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

fat radish open
The Fat Radish Changes it up with New Lunch Concept and Pintail Coffee

Change is afoot in the Fat Radish empire. The modern British eatery at 17 Orchard Street is set to dish out a new “lunch concept,” and duly welcomes executive chef Nick Wilber back into the fold, to work alongside head chef Jared Dowling. Owners Ben Towill and Phil Winser had previously relocated Wilber to their Upper East Side […]

first-park-art
‘Birdhouse Repo’ Reminds us that Even the Animals Can’t Afford to Live in NYC Anymore

To live in New York City is so expensive, even the birds can’t afford it. This truth is the creative mojo behind a new temporary art project coming to First Park this month. The incoming sculpture, aptly entitled “Birdhouse Repo,” is the work of city native Aaron Schraeter. Simple yet brilliant, his goal was political […]

orchard-grocer-1
MooShoes Full Service Vegan Grocery Opens at the End of the Month on Orchard Street

MooShoes reopened back in September with a totally new look. The popular cruelty-free shoe shop divided its retail space at 78 Orchard Street, and is now getting into the food game. Quite literally narrowing the retail shopping experience allowed ownership to introduce Orchard Grocer, as we first reported. The full service vegan grocery will feature […]

cafe-medi-rivington
With the Debut of ‘S’zen Mixology Lounge’ this Week, Another THOR Spot for Embattled Hell Square

Embattled neighbors call it one of the most problematic operators dotting Hell Square. One that seemingly gets away with everything. Somehow the Hotel on Rivington continues to open (and close) new establishments on-premise without the benefit of public scrutiny. The latest future grievance to arrive is a second-floor nightspot dubbed S’zen Mixology Lounge (i.e. scene + zen). […]

klondike-bandit-bowery
Bandit in Klondike Hat Knocks Off 2 Chase Bank in Chinatown 

For the second time since Christmas, a Chase Bank on the Bowery has been knocked off. Police are looking for a man in a “Klondike hat” as lead suspect in both robberies, the latest of which transpired on Thursday. The perp visited Chase Bank at 2 Bowery on Thursday at around 1:51pm, and slipped a […]