The New York Times provides some background on Mayor Bloomberg’s speech to the press yesterday, in which he asserted that New York was well-positioned to weather the current chaos on Wall Street. Prior to drafting his remarks, the Mayor offered “solace and support to those he has known as friends, colleagues, clients and golfing partners,” the Times says. These included Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, SEC Chairman Christopher Cox a few bank presidents, and Lehman Brothers’ own Dick Fuld, which whom the Mayor has collaborated on charitable endeavors.
That last chat must have been interesting, as Bloomberg opposed a Federal Lehman bailout in his address, but of what these conversation consisted besides solace and support is not revealed, and despite its dramatic opening (“it was Merrill that needed help — desperately”), the Times admits that “the city’s authority in international financial markets is severely limited.”
But the billionaire Mayor is of the Street and remains a “diplomat and elder statesman” to it, the paper asserts, and the “conversation extended well beyond official pleasantries.” For example, he is said to have asked Cox what the SEC could do about short sellers profiting from the debacle — when, and to what effect, the Times does not say.
The point seems to be that Mayor Bloomberg is friends with these important people and privy to some information which will not be shared with the rest of us.