Accounting for the Tragedy

Several companies have been directly impacted by the attacks yesterday. Here we present a partial list of the firms that have had some degree of loss. It will be some time before the full extent of the tragedy is accounted for. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, survivors, and their families.

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By Paul Larson (TMF Parlay)
September 12, 2001

Though we are all affected by yesterday's tragic events to some degree, some companies were more directly affected by the disaster than others. Below is some of the information we could gather thus far on companies directly in the line of fire.

-- Morgan Stanley Dean Witter (NYSE: MWD) is reported to have been the World Trade Center's largest tenant, occupying at least 25 floors of the twin towers that are now no more than a huge pile of rubble. Some 3,500 Morgan Stanley employees worked at the World Trade Center, most of whom were "back of office" support staff. No word has been given on how many of those employees escaped safely.

-- Maxcor Financial (Nasdaq: MAXF), a brokerage company dealing mainly with institutions wishing to trade derivative securities, saw its world headquarters destroyed yesterday. The company was based from the 84th floor of 2 World Trade Center and had 280 employees there. Maxcor has said approximately 70% of its employees have been found alive and well, including its founder and CEO. The fate of the other 30% is unknown at best.

-- eSpeed (Nasdaq: ESPD) was also devastated yesterday. The company operates an online brokerage service that mainly trades in debt securities and may be best known to individual investors as the company that allows Schwab (NYSE: SCH) customers to buy U. S. Treasuries online. eSpeed was based on the 103rd floor of 1 World Trade Center, which is no more.

eSpeed's parent company, private brokerage firm Cantor Fitzgerald -- formerly known as "the brokerage to the stars" -- occupied floors just above and reportedly had 1,000 employees at the World Trade Center.

-- Mutual fund company Oppenheimer Funds reportedly had a great deal of office space at ground zero in New York. The company believes its employees are safe. As with most of the financial services companies affected yesterday, the company reported its records are backed up safely off-site. In other words, there is no need for customers to panic about their funds being "lost."

-- CareerEngine Network (AMEX: CNE) was among the many companies that saw their base of operations destroyed. CareerEngine, a niche player in the world of online career sites, had its headquarters on the 21st floor of 2 World Trade Center.

-- Akamai Technologies (Nasdaq: AKAM), the leader in "intelligent content delivery" over the Internet, lost one of its founders. Daniel Lewin, just 31 years old, still worked at the company as Chief Technology Officer, and he was on one of the doomed flights that crashed in New York.

-- MRV Communications (Nasdaq: MRVC), a network systems builder, also confirmed that it had lost its CFO Edmund Glazer, who was also on a plane that crashed into the towers.

-- Let's also not forget about American and United Airlines' parent companies AMR (NYSE: AMR) and UAL (NYSE: UAL). Both companies lost four pilots each, many of their attendant staff, and two planes and their passengers. The shockwaves are certainly being felt at each company as well as throughout the airline industry.

Of course, this is merely a partial list. Numerous other organizations, both private and public, have been harmed by this tragedy. It will be some time before the full extent of the tragedy is accounted for. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims, the survivors, and their friends and family.

Paul Larson, like most of us, is sad and drained. You can see Paul's stock holdings online. The Motley Fool has a progressive disclosure policy.