The End of New York City

Today I was think ing about the New York City economy so and how it’s a mystery to me that it hasn’t tanked much further. I went over to Wikipedia to look at this article on New York City’s economy and found the following table, which I am lifting in its entirety. 

Of course there are other people who work in the city, in fields like advertising, marketing, law, consulting, architecture, and design. In other words, fields that service companies like those listed below. 

Companies in green are in finance, companies in yellow are in entertainment. Many, if not most, face insolvency.   

The Top 25 Fortune 500 Companies in New York City
rank in: corporation Headquarters
(New York, NY)
Fortune 500 industry group 2007
($ million)
1 1 8 Citigroup 399 Park Ave. 10043 Commercial Banks
2 2 12 J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. 270 Park Ave. 10017 Commercial Banks
3 3 13 American International Group 70 Pine St. 10270 Insurance: Property and Casualty (stock)
4 5 17 Verizon Communications 140 West St. 10007 Telecommunications
5 6 20 Goldman Sachs Group 85 Broad St. 10004 Securities
6 7 21 Morgan Stanley 1585 Broadway 10036 Securities
7 8 30 Merrill Lynch 4 World Financial Center 10080 Securities
8 9 37 Lehman Brothers Holdings 745 Seventh Ave. 10019 Securities
9 10 43 MetLife 200 Park Ave. 10166 Insurance: Life, Health (stock)
10 11 47 Pfizer 235 E. 42nd St. 10017 Pharmaceuticals
11 12 49 Time Warner 1 Time Warner Center 10019 Entertainment
12 14 75 American Express 200 Vesey St. 10285 Diversified Financials
13 15 77 Hess Corporation 1185 Sixth Ave. 10036 Petroleum Refining
14 16 80 Alcoa 390 Park Ave. 10022 Metals
15 17 82 New York Life Insurance 51 Madison Ave. 10010 Insurance: Life, Health (mutual)
16 18 84 News Corporation 1211 Sixth Ave. 10036 Entertainment
17 19 86 TIAA-CREF 730 Third Ave. 10017 Insurance: Life, Health (mutual)
18 20 125 Bristol-Myers Squibb 345 Park Ave. 10154 Pharmaceuticals
19 21 139 Loews Corporation 667 Madison Ave. 10021 Insurance: Property and Casualty (stock)
20 22 156 Bear Stearns 383 Madison Ave. 10179 Securities
21 24 172 Bank of New York Mellon Corporation 1 Wall Street 10286 Commercial Banks
22 25 181 CBS 51 W. 52nd St. 10019 Entertainment
23 26 182 L-3 Communications 600 Third Ave. 10016 Aerospace and Defense
24 27 186 Colgate-Palmolive 300 Park Ave. 10022 Household and Personal Products
25 29 191 Viacom 1515 Broadway 10036 Entertainment
NYC = New York City; NYS = New York State; US = United States
All data except stock price changes are for either the calendar year ending on December 31, 2007 or the company’s fiscal year ending before February 1, 2008.
Stock price changes are for the calendar year 2008. Declines of over 50% are in boldface. Over the same period (December 31, 2007 to December 31, 2008), the 30-stock Dow Jones Industrial Average declined by 33.8% and the Standard & Poor’s index of 500 leading stocks declined by 38.5%. By the end of 2008, the stocks of Bear Stearns (acquired by JPMorgan Chase) and Lehman Brothers (in dissolution) were no longer being traded.
Sources: Fortune 500 website and Fortune, May 5, 2008 (Volume 157, number 9), pages F-1 to F-10, F-28, F-34, and F-40 to F-41.
Stock price change between December 31, 2007 and December 31, 2008 from "Year–End Review: Markets and Finance 2008", The Wall Street Journal, Friday, January 2, 2009 (Volume CCLIII, number 1), pages R-15 to R-18.


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Reality Check: Infrastructure Funding for NYC

The Daily News: "New York Gets Big Slice of … Stimulus Package …

What’s known is this: New York is getting more money for Medicaid relief ($12.6 billion), mass transit ($1.3 billion) and home weatherization ($403 million) than any other state. Other categories may well break New York’s way, once funding formulas are set.

"We have come of age," exulted former Mayor Ed Koch, who remembers a time not too long ago when New York’s delegation was routinely steamrolled, mostly by powerful Southern Democrats who saw New York as Sin City.

I have nothing against Medicaid relief, but this is hardly infrastructural spending in the traditional sense. Meanwhile the shovel-ready Trans-Hudson Express Tunnel (adding two new, much-needed tracks under the Hudson River) is estimated to cost over $7 billion to complete while the Second Avenue subway will be over $17 bililon. The Trans-Hudson Express is to be completed by 2017 while the Second Avenue subway will take a few more years. 

Given such lengthy timeframes and the immediacy of the crisis, is it political expediency that is driving Obama’s flight from traditional infrastructure. 

This is but a small window into the way spending is being allocated in the stimulus plan. More here if you missed it. 

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Whenever I walk from to Sunrise Mart for lunch, I make it a point to avoid the construction site on Spring and Varick.

After all, anything by Donald Trump and Bovis Lend Lease can’t be good. In terms of quality or safety, New York’s construction is little better than Los Angeles’s, even if the buildings appear to be made of real materials such as steel instead of wood.

So, it is that a scant three days after I told my friend Mimi that we were not, under any circumstances, walking under the scaffolding at that site she sends me this item: Worker is Killed in Accident at Trump Soho Tower. Another outrage from the man who put "You’re Fired!" on national television. Of course the global élite that will inhabit this structure one day will be to uninformed to notice, but just think of the quality of construction in the building. Nice place to live.  


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how the city works

Via archinect comes this New York Times article on how the United Parcel Service eliminates left-hand turns to save money by cutting on gas expenses and time on the road (here is another article on the topic). Compare it with the following Associated Press article from last year on the strange co-existence of parking tickets and delivery trucks.

The world of logistics is much more intricate than we may think. Understanding it better is crucial for the coming century of networked architecture and networked urbanism.

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