按华尔街的标准来衡量，2011年肯定是个糟糕的年份。许多银行都计划裁掉数千名员工，包括瑞银（UBS）和高盛这样的业界翘楚，美国银行（Bank of America）更是宣布，将在今后几年内裁撤3万名员工。尽管如此，还是很难想象这些身穿蓝色西服的金融从业者会跑到百老汇去举牌抗议，或是换上纽约现在最流行的衣服：喷着“我是99%”字样的T恤。没错，今年奖金少了点——但至少不会落空。
当然，华尔街仍然充斥着收入足以跻身最富有1%之列的银行家。归根结底，根据纽约州审计署（the New York State Comptroller）的数据，在纽约市证券行业工作的人士，平均薪酬高达361,330美元，比其他私营行业的平均水平高出了5.5倍。不过，华尔街的许多工作人员只是助手、办事员或邮件收发员——尽管华尔街的运转离不开这些人，但他们不大可能拿到六位数的薪水。（对此笔者深有体会——我本人就曾是其中一员。）
当然，华尔街本身已经起了变化。花旗银行（Citigroup）和摩根士丹利（Morgan Stanley）现在的总部都在曼哈顿中城，远离下城金融区那不见天日的狭窄街区。此外，金融区附近住着的不仅是银行家，还有许多富裕家庭，那里成了一个虽昂贵但很受欢迎的居民区。最近一个早上，在摩根大通的第一大通曼哈顿广场（Chase Manhattan Plaza），来自附近一家托儿所的小孩比公司的职员还多。孩子们在杜布菲的雕塑作品下手舞足蹈，完全不知道几个街区外的喧嚣。
“他们有权集会，” 在布朗兄弟哈里曼公司（Brown Brothers Harriman & Co.）位于百老汇140号的总部大楼前，一位银行经理人正在站着与友人聊天。他今年29岁，从事贷款业务。“但是现在开始有些烦人了。”
To the protester, they represent the problem. But you don't have to search long among Wall Street's rank and file to find something unexpected: sympathy for the occupiers of Zuccotti Park.
"There are a lot of folks on Wall Street who are just like the 99 percenters," says a 44-year-old principal at a small investment firm on Wall Street, walking along Nassau Street, about a block from the protests. "Goldman Sachs for example pays out a certain amount in bonuses, and they say that employees get an average of $500,000. That's not even close to the truth. Most don't get that. Many on Wall Street are just like them and would like to join them but are afraid."
In Wall Street terms, 2011 is certainly shaping up to be a bad year. Banks from UBS (UBS) to Goldman Sachs (GS) are planning thousands of layoffs. Bank of America alone is promising to shed 30,000 jobs over the next few years. Yet it's hard to imagine the blue suits carrying signs along Broadway or sporting New York's latest fashion must have: a spray-painted t-shirt proclaiming 'I am a 99 Percenter.' Sure, bonuses are smaller this year -- but they're still coming.
Still, the protesters have made their mark, and not just in Zuccotti Park. Along the quieter streets east of Broadway, as Wall Street-types make their way along barricaded sidewalks for a sandwich, coffee or smoke, they're paying attention to the demonstrations. Some may be annoyed at the disruption -- closed subway stops, and an overcrowded McDonalds. But others wonder, do the protesters have a point?
"The big banks got the bailouts but it's much harder for the smaller firms to survive," says Troy Holland, 39, an officer with HIC Financial, a small investment banking firm on Wall Street, who was heading over to the protest at Zuccotti Park on a recent morning. Donning a pinstriped suit, Holland could hardly be mistaken for a protester. And yet he has concerns about his firm's ability to compete today. "As entrepreneurs with our own firm we are the 99% just like Occupy Wall Street. [They] got it right."
Certainly Wall Street is studded with bankers firmly within the 1%. The average salary for those who work in New York City's securities industry is, after all, $361,330 -- 5.5 times higher than the average in other private sectors, according to the New York State Comptroller. But many on Wall Street are themselves assistants, clerical staff and mailroom clerks -- the workers who keep Wall Street humming who are unlikely breaking six figures a year. (I should know. I was once one of them.)
Some of them have mixed feelings about the movement. "I have a little bit of empathy and anger for the protesters," said an executive assistant for an insurance firm near Wall Street. "I don't know what they're expecting. What's going to change?"
But of course Wall Street itself has changed. Citigroup and Morgan Stanley are headquartered in midtown -- far from the dark downtown tunnels of the financial district. And families populate the neighborhood now as much as bankers, with the financial district a popular and expensive residential area. Toddlers from a child care center on Chase Manhattan Plaza outnumbered employees one recent morning, dancing under the Dubuffet sculpture, unaware of the chaos just blocks away.
"I work on Wall Street and Wall Street is just a place," says the 44-year-old investment bank principal who didn't want his name printed. "It just signifies what everyone is fighting against."
Yet CEOs have realized they need to start sounding the empathy bell. Take Vikram Pandit, Citigroup's CEO who noted that the complaints of those protesting are "…completely understandable," he told Fortune magazine's Andy Serwer last week. "Trust has been broken between financial institutions and the citizens of the U.S., and that is Wall Street's job, to reach out to Main Street and rebuild that trust."
But are they really trying? Bank of America (BAC) and Wells Fargo (WFC) both announced new debit card charges, and Citigroup is raising some checking account fees aimed squarely at Main Street.
Solidarity for the protesters can be found among the suits in the financial district, but not easily. For every Wall Street employee thoughtful about what the demonstrators hopes to accomplish, several others walking along Nassau, Pine, William and Liberty Street complained about the inconvenience the protesters have created, as the blocked plazas and streets create an even more maze-like warren in lower Manhattan.
"They have the right to assemble," said one 29-year-old banking executive in the mortgage industry, chatting with a friend just outside Brown Brothers Harriman & Co.'s building at 140 Broadway. "But this is starting to get bothersome."