New York City

  • 04 Mar 2008 at 2:40 PM
  • London

New York Is The New New York, London Not So Much

London Is Fading.jpgRemember when London was the new New York? It was only a year ago that London was proclaimed the global capital of finance. But that story is so last year. New York City is back.
London’s reputation as the place where movers and shakers move and shake is suffering under the weight of recent financial scandals and political backlash against well-heeled financiers, the Financial Times reports today. A global survey of finance professionals undertaken by the City of London Corporation reveals the shift.
What’s dragging down London? The FT cites the collapse of Northern Rock as damaging the reputation of the City’s elite, but inventing SIVs and being responsible for some of the more exotic credit market related financial structures probably has not helped much either. Another downer: those Brit politicos keep threatening to raise taxes on private equity partners, hedge fund managers and non-domiciled residents. Meanwhile, the tax enforcers have been on something of an enforcement spree.
London’s edge over New York eroded [Financial Times]

  • 26 Jul 2007 at 11:00 AM
  • Banks

The Latest Round in the London vs. NYC Fight

London comes out on top again, as Morgan Stanely is shipping Walid Chammah, global head of M&A, across the pond. Morgan Stanley is the most relocation-happy out of the bulge brackets, now that London houses the bank’s I-banking chief, securities division COO and global head of capital markets.
Some oft-stated reasons for the push, from breakingviews:

The reasons are manifold. First and foremost is London’s geography. By straddling the time zones of Asia and North America, a globally-focused executive can wake up speaking with colleagues in Tokyo and pass the Jag ride home directing charges in New York. London is also more conveniently situated than New York for courting executives in Russia, China, the Middle East and India – the four horsemen of future industry growth.

The trend isn’t just affecting top positions, and doing its best to scrape the bottom of the barrel. More and more banker and trader underlings are getting shipped from NYC to the UK, or taking exploratory mini-work-“vacations,” to work a week or two in London. Some even say that the work environment in London as a result is becoming just as life-crushing, if not more so, than Wall Street. If anyone has any stories of the difference in work environment from any of these trips, comment or drop a line to *tips at dealbreaker dot com*.
Follow his Walid [breakingviews]

Power’s Out

Were you affected by the five-minute blackout on the Upper East Side? Share your experiences here.

Bloomberg-Schumer Smack Spitzer Around

eliotspitzerfullofair.jpgProfessor Larry E. Ribstein points out a sentence in that Bloomberg-Schumer article we discussed earlier that got us all going “on snap!.”

While our regulatory bodies are often competing to be the toughest cop on the street, the British regulatory body seems to be more collaborative and solutions-oriented.

Hear that, Eliot? Your tough guy act is even pissing off your fellow Democrats now. (Oh, and emphasis added by us, of course.)

  • 01 Nov 2006 at 9:29 AM
  • legal

Schumer Calls For Re-Examination of Sarbanes-Oxley

bigben.jpgToday’s Wall Street Journal bring us a column jointly written by New York mayor Michael Bloomberg and Senator Charles Schumer calling for reforms—such as re-examination of Sarbanes-Oxley and a taming of our shareholder class-action litigation frenzy—to make New York at least as friendly to finance as London.

With the benefit of hindsight, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, which imposed a new regulatory framework on all public companies doing business in the U.S., also needs to be re-examined. Since its passage, auditing expenses for companies doing business in the U.S. have grown far beyond anything Congress had anticipated. Of course, we must not in any way diminish our ability to detect corporate fraud and protect investors. But there appears to be a worrisome trend of corporate leaders focusing inordinate time on compliance minutiae rather than innovative strategies for growth, for fear of facing personal financial penalties from overzealous regulators.
Second, what lessons can we learn from other nations’ legal environments? The total value of securities class-action lawsuits in the U.S. has skyrocketed in recent years, to $9.6 billion in 2005 from $150 million in 1997. The U.K. and other nations have laws that far more effectively discourage frivolous suits. It may be time to revisit the best way to reduce frivolous lawsuits without eliminating meritorious ones.

Keep in mind that Charles Schumer co-wrote this—not Hank Paulson or Arthur Levitt. Charles effin Schumer. Almost makes you think the Democrats might be just about grown up enough to be trusted with running the Senate again.

To Save New York, Learn From London
[Wall Street Journal]

NewsFlash: You Might Not Be Getting Home Tonight

We’re remaining very skeptical about everything we’re hearing and reading about this afternoon’s upper east side incident. Reportedly an aircraft struck the Belaire luxury condo building at 524 East 72nd Street. Flames can be seen coming from several apartments, and a tower of smoke is rising. But everything else seems confused. Conflicting reports claim it was either a helicopter or a plane. And it is obviously way too early to know if this was a terrible accident or a terrorist attack.
So we’re sticking to what we know. Just around the corner from DealBreaker HQ in lower Manhattan, about sixty police cars have taken up position at the base of sixth avenue with their lights flashing. A patrolman who asked that we not identify him told us that they were awaiting orders, possibly including whether or not to start shutting down various tunnels leading into Manhattan. The Holland Tunnel is located just a few blocks away from where the police have gathered. So if you live outside of Manhattan, getting home tonight might be a little bit tricky. (And no, we don’t think that whether or not you get home to your family tonight is trivial even in light of likely injuries or deaths uptown.)
We’ve also received reports from a midtown office building where at least some people are said to be afraid.
“People are having 9/11 flashbacks. One lady is sitting on the floor,” said a source who is working at a major publishing company located near Times Square.
We’ve also heard from at least two people at Goldman Sachs, located at the other end of Manhattan, that people there are leaving their offices immediately. But we want more. What’s happening where you work? Send information to tips (at) dealbreaker (dot) com or drop a note in the comments section below.
Update: A reader gives an account of the action at one bank located a bit closer to the incident than Goldman Sachs (but unhappily requests that we not name the bank): “As soon as I heard what happened I ran over to the TV at our old fund sales desk, a once-teeming hotbed of gossip and shiny young interns, now staffed by three swiss-german consultants. ‘Where exactly did the plane crash!?’ I gasped. They looked up from their computer screens and replied in dull, heavy accents – ‘uh, New York’ and went right back to ‘work.’ I hate this place.”
Update: We just ventured out into the rain again to check on the Holland Tunnel. Moving along at more or less normal pace for a rainy Wednesday rush-hour. Looks like you will be able to get back to the Jerz after all. Oh, and it seems it was a Yankee and not a terrorist after all.