US economy can restart as quickly as it shut down, ex-NYSE chief says

'There is a morning coming'

While efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic forced the U.S. to a virtual standstill in a matter of days, it can start work again just as rapidly, former New York Stock Exchange CEO Dick Grasso said.

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"There is a morning coming," Grasso, whose tenure included an exchange shutdown after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, told FOX Business' Maria Bartiromo. "Our enemy today is not al-Qaida or someone carrying an AK-47, it is a virus. But we have the best scientists in the world, the best medical facilities in the world. We will defeat it."

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Grasso, who said during a coronavirus-related drop in late February that slides in financial markets give investors a chance to beef up their holdings, doesn't believe a temporary halt in floor trading at the New York Stock Exchange will last forever.

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The exchange is switching to electronic trades only as of Monday after a floor worker and exchange member tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by a new coronavirus that has killed thousands of people worldwide.

"There are certain types of orders that brokers on the floor can enter and use to serve investors that may not be fully available" electronically, he noted. "This is a good stopgap, and people will evaluate the process, but I would not be at all surprised to see, once the virus is defeated -- and it will be -- that we resume floor-based trading."

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