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Wall Street Bankers To Occupy Salt Lake City

The news that many evil bankers are fleeing New York City, pink slips in hand, will surely cheer the Occupy Wall Street crowd . But Salt Lake City has even more reason to be happy about this turn of events.

Reuters reports that Goldman Sachs is planning to add 300 new employees to its already growing office in the Utah state capital—and these new hires will earn at least 150 percent of the average local salary. Of course, Goldman isn’t doing this out of the goodness of its heart. The state government, seizing the opportunity to boost the city’s economy, has offered it millions of dollars in tax breaks to expand its operations there. Even without those incentives, the move arguably makes economic sense for the firm.

This is big news, going far beyond a few hundred bankers, Salt Lake City, or the Occupy encampments in New York. As we’ve noted, when bankers hurt, New York hurts. Sky-high salaries and bonuses in the financial sector have generated justified indignation, but they have also provided a significant chunk of city and state tax revenues. Without that money, it is hard to see how New York can continue to pay for the bloated blue institutions on which so many of the city’s poor and middle income workers rely.

In the ongoing aftermath of the financial crisis, Wall Street is already shrinking on its own, without any outside help. But as other cash-strapped states catch on to this fact and lay out the welcome mat for disgraced firms, the drain may accelerate accelerate.

Manhattan’s loss is Salt Lake City’s gain.

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  • Jacksonian Libertarian

    As the recent census showed, all of the Blue States are losing population to the more competitive Red States. California, Illinois, and New York are all losing businesses, and tax payers, it’s not just New York City investment bankers. The Blue Model destroys, and the longer they cling to the Blue Model the greater the destruction will be.

  • LarryD

    Will NYC have any industry left? NYC doesn’t have to become the next Detroit, but that depends on the city government.

  • alex scipio

    If I were a successful banker taking a look at technology today, SLC would be FAR more attractive than NYC. Great skiing, backpacking, hunting, biking, waterskiing, boating. Great national parks (Bryce, Zion, easy access to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon). Lower (by far) cost of living. Nicer people.

    It’s just crazy that with the technology available today people would continue to consider Manhattan – or any specific city – as a requirement to succeed.

    And as far as supporting services – far cheaper in the West than in NYC, where it takes 3 (three) unions just to get a phone installed at your desk.

    Maybe one day soon we’ll close down these big ugly cities and spread-out across this great nation… DC would be a great place to close next, right after NY.

    Pretty amazing what we can do with technology if we can keep the feds (and the UN) out of our way.

  • Kris

    Horror! Even before the election, the Mormonocracy is making itself felt!

  • Hunter

    Misleading post. This is not “big news”, and it is not even about “Wall Street bankers.”

    GS has a large number of mostly back-office employees located in Utah simply because it is cheap. These are not “a few hundred bankers”, but people in support functions that are paid 1/5 the average GS salary.

    It makes no sense to connect this to WRM’s broader narrative of blue institutions and public finance in New York. The Utah support staff described in the article are, if anything, competing for jobs with other back office hubs like Mumbai – not “Wall Street bankers” by any stretch of the word.

    This could be a story about “insourcing,” but framing as a “business leaves NY” story is simply inaccurate. Check your facts, intern!

  • Chris P

    To ditto Hunter’s point, these aren’t the jobs one envisions when the term “Wall Street banker” comes up. The real Wall Street-type jobs might eventually move to Hong Kong or Singapore or another emergent center, but for now they are staying in New York/London or just as often disappearing into thin air. They are not moving to Salt Lake City… Goldman couldn’t even get its front-office guys to move across the river to Jersey (5 minute train ride).

  • Quayle

    alex scipio, the MCI CIO thought as you do, moved IT from Washington DC to Colorado Springs, then found out that his employees liked leaving at 5 to do all those wonderful mountain west recreational activities. End result was fail.

    GS, above all, knows price/value mismatches. Salt Lake salaries are artificially low because tons of well or adequately educated Mormons would rather take a below US market salary than leave Salt Lake. GS is merely taking advantage of that fact.

