Friday, October 25, 2013

10 Fun Facts About Twitter Stock and the Twitter IPO

Are you excited about the possiblity of adding Twitter stock to your portfolio? You should be- it's the culmination of years of hard work and business development, and Wall Street is abuzz right now with activity related to the Twitter IPO.

Here are some fun facts about Twitter stock and their impending IPO:
  1. The Twitter IPO date has been pushed to November 7, 2013 (with earlier predictions ranging from October to mid-November).
  2. The projected IPO price of Twitter stock is $17-$20 per share.
  3. Based on the number of shares being offered, and the projected share price, the valuation of Twitter as a company is about $10 billion.
  4. Twitter is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, not the NASDAQ. The NASDAQ is traditionally the place for tech IPOs. Maybe they are scared of the technical glitches that harmed Facebook's first day of trading? 
  5. The New York Stock Exchange is very automated and has similar, if not better, technology than the NASDAQ. 
  6. The banks involved in the Twitter IPO make money in the banking fees they charge. For Twitter stock that is 3.2%. It may seem low, but the size of the transaction still means an enormous cut for Goldman Sachs. It's not the percentage, but the dollar amount that counts.
  7. The "roadshow" is the marketing campaign used by Goldman Sachs and the other investments banks to market and sell Twitter stock. Click here to watch the Twitter Roadshow video.
  8. IPO is the abbreviation for Initial Public Offering, the first time a privately held company will become a publicly trade company. 
  9. After the IPO, all the Twitter executives and staff will have money to manage. Goldman Sachs will make their money off the management fees and the recurring fees from that money management. 
  10. The general public, unless they have large accounts, cannot buy Twitter stock before Twitter is officially a listed company. The shares become available to the public to trade after the IPO.
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Thursday, October 24, 2013

New York City Police Museum Reopens TODAY at 45 Wall Street

We are pleased to announce that the New York City Police Museum, whose original location was severely damaged during Hurricane Sandy, has reopened today (temporarily) in a storefront at 45 Wall Street! Come visit the fine folks at the Police Museum and check out their fascinating displays of historical NYPD artifacts. We just stopped in and we were greeted with warm smiles as we checked out the exhibits: uniforms, gear, weapons, photographs, medals, anecdotes, 9/11 artifacts and even a real NYPD Harley Davidson motorcycle! A great Museum in an absolutely stellar location, right on Wall Street.

Our Wall Street Walks walking tours begin on the next block so the Police Museum is a great place to visit before or after one of our tours. Admission is $5 per person, or FREE with the NY Pass. The Police Museum even has a sweet gift shop where you can get all your REAL, officially-licensed NYPD apparel like sweatshirts and hats.

For more information about Wall Street and New York's Financial District, join a Wall Street Walks guided walking tour!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Panic of 1907 Begins October 19

37 Wall Street, once the Trust Company of America building.
A crash is a sudden collapse or fail, as in that of a financial enterprise.

A panic is “a sudden fright with or without cause” that produces hysterical or irrational behavior, and that often spreads quickly through a group of persons or animals. It may occur in asset markets and involve a rush to convert to more liquid assets (cash).

Financial crises may involve one or both of the above, and it can be in any order.

In this series of posts, we will commemorate the Panic of 1907 by blogging stories of the Panic as they occurred over roughly two weeks in October.

In 1907, J. P. Morgan was very much like today's Warren Buffet. People looked at him for leadership. The 1907 Panic found J. P. at an Episcopal Church Convention in Richmond, Virginia. During the conference, his office kept him abreast of what was happening on Wall Street. Even thought JP was needed, his partners feared a premature return to New York might in itself touch off a panic.
J. P. Morgan

By Saturday October 19th, he decided to rush back to New York by private railroad car. Within two weeks he had saved several trust companies, a leading brokerage house, bailed out New York City and rescued the New York Stock Exchange.

