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Old 30th October 2007, 03:47 PM   #1
RKOwens4
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Asbestos vs. World Trade Center

This has got to be one of the more doofus claims of conspiracy theorists but still I hear about it all the time -- that one of the motives for the "demolition" of the WTC was because of unfixable asbestos problems. 911myths.com shows an article estimating the removal costs at about $200 million. I was just looking at some other asbestos removal cases. Asbestos removal at the Jussieu Campus cost $263 million. Asbestos removal at the 59 story Tour Montparnasse cost $159 million. Both figures are in roughly the same range as the costs for the WTC, but neither were demolished. Not only that, but if we look at repair costs for buildings damaged on 9/11, $200 million doesn't seem like an unbearable cost. Repair costs for the Verizon Building cost $1.2 billion. Even after the 1993 WTC attack, repair costs were over $500 million... at least according to a DVD, "WTC: In Memoriam" (not the HBO one). But conspiracy theorists seem to believe the Port Authority would rather destroy a $3 billion complex and sacrifice 84 of their own employees (not to mention the thousands of others) rather than spending $200 million on removal costs. Can you say illogical?

Anyway, in a Hardfire debate, Mark Roberts said the asbestos was only on something like 38 floors and half had already been removed over the years. Can anyone point me to a site with more info on the exact floors and what asbestos had already been removed and all that?
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Old 30th October 2007, 03:53 PM   #2
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Some info from the site linked in my sig.

Me on WTC asbestos abatement

Asbestos Use in the Construction of the World Trade Center

WTC Asbestos Abatement appeal: Port Auth NY & NJ v. Affiliated FM Ins. Co.

ATSDR - Asbestos - World Trade Center Full Report

Did the Ban on Asbestos Lead to Loss of Life? (Guy Tozzoli NYT 9/18/01)
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Old 30th October 2007, 03:58 PM   #3
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Thanks, Gravy! Your research is wonderfully informative, by the way. Any idea when you'll next be visiting Hardfire?
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Old 30th October 2007, 04:03 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by RKOwens4 View Post
Thanks, Gravy! Your research is wonderfully informative, by the way. Any idea when you'll next be visiting Hardfire?
Thanks. I'm in the process of adding a lot more to the site.

All the top truth movement leaders have been bugging Ron to have a crack at me on Hardfire. I don't know why he keeps rejecting them. Doesn't make our side look too good.

The above is sarcasm.
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Old 30th October 2007, 04:10 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Gravy View Post
Thanks. I'm in the process of adding a lot more to the site.

All the top truth movement leaders have been bugging Ron to have a crack at me on Hardfire. I don't know why he keeps rejecting them. Doesn't make our side look too good.

The above is sarcasm.
I would love to see a show in which you debat AJ, where AJ is constantly yelling through a bullhorn
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Old 30th October 2007, 04:17 PM   #6
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Hah. Well one more question for you... on the show you mentioned the mall was one of the most profitable in the world. I might as well make a YouTube video on this whole asbestos/insurance issue. Do you happen to know exactly how profitable is was? What about the other public attractions like the observation deck and the Windows on the World restaurant? Did these bring much money (worth noting) to the complex? And is there any truth that Silverstein took out a "double indemnity clause" against acts of terrorism? Alright, that's 2 questions.
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Old 30th October 2007, 04:40 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Gravy View Post
Thanks. I'm in the process of adding a lot more to the site.

All the top truth movement leaders have been bugging Ron to have a crack at me on Hardfire. I don't know why he keeps rejecting them. Doesn't make our side look too good.

The above is sarcasm.

