The Opening Bell

Hollywood Meets Wall Street
What began as a task of the floor managers of the NY Stock Exchange has turned into the most sought-after venue in the country for celebrities marketing their latest books, perfume or whatever.

Back in the 90’s, when the technology boom was going full speed, we were all in awe of those entrepreneurs who became millionaires – literally overnight.

Investing became glamorous and we watched smiling, young CEOs ring the opening bell on the first day that their company went public.

Fast forward 15 years. The mood from Main Street has done a 180 – with good reason. Wall Street is still running full speed ahead, but this time the banks are the investors who are playing with the money taken from the taxpayers. Now, while we’re stuck with paying back that money, the bankers are back at the same game table livin’ large and expecting us to cover their losses in the future.

Like all organizations that become corrupt, the NYSE has ‘gone ghetto’. Instead of brilliant, young entrepreneurs using the opening bell as a benchmark for their success, the NYSE has been reduced to hosting the likes of the cast from Jersey Shore.

The NYSE has become the financial world’s equivalent of a Las Vegas nightclub – a place where celebrities come to see and be seen. Only instead of Grey Goose, everyone here is hopped up on Starbucks.

“The celebrities get an awful lot of attention. That’s an event that they don’t see very often in their careers. Altogether, you put in an hour and a half, and you get a feeling of importance that really stays with you” – publicist Howard Rubenstein.

Dire Straits, with Eric Clapton – Money for Nothing: