Recap: Tenement Talks with Eliot Spitzer and ProPublica

Posted on: October 12th, 2011 at 10:11 am by

Last night, in conjunction with online publication ProPublica, the Tenement Museum held an investigatory discussion about Wall Street and the overall state of the financial sector.  Former New York governor Eliot Spitzer, whose dad grew up at Fourth and B, was the moderator, talking with esteemed journalists Jesse Eisinger and Jake Bernstein.  It was definitely one of the more popular Tenement Talks in recent years, prompting a queue around the corner onto Delancey. The museum initially expected to host the event in the new Sadie Samuelson Levy Center across the street, but things didn’t quite work out.  Nevertheless, the ante is definitely upped for this popular series.

For roughly one hour (and the subsequent Q+A), Spitzer engaged the panelists with precise questions about the crux of the financial crisis.  There was a certain energy in the room, a sense of frustration, that helped feed the discussion.  Boiled down to its basics, the complex conversation touched upon the notions that not much has really changed since the financial collapse and that old habits still die hard.  Pretty much a summation of what “Main Street” says about Wall Street on a daily basis – lack of accountability, “socializing risk, and privatizing gain,” etc.

So inevitably, the discourse meandered to the subject of Occupy Wall Street.  Eisinger, Bernstein, and Spitzer each agreed that the protest is generally a good thing.  That it’s a “visceral scream of anger,” and people are doing the right thing by making their voices heard. For a brief moment, the former governor even seemed like he was campaigning.

Spitzer also seized the opportunity to provide his two cents on the matter, which we captured on audio-tape. Listen here:

This discussion was the inaugural ProPublica event, with more in the coming months. Check the full schedule here [PDF]

Recent Stories

ron-english-graffiti-wall-1
Here is the Ron English ‘All American Temper Tot’ on the Bowery Graffiti Wall

That was quick. The Bowery graffiti wall is already sheathed in its new mural. In a matter of hours yesterday, artist Ron English rolled on his wheat-paste creation to the year-long-stagnating wall at the corner of East Houston. It’s called the “All American Temper Tot,” and features the hulkish green baby (i.e. the Temper Tot) […]

ellis-island-24_wm
Touring the Creepy Abandoned Hospital Complex on Ellis Island [PHOTOS]

Creepy. Cold. Intense. Haunted. All apt adjectives to describe the unused section of Ellis Island designated as ruins. It is on the south side of this national park – straddling the state lines of New York and New Jersey – that a maze-like collection of twenty-nine buildings sits. Rotting away from the inside out. Indeed, […]

140orchard-wildair
Contra Guys Will Open the Casual ‘Wildair’ on Orchard Street Next Month

Around this time last year, Contra scored the go-ahead from Community Board 3 to open a casual, “creative American” restaurant at 94 Allen Street. It was to be a place more approachable than the OG spot. Those plans ultimately hit a dead-end (F18 Gallery opened there instead), though, and owners Jeremiah Stone and Fabian Von […]

brunswick-clinton-1
Bluebird’s Alex Hall Swaps Rosella for Brunswick on Clinton Street

This month in identity crises, one Lower East Side coffee shop has decided to change its name. Bluebird principal Alex Hall opened Rosella exactly one year ago at 23 Clinton Street. Competition here is fierce, given the number of java joints within spitting distance (that would be five). The Australian-born Hall ultimately decided to scrap […]

graffiti-wall-night
After a Year of Inactivity, Ron English is the Next Artist to Paint the Bowery Graffiti Wall

The mobile boom was rolled into place beside the freshly-constructed Bowery graffiti wall early yesterday morning. In covering this slab for years, this is the surest signal that a change of the guard is in the cards. Indeed, the next entrant is already at bat to paint a mural here. Acclaimed street artist Ron English has […]