With the announcement that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the accused 9-11 "mastermind," and his cronies would be tried as criminals in New York City comes a good deal of reaction from New Yorkers and others. While there are pros and cons to the move, being New Yorkers, we're not ones to sugarcoat what we think as all of us were affected in some manner by the heinous attacks on that date. This includes our banks.Anyone who looks back on those dark days also remembers how the financial system nearly came to a halt as paper checks just sat in grounded airplanes for days. Not only did it force the industry's hand at digitizing the exchange of checks, but it also caused companies to rethink their disaster recovery plans and locations of their backup data centers. Financial firms also started leaving New York in favor of what they perceived was the relative safety of New Jersey, just across the Hudson.
But even beyond these operational issues caused by the attacks were the scores of lives lost-including many in the financial services industry. We no doubt recall with horror the number of lives lost at investment firm Cantor Fitzgerald, which occupied several floors of the north tower of the World Trade Center-658 of its 960 New York employees killed. Also Sandler O'Neill, which lost 66 of its 171 workers, including two of the three executives who ran the firm.
Now some bankers are speaking out against the New York-based trials for the terrorists. According to Reuters, although Howard Lutnick, chief executive of Cantor Fitzgerald, and James Dunne, senior managing principal of Sandler O'Neill, didn't flat out condemn the plan, they did say giving the accused such a stage would be "upsetting."
"Giving these people a microphone and giving them a stage is repulsive to me," Dunne told Reuters. "But if that is the quickest way to bring them to justice, then I am for it."
With all the negativity against Wall Street and financial institutions, I think it's important to remember there is a human face to this industry.
For the entire article, see Banks hit by September 11 repulsed by trial plan.