Get an inside understanding of Wall Street and the financial meltdown of ’08 by going on a Financial Crisis Tour of the area with a former investment banker who admits he traded ‘toxic assets’ in the days leading up to the market crash. The two-hour walking tour gives a history of the area, along with detailed explanations of Wall Street’s inner workings, clocking the offices of Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, and other major financial institutions as you go.
Since 9/11, the New York Stock Exchange has been closed to visitors, but the Federal Hall National Memorial is open to the public on weekdays. It’s on the site of the original Federal Hall where, on April 30, 1789, George Washington was sworn in as the first president of the United States (there’s an impressive statue of him on the steps). The original Federal Hall was demolished in 1812, and the current Greek temple-style building was put up in its place in 1836. Exhibits include a copy of the Bible used in Washington’s swear-in ceremony.
The Federal Reserve Bank, said to hold a quarter of the world’s gold reserves, also gives free tours of its vaults. Tour guides explain the history of gold and how the government stores and safeguards the billions of dollars’ worth of bullion kept here.