FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 21, 2008
MAYOR BLOOMBERG DISCUSSES THE CITY'S PREPAREDNESS FOR CONTINUED FINANCIAL CHALLENGES IN WEEKLY RADIO ADDRESS
The following is the text of Mayor Bloomberg's weekly radio address as prepared for delivery on 1010 WINS News Radio for Sunday, September 21, 2008
"Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
"It was a difficult week for the economy - one of the toughest I've ever seen. The credit crunch intensified on Wall Street, sweeping the legs out from under major financial institutions. I was on the phone for much of the week with finance executives - people I've known a long time from my own days on Wall Street and from running my company. I also went down to Washington, where I met with Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and S.E.C. Chairman Chris Cox, offering whatever insights and support I could.
"My first priority, of course, is keeping New York City strong. As our nation's financial capital, we feel the market's fluctuations more intensely than anyone. I've been assured by the CEOs of Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers that the bulk of their New York-based jobs will be preserved. But not all jobs will be saved. And we all are going to feel some of the pain - because the money that Wall Street makes and spends affects just about everyone - from law firms and restaurants workers to taxi drivers and advertising agencies.
"The one silver lining is that City government is in a better position than ever to weather the downturn - and that's because we've prepared for it. The market is cyclical, so we knew that the good times wouldn't last forever. In the good times, we saved billions of dollars to meet future costs. And when storm clouds began to appear on the economic horizon last year, I directed every agency to cut its budget.
"Many people have asked me what we can do now to turn the economy around. There's no quick fix, unfortunately. But in the short term, the federal government should take steps to stabilize the market and prevent the panics we've been seeing - and they've begun doing that.
"In the long run, the federal government should focus on spurring growth and creating jobs by making major new investments in our nation's aging infrastructure. That will help us stay competitive in the global economy. Washington must also take action in an area of particular importance to New York City: Fixing our broken immigration system - so we once again welcome all of the entrepreneurs, engineers, scientists, and laborers who help make our economy thrive.
"Here in New York, our responsibility continues to be making our city as attractive as possible to families and investors. As long as the best and brightest want to live here, companies will need to be here. And we are living up to that responsibility: Last week, for instance, we released the latest round of progress reports which measure how well our schools are doing - an important element of the accountability in education that is producing better results in the classroom. We also began implementing new health standards for the meals we serve in our public hospitals, our senior centers, our schools, our day care centers, and other places - and that's going to put millions more New Yorkers on the path to a healthier future.
"There's no telling when the turmoil on Wall Street will end, and the government is going to face some very tough decisions in the months ahead. But we've got to keep our chins up. We've been through tough times before and come out even stronger. And if we continue to invest in our city's future, I know we will do so again.
"This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening."
Stu Loeser (212) 788-2958
Listen to the radio address