September 11, 2001 : Attack on America
Statement Of Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill; September 13, 2001

Statement Of Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill September 13, 2001

Good afternoon. As you know, I was overseas when terrorists attacked the United States. I kept in contact with Treasury, with the Administration, with the Federal Reserve and with the financial markets, and returned to Washington as soon as possible to deal with the aftermath of this assault on America.

My deepest sympathies go out to the families of the victims of this tragedy. I am especially proud of the men and women of Treasury's enforcement bureaus, who jumped into action immediately to assist with rescue efforts and protect our people.

The destruction in New York City is horrible and detestable.

At the same time, America's dynamic economy is not located in any one place. Innovation and productivity are found in every factory and farm, every laboratory, every financial institution, every small business and every home office across America. That spirit cannot be destroyed.

We have every reason to maintain our confidence in the U.S. economy. No evil, no matter how unspeakable, can destroy America's productive spirit. If anything, this evil act strengthens our resolve to be the most free, most vibrant economy in the world.

This tragedy will cause some short-term dislocations. Supply disruptions are real, as some transportation stopped or slowed for several days this week. These effects will be transitory, as transportation flows return to normal.

Treasury is working to minimize the disruptions to our financial system. Banks have been open and doing regular business all week. The Treasury bond markets traded successfully today. This is an important step on the way back to full market operation. Our equity markets will resume normal activity on Monday.

The prospects for a rebound in the U.S. economy remain unchanged.

Treasury and the IRS [Internal Revenue Service] are taking steps to minimize the distraction of tax issues raised by this disaster. Today we are announcing initial administrative tax relief for the victims of the attacks in New York and at the Pentagon.

Thank you.

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