It was a Friday in the fall of 2004 and Umber Ahmad had been invited to read a poem at the wedding of one of her closest friends. She was planning to catch a 7 p.m. flight from New York to Toronto when a vice president at Morgan Stanley called her in. The client in a big merger deal needed work done over the weekend. A mergers and acquisitions specialist, Ahmad had no choice. She canceled the flight and started revising her analysis of the deal, Bloomberg Markets magazine will report in its June issue.
In the sanctuary above an herbal tonic bar, before a seated Buddha and a pair of mandalas, 48 volunteers for congressional candidate Marianne Williamson close their eyes and meditate as Annelise Balfour, the manager and head facilitator of the Source Spiritual Center, intones a welcome prayer.
California lawmakers are proposing higher tax rates on companies that pay their chief executive officers more than 100 times the wages of a typical worker, seeking to create an incentive to reduce income inequality.
The Tea Party feted its five-year anniversary last month with three U.S. senators it helped elect, two of them presidential contenders. Now Occupy Wall Street, the other populist movement to emerge from the financial crisis, can claim electoral success: a Seattle city council member.
A few hundred protesters briefly tied up Wall Street on the weekend of Sept. 17, some wearing face paint and many holding homemade signs. In weeks since the Occupy Wall Street movement has spread to San Francisco, Philadelphia, Dallas, Washington, and elsewhere.
Not all reaction to the Occupy Wall Street movement has been predictable. Jim Chanos, a hedge-fund chief, and Bill Gross, the highest profile bond-fund manager in America, expressed sympathy for the protesters.
Zuccotti Park, headquarters of Occupy Wall Street, is Manhattan's newest open-air exhibit, home to hundreds of populist protesters. While some people heap scorn on the group, others donate their time, passion, services, goods--and a lot of money.