Gravy, I might be reading more into some of the threads I've read in the past, but it seems that most times troothers get a real chance to an honest debate with you, somehow they find an excuse not to.
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Old 30th October 2007, 04:44 PM   #8
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My friend, Tony, see, from Jersey, see, he can do the Asbestos Remediation job for HALF...
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Old 30th October 2007, 04:49 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by RKOwens4 View Post
Hah. Well one more question for you... on the show you mentioned the mall was one of the most profitable in the world. I might as well make a YouTube video on this whole asbestos/insurance issue. Do you happen to know exactly how profitable is was? What about the other public attractions like the observation deck and the Windows on the World restaurant? Did these bring much money (worth noting) to the complex? And is there any truth that Silverstein took out a "double indemnity clause" against acts of terrorism? Alright, that's 2 questions.
Silverstein was required by his bankers to have terrorism insurance, given the previous attack in 1993. He did try, after 9/11, to have the attacks declared two events for insurance purposes (thus getting two payouts). After considerable legal wrangling, he lost this claim.
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Old 30th October 2007, 04:56 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by jhunter1163 View Post
Silverstein was required by his bankers to have terrorism insurance, given the previous attack in 1993. He did try, after 9/11, to have the attacks declared two events for insurance purposes (thus getting two payouts). After considerable legal wrangling, he lost this claim.
But if I shoot both Olson twins in the head, I'll get charged with DOUBLE manslaughter
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Old 30th October 2007, 05:02 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Bell View Post
But if I shoot both Olson twins in the head, I'll get charged with DOUBLE manslaughter
Yes, but if you shoot ONE of them TWICE, their insurance company will only pay out once.
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Old 30th October 2007, 05:04 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Gravy View Post
Is there any way to find out how much of the recovery for expenses incurred was solely for the removal of the asbestos and not the replacement costs of the SFRM?
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Old 30th October 2007, 05:13 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by RKOwens4 View Post
Hah. Well one more question for you... on the show you mentioned the mall was one of the most profitable in the world. I might as well make a YouTube video on this whole asbestos/insurance issue. Do you happen to know exactly how profitable is was?
You, sir, have impeccable timing. On the "Me on WTC Asbestos Abatement" page linked above, I also discuss the Trade Center's profitability, and link to a page with this info:

Quote:
Sales at the trade center's retail mall also have risen dramatically. In 1996, the mall's retail establishments averaged approximately $500 per square foot. Today, sales have doubled, and are expected to reach $900 per square foot by the end of this year, which is expected to make the trade center mall the third most profitable in the country. And major national retailers, such as Banana Republic, Coach and Godiva have opened stores in the trade center mall to cater to a daily audience of 40,000 employees and thousands of visitors. Many of these retailers indicate that their trade center stores are among their top sales producers in the country.

http://www.panynj.gov/AboutthePortAu...ndex.php?id=61

Quote:
What about the other public attractions like the observation deck and the Windows on the World restaurant? Did these bring much money (worth noting) to the complex? And is there any truth that Silverstein took out a "double indemnity clause" against acts of terrorism? Alright, that's 2 questions.
Windows was the highest-grossing restaurant in the U.S. I don't know about profits, but Windows brought a ton of people to the complex every day, seven days a week. I don't have figures offhand on the observation deck, but it was one of the more popular tourist attractions in NYC.
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Old 30th October 2007, 05:25 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by jhunter1163 View Post
Silverstein was required by his bankers to have terrorism insurance, given the previous attack in 1993. He did try, after 9/11, to have the attacks declared two events for insurance purposes (thus getting two payouts). After considerable legal wrangling, he lost this claim.
This is partially correct. Silverstein was required to have insurance, of course, but I don't know about specific terrorism insurance. Before 9/11, terrorism was covered by nearly all "all-risk" policies. It's possible that the lenders wanted Silverstein to purchase additional insurance because of terrorism concerns, but no one envisioned the whole complex being destroyed. (Edit: see my post below for one assessment of "maximum forseeable loss," including a wild, Morgan Reynolds-ish underestimation of what could happen in the event of a large aircraft impact.)

IIRC, Silverstein had initially wanted to purchase $1.5 billion in coverage. I believe the insurers had asked for $5 billion and they compromised on $3.5 billion. Several of the 24-or-so insurers involved did have double indemnity clauses in their Silverstein contracts, which the courts enforced. Therefore Silverstein was awarded a total of $4.6 billion on his $3.5 billion policies.

While many people criticized Silverstein for spending millions on legal wrangling that could have been spent on development (I've read that his legal costs were as high as $100 million), it earned him over a billion dollars more than if he hadn't fought.

I've got lots of info on Silverstein's insurance, with a general section on terrorism insurance before and after 9/11, here.

