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Specter of Corporate Exodus Leaves Connecticut Budget in Crisis

  • G.E., Aetna and Alexion exits take more tax hikes off table
  • With no budget, state aid cuts set to hammer municipalities
The offices of Swiss banking firm UBS AG stand in Stamford, Connecticut, U.S., on Friday, Dec. 3, 2010. UBS AG is a wealth management, investment banking and asset management firm that provides a variety of financial services to individuals, institutions, corporations, governments, and financial intermediaries around the world.
Photographer: Chris Ware/Bloomberg

Thirty years ago, so many companies flocked to Connecticut that Stamford, a waterfront enclave of about 100,000 residents, became the third-largest center of corporate headquarters in the U.S., behind only New York City and Chicago.

Now businesses are lining up to get out, threatening a state already contending with crippling budget deficits, a nearly bankrupt capital city and an economy that never fully recovered from last decade’s recession. This summer, Aetna Inc., based in Hartford since 1853, said it would relocate its headquarters to New York, while Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. announced plans to decamp for Boston, where former Connecticut behemoth, General Electric Co., moved in 2016.