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'Marketplace' Report: Attacks' Impact on Business

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'Marketplace' Report: Attacks' Impact on Business


'Marketplace' Report: Attacks' Impact on Business

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From NPR News, this is DAY TO DAY.

Six years ago, we heard again and again that the 9/11 attacks would reshape the business world forever.

MARKETPLACE's Amy Scott joins us now.

And, Amy, six years later, how's the business world changed significantly?

AMY SCOTT: Well, one industry that has seen a lot of change is Wall Street. You know, the attacks in New York affected Wall Street very directly, and many financial firms lost employees in the attacks. At the brokerage firm, Cantor Fitzgerald, 658 people died that day. And Lower Manhattan was really changed. You know, some firms moved their headquarters across the river to Jersey City or to midtown. And we've seen a lot of the decentralization that people were predicting. In many ways, Wall Street has become more of an idea than a physical place, though other factors like globalization and technology have also contributed to that.

But Forbes magazine has a piece this week on Wall Street, six years later, and it says, though some 20,000 finance jobs moved to New Jersey and another 5,000 to Connecticut, security and employment in New York has finally returned to pre-9/11 levels.

BRAND: You know, the airline industry got a big bail off from the federal government after 9/11. How are they doing now?

SCOTT: Well, yeah. Traffic dramatically fell after 9/11. And only last year have we really started to see demand returning to what it was before the attacks. But analysts say the industry will face a certain amount of disruption anyway. We learned after the fact that an economic recession was already underway before September 2001. Labor and fuel costs have hammered the big legacy carriers.

I spoke with Dan Casper of the economic consulting firm, LECG. He says the airlines would have done well are the ones with lower costs like Southwest or JetBlue. And so in some ways the post-9/11 travel slump really allowed those airlines to flourish.

Mr. DAN CASPER (LECG): As a result today, what you're seeing is that something on the order between 75 and 80 percent of people who are traveling by air today have the option of flying on a low-cost carrier. And what that means is that there is a low fare option for the vast majority of travelers.

SCOTT: And Casper says that's pushed the legacy carriers to cut costs and lower their fares as well.

BRAND: And have there been other industries that benefited, post-9/11?

SCOTT: Well, yeah. The big one is the security and defense firms. It wasn't really until after 9/11 that the whole homeland security industry was really born. The Guardian ran a story yesterday in the U.K. about the growth of what it calls disaster capitalism. And just one example of that, the article says some 30 million surveillance cameras have been installed in the U.S. So you can see a lot of firms making money on - in this war on terror.

BRAND: Thank you, Amy.

That's Amy Scott of public radio's daily business show, MARKETPLACE. And MARKETPLACE is produced by American Public Media.


Next time on MARKETPLACE, in this country democracy paves the way for capitalism. Capitalism limbers up democracy, but some say the two should be more like church and state - separate.

It's from American Public Media.

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