Bank of New York Mellon Corp. said on Wednesday it will cut about 1,500 jobs, or about 3 percent of its global work force, starting this fall to reduce rising operating costs,But its Pittsburgh operations might be spared the knife, said bank analyst Gerard Cassidy, at RBC Capital Markets, Portland, Maine."What Pittsburgh has going for it is the lower cost of doing business, which could spare jobs there," said the analyst. "There's also a possibility they might even relocate people there simply because it is a cost-effective place to do business."
Lost in the polemics are trends of improvement. As usual, Chris Briem (Null Space) serves up useful analysis of the latest good numbers for Pittsburgh. You spend too much time dwelling on what is wrong, you'll miss what could address those issues. I see things quite differently from Angie and Tim Logan (St. Louis Post-Dispatch). The negativity is crowding out what is working.
Legacy costs cut both ways. Educate your children too well and they will all leave. Rust Belt cities are victims of their own success. Thus, I take what most people see as liabilities and frame them as assets. Brownfields are the new greenfields. Don't dismiss that as glass half full thinking. Pay attention to what BNY Mellon is saying:
Spokesman Ron Gruendl said it was too soon to say where the job cuts would be made, but added that BNY Mellon "remains fully committed" to its overall strategy of moving jobs to its low-cost global growth centers, which include Pittsburgh, Manchester, England, and India.
Pittsburgh is a growth center, globalization on the cheap. Highlighting the corporate strategy isn't boosterism, despite ignoring crime and public pensions. Pittsburgh is doing something right and I can hear the critics in my head, "But the region is shrinking."
Yes, the population is declining. The City's debt is so big and bad, no one will talk about it. Urban blight is rampant. The powers that be are too parochial. Steeler fans are annoying. I get it.
I also see a city with tremendous urban job density and a physical geography that lends itself to innovation. Pittsburgh is beautiful and inspiring. The parochialism doesn't seem to apply to me. At times, I feel as if I've been handed the keys to place. I chose Pittsburgh. I wasn't born there.
The numbers add up, not only in Pittsburgh. I like what is going on in Youngstown. Cleveland is an embarrassment of riches. I would bet that St. Louis has more than just green shoots. I write that with full confidence that no one will forget the mountain in front of us that we still must climb.