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Treasury Secretary Tours NYSE, Thanks Financial Workers - 2004-08-04

U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow toured the heavily guarded New York Stock Exchange Wednesday, just three days after the federal government issued a warning that terrorists planned to attack major financial institutions in Washington, DC, New Jersey and New York, including the New York Stock Exchange.

Mr. Snow met with workers on the trading floor of the Stock Exchange and thanked them for showing up in record numbers Monday morning, the day after the alert was issued. August is traditionally the biggest vacation month for workers in New York's financial sector, but Mr. Snow said more employees came to work than on any other August Monday in the history of the Exchange. The Treasury Secretary said the employees showed that Americans will not be intimidated.

"They are not going to be cowed," he said. "They are going to keep this vitally important exchange open so the investors of the world can trade, so that our capital markets that are at the center of a successful world economy, so that our capital markets remain open. The New York Stock exchange is open for business and sure we have got security, we need security, we need to be more vigilant. But as we're more vigilant, we are not going to give up what the American way of life is all about. We are not going to go into foxholes. We are going to continue to be New Yorkers and Americans, living our lives and enjoying the fruits of liberty in this great country."

Mr. Snow said money is critical to planning terrorist actions and much remains to be done to stop the flow of funds within international terrorist networks. But he said the U.S. Treasury Department has taken the lead by making it more difficult to move money around the financial system, and by freezing the assets of groups linked to terrorist networks.