Day 3: Rats hit NYC


Today’s class was about a topic which is not of my primarily interest but still fascinating: financial services.

The presentation was held by Bob Biolsi, an experienced executive in financial services.
He made a historical overview of the sector starting from 15/08/1971, the end of the Bretton Woods era and thus of the fix exchange rate, through the deregulation, and the recent re-regulation .
Mr. Biolsi made an interesting comparison that caught my attention: government is like rats; meaning that because of the government regulations the financial system in NYC is “under attack” as rats “attack” the subway system in NYC.
Key take-aways from the morning:
– what’s the next bubble? Bonds, because the US has $12 trillion of debt
– 1/3 of workers in NYC works in the financial industry
– brokers are obsolete, they’re still in fashion for real estate market but not for stocks and bonds
– London has taken the role of financial leader, though in the future Singapore, Dubai and Zurich will take the lead as major financial centers.
In the afternoon we moved from Manhattan to Brooklyn to visit the  NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress.
We have been talking about big data and which kind of career can be pursued in this field, and it actually turned out that today is the new sexiest (and well paid) job in NYC.
What can cities do with the data?
– Optimize operations
– Monitor infrastructure conditions
– Infrastructure planning
– Improving regulatory compliance
– Public health
– Better inform the citizenry
– Enhance economic performance and competitiveness

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