37 Wall Street is the original home of the Trust Company of America, one of the distressed banks rescued by J. P. Morgan during the Panic of 1907. The panic was blamed on many factors – tight money and excessive speculation in copper, mining and railroad stocks. The immediate weakness came from the recklessness of the trust companies.

In the early 1900s, national and most state chartered banks couldn’t take trust accounts (wills, estates and so on) but directed customers to trusts. Traditionally they were synonymous with safe investment.

By 1907 they had exploited every loophole in the law and became highly speculative. To draw money to speculative ventures, they paid exorbitant interest rates. They loaned out so much against stocks and bonds that by October 1907 almost 50% of bank loans in New York were backed by securities as collateral, giving them an extremely shaky base. The trusts also did not keep the high cash reserves of commercial banks and were vulnerable to sudden runs.

Our next post will discuss the fallout from the panic on October 19th.

For more information about Wall Street and New York's Financial District, join a Wall Street Walks guided walking tour!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

New York Ghost Stories: Henry Hudson, the Original “Flying Dutchman”

New York Ghost Stories: Henry Husdson
New York State traditionally has been torn in rivalry between “upstate” and “downstate.” Henry Hudson is both a downstate and an upstate ghost.

Hudson was an English explorer working for the Dutch West India Company. He was the first European to discover the island of Manhattan and the Hudson River in 1609. His discovery of beavers and other fur-bearing animals led the Dutch to come back to trade with the Indians and settle down to farm the land.

He was such a poor master of human relations that every one of his crews in his four voyages mutinied against him. During his last voyage, his crew set him adrift amid the ice floes of Hudson Bay, where he perished. None of the mutineers was punished for their evil deed.

Ever since then, Hudson has been condemned to voyage around the world in search of justice. When severe weather occurs, mariners spot him being blown about by the storm. He has been spotted in or near New York Harbor on more than one occasion. 
A replica of Henry Hudson's ship

Legend has it that every twenty years, since 1609, Henry Hudson and his crew return to bowl ninepins with the gnomes of the Catskills Mountains. The crash of the pins is heard in the form of thunder. Sometimes this thunder is so loud that it can be heard all the way down the Hudson River Valley in New York City.

During stormy weather, Captain Henry Hudson may appear on his ship, the Half Moon, riding out a storm in New York Harbor. Hudson is the original "Flying Dutchman," doomed to meander the seven seas for eternity.

For more New York ghost stories, join a Wall Street Walks downtown Ghost tour!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Wall Street Coin, Currency and Collectibles Show takes place October 17-19, 2013

The Wall Street Collectors Bourse, a show for lovers of financial history, made its debut at the Museum of American Finance in October 2011, and Bourse II was held October 18-20, 2012. Successful beyond expectations, it will be held there again October 2013. The Museum is open free to the public during the event. With its fascinating financial exhibits, MOAF provides an ideal setting for this numismatic show. Museum visitors and students discover the Bourse and bring new interest to the different numismatic collecting hobbies. The theme of Bourse III, “The Romance of Wall Street,” relates financial collectibles to the history of Wall Street and New York City. Archives International Auctions will again host an exciting auction during the Bourse event.
The Wall Street Walks walking tours meet across the street from the Museum, so this is a great opportunity to get more bang for your buck on Wall Street- stop into the Museum and check out the Bourse an hour before your tour begins!
Wall Street Coin, Currency and Collectibles Show III (formerly Wall Street Collectors Bourse)
Dates and Times:
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, October 17-19, 2013
Museum of American Finance
48 Wall Street, New York City
For information:
Wall Street Collectors Bourse, Event Organizer

For more information about Wall Street and New York's Financial District, join a Wall Street Walks guided walking tour!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

New York Ghost Stories: Aaron Burr

New York Ghost Stories: Aaron Burr
Aaron Burr is most well known as the man who shot Alexander Hamilton. Burr was charged with treason 1808.  However, in court he was found not guilty.  After that he went on to live in France in exile.  Eventually, after begging by his daughter Theodosa, President James Madison pardoned him and he returned to New York in 1812.

