23 Facts About Wall Street


Wall Street is an eight-block-long street in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan in New York City.

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The term "Wall Street" has become a metonym for the financial markets of the United States as a whole, the American financial services industry, New York–based financial interests, or the Financial District itself.

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Wall Street was originally known in Dutch as "de Waalstraat" when it was part of New Amsterdam in the 17th century, though the origins of the name vary.

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Wall Street area is home to the New York Stock Exchange, the world's largest stock exchange by total market capitalization, as well as the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and many commercial banks and insurance companies.

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Several other stock and commodity exchanges have been located in downtown Manhattan near Wall Street, including the New York Mercantile Exchange and other commodity futures exchanges, and the American Stock Exchange.

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One explanation maintains that Wall Street was named after Walloons, the Dutch name for a Walloon being Waal.

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Wall Street was the marketplace where owners could hire out their slaves by the day or week.

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Wall Street added up prices, and divided by the number of stocks to get his Dow Jones average.

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On October 29, 2012, Wall Street was disrupted when New York and New Jersey were inundated by Hurricane Sandy.

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Wall Street's architecture is generally rooted in the Gilded Age.

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Wall Street pay, in terms of salaries and bonuses and taxes, is an important part of the economy of New York City, the tri-state metropolitan area, and the United States.

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Wall Street became the symbol of a country and economic system that many Americans see as having developed through trade, capitalism, and innovation.

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Term "Wall Street" has become a metonym for the financial markets of the United States as a whole, the American financial services industry, or New York–based financial interests.

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Wall Street has become synonymous with financial interests, often used negatively.

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One writer in the Huffington Post looked at FBI statistics on robbery, fraud, and crime and concluded that Wall Street was the "most dangerous neighborhood in the United States" if one factored in the $50 billion fraud perpetrated by Bernie Madoff.

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When large firms such as Enron, WorldCom, and Global Crossing were found guilty of fraud, Wall Street was often blamed, even though these firms had headquarters around the nation and not in Wall Street.

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Analyst William D Cohan argued that it was "obscene" how Wall Street reaped "massive profits and bonuses in 2009" after being saved by "trillions of dollars of American taxpayers' treasure" despite Wall Street's "greed and irresponsible risk-taking".

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Washington Post reporter Suzanne McGee called for Wall Street to make a sort of public apology to the nation, and expressed dismay that people such as Goldman Sachs chief executive Lloyd Blankfein hadn't expressed contrition despite being sued by the SEC in 2009.

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The 1987 Oliver Stone film Wall Street created the iconic figure of Gordon Gekko who used the phrase "greed is good", which caught on in the cultural parlance.

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Gekko is reportedly based on multiple real-life individuals on Wall Street, including corporate raider Carl Icahn, disgraced stock trader Ivan Boesky, and investor Michael Ovitz.

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Wall Street firms have, however, contributed to projects such as Habitat for Humanity, as well as done food programs in Haiti, trauma centers in Sudan, and rescue boats during floods in Bangladesh.

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Many people associated with Wall Street have become famous; although in most cases their reputations are limited to members of the stock brokerage and banking communities, others have gained national and international fame.

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Pier 11 near Wall Street's eastern end is a busy terminal for New York Waterway, NYC Ferry, New York Water Taxi, and SeaStreak.

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