Sounding A Lot Like the Leftists of 2011, Young Republicans Re-Occupy Zuccotti Park
Gavin Max: “These schmucks on Wall Street and in Greenwich, or wherever they are, they can do whatever the hell they want to do with no repercussions.”
On Sunday afternoon, several dozen members of the New York Young Republican Club gathered in the Financial District to protest alleged stock market manipulation by large traders, at the expense of individual investors.
The focus of their ire was the recent gyrations in stocks such as GameStop and AMC Theatres, which have been heavily “shorted” by institutional traders (meaning they were gambling that the price of a distressed stock would fall still further). These insiders recently experienced a rare comeuppance at the hands of smaller players, as the latter group virally organized through online platforms such as Reddit, acting in concert to purchase options and drive the price of the shorted stocks unexpectedly upward, thus forcing multiple hedge funds into a “short squeeze” (a liquidity crunch that compels traders to cash out of their positions, at a loss).
These sudden gyrations (shares in GameStop skyrocketed by 1,500 percent in late January) triggered suspensions of trading by multiple brokerages and exchanges, and led RobinHood (an online platform through which many individual investors buy and sell shares) to stop filling orders for GameStop stock entirely.
These moves effectively put out of business the legion of small investors who had profited at the expense of several hedge funds. (In the space of a few weeks, an estimated $19 billion in wealth had been transferred from institutional traders to individual investors.) The widespread fury unleashed by the appearance of insiders rigging the rules to protect themselves at the expense of smaller operators inspired condemnation from across the political spectrum, uniting such unlikely confederates as progressive U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and conservative U.S. Senator Ted Cruz.
Protestors prepare signs at Zuccotti Park in advance of Sunday’s rally.
At the local level, the same sentiment led to Sunday’s rally, which echoed many of the anti-establishment themes of the Occupy Wall Street movement that encamped in Zuccotti Park a decade ago.
The New York Young Republican Club billed the gathering as a non-partisan event, led by its president, Gavin Max, who exhorted the crowd, “they want to shut down trading? Are you kidding me? If you did anything like that in your day job, you’d be fired and on the street.”
“They want us to bail them out,” Mr. Max continued. “They want Janet Yellen to make phone calls for them. These schmucks on Wall Street and in Greenwich, or wherever they are, they can do whatever the hell they want to do with no repercussions.”
“Where’s our $2,000 check?” he asked rhetorically. “Where’s our money. They give us 600 bucks. These guys take billions from us. We bailed them out in 2010, and they’re screwing us again today.”
“They want their own little club where they can make money, where they make the trades,” he added. “They’ll take your cash, don’t get me wrong. You can go on RobinHood and buy your blue chips—you can buy Apple, you can buy Tesla. But don’t you dare think you can play fair with them. Don’t you dare think you’re going to beat them at their own game with a short squeeze.”
“The short squeeze has done more to put a finger up to the Establishment than anyone ever has before,” Mr. Max concluded. “So God bless the short squeezers, God bless Wall Street Bets,” the Reddit chat room in which self-styled “social-media vigilantes” organized to drive up the share price of GameStop and other shorted stocks. “Because they took a sledge hammer to the Establishment this past week.”
To the editor,
The seconds are ticking. Day by day the local restaurants of Lower Manhattan are closing and passing away.
Why can the public shop in grocery stores and wine shops; take subways, buses and taxis; and not dine inside restaurants in small, controlled and tracked numbers on the coldest days?
These restaurants are the life successes of many talented and hard-working restaurant owners, the livelihoods of many others, and the breakfast, lunch and dinner stops of very many more.
Of course, during Covid, restaurants need to be highly regulated for public safety with set spaces and barriers between tables, temperatures taken and records kept, strictly limited numbers of diners, effective ventilation systems, uneven instructions for outdoor dining, etc. Constantly changing rules and procedures and the unrelenting threat of violations have made compliance extremely difficult and expensive.
When the NY State and NY City governments mandated indoor dining closure, they basically eliminated 60-75% percent of revenues for renters. Regardless of the lost revenue, the City and the State continued to require business-as-usual payments of permits/taxes/licenses. In addition, all insurance companies are demanding to be paid in full or all coverage will be terminated. For renters, rent/utilities/insurance are not forgiven but deferred, creating a vacuum of debt that 60-80% of them will be unable to repay, thus forcing them to shut down. Recent Downtown losses are Sale & Pepe and Blarney Stone.
