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America's New War: Financial Markets Set to Open This Morning

Aired September 17, 2001 - 06:03   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.
CAROL LIN, CNN ANCHOR: CNN Financial News corespondent Fred Katayama is in Times Square monitoring the Nasdaq, covering the European markets Richard Quest stands by in London, but first we want to go to CNN's Bill Hemmer who joins us by telephone. He's en route to the New York Stock Exchange to set the scene for us today.

Morning, Bill.

BILL HEMMER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): And, Carol, good morning to you. I can tell you just getting here has been extremely difficult thus far. We've been literally walking on the surface streets for about 45 minutes, running into checkpoints at nearly every street corner between the National Guard and local police, being redirected in numerous different locations.

I can tell you what we were told over the weekend, though, that subway traffic travel would not be completely open but a number of stops near the exchange would be here for traders to get in, employees to get in and those who can still do business in the financial district. But we don't know whether or not that subway travel is indeed as successful as some have said it would be over the weekend because we haven't tried that route just yet.

But I can tell you security is extremely tight, even coming down Broadway this morning. The telecommunication cables and lines that we've been talking about being laid over the weekend trying to reestablish things here continue at this time. And there are hundreds of workers really in the streets here of lower Manhattan trying to, again, lay those cables down and reestablish the connection. But again, security is tight.

And the other thing I think is quite remarkable just walking down at this part of Manhattan, oh, at this point it looks like we're getting in. That is good news. We've just been given the OK to get past another checkpoint here.

The other thing that strikes you, though, in this part of New York City, though, is the World Trade Center is just about three blocks away from here. And when the traders come down here and the employees who knew so many people inside the other security firms in Manhattan, this could be a very emotional day because, you know, the smoke and the steam still billows away. And at numerous points when you pass the blocks -- I'm sorry, we're just being stopped again, Carol, I apologize. Thank you, officer. At numerous points you can look down through different buildings and see that smoke come up and it's just another reminder for the -- not only the physical challenge of getting here today but also the incredible emotional toll that a lot of people will be going through just about three and a half hours away now from the opening bell. And we're going to try and get our position. Hopefully we'll talk to few.

(CROSSTALK)

LIN: Yes, it sounds like you're walking through a war zone, Bill. I heard that they're going to be passing out paper facemasks because there's so much smoke and dusk still in the air.

HEMMER: Yes, the report we have is that the New York Stock Exchange will make available about 5,000 of those masks and there is still you know a fair amount of dust and -- floating through the air down here. And you know the smart people have those nearby and at this point, clearly that's the logical thing to do.

LIN: Yes, all right. Well stay safe.

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