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The Best of <I>RealMoney</I> Recounts the Terror

With an introduction to Odette Galli, a farewell to Bill Meehan and a little help from some of Brett Messing's friends.

Like everyone else, I'll never forget Sept. 11. I'll never forget the horror of watching the Twin Towers collapse. I'll never forget the moment a


plane crashed into the World Trade Center, and the instantaneous shock of knowing it was


a terrible accident.

By now, we've all seen so much and read so much that we're experiencing sensory overload. And now we're heading into an anxious weekend, anticipating that the U.S. is probably going to retaliate, wondering if we're going to be victimized again.

Most of us who work at 14 Wall St. returned to the office Monday, crossing Army blockades and having our bags searched before we could get there. Life has changed as we know it, yet it must carry on.

Remarkable work was done here in the hours and days immediately following the terrorist attacks, and that continued this week as the markets, investors and ordinary folks struggled to get back on their feet again.

Odette Galli, the newest staff columnist to join,

made her debut Friday with

Don't Kid Yourself: 1998 Is Long Gone.

A former institutional money manager, Galli told readers not to expect the financial markets to rebound as they had after the Long-Term Capital Management meltdown in 1998.

Wrote Galli: "The underlying economy now is much weaker and the sense of uncertainty far greater. The terrorist attacks of last week have shocked an economy that had been faltering for many months. Moreover, despite the big selloff in recent days, stocks are not exactly cheap by historic norms -- and for the first time in years, Americans don't feel safe. The value manager in me is just not feeling the urge to take a plunge in stocks right now.''

Galli went on to note the differences she sees between 1998 and now -- including the notion that we are already in a recession.

Put Your Money Where Your Heart Is

One of the heart-warming things that has occurred in the wake of colossal heartache is that people are pulling together. It sounds like a cliche, but in New York it certainly is true. Donations are pouring in, exhausted firefighters and police officers are still combing through rubble, and there are so many volunteers that people are actually being asked

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to help.


America's Highest-Paid CEOs ... It's Your Turn, Brett Messing applauded corporate buybacks and philanthropy but suggested that this country's biggest business veeps should dig deep into their private pockets and buy stock in their own companies to help stimulate the economy.

A partner in an investment adviser with approximately $1 billion in assets, Messing pointed out that he places his own capital and his clients' capital at risk every day. Now, as a good-faith gesture, he wants corporate CEOs to do the same.

Actually, Messing has made it all very easy for them. He has already developed buy orders for their brokers. The suggested trading blotter in his piece includes a suggested purchase of 4 million shares by Michael Eisner of

Walt Disney

(DIS) - Get The Walt Disney Company Report

, 3 million shares by John Chambers of


(CSCO) - Get Cisco Systems Inc. Report

and 1.5 million shares by Steve Ballmer of


(MSFT) - Get Microsoft Corporation Report

, among others.

Farewell, Bill

To be honest, I didn't know Bill Meehan very well. I edited his columns on occasion, and we exchanged small talk a few times, the last time being in the week preceding the attack on the Twin Towers. He was always very friendly, and it was a delight to hear from him.

The chief market analyst at Cantor Fitzgerald and a noted commentator for

, Meehan is presumed to have died after the first hijacked plane crashed into the World Trade Center's North Tower.

Sometimes, a good way to get to know someone is by reading and listening to what others say about them. And that was never so true as last week, when memorials to Meehan were published on this Web site.


In Memory:


Pays Tribute to Bill Meehan, David Morrow, the editor-in-chief of

, called him "one of the most knowledgeable -- and accurate -- market commentators of recent times."

In addition,

readers offered a tribute to Meehan, as did his good friend

Tony Dwyer and a host of other writers.

The High Price of Terror -- and Real Estate


Terror May Change the Face of Manhattan Real Estate, Christopher Edmonds discussed the ramifications the attacks may have on real estate investment trusts.

Among other things, Edmonds said people's desire to work in a huge skyscraper will be diminished, companies will try to scatter their operations around the country to avoid future disruptions and the value of trophy real estate in Manhattan is likely to erode.

Because of that, Edmonds wrote, companies with suburban and low-rise office space are likely to benefit in the long term.