Tuesday Morning Report: 10,000 securities jobs to leave NY? Tappan Zee Bridge project gets boost from Cuomo; PEF contract talks continue

Good Tuesday Morning! Today the FDIC will vote on an initial version of the infamous Volcker Rule, so keep an eye on Wall Street as that vote looms. Speaking of Wall Street, did you know that the city of New York has already racked up $2 million in overtime pay as a direct result of the Occupy Wall Street protests?…

BEFORE we dive into the news, I would like to talk about my alma mater, Boston College, and a little-known competition that takes place on campus every year. It has nothing to do with our hockey team – winners of two national titles in the last four years, I might add – or our football team, which currently stinks; rather, it is a venture capital competition run by a professor in the Information Systems department. Each year, this competition awards a $5,000 grant to the team of students that generates the best and most inventive business plan, leaving them to do what they will with their new company and earnings.

One such start-up to come out of the Boston College Venture Capital competition was called WePay. Founded in 2008 by Bill Clerico and Rich Aberman as a more specialized payment service than PayPal, WePay has raised over $10 million in seed funding to date. All it took was a great idea, a few very smart students and some start-up cash to help them attract the attention of the likes of Highland Capital Partners, Y Combinator, and SVAngel.

If a private university in Chestnut Hill with 9,000 undergraduates can have its own venture capital competition, why doesn’t Westchester County? There is a wealth of talent and capital in Westchester, so why can’t we harness that in the form of a venture competition or business incubator? America’s strength has alway been beating the other guy to the punch. Since 2008, we have lost that risk-taking, fighter’s mentality.

Believe it or not, this is something that an independent panel of businesspeople – including GE chief executive Jeffery Immelt – is advocating for. From the Wall Street Journal article on the Web this morning:

“…Among its ideas to spur start-up activity, the council recommends Congress eliminate taxes on income from investments of $25 million or less in a privately held firm as long as the investment is held for at least five years. It also calls for cuts to corporate income taxes for the first three years of a company’s existence to encourage it to expand…”

Ideas like this one are needed on a national scale, but why not on a local scale as well? Here in Westchester, we have the resources, we have the higher education institutions, we have the capital, and we have the collective intellect – so what are we waiting for?

Headlines:

Wall Street to lose 10,000 jobs? A new report by NY state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said that New York City’s securities industry could lose nearly 10,000 jobs by the end of 2012, and that bonuses are likely to be considerably smaller this year.  

Gov. wants federal approval of TZ Bridge expedited. Yesterday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that he has asked the federal government to expedite the review and approval process to allow work to begin on the Tappan Zee Bridge project, which represents a multi-billion dollar investment that will create tens of thousands of jobs.

PEF contract negotiations “ongoing.” Contract talks between the Public Employees Federation and NY State are ongoing after union members rejected the contract that was negotiated by union leadership. Just over a week remains before the nearly 3,500 pink slips sent out to PEF employees as a result of the contract rejection become official and permanent.

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