Throughout the 1920s, a prolonged boom brought stock prices to peaks never seen before. From 1920 to 1929, stocks more than quadrupled in value. Many investors were convinced that stocks were safe and took out large loans to invest more money in the market. They blamed Wall Street for creating the financial crisis, the recession and the ensuing long-term unemployment.
On September 16, 1920, near the corner of Wall and Broad Street, the busiest corner of the Financial District and in front of the Morgan Bank offices, a powerful bomb exploded. In 1700, a new town hall was built in Wall and Nassau using the stones from the bastions as materials for the foundations. In 1789, Wall Street was the scene of the first presidential inauguration of the United States when George Washington was sworn in on the balcony of Federal Hall on April 30, 1789.Slavery was introduced in Manhattan in 1626, but it wasn't until December 13, 1711 that the New York City Common Council converted a market at the foot of Wall Street into the city's first official slave market for the sale and rent of enslaved Africans and Indians. Wall Street itself is a narrow, winding street that runs from the East River to Broadway and is lined with skyscrapers, as is the New York Stock Exchange building and the National Monument to Federal Hall and One Wall Street at its western end.
The street is close to several New York City subway stations, ferry terminals and the World Trade Center site. Wall Street includes the stock market, the bond market, the commodity market, the futures market, and the foreign exchange market. Some of those on Wall Street, including the maverick hedge fund manager John Paulson and the top management of Goldman Sachs, realized what was happening and mercilessly bet on a fall. Many people associated with Wall Street have become famous; although in most cases their reputations are limited to members of the stock market and banking communities, others have gained national and international fame.
Another key point in the area is the New York Stock Exchange building, on the corner of Broad Street. Geisst suggested that there has always been a tug-of-war between Wall Street business interests and authorities in Washington, D. Pedestrians easily escape between groups of them when they head to Wall Street from the area surrounding the historic Trinity Church. The Wall Street area is home to the New York Stock Exchange, the world's largest stock exchange by total market capitalization, as well as the New York Federal Reserve Bank and many commercial banks and insurance companies.
In reality, most Wall Street banks weren't around the United States selling unreliable mortgages, but were buying and packaging loans from local firms such as Countrywide Financial and New Century Financial, which hit a financial wall during the crisis. Dennis Kelleher, who runs Better Markets, a non-profit organization that promotes public interest in financial markets, also noted that the financial crisis had helped accelerate trends that were already underway in the structure of the market, including the growth of high-frequency trading and the explosion of activity on off-exchange trading sites called dark pools.