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Tuesday, 18 September, 2001, 15:37 GMT 16:37 UK
Back to work: The BBC's Stephen Evans
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New York's financial district reopened on Monday for the first time since last week's devastating attack on the city.
The first day of trading saw sharp falls, with the Dow Jones stock index losing 7% of its value - the largest one-day fall in its history - and the hi-tech Nasdaq falling 6.8%.
There have been fears that the events of last week could badly affect business and consumer confidence, sparking a collapse in share prices and plunging the already faltering US economy - and the rest of the world's industrialised nations - into recession.
But support in the form of interest rate cuts from central banks around the world helped to stave off the gloomiest predictions.
What has it been it like for New Yorkers as they go back to work? What is the mood in the city as it relives the events of last week?
The BBC's business and industry correspondent, Stephen Evans answered your questions in a live forum.
I was in the hotel room on the phone broadcasting. I didn't realise that pictures of those were going out live, so I was describing the scene that was in front of me. I couldn't actually see the tower because it was masked by a wall just to my right. But what happened at that moment, as I described with the ambulances below and the north tower which I could see, is a sort of whoosh of smoke and gusts and that kind of thing coming into that street below me. It was at that point that the phones went and that hotel was then evacuated and the alarms went off. But all the phones in the area had gone obviously and you couldn't use your mobile so that's why I went out of contact but I was then getting away from that area to a point a little bit further back.
Something that comes into my mind about all this. My uncle is an engineer and he was teaching the next day in McGill and coincidentally the lecture he was giving was about high-rise buildings. So he started off his lecture by saying: there is no way of avoiding this, we can't avoid talking about what happened yesterday and the whole class apparently - I wasn't there, he was there - was just utterly silent from the start. He then described the engineering of that crash - what happened to those buildings and what he says is that those buildings would have been built to sustain that kind of knock. It is not the knock from the airliners which demolished them.
He says that an airliner could have flown through those buildings and they would have stayed standing. But it is the heat that actually did it and you need a temperature - according to him - no greater than burning wood basically. And what that does is, it just makes the metal slightly pliable. Right at the top it gets pliable with the heat - the heat at the top apparently gets hotter. So it bends and collapses at the top and that weight goes down so it demolishes like the pack of cards you saw.
Now I suppose if you are looking for any kind of silver linings in that horrible, horrible thing - and there aren't any silver linings but if you were looking for one - it would be that the thing went down like that and not like that which is what would have happened had there been an impact at the bottom. Obviously if it had gone down like that it would have taken a lot more people with it.
Now it seems to me that - and this is my personal view now - that is far too prissy. But there are such people who rely on terror, they are a minority, they'll never ever get their own way through an election so what they do is they try and create terror in the majority in the hope that the majority will then say look we can't take this terror any more therefore we will give in. So there is that question about how much commitment and how much taking sides you have.
My own view is that there is no doubt that was a terrible event. Personally I have got no doubt that there is something pretty fundamentally evil going on. Whether those people are evil I don't know - it is for all your gods to judge. But there is this question of whether you kind of relentlessly condemn the causes surrounding them or whether you try and - even now - keep some kind of distance and almost some neutrality. I am always in favour of neutrality but I think in this case, if you can't call these people terrorists, I don't know who you can call terrorists.
If you think of when that helicopter went down in Scotland taking a good chunk of the intelligence community with it - people with very, very specialised knowledge. One imagines that a particular part of the intelligence community - Northern Ireland's intelligence community lost expertise in a major way. But, companies and organisations pick themselves up and go on. What we don't quite know is whether very, very expert people - people at the top of companies died - my suspicion is that they didn't. Often those people were back office staff. Huge human tragedies, no doubt about that and great losses to those companies but the kinds of skills which can probably be replaced. But I am surmising - I am guessing.
In terms of whether there will be a recession - everybody I have talked to today and yesterday in New York thinks the probability of a recession has increased markedly. Most people thought before these events that a recession was a possibility - a 10% possibility for a serious recession. People I have talked to since think that there is now a likelihood of a recession. Clearly, we had all the central banks moving to cut interest rates - they can see what the risk is. I put it at 50-50. But, every economist may judge it differently.
No economist would say that a recession is less likely now than it was seven days ago and I think virtually every economist would say that a recession is actually much more likely now than it was seven days ago. That will affect Australia obviously - Australia is part of the world economy. It will affect every country if there is a recession because it is a tightly-knit global economy now.
What they were all saying was - well it's not Churchill is it? Well it is not Churchill but actually on the ground here he went down very well indeed. There were those pictures of him with arm around a fireman for example and the folksy way in which he has talked and the way in which he has obviously been genuinely moved by this thing and genuinely determined to do something. We can have a debate about whether what he does will be helpful or not some other time. But he is clearly resolute that something needs to be done - genuine quiet anger in the man and the people I have talked to - perhaps not in the chattering classes - actually find that very impressive.
My feeling is that his presidency has been transformed by it. He was looking like a man out of his depth to me before it and suddenly he looks like a man in amongst his own people and respected by his people. I talked to a lot of Democrats about it who have said - I never thought that Bush was a very good president, didn't vote for him, but I take my hat off to him now.
17 Sep 01 | Business
Solemn traders return to Wall Street
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