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America's New War: Secretary of Treasury Paul O'Neill Addresses a Banking Committee

Aired September 20, 2001 - 10:48   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.
PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: Let's dip into the Secretary of Treasury Paul O'Neill addressing a banking committee.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

PAUL O'NEILL, SECRETARY OF TREASURY: I must tell you, if I hadn't known on Monday morning that we would have the largest day of trading in the New York Stock Exchange as measured by volume that we ever had, I would've had a bigger lump in my throat than I already did. But we did it.

And I say that in the fullest sense, we, the American people, did it. And I think we should be proud that we've gotten restarted and we've demonstrated we can do it.

Awfully hard not to also say one additional thing, Monday morning, when Harvey and I were in New York for the restart, it was a very emotional, touching time, and those of you who saw it on television probably got a sense of the emotion radiating out of those faces that were on the floor. But when we went down on the floor after the restart, people just wanted to reach out and touch and say, "Thank you and God bless you and tell the president he has our prayers."

And it's difficult that tragic events bring us together. For sure, they have done that. And not just those of us in the United States or those of us who were privileged to be on the floor on Monday morning, but every communication from countries around the world has been not only comforting and reassuring and indicating every possible support, but ready to move into action as soon as we tell them what we want them to do. So I think off of this terrible tragedy, we're seeing the best of society around the world, coming together with a determination that we will persevere and we will prevail.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

SARBANES: Mr. Secretary, I'm going to impose on you to just take a moment or two, I think it would be helpful if you put on the public record the parts of your...

ZAHN: All right, it's difficult to just dip into a small portion of that to understand the total extent of what Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill had to say today. But perhaps, his summation at the end is what we need to know, where he expressed in spite of all the tragedies that this country has witnessed, that we in many ways see the best in society, society from all over the world, everyone coming together, and in his words, to try to persevere and triumph. This at a time when the Dow is now down 279 points. You have to keep your eye on that screen all day long, because it's been changing a lot today. The Nasdaq is down 38 points.

We will try to give you a greater perspective on what that means on the other side of the break, so we hope you will stand by.

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