Financial 411: Osama bin Laden's Effect on the Global Economy

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Osama bin Laden and the Global Economy

There was really only one major news story on Monday: the death of Osama bin Laden. And as people in New York City and around the nation reacted to this major event, those in the financial industry were trying to sort out what this may mean for the economy.

At Ground Zero, larger-than-usual crowds of locals and visitors continue to visit the site of the September 11 attacks. A volunteer at the Downtown Alliance information booth estimated that the number of visitors had increased 50 percent.

"I just came out early today, because you know, it was my day off, so I figured I'd come here and be, take part in everything that's going on," said a man who only gave his name as Jason, who was selling $5 American flags.

He said within an hour he sold more than 100.

As investors, policy makers, analysts and economists sort out just what all this means for the global economy, at least on Monday, markets gave up an early surge and ended the day down slightly. The Dow lost three points, to close at 12,807. The S&P lost two points, finishing at 1,361. And the Nasdaq fell nine points, to close at 2,864.

The long-term economic impact of bin Laden's death remains to be seen. WNYC's Business and Economics Editor Charlie Herman talks about how his death has had a measurable impact on the global economy, and what might happen in the near future.