To this day I still remember exactly what I was doing when I heard that the World Trade Centers had been attacked. I was at lunch with my friends when some boys came up to us shouting that terrorists had just blown up New York City. I didn’t initially believe them. I mean, nothing even remotely similar to this had ever happened before in my lifetime, and seeing that I was the ripe old age of eleven, I thought they must be lying. It all sunk in though when we were called into an emergency assembly. I remember being in shock, not being able to wrap my mind around the reality of the situation, and I know I was not alone. The events that transpired on September 11, 2001 left many people scared and confused. They didn’t know what to think or believe, the world as we knew it was unraveling before our eyes. What would happen next?
Unfortunately, times like these tend to attract individuals that exploit people’s fears to gain traction for their own interests. For example there have been a few claims that the U.S. government was behind the attacks all along and that they were instrumental in orchestrating them. But what is interesting is that most of the conspirators that claim this also have deep-seated hatred toward the U.S. government. Does it not seem suspicious to anyone else that these people have a vested interest in turning the public against the government?
Overall, I think it is pretty obvious to the public at large that most of these conspiracies theories regarding 9/11 are works of fiction. So you can imagined how surprised I was when I came across a conspiracy theory that I thought could actually have some truth to it. This conspiracy focuses on some very sketchy financial transaction transactions that were made on Wall Street in the week leading up to the attack . The premise of this theory is that there were individuals (most likely the terrorists themselves) that purchased large put options for major companies that ended up being affected financially by the attack. Basically what this means is that in the week leading up to 9/11 a group of individuals purchased options, known as puts, that bet against the stock prices of some of the major firms affected by the attacks. These kinds of investments are usually very risky unless you have insider information indicating that something is going to happen to cause the stock price to plummet. So is it just a coincidence that there was a huge spike in put options for the four most negatively impacted corporations of the attacks just a week prior? Take a look at this 2-minute clip I found of an ABC new segment on this controversy.
So first of all I just want to note that this information was reported on the ABC evening news. This was the initial fact that made me think, “Okay well if a respected news channel is reporting on this then maybe it does have some truth to it…”. As we learned earlier in the semester with the Mike Daisy case, journalists, at least in our country, value the facts. Therefore it is unlikely that one of the country’s most respected new channels would put their reputation on the line to report false report facts, which makes me trust, to a certain extent, what they are saying. While the Peter Jennings seems hopeful that some justice would come out of the SEC investigation launched after these allegations were made, I could not find any information showing that any real progress in bringing the individuals involved to justice. So let me ask you this, do you think its fair that these people were able to get away with profiting from the worst terrorist attack to take place on American soil? Personally, I think this proves as another example of the greed and unethical behavior to take place on Wall Street in the early 2000s, but I am interested to hear what you all think?