I’m up here on Mount Olympus to check in on the gods who are behind the effort to bring the 2024 Olympic games to Boston. The air is a little thin for those of us who are oxygen breathers, but the ambrosia is quite fine.
From up here, you can spot Massachusetts in the distance as an “international beacon for drawing the best and brightest around the globe each year and as a cradle of innovation where you assemble to dream of, and plan for, a better future for all of us.” Each day, these gods busy themselves working “closely and collaboratively to better understand the intersection of our city and its citizens in planning a better tomorrow.” The gods say this job starts with “our greatest asset — our people,” so I thought it would be interesting to see the esteem with which some of them have held “our people” of late.
First up, Joseph “Jay” Hooley of State Street Corporation, who is the co-chair of the Boston 2024 Innovation and Technology Committee.
State Street Corporation, a large financial services company with headquarters in Boston, might be familiar to you from the Congressional debate on the Dodd-Frank financial services reform bill in 2010. State Street and other banks persuaded Senator Scott Brown, whose vote was critical to the bill’s passage, to champion a successful effort to loosen the so-called Volcker Rule, which prohibited banks from gambling in the market for their own profit (where the winnings might come, say, from the pockets of their own clients). Senator Brown said at the time that his advocacy on behalf of State Street and other banks would “protect Mass. jobs.” In the years since that statement, State Street has eliminated 2,960 jobs, including many from its Boston headquarters. Meanwhile, the compensation package for CEO Hooley has risen to $15.5 million.
Lest you think that Mr. Hooley’s company has not been responsible for creating any jobs, remember that the city of Boston granted State Street a tax break of $11.5 million, which led to Mr. Hooley’s decision to construct a new waterfront office building in South Boston. That construction project gave temporary employment to about 800 construction workers. Those workers were the employees of Suffolk Construction, whose president, John Fish, also happens to be the Chairman of Boston 2024.
Please pass the ambrosia back.