Y2K prep helped businesses

BY KRISTINA KNIGHT | BALTIMORE | September 17, 2001


With uncharacteristic silence and a moving rendition of

"God Bless America," the stock market reopened Monday.

But it will be a long time before many Americans are

financially "back to normal," and the faith community is

conscious that minimum-wage earning workers who lost

their jobs in the World Trade Center are particularly

vulnerable.

In addition, discrimination against people from the

Middle East or other countries could manifest itself

economically against certain groups.

Emails traveled the Internet Monday encouraging people

to buy one share of stock to show their support and

trust in the market.

For big businesses, especially those in the securities

market, preparation for Y2K helped firms fare better

than they otherwise might have from Tuesday's terrorist

attacks. According to Cal Robinson, an investment

representative with Edward Jones, the Y2K scare

motivated many securities and financial firms to develop

state-of-the-art backup systems. Those systems, unlike

workers, are scattered throughout the country.

"I know from personal experience with Edward Jones that

we have a backup system that is geographically removed

from our home office in St. Louis. And if something

happened in St. Louis, the backup system would take

over."

But unfortunately some businesses located most of their

workers in one place. One bond firm located in the World

Trade Center lost two-thirds of its employees, yet they

were ready for business the same week the attacks

occurred.

"You have to," said Robinson. "The sun comes up in the

morning. You have to get up. You have to get the kids

out of bed. You have to get them dressed and to school.

We have to produce food. That's business. That's what

we have to do."

For those who had investments before the attacks, those

investments will likely stay sound, said Robinson.

"There are still trucks going down the highway, there

are still businesses in business. That's not going to

change at all. The country isn't going to collapse and

we will get back to business."

But it won't be 'business as usual,' " he said.

"Security is going to be tightened and that will change

how everyone does business."

Instead of hopping a plane from Los Angeles to New York,

commuters will have to allocate more time for flight

checks. Instead of the majority of American investment

workers working in the World Trade Center, they will be

scattered throughout Manhattan.

The Government is behind this "getting back to business"

strategy. President Bush has asked for and Congress has

granted nearly $40-billion to help rebuild Manhattan,

help the victims of the terrorist attacks, and get the

business of America back on track.


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Counseling, prayers offered in bombing wake

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