Prior to the 9/11 attacks, insider trading “put options” were placed on United and American Airlines stocks. The speculative options on United were placed between September 6 and 7, 2001 and on American on September 10 at the Chicago Board of Options Exchange.
Put options are bets that a stock will fall in value and the owner has the option of buing the stock at a lower rate and sell them at the highest rate, thus earning a quick windfall profit. The put options on the two airlines’ stock was reportedly six times higher than normal. Other unusual “put option” activity was registered with three European reinsurance firms, Germany Re, Swiss Re, AXA of France, in addition to World Trade Center occupant Morgan Stanley Dean Witter.