For landlords, mandated forced indoor dining closure basically eliminated 80-100% percent revenue from renters income with the state mandate that landowners are not allowed to ask for rent or force an eviction for non-payment. Landlords are now in a major bind –– still mandated to pay all taxes, utilities, and mortgages as well as up-keep at their own expense. This is creating another vacuum of debt that small landlords will be unable to pay that will force the majority of mom and pop landlords into bankruptcy.
Why is inside-dining permitted throughout the State of New York and not in the City? If there is medical and scientific reasoning for this, the government is responsible for explaining why and working with restaurants to provide guidance to keep these businesses alive. Valentine’s Day has been set by Governor Cuomo as 25% opening day –– it is still two painful weeks away. Every second counts and the clock is ticking.
Bill Koulmentas of George’s Restaurant and Bob Schneck
To the editor,
Nonessential commuter and tourist helicopter flights are making New Yorkers’ lives miserable throughout the city due to the extreme noise and vibrations they create.
UWS, UES, midtown Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and Long Island are additional areas to downtown negatively affected by these polluting choppers. As many of the tourist helicopters are currently based in NJ, and there are commuter flights to Newark Airport, many NJ towns are also feeling the pain.
(Also note that the Downtown Manhattan Heliport will likely fully return to its pre-pandemic tourist flights once the pandemic is over and if the lease is renewed, and that will compound the current helicopter problem being experienced during the pandemic).
NYC and the federal government have made commitments to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels to combat climate change, yet the jet fuel guzzling helicopters (that are not a necessary mode of transportation) have for too long been allowed to proliferate in the NY metropolitan area.
Please sign and share our petition to ban these dangerous, polluting, noisy, stress-inducing, and unnecessary helicopters at www.stopthechopnynj.org
To the editor,
I love your newspaper, and I enjoyed, and learned from, your reporting on the Whole Foods bicycle loading station on Warren Street. It is a very controversial issue.
I just wanted to offer a correction on one piece of info mentioned in the article: the bike corral does not take up five parking spaces; it takes up two (it’s on a hydrant, so thirty feet of that zone is unavailable for parking, anyway). I know the parking isn’t the biggest problem, but still, I wanted to mention it.
Anyway, thank you for your work!
To the editor:
I was definitely going to vote for Yang but not if he’s not smart enough to know that it’s many of the poor people he’s trying to help that will use his universal income to try to win big at the casino to drag themselves out of their current situations.
And of course they will lose all their money and sit and wait for the next universal income payment. Poor people who can’t afford to gamble end up paying those taxes to the state. I’m seriously reconsidering my vote now.
To the editor:
I just read the article by Matthew Fenton on Andrew Yang’s proposal for a casino on Governor’s Island. (BroadsheetDAILY January 26)
I am so angry at Mr. Yang right now that I don’t even have words to describe it. A “casino” on that historic and beautiful island?? It will be ruined instantaneously. Let it be used for what it is now—like a Central Park for downtown.
Where you can truly relax and enjoy the beautiful views it offers that so many of us don’t have unless we commute to it. The Harbor View School is there along with so many other wonderful offerings at this time. I understand that the city needs money but there are other ways to get it. I’m comforted to hear that the Trust already put in place that casinos cannot be built there. Tell Yang he’s an idiot.
Quit Your New Year’s Resolutions Early
And Indulge In Restaurant Week
No judgment for those of you who will want to drop those new year’s resolutions (or whatever other health kicks you’ve got going on) after reading this PSA:
NYC Restaurant Week launched this week, as hundreds of hot spots citywide have been lining up special delivery deals through February 28.
Promotions include lunch or dinner with a side for $20.21, two-course brunches and lunches ($26) and three-course dinners ($42), mostly Monday through Friday. (Some participating restaurants are honoring those prices on weekends.)
Dozens of restaurants south of Chambers Street plan to take part in NYC Restaurant Week, including Brooklyn Chop House, The Fulton, Crown Shy, Stone Street Tavern, The Dead Rabbit and more.
The Restaurant Week website lists several more tempting options to treat yourself — even if it means playing it a little fast and loose with your commitments to fitness. (We won’t tell.)
On Thursday evening, Mayor Bill de Blasio, at his eighth (and final) State of the City address, announced that a dedicated bike lane would be coming to the Brooklyn Bridge (with another slated for the Ed Koch Bridge) before the end of this year.
“The Brooklyn Bridge and the Queensboro Bridge are iconic and deeply intertwined in the daily lives of countless New Yorkers,” Mr. de Blasio said.