  • HueyLives

    Of course the Wall Streeters are fleeing to Salt Lake City: It’s had the highest rate of criminal fraud in the country for decades — the result of domination by a church that preaches personal prosperity is a sign of God’s favor, while it levies a 10% income tax on adherents (enforced by the Bishops). (Small wonder SLC’s Olympic Committee was a cesspool of corruption.) Birds of a feather.

  • Half Canadian


    You’re reference to ‘personal prosperity is a sign of God’s favor’ is more relevant to Calvinism (see “The Spirit of Capitalism & the Protestant Ethic”).
    As far as affinity fraud is concerned, yes, UT has a high rate. When I took my white-collar crime class, the professor (a former prosecutor) ascribed it to the higher level of trust in the local population.

  • Sam

    Wow, the anti-Mormon bias is out in force today.

  • VA Teachers

    Is it my imagination, or do I seem to be hearing a lot more about Mormons than I used to? I wonder what that’s all about….

  • Korla Pundit

    NYC is now all about the constant harrassment of citizens by the fascist thugs with police-like badges, scouring the city for infractions to fine, even if they have to make up a law on the spot to fine you with. The city’s judges are all corrupt and will back up this revenue collection for the welfare state and the funding of [large–ed] pensions for fat-ass cops on the back of people who are minding their own business, and struggling to get to the next paycheck. [Vulgarity removed] New York. This mayor has turned it into a Nazi [casual blasphemy removed].

  • Korla Pundit

    Attention tourists even considering coming to New York. STAY AWAY! This is not a fun place any more, and if you foolishly think you can bring your gun along, even to transfer to a connecting flight at the airport, you will spend years in jail. Seriously. Please punish this mayor and his corrupt developer friends, and DON’T FUND HIS FASCIST MACHINE WITH YOUR TOURIST DOLLARS. Go someplace more deserving like Texas or Florida.

  • Snorri Godhi

    This reminds me of PDQ Bach’s Classical Rap.

  • Willys

    Texas has been inviting disgruntled employees and companies to town for years. Ask any satisfied transplant.

    And those guys headed to SLC are gonna love the skiing. To [heck] with the cabs.

  • traye

    Not to mention, lots and lots of guns in UT along with the high crime rates those guns cause.

  • richard40

    To traye:
    “Not to mention, lots and lots of guns in UT along with the high crime rates those guns cause.”.

    Not sure if you are being ironic, or showing leftist ignorance, but many studies have shown that states and cities that do NOT have gun control generally have less crime, not more as you claim.

  • mac

    Some of the transplants will be either converting to the conservative side or coming back to NYC. Utah is the most conservative state in the Union and if the transplants are libs, they’ll soon find out they’re outnumbered, outvoted and outgunned. Since none of those things is going to change, they’ll adapt or leave.

    It’s always fun to see how much the Utah libs froth at the mouth about what the majority believes. Judging from the comments in the Salt Lake Tribune, most of them have only an extremely tenuous grip on reality and a deep, deep hatred for where they live. The majority just laughs them off, of course, which drives the libs even closer to the edge of raging insanity. It’s a hoot to watch!

  • Sean

    SLC is a blue town to a fault. Very leftist. Very anti-Mormon, very gay, very bohemian and everyone’s assumptions on this page about that are dead wrong. I know. I live here and make almost six figures selling booze. All of the data shows a 60-40% non-Mormon to Mormon population. The real numbers are probably 90% non to 10% Mormon because the church counts anybody who has been on the rolls as current practicing members, inflating numbers in SLC. There are very few practicing Momrmons downtown.

    Truth is that GS is here for the same reasons as Ebay, Adobe, Proctor & Gamble, Micron/Intel, ect: high quality of life, low cost of living and forgiving tax structure. You are all clueless about Salt Lake City. New York is fun to visit, but hanging on the subway with some stranger’s junk bobbing by your nose get old fast. There is a massive out-flight of people from places like NYC to places like SLC, Boise, Denver, Portland, etc.

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