Investors urged to ‘look beyond the tragedy’

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 12, 2001

News Editor

When two commercial airliners crashed into the World Trade Center in New York and another crashed into the Pentagon in Washington, all trading ceased as U.S. financial markets closed for the day.

When the trading stopped, concern and panic set in for investors all over the nation, including Pike County.

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Robert "K.T." Cole Jr. of A.G. Edwards in Troy fielded phone calls all day yesterday calming panicking investors and telling them there was promise for the economy once things settle.

"We encourage our investors to look beyond the tragedies and to focus on the long-term outlook of the economy," Cole said. "It’s my job to ease people’s minds because nothing like this has ever happened."

But the events that occurred yesterday have been compared by financial analysts to the assassination of John Kennedy and the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993. When Kennedy was assassinated, trading stopped at 3 p.m. EST and when it reopened the market soared. A several-week rally also followed the bombing of the World Trade Center on Feb. 26, 1993.

"What has happened is horrific and the loss of life is horrible," Cole said. "But from a financial standpoint, we’ve been through the assassination of a president, the World Trade Center bombing, 21-percent interest rates, World War II, the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam War, and the market remained in place."

Still looking beyond the tragic sequence of events that occurred yesterday, Cole said he expects to see the nation rally together.

"Politics will be put aside and action will be taken to help consumer confidence and the Federal Reserve will most likely act quickly to help consumer spirits by cutting interest rates," he said. "Democrats and Republicans will come together and there will be a cohesiveness in Congress and they will stand behind the president. I’ve gotten a lot of phone calls from really patriotic people today. After this, we will see people rallying around the flag."