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Bloomberg Aims To Help Wall Street Rise Again

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg says he's trying to shore up what remains of Wall Street and keep people employed in the Big Apple amid a crisis that has claimed hundreds of thousands of financial-sector jobs.

"We could sit around and complain about it, but we're trying to do something about it" — including retraining programs that try to prepare people for other jobs in finance, or for other types of jobs altogether, Bloomberg told NPR's Renee Montagne.

Bloomberg said some of those who lost their jobs at big banks are now starting up boutique financial operations that specialize, for example, in research — a sign of hope amid the ruin.


Still, the fall of Bear Stearns, Bank of America's purchase of Merrill Lynch and the general downsizing in the financial sector comes with very real costs for the city, Bloomberg said. Tax revenues for 2010 are projected to be $5 billion less than they were two years ago, he said.

The answer, however, is not simply to tax the rich more, Bloomberg said. Already, 5,000 of the city's richest people paid 30 percent of overall taxes, so New York doesn't want to alienate them, he said. His goal, he said, is to keep it affordable and desirable for people to stay in the city.

"If you start a business," Bloomberg says, "if you want to be successful, you need the people who love New York City."

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