Each day our students will blog about some of their experiences in New York City. Our entry for Wednesday 1/18/2012 comes from Jai Cheema and Miriam Allred.
Alarm goes off at 8:00am. SNOOZE! Ten minutes later it goes off again, and this time we get up and get ready. Our first visit was to the New York Stock Exchange and in order to get there we had to take the subway.
We get there and waited for our tour guide in a room with a an animated glass wall that flashed different pictures of NYC to random stock prices to a random street in the city itself, pretty hi-tech to say the least. We headed upstairs to hear the first part of the tour from our guide and began a discussion about the NYSE, what it does today, and what it is responsible for when it comes to our country and economy. The cool stuff began when we actually went to the “Garage,” (one of the main trading floors). It was so different than what we would expect, because on TV we see people yelling and screaming and shouting and shoving for certain stock-buys and sells. It actually was very easy to walk through, it wasn’t noisy, and in fact the traders even had time to speak with us. A trader from Getco told us when he started and how trading as evolved from when he started to what it is today. It was so interesting to hear the progression and regression of it all and how competitive his job was. We asked him what his most successful trading day was and he told us it was $1,000,000! We were completely awestruck to hear that someone made a million dollars in one day. With all that information in our heads we left and headed to the “Bull” and of course did the cliché pictures.
During our break we went with Professor Clas Wihlborg and Professor Ayca Altintig to the 9/11 memorial. It was a very beautiful dedication to the lives lost. The fountain was a huge black marble commemoration for the 3,000 that lost their lives. You could also see right next to it how they were already building the two new towers to take the place of the fallen towers. From there we jumped in cabs and headed straight to Chinatown for a meal with Ayca and a few others. We had some dim sum and random dishes at a sit down Chinese restaurant before our next tour. After we ate we headed straight to the Federal Reserve, and once again by cab. When we got there, no pictures were allowed to be taken, and it was ironic to me because of all the visits I thought this one would provide the best photo opportunities. When we saw the gold vault it was truly a sight to see: 7,000 tons of gold just sitting there shining and belonging to central banks of other countries. The first tour guide was pretty smart and informative. He walked us to different parts of the building and gave basic lessons about the Fed and its duties and position on policies. However, later on we visited another tour guide and it’s safe to say that it was rather dull. After a long session with the second tour guide we were free for the night. Knowing we had to be up earlier than ever tomorrow, it was time for a night of rest. So, after a long subway ride back to uptown, I got back into my room and relaxed a little before I decided to get some quick Chipotle for dinner and decide to call it a night.
Today was fun fun fun. We got up and went to the New York Stock Exchange. I loved it! It was exciting and fast paced and just everything I expected it to be. John was the Designated Market Maker (DMM) that spoke to us. He was nice and very interesting. We were standing behind the Bloomberg newscaster so we got to be in TV. I wore a bright pink sweater so I was very easy to pick out. Next we went to the Fed. It was interesting. We got to see the Gold bars in the basement. The vault was huge and only accounted for a portion of the Gold that is kept there.
I met up with a friend that is here in New York. We went out to dinner. It was the first time I got to explore New York by myself. It was freezing! I liked being on my own. I liked being able to walk at my own pace and explore without regard to anyone else. But that feeling didn’t last long – I ended up meeting up with people from class, and we all went out for dessert. Yum!