The events of Sept. 11, 2001, when 1,400 employees of securities firms were killed, prompted many changes in and around Wall Street, reports the New York Times. Morgan Stanley, for instance, which lost 1.2 million square feet in the south tower of the World Trade Center, is now moving employees to a new corporate installation in Westchester County. Lehman Brothers, whose headquarters in the World Financial Center was destroyed during the attacks, is comfortably ensconced in a new office building in Midtown. But the more profound effects are less evident– like war games played by managing directors of Wall Street firms.
In the wake of the loss of 32,000 financial jobs in New York State of the 211,000 before the attacks and the billions of dollars spent since on security, business continuity and disaster-recovery planning, there is a prevailing sense of wariness, both with regard to the uncertain security environment and the future direction of the markets. Many of the lost jobs have resulted from trends that predate Sept. 11, 2001, like industry consolidation, more automated trading, weak equity markets and, most significantly, the migration of jobs to other places. But economists note that the attacks have hastened these trends, especially with regard to firms moving their operations. Not all firms have moved away. Merrill Lynch, forced to evacuate one of its buildings at the World Financial Center, has moved back. And Goldman, Sachs is to start construction this year on a global headquarters in Battery Park.