George Washington took the oath of office as America’s First President in front of Federal Hall in 1789, facing Wall Street. The Bill of Rights became law here too. Upon birth of the United States of America, the world politically would never be the same.
Likewise, financially. Wall Street in New York City has become the most economically powerful place in the World. It is home today to the two largest stock exchanges on Earth: the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ. But it took drastic measures by the local border patrol to get all this positive political and financial activity under way.
In the 1620s Indians who lived on Manhattan Island kept raiding new Amsterdam (the future New York City) for food, weapons and valuables. By the 1640s Dutch settlers decided they’d better put up some kind of basic fence to stop the uninvited Indians. But the Indians easily jumped over the picket fences and kept attacking and stealing from the Dutch settlers anyway. The Indians were relentless in what they wanted, not to mention they overwhelmingly outnumbered the new settlers.
Finally the Dutch constructed a substantially more fortified wooden fence (wall) up to the height of 12 feet trying to keep out the raiding Indians. The townspeople called it ‘Wall Street.’ Never missing an opportunity to cut expenses, local merchants found if they pushed their carts up against the fortified wall and hung up their wares on that wall to display them better their goods sold more quickly. And local traders, who met near the wall to stay out of bad weather, could more easily buy and sell shares and bonds too. By 1699 Wall Street was the best place for business throughout all the struggling colonies. It was ‘the’ place to go if someone needed to hire a slave to work by the day or week on a farm, a ship, in an orchard, or even at home.Today immigrant workers voluntarily show up for hire usually standing near 7-11 convenience stores in the more affluent neighborhoods of America. They too are ready to work as long as needed.
It’s too early to know yet what might evolve along the few hundred mile concrete wall proposed to go up soon between Mexico and the USA. But the Chihuahua Cement Group (GCC in Spanish), based in a state of Mexico by the same name that bumps up against Texas, says it is ready now to provide whatever cement and construction services are needed to build a wall between the U.S.A. and Mexico. According to a recent report by the Reuters News Agency, the cement company’s CEO Enrique Escalante said, “We’re an important producer in that area, and we have to respect our clients on both sides of the border. This will be one of the biggest works projects in decades. We can’t be choosy.” GCC does 70% of its business already in America. It has three factories north of the Rio Grande. Reuters also reports that GCC shares are at their highest now since 2008. What will a border wall mean to the USA and Mexico politically and financially 100 years from now? Will history repeat itself? Time will tell.