We know, we know. The crushing blows being delivered to New York's financial sector are crushing every other sector in New York. Yes, we feel it too. But take a few moments to remember that Manhattan is not the center of the world. Well, not entirely the center of the world. You know, get some... what do they call it exactly... perspective? Express some deeper understanding for your fellows. After all, New York City is not the only hub of finance in New England. Have you forgotten Stamford, Connecticut?
In 2002, UBS AG built North America's biggest trading floor here. Not to be outdone, rival Royal Bank of Scotland broke ground across the street in 2006, planning its own lavish headquarters -- and a trading floor nearly as large.
Then the turmoil on Wall Street began, shaking and shrinking these giants of the financial-services industry.
So what is next for the city that has garnered the reputation, at least locally, as "Wall Street North?"
It is a question frequently heard around Stamford, a city whose growth in recent years is owed in large part to the financial-services sector. Aside from its twin banking giants, Stamford's financial companies include Thomson Reuters Corp., General Re Corp., part of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., and a slew of hedge funds and smaller companies that sprouted up in the last 15 years. In 2006, at the RBS groundbreaking, Mayor Dan Malloy declared that "Stamford's place in the financial industry in the world, as a capital of financial services, is now secure."
Yeah... maybe not so much.
Remember how Vancouver was sort of the Stamford of Canada (ok, it is nothing like Stamford but that's not the point) until some sage film production tax breaks and media incentives turned it into a throbbing, vibrant mecca for people who wanted to film the X-Files? That is, until no one wanted to film X-Files in Vancouver anymore and they all preferred to be in Los Angeles. But in the interim, there were a lot of good years.
Well, Vancouver, Stamford is going to eat your lunch:
To weather the downturn, city officials know they can no longer bank only on banks. Instead, they are looking west -- to Hollywood.
The state offers a 30% tax credit on production and a 20% tax credit on infrastructure costs exceeding $1 million, factors cited by NBC Universal when it announced earlier this year it will be shifting production of several shows, including "The Jerry Springer Show" and "Maury," along with some 150 jobs, to Stamford.
Trouble in 'Wall Street North' Spurs Search for New Identity [The Wall Street Journal]