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America Under Attack: Stock Markets to Open Monday Morning

Aired September 13, 2001 - 16:07   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
AARON BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: Our new colleague and old friend, Lou Dobbs, joins us. You've been dealing with the financial markets today. They're going to open on Monday.

LOU DOBBS, HOST, "MONEYLINE": Right.

BROWN: A little later than they hoped. Are they -- is the technology in place to open?

DOBBS: The technology is in place right now, Aaron, to open. The fact is that the physical destruction down there is such, and the buildings still in such bad shape, the needs for power and telecommunications, they're still not 100 percent certain. They're giving themselves principally Con Edison and Verizon, the telecom that is providing all of the data and voice communication down there, giving themselves an extra three days to get it right.

BROWN: And are they going to use -- I gather they're going to this time to test out systems and make sure they work?

DOBBS: Absolutely. You know, we've been reporting on this now for three days. The devastation is remarkable. The fact that they could bring these markets back this quickly is nothing less than a superhuman achievement. Dick Grasso, the chairman of the New York Exchange, wanted to bring it back today. I talked with a number of members of the board of the New York Stock Exchange, the people who run the firms. They want desperately to bring this market back.

Put this in some context. The fact this market has been down, $45 billion a day are traded on the big board. That market alone represents $13 trillion in market capitalization. That is more than London and Tokyo and Frankfurt combined. This is the world's financial center. And it's imperative to bring it back as quickly, but as prudently as possible.

BROWN: Help me with the stuff.

DOBBS: Sure.

BROWN: The symbolism of the market, I get. I mean, I really understand here that symbolically, it's enormously important to say that this center of American capitalism, Wall Street, is functioning. We are as a nation OK. As a practical economic manner, how much does it matter? DOBBS: A great deal. It is -- much has been talked about symbolically here. But the fact is that that corridor down there, much of it below 14th Street, and much of it has been devastated, the past few days, represents the fuel that keeps the Democratic capitalistic society moving. And it is, it touches you through your 401K, all of your investments, those for your children, and for tens and tens of millions of other Americans. In fact, it reaches around the world.

BROWN: I said I guess an hour, maybe a little less ago. And I'm perfectly prepared to get slapped around by you right now for having said it, but that I suspect that not since October of '87 will an opening be watched as closely as this one. We're not in the prediction business.

DOBBS: Right.

BROWN: But I guess it's going to be a nervous, by 9:29 on Monday morning.

DOBBS: Well, as you say, we're not in the prediction business. That doesn't keep any of us from venturing to that area. But the fact is, this is the first time since the Great Depression that we have seen the market close for more than three days. It will be watched anxiously, nervously by everyone.

But the fact is, the people I'm talking with who run the firms and who run the exchange, they are prepared for an orderly market. We saw today with the bond market open. We saw a bit of a move up in prices on the bond market. That's because it's a safe haven in times like these.

The people who are writing into us are talking about going out buying cars and not selling stock for a year. There's a great will in this country. That is represented politically, economically and financially in markets like these. So I'm one of those. I'll make a prediction, that we're going to see a far more orderly market than anyone imagined.

BROWN: Is it -- when the market was shut down early that day, a couple of years ago, I forget how many years ago now, there was a real concern that was -- it was really a bad thing, that it kind of pent up both emotions. And that the market needs a kind of constant flow to operate in an efficient and orderly way.

In this case, do you think there might be a salutary effect, the fact the market's been closed, that we've seen world markets trade? We have a sense of what's going on there. People have a much better sense of what's going on in their own country. Am I making -- am I wishful thinking here?

DOBBS: No, I think you're making a very good, a very exact point. And demonstrably, we saw the selloff in Tokyo overnight following the destruction of the World Trade Centers. And we saw the markets come back. We saw the dollar selloff the day following and we saw it come back. I think that, as you say, the fact that the market is closed is first of all necessary and deeply regrettable, but I think it's also a great thing that we're not going to see the market open tomorrow and wish the market could have been opened briefly in two days. Next week, we'll have a full week for the market to assert itself and to do what it does best, make sense of it all.

BROWN: Thank you. I know you're back in a little bit to talk more about these things.

DOBBS: Good talking with you.

BROWN: It's been a long time since we've done this. Thank you.

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