times that are no doubt ahead. New York City has weathered previous Wall Street troubles, such as the financial crisis of the 1970s, the stock market crash in 1987 and the burst of the dot-com bubble
only a few years ago. I have confidence in New Yorkers and our ability as a resilient city to create a stronger future," Thompson said. In a statement from Gov. David Paterson, he called the bankruptcy deeply troubling news not just for Wall Street, but also potentially for the state budget. His office is assessing the situation within financial markets and wants taxpayers to know that he plans to take any action necessary to protect the state's finances and economy. Paterson said, "Twenty percent of state revenue is derived from Wall Street.While the full impact of these events may not be known for months or even years, the fact that financial services firms that were able to survive the Great Depression, world wars and the September 11 attacks collapsed under the weight of the current financial crisis is cause for grave concern. While New York State has already made significant reductions to its revenue forecast by $2.3 billion for the current fiscal year,there are risks going forward." In the political arena, both Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain have expressed their positions on the situation. Obama has been quoted
as calling Lehman Brothers' bankruptcy as "the most serious financial crisis since the Great Depression" and has put blame on the Bush administration. He stated that while McCain is not directly to blame, he faults his political policies.