By Jena Ardell
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Bowles works out of an office on lower Wall Street where he gets to see the financial laboring classes in action. "It's true that Wall Street is the golden goose for New York," he said. "That doesn't mean that it shouldn't be regulated, and that there isn't a larger interest for the city in making sure this doesn't happen again."
On Friday, as Bloomberg was drumming up local support for his financial friends, the nation got another good look at their past handiwork. This came from securities regulators who filed civil fraud charges against Goldman Sachs. The allegation is that the firm sold mortgage-backed securities purposely designed to fail so that Goldman and a few favored clients could score a fortune. Goldman vigorously denies any wrongdoing. But what's truly enlightening are the exuberant e-mails sent by the Wall Street whiz kid who allegedly orchestrated the scheme: "More and more leverage in the system," typed this Goldman vice president in a giddy message to a pal. "The whole building is about to collapse anytime now . . . !!!"
Not that such talk disturbs the richest New Yorker. He holds fast to his faith in the markets, no matter any occasional excesses. A day before the Goldman Sachs scandal broke, the mayor defended another of his lofty notions. At the city's invitation, a British artist has posted lifesize nude statues on the ledges of tall buildings around Manhattan. Alarmed passers-by keep calling the police, thinking they have spotted a likely suicide. One of the statues was placed on a high floor of the Empire State Building, where a 21-year-old Yale student jumped to his death just three weeks ago. "Why not put statues on the corners, holding guns at night?" a frustrated cop, speaking anonymously for fear of antagonizing a mayor who thinks this is grand theater, told the Post. "That would be fun artwork, wouldn't it?"
The mayor was asked if the statues should come down. "No," he said. "It's a great exhibition. It's one of those things that gets publicity around the world, brings tourists to New York."
Just like Wall Street, which has spawned its own real jumpers every now and again.