He was supposed to meet his daughter Theodosa in New York.  It turned out quite differently and today Aaron Burr and his daughter Theodosia make an interesting pair of ghosts in Battery Park.

On December 31, 1812, the beautiful and vivacious Theodosia Burr, wife of wealthy governor Joseph Alston of South Carolina, left her husband’s plantation. She sailed north on the Patriot to visit her beloved father in New York City. In January 1813, British ships intercepted the vessel off Cape Hatteras of North Carolina. Though the two countries were at war, the ship was permitted to continue on its voyage. The Patriot was never seen again. That very night, a storm swept North Carolina and swamped the boat. All the bodies except that of Theodosia washed ashore. 

Aaron Burr is forever doomed to be at Battery Park to await the arrival of his daughter Theodosia. Sometimes Aaron Burr joins the American Merchant Marine Memorial in Battery Park as he keeps watch for his daughter. Liberty Island is in the background.  

Aaron Burr married again late in life in 1833 but his wife separated from him within four months. In 1834, Burr suffered a stroke which left him unable to move. He died in 1836 in a boardinghouse.

Aaron Burr's Death Mask
Now and then, reports emerge that a ghostly Aaron Burr still awaits his daughter at Battery Park.
Another version of the story has Theodosia taken aboard a pirate ship and forced to walk the plank. According to this account, Theodosia’s ghost eventually arrived at her father’s residence, at 3 Wall Street, where she and her dad remain in spooky tandem.

Still another version has her as an amnesiac who lived in a North Carolina town. She had treasure that had somehow survived the sinking. There are numerous tales about Theodosia's fate, detailed here.

For more New York Ghost Stories, join a Wall Street Walks downtown New York Ghost Tour!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

New York Ghost Stories: Captain Kidd

New York Ghost Stories: Captain Kidd
The ghost of Captain William Kidd has been seen at three places downtown – Trinity Church, at the corner of Broad and Wall (in front of Federal Hall and across from the New York Stock Exchange) and at Battery Park.

He was born in Scotland but settled in New York in 1691 on Hanover Square – close to the Harbor and River. Kidd was a privateer, which was another way of saying that he was licensed by the English Crown to attack enemy ships during wartime and share any loot with the Crown and the crew. While living in NY he contributed his services to the building of the original Trinity Churchyard by providing a winch to lift the stones to build the church steeple.

Captain Kidd is one angry ghost, betrayed by his crew and friends in the English and colonial governments. They made him a scapegoat for piracy when he was hanged in 1701 in London. The government charged that he was supposed to be a catcher of pirates. However, Kidd was not permitted to defend himself.

Rumors, legends, myths and tales swept both sides of the Atlantic Ocean that Captain Kidd buried a fabulous horde of treasure on an island before facing trial. Such treasure as Kidd did have— 24 chests full of it— was all brought ashore on Gardiner’s Island, off eastern Long Island, carefully inventoried and, with the permission of John Gardiner, feudal lord of the island, buried in a swamp there. Gardiner’s itemized receipt to Kidd, dated July 17, 1699, listed precisely 1,371.625 ounces (85.73 pounds) of gold, silver and precious stones that was reclaimed by the Massachusetts colonial government.

In 1825, two U.S. Army soldiers, Sergeant Gibbs and Private Woods, thought life had dealt them a winning hand. They were assigned to Fort Wood on Bedloe’s Island (later renamed Liberty Island in honor of the Statue of Liberty). They spent their spare time at night hunting for buried treasure. When they opened a heavy metal box, Captain Kidd’s spirit emerged. They fainted. When they regained consciousness, all they had was an empty box.

Now and then Captain Kidd, walks off his anger on the grounds of Trinity Church, the one place that did not the one place that did not betray him and where he wished that he had been buried.

For more New York Ghost Stories, join a Wall Street Walks downtown ghost tour!