Sal Sodano, CEO of the American Stock Exchange

This is a partial transcript from Your World with Neil Cavuto, October 1, 2001.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Well, here is the most beautiful thing that I probably saw happen today. The American Stock Exchange officially opening for the first time since the terrorist attacks three weeks ago. Take a look at this.


SAL SODANO, CEO, AMERICAN STOCK EXCHANGE: A number of people have asked me personally to ring the opening bell today, and I am quite thankful for the honor of those members and staff. But Mike Pascuma Jr., who's been here 75 years, lost his son, and I think the greatest honor for us is to have Michael reopen the American Stock Exchange Today.

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Michael, please come up here. Michael Pascuma Sr.





CAVUTO: All right. Well, joining us now is Sal Sodano. He is the chairman and the CEO of the American Stock Exchange.

Sal, good to see you.

SODANO: Nice to speak with you again, Neil.

CAVUTO: That was a very nice gesture on your part.

SODANO: Thank you.

CAVUTO: What was the mood there today?

SODANO: Well, it was sort of a bittersweet move. We've been displaced, as you know. We had to move our equities and EPF business over to the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. So we had the job of rebuilding the AMEX in that location and rebuilding our options business in the Philadelphia Stock Exchange while at the same time coming back, rebuilding the AMEX itself, which was damaged. So we had an unbelievable amount of stuff to do.

So we were obviously quite happy to come back to the building. However, it was also the first time that we all got back to the building which we fled in fear on September 11th. So there was a lot of anxiety. We did lose nine of our members here at the American Stock Exchange.

So it was a mixed feeling. We're very happy to be back, and at the same time it was a little bit of sorrow because we got to rethink about those moments that we'd all like to forget.

CAVUTO: And Sal, a lot of people don't know that the American Stock Exchange is literally around the corner from the World Trade Center versus the New York Stock Exchange, which is a few blocks away, and that's, of course, is uptown. So you guys really did feel it.

SODANO: Well, we literally are just a few hundred feet away. The side of our building was blasted heavily. We had debris coming directly through the side of the building, which had to be rebuilt. On Tuesday, September 11th, you know, we were lucky to get out of here breathing, quite frankly. We were covered in a black cloud of smoke. We were just happy, most of us, to be here.

The next morning I got clearance from the White House to immediately start rebuilding the American Stock Exchange. We had 200 construction workers in here at the AMEX starting on the next day. Peter Quick and myself, who's the president, we came through the building with flashlights, evaluating the damage and figuring out what we had to do. And while we were doing that, we had the job of rebuilding our markets in two different physical locations so that we were able to open up our business with all the other markets on the following Monday.

So it's been quite a time since September 11th, and I'm quite proud of all of the staff at the American Stock Exchange and our sister exchanges, which helped us get up and running.

CAVUTO: It's interesting, too, Sal: There's been a great deal of camaraderie among all the exchange chieftains. I noticed Dick Grasso was helping you ring the opening bell today as you were with him at the New York Stock Exchange. The Nasdaq head, pretty much the same thing.

Competitive bygones be bygones, I guess, huh?

CAVUTO: Well, you know, when there's human tragedy and people jut are in dire need I think all the competitive stuff really gets put aside. And when you need to help someone, you just do that. And that was exemplified loud and clear by the New York Stock Exchange helping us and the Philadelphia Stock Exchange helping us.

And we are very grateful to Dick Grasso and to Sandy. They helped us out when we needed help.

CAVUTO: Sal, finally, are you surprised that, the market comeback lately not withstanding, that we are still down, you know, 8 percent or so from where we were when the markets opened a couple of weeks ago, that we're still in pretty deep water?

CAVUTO: Well, you know, Neil, this is the way I look at it. If you'll recall when the markets went up big-time, particularly on the Nasdaq -- you know, I went to get my MBA and study finance, and if you look at all the traditional stuff that they teach you, none of that makes sense.

And it was market sentiment which brought the market all the way up, and I think what we're seeing right now is people have that sentiment on the other side, a very down feeling toward the marketplace. And that's going to have a direct impact, even though quite frankly there are a lot of very good buys.

So I think it's going to take a while before people feel good about what they see in the marketplace, and we're just going to have to be patient.

CAVUTO: All right. Sal, in the meantime, very nice gesture you did today. I'm glad to see you guys back up and running.

SODANO: Thank you very much, Neil.

CAVUTO: Sal Sodano is the man who runs the American Stock Exchange.

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