Remembering 9/11 With UBS’s Art Cashin

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Cashin

I knew the name Art Cashin before I went to high school. Like Cashin, my father worked at UBS, and before then Paine Webber, for nearly his entire career. He read Cashin’s newsletter each day without fail, and would from time to time share with me the words of wisdom that were so often intertwined with his recap of market-moving news.

Cashin’s commentary, while always pointed, reads with heart and humility. Perhaps there is no better example than the note he distributed on September 24, 2001, his first communication in the two weeks following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. An excerpt from that note was included in Wednesday’s newsletter, on the 12th anniversary of 9/11. Give it a read:

“Many of us got out that Tuesday walking through streets onto which ash, smoke and business envelopes fell snow-like, blocking both your view and your breathing. Yet when a stranger was met, they were invited to join the convoy and offered a spare wet cloth (carried in pockets) through which to breath as they walked.

When we reached the East River (Brooklyn side of Manhattan), there was a volunteer group of tugboats, fishing boats and mini-ferries that looked like the evacuation of Dunkirk. No charge. No money. Just – "May I help you!" No one got anyone's name. No thank you cards will be sent. But Americans – even New York Americans – who freely give to strangers but argue with neighbors were suddenly one group.

In the days since, as we wander via new strange ways back to Wall Street, we all internalize the survivor’s quandary. We are lucky to be alive – but why us?

As I noted on TV – none of us headed back to re-open the markets with relish or avarice. The President, the Governor, the Mayor and all officials asked that the markets re-open to provide a means for the economy to work – to unclog an artery.

Day after day, traders, clerks and the thousands of folks who support them walked to work. No spring in their step.

Resolute to do their job, they are civil but somber. As they pass checkpoints, they say "thank you" to the policemen, firemen, and National Guardsmen who may have lost brothers saving us and some of our friends.

Ironically, the only smiles you see in Wall Street are on the photocopied photos of the missing that family and friends have taped to walls, mailboxes and lampposts. It may take a long time for smiles to naturally return to Wall Street. It may take a long while to find those criminals who took our smiles and our friends. But, we will have patience. As our President said – "We will not tire. We will not falter. We will not fail!"

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We talked to Alan Johnson, founder of compensation-consulting firm Johnson Associates Inc., to discuss the presumed winners and losers of 2013 and the potential impact of EU bonus on both sides of the pond.

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Nearly half of all candidates accept the first job offer without negotiating, despite the fact that 45% of employers are willing to haggle over salary.

Get Er Done (WSJ)

In 2010, Congress approved the Volcker rule, barring banks from making bets with their own capital. Three years later, and 900 pages in, the rule is still not complete. It’s becoming a bit of a soap opera.

Gold Watch (Bloomberg)

Gerhard Seebacher, co-head of global fixed-income, currency and commodities trading at Bank of America, will retire at the end of the month. Co-head David Sobotka will run the unit on his own.

A Mortgage Win (Bloomberg)

J.P. Morgan is loosening its lending standards, making it easier for customers to buy new homes and refinance their current mortgages. It stands as a bit of good news for an industry that has been hampered by slow activity, which has led to mass layoffs.

A Great Cause (Business Insider)

Brokerage firm Cantor Fitzgerald, which lost nearly 700 employees during the September 11 terrorist attacks, had its annual charity day on Wednesday, attended by a host of actors and celebrities. The firm has raised nearly $90 million for charity since the attacks. Cantor made the historic decision after the tragedy to give the victims' families 25% of the firm's profits for five years, and 10 years of health insurance.

Buzz Around the Office

A Crime Against Humanity (The Daily Mail)

An ornery, self-important firm critic called the police during a showing of The Sacrament to report that another moviegoer was using his cell phone. The emergency dispatcher rightly laughed at him.

List of the Day: Interview Tips

Follow these easy steps to improve your chances of crushing your next interview.

  1. Research not only the organization, but also the people you will be interviewing with.
  2. Prepare several anecdotes about taking action on problems and achieving results.
  3. Listen more than you talk.

(Source: AOL Jobs)

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