Monday, October 13, 2008

Keep Us Employed

Charter Says "Depart";
Council Wants to Stay.
Their Plea to Mayor:
"Save our Seats and
We'll Save Yours."

The travails of Wall Street eclipse other issues as the market struggles to establish a base. To oversimplify the situation, two forces are locked in perpetual combat: fear and greed. When greed prevails, the market rises, often to levels which are not sustainable. When fear prevails, prices collapse and stocks sell for far less than they are worth in terms of the earning capacity of the companies being traded.

If you can find the tipping point when fear surpasses greed, which was about a year ago, you could have become rich, especially if you used puts and calls, options, short selling, derivatives and other financial devices which magnify both risk and reward. We do not yet know when greed will surpass fear, whether it will be today or whether a new bottom will be tested, but history tells us we are at or close to the low point of the cycle.

How the City Council's tenure will affect the stock market is a mystery to us, but it was explained by Council Speaker Christine Quinn at a press conference yesterday in the Red Room (not the Blue Room, which is on the Mayor's side of City Hall). She said that the Council was working co-operatively with the mayor, and that stability and continuity were important in government and would benefit the city in these difficult financial times.



  1. Anonymous7:02 PM

    Henry, thanks for your spirited continuing defense of democratic principles.

    Imagine if what our elected officials are doing here and now in New York were to be have occurred a few months ago in Rome, Belgrade or Johannesburg. The New York Times editorial page would very likely have tisk-tisked the miscreants. The Daily News and The Post might have taken their own pot shots at power-grabbing politicos. Instead, the publishers of our major papers simply caved in, probably flattered to be courted by and taken into confidence by the Great Man.

    Clearly the Mayor, half of the City Council, the editorial boards and of course influential business leaders are fearful that a referendum on term limits might prove that the electorate is as concerned with the rule of law as it is with quality of leadership.

    Does anyone really think that Ms. Quinn and her allies are critical to New York's survival? She has disqualified herself from ever seeking office again, and the same goes for her cohorts, who disgraced themselves earlier when they supported congestion pricing in return for promises of campaign help from the Mayor.

    It is ironic that term limits gave these people their jobs. Our billionaire Mayor didn't need (and didn't want) the Campaign Finance Program to win his elections. Not so for nearly all of the current anti-term limit officeholders including Ms. Quinn, BP Markowitz and council members. These individuuals were beneficiaries of significant financial help from the NYC Campaign Finance Program, whose goals they would selfishly hinder by grandfathering in their own incumbency. Keep us employed, indeed!


  2. I really don't see how a referendum is more democratic than the current legislative process going on now. There are more people listening and discussing and debating now than would ever show up to vote at a special election. I unfortunately was not able to attend the hearing today, but it has clearly engaged many people who would never have cared otherwise.
    Our constitutional experiment was based on the belief that our government must be responsive to the people and harbor the expertise of the leaders we choose to hold office. Today's hearing showed just how intently our council members are listening, and I hope that they recognize that new yorkers are asking them to apply their experience and insight for four more years.