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.

This image has been archived or removed.

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.

This image has been archived or removed.

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

Discover Opportunity with Manhattan Charter Schools [Sponsor]

We, the Manhattan Charter School for Curious Minds, are two small public elementary schools educating children in grades Kindergarten through 5th. We believe in the importance of an intimate learning environment and are committed to offering a well-rounded education designed to help students develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. There are never more than 25 […]

Art Basel Banana Surfaces on Essex Street

Not since Velvet Underground has a banana polarized so. You may have seen the viral story about the banana fastened to a wall at Art Basel fetching $120,000 in the name of “art.” Back home on the Lower East Side, the locals have added their two cents about Maurizio Cattelan’s work (known for the golden […]

Man Falls to his Death from Eldridge Street Building During Smoke Break

A 54-year-old man on a purported smoke break fell to his death Saturday from a six-story tenement on Eldridge Street, near Hester. Cops were called to the backyard of 54 Eldridge at about 9:15am, where officers found the man’s body sprawled on the ground. Witnesses told police that the victim had been smoking a cigarette […]

Imagine if this 96-Story ‘RiverArch’ on the LES Stained the Skyline

Given the gold rush mentality on the Lower East Side waterfront, it’s not surprising to see another bunkers development proposed. A so-called RiverArch all-purpose development to span the East River just north of the Manhattan Bridge. Conceived by Scott Baker, the futuristic plan is part bridge-part apartment building. The 96-story RiverArch would house thousands of apartments, a […]

Bagatelle Managers Seek ‘Highlife’ for the Bowery

GupShup owner Jimmy Rizvi isn’t headed to the Bowery, after all. His bid for another Indian restaurant at 245 Bowery failed this fall. Rizvi’s application for full liquor was heard by Community Board 3 back in September, but was instructed to return as the application was incomplete and further outreach needed. His no-show one month […]