Wall Street is open, but who will be on Wall Street? This is already one of the biggest vacation weeks of the year. Faced with the possibility of a difficult commute to work, many on Wall Street may simply opt to stay home.
It's not just Wall Street: Many traders in New Jersey, Connecticut, and Massachusetts were also affected by the storm and may be forced to stay home.
Indeed, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said as much: "If you don't have to go to work tomorrow, don't go to work tomorrow."
And what about all that media hype about Irene, the storm that fizzled? Media pundits are already taking the media to task for the breathless coverage of the storm. Much of it was fueled by politicians, who painted the storm as potentially catastrophic.
I'm tempted to offer a more serious response to allegations that the media overhypes stories, but let's just stay sardonic: The media never overhype a story, it's the story that under-delivers. Remember: It's the pictures that got small.
All systems are go at the New York Stock Exchange, where there was no systems damage at all.
The subway system has begun running, though less frequent than normal...limited bus service since Sunday night.
All bridges and tunnels are open. The one exception is New Jersey Transit rail service, it's not running; bus and light-rail systems are running on modified schedules.
Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Bank of America...all open...the exception is American Express in the World Financial Center...closed citing difficulties getting employees to work.
It was the perfect storm...at least for insurers. The hype leading into Irene was so intense that it will be the final boost property and casualty insurers will need to lift prices, Morgan Stanley said in a note Monday. They estimated total losses at below $10 billion; that would still put it in the top 10 costliest U.S. hurricanes.
Morgan Stanley's estimates are on the high side. Barclays estimate is $2 billion to $8 billion in damages. AAR, the catastrophic loss company, was cited by some analysts estimating total U.S. losses of $2 to $8 billion.
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