Ten years ago, the world seemed to stop on its access. The world in so many ways shifted: personally, politically, and even economically. The reverberations of 9/11 are still being felt, in a plethora some people are all too familiar with.
“Fearmongering” could have been the term associated with the media’s behavior after the September 11th attacks. People, as a result, became much more fearful.
“We noted a decline in consumer spending following the attacks and an increase of people putting their purchases on credit cards,” said the CEO Roman Shteyn of Credit-Land.com a website which dissects and analyzes user behavior with regards to credit cards.
“To some degree, people seem to be keeping that habit,” he added.
Finance, as a microcosm and a macrocosm, suffered aftershocks. Note that the only more expensive disaster, on a global or domestic level, than 9/11 was Katrina; Katrina cost some $48.6 billion; 9/11 ended up being worth a total of $37 billion. Very close prices, indeed.
Personal finance, too, was not left unscathed by the attacks. Was it because people became afraid to spend? Was it because people viewed their finances in a radically new light, after the towers had fallen?
People at the 9/11 memorial were asked about this concept and some talked, agreeing that they were. A woman who preferred to stay unnamed who was in attendance at the memorial was herself a New Yorker at the time of the historic and unprecedented attacks that she had been moved to flee the city (something many others reportedly did as well, migrating to other areas). When that didn’t work out, he returned to the city he had fled after that unforgettable morning.
“It wasn’t that I was sick of New York; I was afraid. And I put things into this new perspective, my finances definitely. I would go through periods of intense savings followed by periods where I was spending every dime to my name. And why? It wasn’t like 9/11 erased long-term planning. It changed my career goals certainly- I found myself more drawn to doing something I loved, but I still had to take care of my money. Even if terrorists attacked again, I’d still be responsible for that,” she stated.
“That is an all too common attitude, following 9/11,” said Schteyn, in response to the woman’s anecdote.
Whatever the case may be in retrospect, as people across the nation and even the world gather to pay their respects, the financial repercussions of 9/11 are still playing out in our economies, despite reports of consumers believing the recession itself was much more damaging than any terrorist attack. Be they our economies on a national level or our personal economies- the ones that affect our homes, our day-to-day lifestyles and our families. The ash may have settled on the World Trade Center site, but it still hasn’t settled on the lives left behind.