September 11th, 2001

Tribute in Light

It was an exceptionally clear summer morning in New York City.

As former City mayor Rudolph Giuliani said, 'the skyline was surreally beautiful against a backdrop of the purest blue.' It was September 11th, 2001. 2,996 people were to lose their lives that day, after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.

For many who work in the financial markets, the story of Cantor Fitzgerald has become a symbol of the tragedy that overcame the civilised world 15 year's ago...........

'If they set out to bomb American capitalism - to hit at the heart of the American economy - the terrorists could not have done better than to kill off Cantor Fitzgerald. The international brokerage firm was responsible for transacting 200 billion dollars of securities a day, or 50 trillion dollars a year - more then than the American and New York Stock Exchanges and Nasdaq combined......

Its brokers and traders were, for the most part, young and extremely successful, an abundance of alpha males and females working high in the sky, a hundred floors above Wall Street. Many of them met when they were single and then passed all the milestones together. They went to each other's weddings, the christenings of their children. They rented summer houses together. They hired siblings and friends. Nepotism wasn't frowned on - it was encouraged. Brothers hired brothers and brothers-in-law, and second cousins. Friends hired friends.......

At 8.46am on September 11th, American Airlines Flight 11, bound for Los Angeles from Boston's Logan Airport, tore through the clear Manhattan sky and struck the north side of Tower One of the World Trade Center. The twenty thousand gallons of fuel the Boeing 767 was carrying for the cross-country flight ignited on impact, causing fires that burned at more than two thousand degrees......

The plane...hit at the 93rd floor....Cantor Fitzgerald operated out of the 101st through 105th floors. Of the firm's 1,000 New York employees, 658 were lost.......In the coming days the number of dead and missing will be staggering. Of the wives, thirty-eight were pregnant, fourteen of them for the first time. Forty-six of the lost were engaged to be married; there were at least two weddings planned for the following weekend. Worst of all, these were young people with young families, some with three and four children. Nine hundred and fifty-five sons and daughters lost a father or a mother'.

This and all those who lost their lives that day, we must never forget.

Excerpts from 'On Top Of The World - The Remarkable Story of Howard Lutnick, Cantor Fitzgerald and The Twin Towers Attack' by Tom Barbash

JefferiesAnd the Best Place to Work in the global financial markets 2016 is...

Register for Financial Markets News Alerts