Trading Spaces

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The last time we checked, the only reason to be envious of Lloyd Blankfein’s henchmen was because some of them were getting upwards of $100 mm in bonuses (and because B-fein had carried on a tradition instituted during the Paulson era wherein on Tuesdays and every first and third Friday of the month, the girls are on Goldman).
According to the WSJ, however, there’s a new motivation for keying doctored league tables into the Goldies’ cars: trading floor envy. The Masters of the Universe are in the midst of erecting a “gleaming new building in lower Manhattan that will feature six gigantic state-of-the-art hangar-size trading floors (72,000 square feet each, with room for more than 900 traders on each floor)” and a Jamba Juice. If you’re the sort of person who’s made jealous by that sort of thing, you’re not alone—the top BB-banks are going to great—desperate, sad, whatever—lengths to keep up with the Goldmans. Let’s take a look at the competition.
Lehman Brothers Holdings:
Mulling over a deal with Vornado to build a HQ and trading floors where the Hotel Pennsylvania on Seventh Avenue still stands, i.e. Penn Station/MSG adjacent. Good for those commuting into the city on the Midtown Direct already/can’t resist Auntie Anne’s. Bad for anyone under 40/more importantly, those with an aversion to the types of people who ride the LIRR (read: anyone who doesn’t ride the LIRR and even some of those who do. Self-loathing. You know how it is).
Merrill Lynch & Co.:
Also considering the Hotel Pennsylvania site, in addition to the new WTC area currently under construction. Lease is up in 2013. The clock is ticking.
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.:
Talks with the Port Authority are “progressing but not a done deal yet.” The only thing we know about the Port Authority is that it’s a good place to pick up hookers…and with our analyst and associate attrition…you do the math.
Morgan Stanley
Has “talked with several landlords about spaces large enough for improved trading facilities, though its plans are unclear.” A spokesperson for Morgan declined to comment though we’ve heard that Robert Kindler will only entertain the possibility of venues large enough to host the Mergers and Acquisitions book party.
Wall Street Firms Vie To Expand Trading Floors [WSJ]

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