This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

How Osama Bin Laden Changed Wall Street

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The Sept. 11, 2001 attacks were, among many other things, an attack on Wall Street.

Killed by U.S. forces on Sunday, Osama Bin Laden was largely ineffective in bringing down the U.S. financial system.

However, some important changes to the system did result.

Many of Wall Street's best-known companies at the time, such as Morgan Stanley (MS - Get Report), Bear Stearns and JPMorgan Chase (JPM - Get Report), were headquartered in Midtown at the time of the attacks.

Others that were downtown, including Goldman Sachs (GS - Get Report), Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers and Citigroup (C - Get Report), escaped largely unscathed.

Three firms with important ties to Wall Street, Cantor Fitzgerald, Keefe Bruyette & Woods (KBW)and Sandler O'Neill, were headquartered in the twin towers and lost many of their employees. Nonetheless, those businesses carried on and are in many ways stronger than they were before the attacks.

The attacks also resulted in important advances for anti money laundering legislation, part of the 2001 USA Patriot Act, according to Tom Cardamone, managing director of Global Financial Integrity, a non-profit anti-money laundering organization.

"9/11 really focused everybody's attention on money laundering and terrorist financing and how you get at it. The Patriot Act did that to a great degree," Cardamone says.

One of the law's large accomplishments was a ban on U.S. financial institutions dealing with shell banks that have no physical presence or affiliation with any other bank.

"At one time you could have a shell bank where the owners weren't known and basically the legislation said any U.S. bank doing any business with a shell bank would be basically put out of business," Cardamone said.

The legislation also required a host of financial institutions, including banks, broker-dealers, money service businesses, insurance companies, mutual funds, futures commission merchants and "introducing brokers" in commodities, jewelry stores and casinos, according to an April 5 letter from Senator Carl Levin (D.,Mich.) to the Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

However, Levin notes in the letter that exemptions that were supposed to be temporary were granted to several other entities, including "a person involved in real estate closings and settlements," a "loan or finance company," or "an investment company."

Levin argues in his letter that, despite the passing of nine years, "FinCEN has yet to propose or finalize rules requiring that the exempted financial institutions establish AML safeguards."
1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
KBW $0.00 0.00%
C $44.41 0.41%
GS $158.85 -0.43%
JPM $61.60 0.59%
MS $26.25 0.31%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,740.63 +79.92 0.45%
S&P 500 2,057.14 +6.51 0.32%
NASDAQ 4,736.1550 +19.0610 0.40%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs