WASHINGTON – Treasury Secretary John Snow (search), attempting to bolster confidence on Wall Street and Main Street amid a new warning about possible terrorist strikes, said Monday the nation's financial system continues to operate normally, a testimony to its "resiliency and strength."
Snow, in a statement, also said there are sufficient safety mechanisms to ensure that any terrorist attack on the U.S. financial system can be weathered in much the same way the system handles hurricanes and other disruptions.
Millions of dollars have been spent to develop redundant systems that could take over after a terrorist attack to make sure that bank customers are able to continue to cash checks, make deposits and withdraw money from automatic teller machines.
Many of those systems have been put in place since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks (search) in the heart of the financial district in New York City.
"People around the world rightly have confidence in the U.S. financial markets," Snow said. "While we must always remain vigilant against terror, we will not be intimidated and prevent from enjoying our lives and exercising our freedoms," he added.
Snow said that the Treasury Department (search), which has not been listed as a specific target in the latest terrorist threat warning Sunday, is working closely with the Department of Homeland Security (search) and federal, state and local financial regulators, among others, to make sure the nation's financial system would be able to withstand any attack and to "quickly respond to any potential market disruptions."
"Our nation's financial markets, financial institutions and financial sector continue to operate normally," Snow said Monday, on the first business day following the new threat.
"I applaud the financial services industry for remaining open for business in the face of yesterday's reporting," Snow said. "The extraordinary commitment of the men and women who make our financial systems work is invaluable; their work demonstrates the resiliency and strength of our financial system," he said.