Spending may get a boost from bin Laden death

New Yorkers react to news of the death of Osama bin Laden at the intersection of Church Street and Vesey Street at Ground Zero.

Camera crews and journalists wait outside the White House following the news of Osama bin Laden's death.

On-lookers linger outside the White House following the news of Osama bin Laden's death.

JEREMY HOBSON: Well it's all about confidence for investors just as it's all about confidence for consumers. Last night, ordinary people expressed their jubilation by gathering at Ground Zero in N.Y., and at the White House in Washington.

Marketplace's Nancy Marshall Genzer spoke with some D.C. commuters this morning to find out whether the news of Osama bin Laden's death means they'll be more likely to spend than to save.


NANCY MARSHALL GENZER: The celebrations in front of the White House were pretty wild last night, with people climbing trees and singing the Star Spangled Banner.

But the city is all business this morning. There's a knot of TV reporters and cameras in front of the White House. And some onlookers -- mostly people headed to work.

Mike Blackwell was here last night, and came back this morning. Before he moved to Washington, he worked in the World Trade Center in N.Y. He's had nightmares for years. Today's news gives him confidence to put down roots in Washington.

IKE BLACKWELL: I always wanted a condo. Yeah -- three bedroom condo.

But most people I talked to were like Matthew Cairns -- a New Hampshire attorney in Washington for a conference. He says the euphoria is temporary. And won't affect his family's spending.

MATTHEW CAIRNS: What affects our spending is how much money I'm making and what bills I have to pay at home, and paying for kids to go college. That's really what drives most people in the country, rather than what's happening overseas.

Still, Cairns is afraid there might be another terrorist attack to avenge bin Laden's death. He says that fear may cause other people to pull back on spending.

In Washington, I'm Nancy Marshall Genzer for Marketplace.

About the author

Nancy Marshall-Genzer is a senior reporter for Marketplace based in Washington, D.C. covering daily news.

Camera crews and journalists wait outside the White House following the news of Osama bin Laden's death.

On-lookers linger outside the White House following the news of Osama bin Laden's death.

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