Still digesting the previous night’s dinner enjoyed at the awesome BareBurger, all organic restaurant, we started our Wednesday program with a presentation by Bob Biolsi, finance expert, on the current trends in financial services. Let me summarize to you the key take-aways from our morning session:
Mr Biolsi claims that although financial services are critically important for NYC and to the entire globe, there is irrational hostility towards the sector; the US government has tried for a long time to poison the financial services, to destroy the system.
Moreover, post-2010 and the global economic crises, has brought increased re-regulation of financial services, and more dominant role of IMF, Federal Reserve and European Central Bank.
As a result, Mr Biolsi states that NYC has seen its best days for financial services. What this means is that the sector is becoming less US-centric. The new financial center is arguably London and the next ones perhaps Zurich, Dubai and Singapore. For New York, the government plan seems to be to shift the economic profile of the city from financial services to other sectors, such as media, communication, entertainment and technology.
In the afternoon, we had an interesting visit to CUSP, a center for research and education in urban informatics, part of NYU and located in Brooklyn. In the meeting we touched the same topic of transforming the economic landscape of New York – a topic that CUSP is working on. This public-private research center uses NYC as a living laboratory to collect, combine and analyze various kind of data on the city (such as where most of the taxi pick-ups take place, which buildings are using the most energy, etc.). The overall objective is to obtimize the urban operations, make the city more livable and enhance its economic/social/ecological performance.