The events of Tuesday, Sept. 11, beg the question: “Why did this brutal attack on America take place?” Generally speaking, Americans have difficulty comprehending the loss of family, friends and business associates by the actions of individuals with a total lack of regard for innocent people. We, on the other hand, are a country of individuals who value everyone and the contributions they make.
I contend the basic motive for this unmitigated attack is, purely and simply, jealousy. The group responsible for this devastation is jealous of our country's social and religious freedoms, economic prosperity and individual rights. Because of these basic tenets, we are seen as evil.
The opportunity to come to America and be successful has been, and will continue to be, the envy of the world. And our financial services community impacts the world economy. Very often, what's good for the American economy benefits the world.
Because of this, our success breeds contempt, jealousy, envy and anger. Yet, we encourage opportunity for all. We welcome and embrace participants from everywhere to share our proven formula for success.
The despicable events of Sept. 11 impact us all — especially our financial services partners in New York City. But we will recover. This is not the first time terror has struck Wall Street. We all remember the 1993 bombing. The first attack occurred Wednesday, Sept. 16, 1920. As lunch time approached, a horse-drawn wagon filled with explosives and covered with a tarpaulin parked on the corner of Wall and Broad Street, opposite the House of Morgan.
Just before noon on that day in 1920, a tremendous explosion occurred, filling the area with shrapnel. Wall Street was turned into “Dante's Inferno,” yielding wrecked, twisted steel, glass and debris.
The result: “The Stigma of Capitalism,” as the historian John Steele Gordon remarked, was devastating. That evening, repairs were made quickly and the markets opened the next day, to everyone's amazement.
As Americans and financial services professionals, we will overcome this unspeakable devastation and remain successful in spite of the personal losses. Repairs may take time, but the markets will be open and America will prevail, for we are the economic engine of the free world.
Our prayers and sympathy go out to all who have been afflicted by these recent events.