City Council Member Endorses Onetime Presidential Aspirant Who Favors Universal Income
Outgoing City Council member Margaret Chin (who is barred from running for reelection under term-limit laws) has endorsed Andrew Yang in his quest to be elected New York’s next mayor. To read more…
Eyes to the Sky January 25 – February 7, 2020
Sirius, The Big Dog and Thor’s Helmet
Sparkling, blue-white Sirius the Dog Star, the brightest star in the night sky, rises in the east-southeast 20 minutes after sunset this evening and will rise simultaneously with sunset by month’s end.
As twilight deepens, Sirius – from the ancient Greek Seirios for “scorcher” or “glowing” – appears above the skyline leading one of winter’s most alluring constellations, Canus Major, or The Big Dog, into the sky.
January’s Full Wolf (or Hunger) Moon rises at 4:55pm on Thursday the 28th as the Sun sets on the opposite horizon at 5:02pm. Twilight gathers half an hour later.
Astrophotography by Mario Motta, MD. All Rights Reserved
Atlantic City on the East River?
Mayoral Hopeful Proposes Casino Development on Governors Island
Former Democratic presidential aspirant and current City mayoral contender Andrew Yang says he has found a way to help lift New York’s economy out of the pandemic-triggered recession, as well as to help fund his universal basic income plan, which would offer $2,000 annual payments to about half a million poor New Yorkers: He wants to develop a casino on Governors Island.
In a story first reported by Politico, Mr. Yang on January 14 told interviewers on the Breakfast Club morning radio program, “one way I think we can generate money, and also make New York City more fun [is that] New York City should have its own casino on Governors Island.”
Nadler Sponsors Legislation to Make Lower Manhattan Heliopolis No More
U.S. Congressman Jerry Nadler, who represents Lower Manhattan in Washington, has introduced legislation that would impose stricter regulations on helicopter tour flights. Such flights have long been a source of quality-of-life concerns among Lower Manhattan residents, who have complained for years about the incessant buzz of engines passing directly outside their windows as often as three minutes apart. To read more…
Doyenne of the Estuary Departs
HRPT President Who Oversaw Build-Out of Waterfront Park to Step Down
Madelyn Wils, president and chief executive officer of the Hudson River Park Trust (HRPT) for the past decade, will step down February 5. In a January 19 letter to the Trust’s board of directors, she noted, “we are well on our way towards accomplishing our shared goals of completing the Park’s construction while ensuring it is also on solid financial footing.” She also cited a broad range of achievements in the ongoing build-out of the Park, including the September opening of Pier 26, in Tribeca, the beginning of reconstruction of Pier 40 (near Houston Street), progress on the development of Little Island and a plan for the Gansevoort Peninsula (both near West 14th Street).
1327 – The teenaged Edward III is crowned King of England, but the country is ruled by his mother Queen Isabella and her lover Roger Mortimer.
1662 – The Chinese general Koxinga seizes the island of Taiwan after a nine-month siege.
1861 – American Civil War: Texas secedes from the United States.
1865 – President Abraham Lincoln signs the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
1884 – The first volume (A to Ant) of the Oxford English Dictionary is published.
1893 – Thomas A. Edison finishes construction of the first motion picture studio, the Black Maria in West Orange, New Jersey.
1895 – Fountains Valley, Pretoria, the oldest nature reserve in Africa, is proclaimed by President Paul Kruger.
1960 – Four black students stage the first of the Greensboro sit-ins at a lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina.
1964 – The Beatles have their first number one hit in the United States with “I Want to Hold Your Hand”.
1968 – Vietnam War: The execution of Viet Cong officer Nguyễn Văn Lém by South Vietnamese National Police Chief Nguyễn Ngọc Loan is recorded on motion picture film, as well as in an iconic still photograph taken by Eddie Adams.
1968 – The New York Central Railroad and the Pennsylvania Railroad are merged to form Penn Central Transportation.
1979 – Iranian Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returns to Tehran after nearly 15 years of exile.
2002 – Daniel Pearl, American journalist and South Asia Bureau Chief of the Wall Street Journal, kidnapped January 23, 2002, is beheaded and mutilated by his captors.
2013 – The Shard, the tallest building in the European Union, is opened to the public.
1894 – John Ford, American director and producer (d. 1973)
1901 – Clark Gable, American actor (d. 1960)
1902 – Langston Hughes, American poet, social activist, novelist, and playwright (d. 1967)
1904 – S.J. Perelman, American humorist and screenwriter (d. 1979)
1931 – Boris Yeltsin, Russian politician, 1st President of Russia (d. 2007)
1969 – Andrew Breitbart, American journalist, author, and publisher (d. 2012)
772 – Pope Stephen III (b. 720)
1691 – Pope Alexander VIII (b. 1610)
1924 – Maurice Prendergast, American painter (b. 1858)