A.O.C., Debt Crisis Theater, and Steve Schwarzman’s New House

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images
William D. Cohan
September 19, 2021

Since I began writing my column for Puck, I’ve been inundated with feedback about Wall Street’s biggest characters and concerns. I’ll be engaging with some of those questions here—in addition to a few observations of my own.

State Street Global Advisors, a subsidiary of the State Street Corporation, has been making big M&A moves to bulk up its business and is reportedly eyeing an acquisition of Invesco, another big investment manager. What do you make of the Boston brahmins’ long-term ambitions to compete with the biggest Wall Street firms? A possible tie-up with UBS fell apart last year, but Cyrus Taraporevala, the C.E.O. of State Street Global Advisors, seems undaunted.

State Street Corporation, with a market value now of around $31 billion, has been a long-rumored Wall Street acquisition candidate, especially in the years since the financial crisis when the Federal Reserve forbade the big surviving banks from making additional horizontal mergers. That’s why JPMorganChase, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, and Citigroup haven’t made a material acquisition or merger in years. Their prudential regulator won’t permit it. Instead, they have been nibbling around the edges of their business, making what amount to tuck-in acquisitions rather than the transformative mergers that characterized financial services companies in years past. Heck, without big mergers there would be no Bank of America, JPMorganChase, or Citigroup. (It’s worth noting, with some irony, that most of the acquisitions that Goldman Sachs—the perennial premiere M&A advisor—has attempted over the decades have failed.)