Originally Posted by A W Smith View Post
Is there any way to find out how much of the recovery for expenses incurred was solely for the removal of the asbestos and not the replacement costs of the SFRM?
None. The PA lost its case and its appeal, because there was no legal requirement for the asbestos to be removed. It was judged to be safe when left in place. It was new tenants who insisted that it be removed.
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Last edited by Gravy; 30th October 2007 at 06:40 PM. Reason: added reference to my MFL post below
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Old 30th October 2007, 05:26 PM   #15
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It's not quite fair to claim that all twoofers are terrified of Mark. Rob Balsamo stated his willingness to debate. He had one condition that proved an insurmountable problem: He refused to debate in any venue where the debate could actually have taken place.
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Old 30th October 2007, 05:31 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by RKOwens4 View Post
Hah. Well one more question for you... on the show you mentioned the mall was one of the most profitable in the world. I might as well make a YouTube video on this whole asbestos/insurance issue. Do you happen to know exactly how profitable is was? What about the other public attractions like the observation deck and the Windows on the World restaurant? Did these bring much money (worth noting) to the complex? And is there any truth that Silverstein took out a "double indemnity clause" against acts of terrorism? Alright, that's 2 questions.
There are three pretty good threads here on the insurance issue:

Larry Silverstein's Insurance

Let's talk about insurance fraud

WTC insurance breakdown

Basically, Silverstein tried to claim that the terrorist attacks constituted two separate occurrences. This is not as crazy as it sounds at first blush as I explained here, although only a few of the insurers ended up paying double because their coverage was bound using different language.

On the asbestos issue, this is such a bunch of nonsense that I can't believe even the "Truthers" buy it. Asbestos is very seldom removed from old buildings anymore; that was a brief fad in the 1980s. Nowadays it is much more common to leave it undisturbed, unless it is in a "friable" (crumbly) condition, in which case it is encapsulated with a spray-on material. Remember that Silverstein and his partners had negotiated a loan from GMAC to cover their purchase of the leasehold interest; as part of documentation for that loan, a complete Phase I Environmental Report was undoubtedly performed with recommendations as to what to do with the asbestos. Nobody was surprised by this issue, I guarantee that.
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Old 30th October 2007, 05:44 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Bell View Post
I would love to see a show in which you debat AJ, where AJ is constantly yelling through a bullhorn
He'd claim that the invite was just "lawyer speak and a Strawman"
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Last edited by PhantomWolf; 30th October 2007 at 06:46 PM. Reason: missed the 'd. see below.
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Old 30th October 2007, 05:52 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by PhantomWolf View Post
He claim that the invite was just "lawyer speak and a Strawman"
What? Pomeroo actually invited him? lol, that would have been a great show.

Or were you joking?
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Old 30th October 2007, 06:18 PM   #19
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Since we're on the subject of insurance, I thought this bit would be of interest. It's from the World Trade Center Property Risk Report, repared for Silverstein Properties in anticipation of the WTC lease (PDF, released via nistreview.org FOIA request).

From page 29:

Quote:
Maximum Forseeable Loss

1993 Terrorist Bombing [excerpt]

The 1993 terrorist bombing of the WTC resulted in a maximum forseeable property loss. This event shut Tower 1 down for 6 weeks and Tower 2 for 4 weeks. The explosion, that occurred in the garage area of B-2, caused portions of the Plaza and two Subgrade floors (about 4 bays by 4 bays) to collapse on to the B-6 level damaging mechanical and electrical equipment of the Chiller Plant. As large a blast as it was, there was negligible structural damage done to structural members. Damage was limited to the replacement of these concrete floors, repairing spalled concrete where reinforcing steel had been exposed and rebuilding non-bearing walls.

The magnitude of this type of MFL loss can be estimated at 5 weeks rent or 1/10th of the $364m annual rent or $35m. Plus property damage to the building from the 1993 incident is estimated to be $175m and equipment damage of $120m or a total of $330m.


Aircraft Striking a Tower

This scenario is within the realm of the possible, but highly unlikely.

In 1946 a military aircraft struck the Empire State Building. Since that time the manner in which aircraft are "controlled" has dramatically changed. In the event such [sic] an unlikely occurrence, what might result? The structural designers of the towers have publicly stated that in their opinion that either of the Towers could with stand such an impact from a large modern passenger aircraft.

