SHARING SOME STORIES SURROUNDING THE DEVASTATION OF SEPTEMBER 11, 2001

The Fishermen: There was an Economist who provided consulting advice primarily to the Financial Industry.  He just happened to have his offices in the World Trade Center.  So, being a very collegial guy, he arranged to take a bunch of Economists to a fishing lodge in Maine for the weekend.  They represented different firms, some were from out-of-town, and some were economic reporters who covered the Industry.  I’m sure that when they received the news of what happened that day, they wondered if they should go back to “The City”.  But, apparently they were told that they couldn’t even get there, and the Markets were closing.  Well, after that fateful day, this bunch of, perhaps 10 or 12 Economists made that it an annual outing–as a remembrance and also to have fun.  Needless to say, when you get Economists together, they talk shop.  Let no economic theory go unturned..over a few drinks and fresh fish.

“The Day the World Came to Town–9/11”.  After the Terrorist Attacks, the U.S. closed its air space to all except military aircraft.  So, where did all of those planes go?  Considering what had already happened that day, neighboring governments apparently didn’t want to allow them to land; because, their cities might become the next Terrorist Targets.

Some had flown from Europe or other distant locations and severely lacked sufficient fuel to return home.  In this cute book, author Jim DeFede tells how all these planes ended-up in the tiny town of Gander, Newfoundland.  It just so happens that this town had a long enough runway to land even the largest jumbo jets; BUT…it didn’t have much in the way of guest accommodations.  The friendly townspeople, however, showed up and escorted home as many as they could feed and shelter.  Local churches, synagogues and schools did their part, as well.  It’s a real cute read.

That brings me to Cantor Fitzgerald, a small securities firm by Wall Street standards, that lost 658 of its employees at it headquarters (five floors) in the WTC.  That’s almost one-quarter of the total that perished.  Susanne Craig’s column, in the NY Times, http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/09/11/911-through-the-emotional-lens-of-cantor-fitzgerald/?pagewanted=print, describes a movie about how the CEO and the Firm handled its devastation.  “Out of the Clear Blue Skies” opens tonight, September 11.

Cantor, as its called on “The Street”, had formed a Foundation to raise and distribute money, not only to the Families of the victims; but, to help its own employees deal with the grief, as well as other charities.   Every September 11, since 2001, that day’s revenue has gone into that fund.

Obviously, everyone wishes that the WTC, the City of New York, the Country and the World hadn’t gone through such evil terrorism; but, as I noted above, when times are tough, you have to look for that one beam of hope.  Let’s hope that such events don’t happen again–here…or anywhere.

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