I flew home from New York City the afternoon of September 10, 2001, not knowing that the world was about to change, not knowing that the building where I had given a speech that morning was one sunrise away from becoming Ground Zero for the most devastating terrorist attack in U.S. history.
And so begins St. Louis Fed president and CEO William Poole’s introduction to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis 2001 annual report.
In a world where the vast majority of annual reports are staid, bland and dry, the St. Louis Fed’s Equilibrium: How the U.S. Economy Recovers from a Crisis begs to be read. It is riveting, and a valuable commentary on the state of the nation’s economy examining “four underpinnings of our economic system that, together, helped our nation absorb the shocks of September 11: competitive markets, a robust financial system, a strong government fiscal position and monetary stability.”
Many in our nation — and around the world, for that matter — reacted heroically to the terrorist attacks in September. And many more continue to act heroically as we confront a world much different than it has ever been.
And our economy, built by millions of hard-working men and women, is one of the heroes.
“While no American will forget the events of September 11, 2001, it is equally important to be aware of how we avoided…catastrophic economic consequences…to be aware of what makes the U.S. economy so unlike the fragile enterprise the terrorists mistook it to be,” the St. Louis Fed’s report says.
Throughout history, our nation’s economic prowess has sustained us in times of turmoil and strife, and helped the United States overcome great odds and enemies.
We remain confident that our economy — American ingenuity, innovation and entrepreneurship — will lead us to victory again.