The ensuing fire would damage the "skin", in this scenario, as the spilled fuel would fall to the Plaza level where it would have to be extinguished by the NYC Fire Department. The replacement of the "skin" is estimated at 35% Of the building replacement value or $420m. Loss of rents for 1 year or $150m for a total estimate of <$600m
[For MFL (maximum forseeable loss) determination methodology, see page 88 of the pdf]

Goes to show you how uninformed even risk assessors were of what could happen in an aircraft impact.
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Last edited by Gravy; 30th October 2007 at 06:32 PM.
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Old 30th October 2007, 06:28 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Gravy View Post
Goes to show you how uninformed even risk assessors were of what could happen in an aircraft impact.
I'm sure these days they might take a different view.
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Old 30th October 2007, 06:45 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Bell View Post
What? Pomeroo actually invited him? lol, that would have been a great show.

Or were you joking?
Actually it was a prediction, I missed the "'d" on the end of He.
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Old 30th October 2007, 06:48 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Gravy View Post
Goes to show you how uninformed even risk assessors were of what could happen in an aircraft impact.
The CT's would say that it goes to prove them right, that the planes should have hit the outside and bounced off.
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Old 30th October 2007, 06:49 PM   #23
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Gravy (or anyone else who may know), do you know if the double indemnity clauses existed in whatever insurance contracts there were after the 1993 bombing?
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Old 30th October 2007, 06:58 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by RKOwens4 View Post
Gravy (or anyone else who may know), do you know if the double indemnity clauses existed in whatever insurance contracts there were after the 1993 bombing?
Yes, we're referring to 2001 policies. Remember, Silverstein's lease for WTC 1, 2, 4, and 5 only took effect in July, 2001. One of the difficulties in resolving the insurance issues was that some of the policies still had clauses and riders that were unfinished when the attacks happened.
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Old 30th October 2007, 07:17 PM   #25
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I mean policies that existed immediately after the 1993 bombing, before Silverstein signed his insurance contract. I assume the Port Authority were the ones who had an insurance policy before July 2001 (I may be wrong). Were there any "double indemnity clauses" in the old policy as well?
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Old 30th October 2007, 08:01 PM   #26
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Some Authorities are "self insuring" meaning that they can issue bonds to cover any loss.
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Old 31st October 2007, 02:12 PM   #27
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Does anyone happen to know who has to pay back the 3.4 billion dollars in Liberty Bonds given to Silverstein to cover the rest of the costs for the new WTC site? Conspiracy theorists often include this as some kind of profit Silverstein received, but if he has to pay the 3.4 billion back (with interest) that's hardly a profit. But is it Silverstein who has to pay this back, the Port Authority, or who?
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Old 31st October 2007, 10:49 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by RKOwens4 View Post
Gravy (or anyone else who may know), do you know if the double indemnity clauses existed in whatever insurance contracts there were after the 1993 bombing?
You should not use the term "double indemnity" with regard to the property insurance policies relating to the WTC in your future videos. There were no "double indemnity" clauses in any of the WTC property insurance policies.

"Double indemnity" is a phrase associated with life insurance policies, not property insurance policies. E.g. Person X takes out a term life insurance policy that provides for a payout of $500K upon X's death but it includes a "double indemnity" provision that stipulates that if X dies as a result of causes (a), (b), or (c) (perhaps in circumstances (x), (y) or (z)), the insurer will pay double the $500K face value of the policy.

There is no such thing as "double indemnity" in property insurance. No insurer would ever write a property insurance policy that says, in effect, we will pay you double the amount of your insured losses in circumstances (a), (b) or (c).

The issue in the WTC insurance litigation was not about "double indemnity" at all. It was about whether the specific language used in the various policies and whether or not the attacks on WTC1 and WTC2 amounted to two separate incidents within the language of the various insurance policies. Slightly more than half of the policies incorporated language that limited the multiple attacks to one insurable event for purposes of the insurance policies, and slightly less than half of them did not.

The WTC insurance litigation was all about interpretation of the language used in the various policies, and nothing else. They weren't in any way, shape or form about "double indemnity" provisions.

Erroneously introducing language such as "double indemnity" into the picture is just wrong and will only serve to muddy the waters unnecessarily, and to the benefit of lunatic tinhatters, frankly, who thrive on cherry picking and misinterpretation of reality.

Bottom line, it would be wrong to use the term "double indemnity" in your videos (which I love, btw), for the reasons set out above, but it would be great to see your most recent debunking video absent the "double indemnity" language, so go ahead, carry on, etc.

Last edited by LashL; 31st October 2007 at 11:06 PM. Reason: Rewording.
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