This is a partial transcript from Your World with Neil Cavuto, April 15, 2002. Click here for complete access to all of Neil Cavuto's CEO interviews. 

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: How vulnerable are our nation's businesses to threats like Monday's? Let's ask Dr. Neil Livingstone, the president and CEO of Global Options. It's a crisis management company that advises concerns on security issues in Washington. Doctor, thanks for coming.


CAVUTO: When we have incidents like this, just it seems weird to me that they seem to happen in spades. I mean, you've got the release of this tape that allegedly shows Usama Bin Laden, the release of another tape that shows the guy who commanded the Flight 93 hijackers. Just weird timing?

LIVINGSTONE: Well, you know, these kinds of incidences produce a lot of copycat incidents. This is very much in the public eye and in the public mind today.

CAVUTO: But by the way, on that Usama Bin Laden one, first off, do you think that was legit?

LIVINGSTONE: I don't think we know yet for sure. And the problem he may have made a lot of these tapes. And until we can absolutely fix them in time, we are not going to know for certain or not if whether he may have banked a bunch of these things as well to send out on a regular basis. We just don't know yet.

CAVUTO: All right.

LIVINGSTONE: There is not enough information, by the way, in it, and we can't fix the time for certain.

CAVUTO: Yes. Let me ask you this, Doctor, just about the safety issues here. When a bomb threat is considered credible enough to shut down banks in one of our premier cities in this country, the capital of our country, what does that say?

LIVINGSTONE: Well, look, threats are the easiest terrorist weapon of all to make. If you are in an environment where the public is reeling from the 9/11 attacks and the anthrax attacks, they've got terrorism on the mind. And so, when a threat comes in, even if it's not very specific, we take the safe rather than the sorry route in most cases. We do whatever the terrorists wants, and that is the vulnerability of our societies today.

CAVUTO: So they realize that by doing that, even if nothing materializes — in this case, nothing did — just the fear would be enough to drive commerce to a halt?

LIVINGSTONE: That's right. I mean, they have achieved whatever they sought to do here. They've cost banks millions of dollars in lost revenue and cost the public a great deal of upheaval. And they spread a certain amount of fear throughout the public.

CAVUTO: So, what should our alternative be, just keep the banks open and roll the dice?

LIVINGSTONE: Well, you can't respond to every terrorist threat. But once again, given our very litigious society and so on, if we do not respond, then there is such a penalty to be paid -- let's say that we have a whole series of threats and the banks decide to stay open because none of them have materialized...

CAVUTO: I just wonder though in this case, Doctor, whether there was something going on here, because I agree with you, that maybe that would be a better part of valor just, you know, to do that. But maybe there was something that gave this more of a sinister feel.

LIVINGSTONE: Well, you know, about a decade ago, we had a 12-year-old boy that made threats that were reasonably credible to the Chicago Commodities Exchange. He shut it down. We have seen planes diverted because people have called in who later turned out to be teenage pranksters. It is so easy to make a reasonably credible threat today, with information you can find on the Internet. This threat actually suggested the type of explosive that would be used and they gave a fairly specific target. And so the authorities and the banks reacted appropriately.

CAVUTO: All right. Doctor, thank you very much. Dr. Neil Livingstone of Global Options. he is the CEO there.

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