Before people on Wall Street realized what really happened on Sept. 11, 2001, and the horror, "they knew there was going to be trading that day, and the trading was going to reflect that bizarre fire emanating from one of the World Trade Center towers," Jim Cramer said on his
"RealMoney" radio show Monday.
After the first plane hit, all people saw was some smoke and at first asked "How bad?"
"I must have gotten six or seven 'How bads?' via instant messenger in the first two minutes," Cramer said. Given that they didn't know it was a terrorist act, Cramer said he replied, "?????"
People responded by IM'ing, "Seems weird" and "Time to buy." But no one said "sell" that morning after the first plane hit, Cramer said.
"We didn't think people were going to die," he said. "Actions on Wall Street were merely of discipline."
Market players continued to trade at the initial fire, Cramer said. Even though people didn't know exactly what was going on, they saw it as an opportunity to buy.
"Then the second plane hit, and we knew it wasn't an opportunity at all," he said. "We were still lamenting opportunities. We were still IM'ing about financial losses,
as we couldn't grasp what was happening."
Market players were still worried about making money, even after the second hit, but as minutes passed, "the scope of the tragedy began to settle in," Cramer said.
"We realized we weren't going to make money that day," he said. "It was about getting out alive and sadness."
One by one, all the people on IM went away, Cramer said
"That's the day we grew up on Wall Street," he said. "We learned not to worry about money, but bigger things, like family."
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