“Oh God,” said Kathy Wylde when I told her I wanted to talk about Wall Street.
Wylde, president of the pro-business civic group Partnership for New York City just finished testifying to the Ravitch Commission on M.T.A. financing on Washington Square South.
“There’s a fundamental change in Wall Street. Their business model has been challenged," she said. "Twenty-five percent of the regional economy is based on the financial services industry.”
Companies, like Lehman Brothers that do business using other people’s money have been hit hard, she said, but there‘s some good news.
“Citigroup, J.P. Morgan Chase and Bank of America are going to come out of this stronger than ever because [banks are] a source of funds. Deposits!”
Wylde went on, “We’ll still have a few institutions and the banks. But they’re not the ones with the big bonuses.”
Turning to politics, Wylde said the financial crisis makes a “powerful argument" against Bloomberg being term-limited out of office.
“I think, and I don’t know this, but my guess is that he could have made up his mind this weekend,” she told me, referring to whether the mayor will decide to seek a change to the term-limits law so he can run for re-election.
“He didn’t go to California to stay here all weekend to make phone calls. There’s going to have to be a lot of phone calls.”
Officially, Bloomberg stayed in New York this weekend to attend to the financial crisis.