Should the Financial Engine of the World be in New York?

Hurricane Sandy has had a terrible toll on lives and property and the misery will last for many months to come. Since 911 this is the second time the New York Stock Exchange has been closed for more than a day-granted, both of these were extra ordinary events but maybe it’s time to rethink having the financial engines of the world concentrated in New York…

When I first started with Merrill Lynch we trained in the Twin Towers and everything was so close and convenient; the exchanges, investment bankers etc. From 911 we have learned that terrorists all around the world have also made this observation-does it really make economic sense to have all of our financial centers clustered together?

Look at the fallout from Sandy-the market has now been closed for two days. It could easily be a week before the subways are running again and commuters can return to Wall Street. Early estimates suggest that the loss of economic activity is around 10-20 billion dollars!! In my opinion this makes no sense at all to have the financial industry centered in New York.

It’s funny to me that when I was at Merrill Lynch we preached diversification to our clients until we were blue in the face and yet we allow all of our financial engines to be concentrated in one very small area-really?

I would suggest that we take a serious look at diversifying this industry. For example, Denver, Colorado is pretty much center of the world and the United States. I live in Denver but it makes no difference to me where we establish a satellite financial center; but I think there is no time like the present to make this happen!

I would love to believe that there will not be further incidents-but I’m too much of a realist and hope that someone is listening…

What do you think-does it make sense to have the financial engine of the world  concentrated in New York?

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