| NEW YORK, April 5
NEW YORK, April 5 Wall Street workers who make
fortunes with quick deals and fearless trades faced a threat to
their fast-paced work style on Wednesday that could not be
negotiated: the New York area public transit system.
Two days after a New Jersey Transit train derailed during
rush hour at New York's Penn Station, bankers, traders and other
finance workers reported absent colleagues and crippling travel
times as employees who commute into the city were forced to work
from home or find expensive alternative routes.
Some could work remotely, but others, including those who
make their money on the floor of Manhattan's frenetic stocks and
commodities exchanges, had to get to work some way, somehow.
"You adjust to the market; the market doesn't adjust to
you," said Cuttone & Co Senior Vice President Keith Bliss, who
works from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
The New Jersey resident said traders would find alternative
routes, even if they add hours to their commute, to make it in
time for the 9:30 a.m. opening bell.
But empty desks abounded elsewhere.
"It's pretty easy to see who actually lives in Manhattan
now," said a major financial service company's vice president
who did not want to be quoted by name.
The derailment affected commuters from New Jersey most
severely, but residents of Long Island and other surrounding
towns and cities also felt the pain.
The Long Island Rail Road was running with delays on
Wednesday, while NJ Transit was operating a holiday schedule
through Thursday night on two of its lines into Penn Station,
which 600,000 commuter rail and Amtrak passengers use daily.
"Customers are advised to build in additional travel time as
delays and overcrowding conditions are anticipated," NJ Transit
said in a statement.
Amtrak was also operating on a modified schedule through
"It is absolutely outrageous," said Ritholtz Wealth
Management Chief Executive Officer Josh Brown, who had to drive
to work in Manhattan from his Long Island home.
On top of the $300 or so he pays for a monthly railroad
pass, Brown had to dole out hefty parking fees.
But some saw hope in the latest headache. Bliss said
financiers would benefit from the infrastructure spending that
is so clearly needed.
"There's opportunity," he said, " ... and I'm sure I'm not
the only Wall Street banker-trader that's thinking that way."
(Additional reporting by David Randall and Lawrence Delevingne
in New York; Editing by Daniel Wallis)