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New York: Ground Zero plus ten

ON SEPTEMBER 11th 2001 everyone who was at their desk at Cantor Fitzgerald, on the 101st-105th floors of the World Trade Centre’s north tower, died. Of the company’s 960 New York-based employees, 658 were killed, including Gary Lutnick, brother of Howard, the firm’s chief executive. In all, the attacks took 2,752 lives from the city. But the disaster called forth great-heartedness. A week later, when it was not yet clear the company would survive—it was losing $1m a day and was in need of a $75 billion loan—Mr Lutnick announced that Cantor would share 25% of the firm’s profits with victims’ families for five years and would provide them with health insurance for ten years. This amounted to $180m. The families also received $45m in bonuses.Lower Manhattan, like Cantor Fitzgerald, suffered a devastating loss on that day. Some 14m square feet (1.3m square metres) of office space was damaged or destroyed and 65,000 jobs were lost or relocated. Hundreds of businesses closed, some permanently. Yet ten years on, the area is doing well. According to the Downtown Alliance, its vacancy rate is one of the lowest in the…

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