WALL STREETNew York City has a 0.7 mile long street that runs from Broadway all the way to South Street on the East River Lower Manhattan, the financial district of Wall Street was so named after this long street, however, during the course of time the name became metonymy for the financial markets of the United States. It has become a term that is used to address even those financial firms that are not physically located in the area but rather signify New York- based financial interests. It is a home to a number of financial bodies, for example, the New York Board of Trade, the New York Stock Exchange, the New York Mercantile Exchange as well as NASDAQ among others.

Wall Street has made it to a number of headlines, both for good news and bad news, it is a street that holds its own intrigue to the person reading about it or visiting it for the first time. The street is such a major attraction to a number of tourists who come to view the gold vault that is located beneath the Federal Reserve, they come to stare down at the trading floor as the different financiers go about their business, they also become a part of discussions that encompass a number of financiers who were skilled in finding ways around loopholes or laws in the financial sector.

Wall Street which is home to a number of financial bodies spans back a number of years. Although many argue as to how the wall got its name, the generally accepted turn of events is that it got its name from an earthen wall that was located on the northern boundary of the New Amsterdam settlement. The street has seen a number of exchanges, not just in terms of currency or securities, as in 1711, it also saw the sale of enslaved Indians and Africans. Regardless of the exchange being made, or the financial outcome, the street has seen a number of joys and tears throughout the years.

Amidst all the tall buildings and small streets are the “Charging Bull.”  Architecture Arturo Di Modica sculpted the charging bull, with the intention of depicting the strength and power of the American people. Over the years, the sculpture has been depicted as a representation of the bull market economy. In terms of tourism, the bull, which is also known as the Bowling Green Bull or the Wall Street Bull, has held many a tourist in awe. It is noted as one of the most photographed pieces of art in the city, thereby making it a tourist destination to visitors to the financial district. At any given day, you will not be surprised by the visitors who come to pose and take pictures with it. The bull itself stands at sixteen feet long and eleven feet tall. It leans back on its haunches, with a head that is lowered as if it is ready to charge forward. The pose has led to its being symbolized as an aggressive financial optimism and prosperity.

In terms of the economy, Wall Street plays a major role, with respect to the taxes, bonus, and salaries that are gotten. To the public, the street represents a sense of economic and financial power; many Americans see the street as a system that has developed through capitalism, trade and innovation. Unfortunately, in most cases, Wall Street has been perceived in the negative sense, in terms of financial interests. This has been the case during the time of the subprime mortgage crisis that occurred from 2007 to 2010. However, despite negative perceptions, the street has also been cast in positive lights, with some firms being noted as having contributed to projects such as food programs in Haiti, Habitat for Humanity as well as rescue boats during the floods that occurred in Bangladesh and trauma centres in Sudan.

Previously, especially in the 19th century, the street slowly made way for businesses as residents shifted away from it. However, with time, residents trickled back in and many call the street home as well as a place of work, with a number of commercial properties converted for residential use. A visit to the street will mean a fascinating walk through the area that is peppered with the past and recent history. It will mean an exploration of one of the largest financial centres in the world that is located in the heart of New York City. You will be amazed by the street’s attractions, with points of interest being the site of the World Trade Center, the charging bull, Trinity church and cemetery, New York Stock Exchange, the Federal reserve bank of New York, the Federal Hall National Memorial as well as the Trump building among others. Love it or hate it, Wall Street is one long street that will leave its visitors in awe.


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