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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

America's New War: American Capitalism to Begin Anew

Aired September 17, 2001 - 06:35   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: It is less than -- just less than three hours before the New York Stock Exchange begins opening. It will open to the bell traditionally at 9:30 Eastern on the United States East Coast, and then it will be followed by two minutes of silence to honor the missing and the dead.

CNN's Bill Hemmer, though, is on route to the New York Stock Exchange.

And, Bill, we were talking earlier, and it just sounds like you're walking through a war zone.

BILL HEMMER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We have arrived, Carol, and for anyone who is coming down to Wall Street to work today, the best advice we can give you is take the subway. For those familiar with Manhattan, the J the M or the Z lines run right down into Broad Street, and it appears at this point that's your best option.

But the circuit (ph) streets in this part of Manhattan are still choked and clogged with security on nearly every street corner -- we walked for nearly 45 minutes this morning trying to get our location here -- on nearly every street corner there are those who -- have seen the National Guard, local and state police stopping people, checking identification, turning a number of people away.

Dick Grasso, the chairman, has arrived, though, and so too has the Treasury Secretary, Paul O'Neill. A few moments ago, Grasso was saying that we are -- quote -- "back in business now, and the markets will not be stopped." The treasury secretary is saying Americans should be and will be Americans today. He'll be taking part in the ringing of the opening bell.

We are seeing some traders and some employees trickle past us at this point and the and from our location here on Broad Street.

Again, as you mentioned, Carol, about three hours away from that opening bell.

And one other thing that should be pointed out: It is quite striking. We are only three blocks from the World Trade Center, and so many of these traders and workers had friends, no doubt, and family members inside the World Trade Center. This, indeed, will be a difficult and emotional day for them today -- Carol.

LIN: Indeed.

Bill, what is the scene right outside of the New York Stock Exchange that's going to greet these workers? We are looking at flags now hanging from the exterior wall?

HEMMER: Yes, I think that's the biggest symbol and the biggest sign that the New York Stock Exchange would like to send, not only to America, but to the rest of the world. And as I mentioned, Dick Grasso saying we're back in business, and that's the message they want to send -- it's a pillar of strength is the American economy, the strongest in the world right now. And knowing that the markets have been shut down for the longest time we've seen since the Great Depression, also the first World War, getting back to business today, making sure everything functions and goes well is going to be critical.

And then the other side of that coin, Carol, certainly is what do the markets do today? Do they stabilize? Are they strong? Do they dip, and if they dip, how far do they dip? That will be closely watched and monitored today, obviously.

LIN: It sure will. Thank you very much, Bill Hemmer reporting live from the New York Stock Exchange.

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