By Jim Zarroli, NPRDemonstrators who have been camped out in a small park in Lower Manhattan want to draw attention to what they see as abuses by the nation's financial system, and they chose Zuccotti Park because it's around the corner from Wall Street. But the street most associated with the American financial industry is no longer the physical home to banks that it once was.
Though Wall Street remains the symbolic center of American capitalism, most of the financial industry's biggest players long ago decamped for other places with the advent of computerized trading technology.
People who come to Wall Street for the first time are often surprised by how small it is, at just a few blocks long. And yet for much of its history, this little street was the epicenter of the US financial system.
"Wall Street just got to be the place where you went to do your banking, where you went to buy and sell your stocks and bonds," says Richard Sylla, chairman of the Museum of American Finance. "The House of Morgan was here, National City Bank [of New York] was here, the First National Bank was here."