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Wednesday, 11 September, 2002, 15:57 GMT 16:57 UK
Wall Street pauses in reflection
New York Stock Exchange
The New York Stock Exchange one year after the attacks

A stiff wind blew down Wall Street on Wednesday, the anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center a year ago.

Flags on Wall Street
Flags lined Wall Street
That did not stop traders and tourists from gathering on the steps of Federal Hall, which sits directly across the street from the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

There they sat in quiet contemplation or chatting about where they were a year ago, a subdued, respectful murmur much like you would hear in church.

"I don't think investors are focused on the markets today," said James Maguire, managing director of LaBranche.

"The mood on the floor this whole week has been rather sombre."

The sober mood was not the only telltale sign that New York is a much different place now than it was a scant 12 months ago.

Bomb-sniffing dogs, a heavy police presence and street barricades were all reminders that just a few blocks away thousands gathered to pay their respects to the 2,801 people who died in the attacks on the Twin Towers.

Winds of change

One year later it is clear Wall Street is not the same ruckus place it was during the high flying '90s.

"I've never heard this whole area so quiet," one NYSE trader said.

Federal Hall
Stock exchange employees gather at Federal Hall

Rocked not only by last year's attacks, Wall Street has been equally - if not more profoundly - shaken by numerous accounting scandals that have savaged investor confidence and resulted in thousands of job losses.

In talking about the city's plans for the one-year anniversary, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg had called for 11 September 2002 to be a day of remembrance and 12 September to be the first day New Yorkers roll up their sleeves and get on with business.

But as Wall Street recovers from its dual disasters, it appears that life here will never again be business as usual.

One year ago, Wall Street was covered in the soot of thousands of tons of debris that lay like a blanket on lower Manhattan streets and buildings.

Wednesday's robust wind - along with New Yorker's steely nerve - assure whatever remnants remain are now pieces of the past.


New York despatches

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09 Sep 02 | Business
09 Sep 02 | Americas
14 Aug 02 | Business
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