Top US CEOs React with 'Joy' to Bin Laden Death

Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the Sept. 11 terror attacks on New York and Washington, was killed in a firefight with U.S. forces at a mansion in a Pakistan suburb on Sunday. "Justice has been served," said President Barack Obama, a thought echoed by his predecessor George W. Bush, president at the time of the attacks: "America has sent an unmistakable message: No matter how long it takes, justice will be done."

The U.S. stock market reacted by opening higher while oil, gold and silver also rose. Some of the biggest names on Wall Street were also happy bin Laden had been killed.

'It Was Joy'

"It felt good, it was joy...A mass murderer of almost incomprehensivle dimensions has been eliminated, just as was the case with Hitler."

—Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway Chairman

'A Great Thrill'

"Well, it was a great thrill. To watch this morning, to see the people recite the pledge of allegiance at Ground Zero puts chills through your body. It's such a great thing to see the spirit of the American people rising."

—Jack Welch, General Electric Former Chairman and CEO

We Are 'Rebuilding Confidence'

"It is a great morning. I think that in some ways what we're doing in the last couple of the financial markets [we are] rebuilding confidence, which we utterly destroyed in the 2008 crisis, and a big part of that is to affect the mood and confidence. I think this is just what the doctor ordered for that."

—Jim Paulsen, Wells Capital Management, chief investment strategist

Not The Victory It Might Have Been

"I don't want to throw cold water on this but it's not the victory it might have been a few years ago...As we've seen in Syria and other places, it's not just al-Queda that's operated in Muslim extremism...So it's a positive but it might be transitory."

—Robert Doll, BlackRock , chief equity strategist

'Very Emotional Moment'

"It's a very emotional moment for me but one of relief...The world's a better place today...We lost 67 people that morning. My son's death certificate says he was murdered, and I felt last night that we found the murderer and justice was done. So there is an element of satisfaction."

—John Duffy, KBW, CEO

Presents Some Additional Dangers

"I believe this is a big victory, long term, against terrorism although short term it's going to present some additional dangers...(The financial community was) terrific after Sept. 11. People forget that the stock exchange came back only four days later. That was a heroic thing to accomplish (and) it probably saved our economy."

—Rudolph Guiliani, mayor of New York City during 9/11

An Improvement In Confidence

I can’t say that I am happy about the news. There’s a sense of relief...In the short term there’s probably greater geopolitical risk if there is retaliation. Perhaps in the medium term this is an improvement in confidence...This is a demonstration that we can put our minds to great things and accomplishments.

—Bernard McSherry, Cuttone & Co. senior vice president of strategic initiatives

Reminiscent Of Hussein Capture

With all the talk about how markets are reacting it is, by my recollection, very reminiscent of when Saddam Hussein got captured. When he was captured the markets turned mildly euphoric for a little bit and then wound up pulling back.

—Art Cashin, UBS , director of floor operations