Friday, December 05, 2008

Ghost town 

If you look, there are signs of the times all around.

I am in New York today, meeting with institutional investors at a conference devoted to bringing portfolio managers and analysts together with management tools. There is nothing particularly out of the ordinary about this conference; I go to eight or ten or these a year, and this is just like the others. Except for the setting. Normally, they are held in a mid-town hotel, and each company is given a room in which to meet with investors in serial "one-on-one" meetings. Not this time. We are in offices around the edges of the now abandoned Bear Stearns trading floor:

Trading Floor, December 2008

Less than a year ago, this place was hopping with traders. Today it is a ghost town. I heard one investor who had been in this space a year ago wonder aloud "where the hell did everybody go?"

Anyway, the sponsor of the conference, one of the most financially robust recipients of TARP funds, not only saves actual money by holding its conference here, but it avoids the accusation that it is squandering the taxpayers' money on a "luxury" hotel. Smart move.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Dec 05, 04:30:00 PM:

Soon enough the issue will be inflation. Hopefully, we'll have climbed the job hill before we get to the inflation mountain.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Dec 05, 07:50:00 PM:

Hey, I sat on that desk. I can see my old seat. Those were the days, but now they are gone.  

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