Among the financiers working overtime this weekend: Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City. The New York Times reports that the mayor "spent much of the weekend talking by telephone with federal officials and banking executives to gauge the severity of the crisis and its impact on the city's finances."
"The latest banking troubles are unfolding amid a wider debate about whether Mr. Bloomberg should be allowed to seek a third term in office — a debate that, to a certain degree, is about who should lead the city in the middle of a financial downturn," the Times notes.
Personally, I think Bloomberg should forget about seeking a third term, and instead start a standalone investment bank. A new, post-City Hall venture would give him the opportunity to harness his entrepreneurial energy and creativity after 8 years of having it somewhat circumscribed by the realities and inefficiencies of the political system. Bloomberg is probably one of the few people alive today who could raise money for that kind of business. There's plenty of talent on the open market, and he would be a magnet for the best and the brightest Wall Street has to offer. A new bank could probably gobble up market share quickly given that two competitors have failed. And nothing would be of greater civic service to the city of New York than replacing the void left by Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers.
I'm sure there are plenty of reasons why this would be a long shot. Then again, every new business is just that. But, to me, it seems that plenty of people could serve as mayor. How many could potentially bring stability the American financial system?
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