Byline: Mike Comerford Daily Herald Business Writer
Sept. 11 was a day when explosions caused silences.
Silence in the air over Chicago and its two airports.
Silence on the floors of Chicago's powerful futures exchanges.
Silence in the hallways of Chicago's great skyscrapers after evacuation.
Chicago's clamoring economic core was quieted by crashing planes to the east and we paused, wondering, "What next?"
The immediate economic stall was evident but less clear was what the Chicago area economy would be like a year later.
"Chicago took a bigger hit because of its reliance on air travel," said Bill Testa, senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. "But we're doing marginally better now, depending on the sector."
Some of the impact of that infamous day was immediate and direct.
O'Hare International Airport and Midway Airport were closed for three days. The Chicago Board of Trade and Chicago Mercantile Exchange were closed for two days. The Chicago Stock Exchange reopened in conjunction with Wall Street after a week.
Economy was struggling
Yet most of its impact is difficult to pinpoint because the economy was already in a recession and some industries, such as air travel and telecom, were already in deep downturns.
Sept. 11 aggravated negative economic trends, but the worst fears of some …