Economy in the United States and Sept 11 Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

economy in the United States and the catastrophic terrorist attacks of September 11th is often discussed, for many reasons. The events were so integral to the United States as a historically devastating occurrence that emotionally, socially and psychologically changed the face of the nation and with that nation is the integral issue of economy. This work will analyze the difference between the economic after effects of the September 11th attacks, in the Stock Market particularly, and the effects of another crucial historical event of the last century, the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The correlation between events and the stock exchange is often difficult to find information on in that a comprehensive history of the exchange has not been done, but perhaps the best time for such a work to be written would be now, as we discover just how well the nation and the world recover from the September 11th disaster. "The New York Stock Exchange has maintained orderly archives, open to scholarly researchers since 1980, but no one yet has seen fit to exploit this resource to do a full-blown institutional history of the stock market." (Burk 176)

Comparatively the results on the stock market, after nine-eleven and the Kennedy Assassination were similar in many ways namely, both event aftermaths include stock decline in many areas, and are preceded by economic recession. Yet, in additional to the similarities of the two the main and most substantial difference, with regard to exchange effects are the relative location of events in the nine-eleven events causing the temporary though significant close of the New York Stock Exchange for a history making period of time, the stocks faltering in very specific and important industries in addition to overall and the international and national outcry for the importance of a quick recovery to avoid an all out crash, something not expected in the aftermath of the assassination event.

Though it is difficult to gain specific information about the stock market and the aftermath of the Kennedy assassination the economic and social situation of the time is a direct reflection of a similar state post nine-eleven. Taking out a few key words and replacing them would give light to the mood of the culture post nine-eleven:

The Kennedy assassination on November 22, 1963 defused partisan politics quiet effectively for the next few months. The Economic Council Letter described the nation's quite tempo during early Spring, 1964: "The country is still in a lull. The short-run economic news is good. The turmoil in foreign affairs has momentarily subsided. Politics is muted. The Democrats are talking platitudes. What the Republicans are saying can hardly be heard." An uneasy calm descended upon the land, like the calm before the big storm ... The Economic Council Letter commented, "The funeral of General MacArthur fitted the public mood exactly. An era had ended. No one could guess what would take its place." 27 / (Kolkey 155)

The Economic Council says much the same thing as might have been said post nine-eleven as massive and universal meetings of the faithful and the secular took place to memorialize the deaths of so many at ground zero (just off Wall Street), the pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania. Because of the relative difference in intensity between the assassination of JFK and the terrorist attacks of September 11th the grief has extended even to today and the funerial procession of marked interest in this sort of statement would have been that of Ronald Reagan during the summer of 2004.

The short stock market close after the assassination of JFK was largely a ceremonial act, yet the reality of the market close after September 11th was necessity, marked by the devastation and destruction that had occurred in the whole area. The market was a mess and the infrastructure, transportation; communications and the like were devastated.

Late in 2001, Dingle and Spruell point out the immediate aftereffects of the attacks as the system systematically faltered. Stocks in very specific areas took major hits, namely the airlines, insurance carriers and the securities industries as the direct link between these industries and the attacks were made and fear of what would happen next and who would pay for it all eroded the stock market and the economy in general, not to mention the society overall.

In recent weeks, the stock market, which was already seesawing, has become even more volatile. And hundreds of thousands of blue-collar and white-collar workers have been pink-slipped as the airline, insurance, and securities industries took direct hits. More than at any other point in the past decade, businesses, large and small, are battening down the hatches and cutting expenditures. Consumer confidence, now at its lowest point since the Persian Gulf War, has caused the engine of the economy--spending -- to sputter. (Dingle and Spruell)

During he aftermath of the Kennedy Assassination there was a general overall decline in stock prices and many could argue that it might have been largely due to the only very recent recovery from a stock crash that occurred during Kennedy's white house years.

Administration advisers must have felt that they had finally reached the starting point, getting the economy on an even keel while achieving the political capacity to manage the dual sorts of market stimulations deemed necessary for long-run growth, when the assassination occurred. (Harper and Krieg 179)

The era was already marked with recession, just as it was on the brink of September 11th following the dot com bust and the other precarious financial states of the preceding years. Recovery, before the attack seemed to be eminent but afterward has been very long and arduous, most would say the overall economy is still feeling the effects today.

Yet, where the stock market is concerned this is not necessarily the case. The recovery of the stock market, secondary to the general ups and downs of the economy, was remarkable. Business as usual, fluctuations was achieved with almost startling speed. Especially considering the significant physical and economic losses that were a part of the aftermath specifically.

The World Trade Center housed the world's most powerful financial players. Cantor Fitzgerald, Charles Schwab, J.P. Morgan Chase, Metropolitan Life, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup's Salomon Smith Barney, and 424 other companies brokered funds for bankers, asset managers, insurers, and security dealers across the continent and beyond. Millions of financial transactions transpire daily on Wall Street at a value of $2 trillion. Total market capitalization of the 3,000 New York Stock Exchange members tops $17 trillion. This far-reaching financial network was rattled on September 11, 2001. Not since the sinking of the Titanic have the wealthy and powerful experienced such devastation and trauma. Lives are lost. Fortunes are at stake. (Flynn)

The hit was extreme and the financial world waited with baited breath to see what would come of this nightmarish event while the rest of the world focused on the 24/7 coverage of recovery and clean up efforts.

In the aftermath, toxicity and xenophobia spread throughout the country The days passed slowly... September 12, 13, 14... And still no word from the executive and legislative branches of the government about the well-being and stability of financial markets. The silence, however, did not reflect inactivity behind the 24/7 television coverage. While the working class of America dug out bodies and mobilized for war, the wealthy class received what may become the largest financial bailout the world has ever seen. (Flynn)

The assassination of JFK gave the country a general sense of fear that was reflected marginally in the stock market, but the nine-eleven events gave the world a general sense of a complete and utter turn over in financial and economic control. The world watched as other countries markets opened and closed for days, some even switching what funds they could…

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