Fun Facts: Average Wall Street income $422,500. Average bonus $184,000. $100 Billion in gold stored in Wall Street district. 20% of New York City wages goes to Wall Street employees.
Drive Highlights: Wall Street Bull, close proximity to The Continental Hotel from movie John Wick, brief view of famous New York Stock Exchange, and the South Street Seaport.
Time of Day: Thursday afternoon.
Wall Street is an eight-block-long street in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan in New York City. Anchored by Wall Street, New York City has been called both the most economically powerful city and the leading financial center of the world, and the city is home to the world's two largest stock exchanges by total market capitalization, the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ.
In the Public Imagination
Wall Street in a conceptual sense represents financial and economic power. To Americans, it can sometimes represent elitism and power politics. Wall Street has become synonymous with financial interests, often used negatively. In addition, images of Wall Street and its figures have loomed large. 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.
Over time, the term has become a metonym for the financial markets of the United States as a whole, the American financial services industry (even if financial firms are not physically located there), or New York–based financial interests.
Anchored by Wall Street, New York City has been called both the most economically powerful city and the leading financial center of the world, and the city is home to the world's two largest stock exchanges by total market capitalization, the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ. Several other major exchanges have or had headquarters in the Wall Street area, including the New York Mercantile Exchange, the New York Board of Trade, and the former American Stock Exchange.
The seven largest Wall Street firms in the 2000s were Bear Stearns, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup Incorporated, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers.
Importance In the New York Economy
Estimates vary about the number and quality of financial jobs in the city. The city's securities industry, enumerating 163,400 jobs in August 2013, continues to form the largest segment of the city's financial sector and an important economic engine, accounting in 2012 for 5 percent of private sector jobs in New York City, 8.5 percent (US$3.8 billion) of the city's tax revenue, and 22 percent of the city's total wages, including an average salary of US$360,700.
One estimate was that Wall Street firms employed close to 200,000 persons in 2008. Another estimate was that in 2007, the financial services industry which had a $70 billion profit became 22 percent of the city's revenue. Another estimate (in 2006) was that the financial services industry makes up 9% of the city's work force and 31% of the tax base.
Wall Street is a major location of tourism in New York City. One report described lower Manhattan as "swarming with camera-carrying tourists". Tour guides highlight places such as Trinity Church, the Federal Reserve gold vaults 80 feet below street level (worth $100 billion), and the NYSE.
In Popular Culture
The film Wall Street (1987) and its sequel Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010) exemplify many popular conceptions of Wall Street as a center of shady corporate dealings and insider trading.
In the Star Trek universe, the Ferengi are said to make regular pilgrimages to Wall Street, which they worship as a holy site of commerce and business.
In the film The Dark Knight Rises (2012), Bane attacks the Gotham City Stock Exchange. Scenes were filmed in and around the New York Stock Exchange, with the J.P. Morgan Building at Wall Street and Broad Street standing in for the Exchange.
The film The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) is a black comedy about Jordan Belfort, a New York stockbroker who ran Stratton Oakmont, a firm that engaged in securities fraud and corruption on Wall Street from 1987 to 1998.