The New York City transit workers' strike did little to slow business among money managers and the financial markets today.
"It's as close to a normal business day as you could imagine," said Peter Rose, spokesman for Goldman Sachs. The contingency plan for the strike "worked out very well," and the company is essentially fully staffed, he said. Goldman Sachs arranged for employees to use space in a parking lot near its downtown offices, and Mr. Rose said the lot is full. A number of employees also took advantage of bus service Goldman provided for its staff throughout metropolitan New York.
At Lehman Brothers, spokesman Randy Whitestone said the firm "has implemented contingency plans that include alternate transportation for our employees living in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. Additionally, many of our people are able to employ remote access capabilities that we have developed. The firm is conducting business as usual."
Merrill Lynch implemented a contingency plan that included shuttle buses and car pools, and most employees in the New York office were at work today, said Selena Morris, spokeswoman.
At the New York Stock Exchange, the opening bell rang on time at 9:30 a.m. EST. The New York Board of Trade opening also was unimpeded, said Guy Taylor, NYBOT spokesman. NYBOT is running a joint program with the New York Mercantile Exchange using private buses and vans for employees.
According to a Bond Market Association survey of its members, the fixed-income markets were functioning normally. "Our members have contingency plans in place for events such as the transit strike, and based on what we've seen, those plans are showing good results," Robert Toomey, vice president and assistant general counsel at the association, said in a statement. "It's business as usual in the fixed-income markets today, and we expect no change for the duration of the strike."