Notes from NYC

After almost a week here in Manhattan, I’ve noticed there is a general sense of economic health here.   Lots of shopping bags on 5th Avenue, restaurants that are completely booked, even a long line to get into a new series of shops and cafes that feature the best of Italy.   

One of the few signs of a change since the stock market crash is, ironically, on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.   Our trader/guide said that a few years ago, there were 5,000 traders on the floor.  Now only 700, largely due to the ‘programmed’ trading that has risen dramatically.   The programmed trading has been responsible for some of the precipitous one-day drops as well.   Our friend was optimistic that the rules would require more human interaction as part of large trades again…. but it was not a sure thing.

A real estate agent I talked with said that after a 30% loss of value, things were picking up in recent months.