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February 10th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

How concerned are you about the banking system?

From CNN's Jack Cafferty:

So Tim Geithner, the wunderkind who didn't bother to pay all his taxes and kept the nation waiting breathlessly for an extra 24 hours, finally unveiled his plan to save the world today.

How concerned are you about the banking system?

The Dow dropped 300 points minutes after Geithner's plan was unveiled.

Well actually it's the banking system. But if he doesn't save that, then somebody is going to have to save the world. The plan he announced is like a Chinese crossword puzzle unless you have a PhD in economics and finance. So let us try to simplify; it may cost another trillion dollars to keep the banking system afloat and get credit flowing again.

When Wall Street heard the news, it immediately threw up on itself, with the Dow dropping 300 points in a matter of minutes. And if Wall Street doesn't like it, I find it difficult to imagine why the rest of us should get too excited.

Nevertheless, at this point, we have little choice but to pull for Geithner- 34 banks have failed in the last year.

As the cost of dealing with our financial crisis soars into the trillions of dollars, I have this nagging feeling that we were never told the truth about how bad things were getting last year right up until Lehman Brothers went belly up in September. I still don't think we know.

Here’s my question to you: How concerned are you about the nation’s banking system?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Rich from San Clemente, California writes:
My concern is that the banking system isn't going to be changed in any substantial way as a result of the collapses and subsequent bailouts. The same people are running them, the rules have not changed, and as a result, this recession won't be going away any time soon. Institutions that are insolvent because of risky investments need to enter bankruptcy and be reorganized before anyone will really have any confidence in our system again. It's the lack of confidence that has put a stop to our economy.

David writes:
Bank? What bank. It seems to me that they don't want our business any longer. So I am not concerned unless we give them more money. Where happened to the requirement that they start giving loans again? I went in for a home loan and all but got laughed out the door - even though my credit is superb and I’ve had 3 mortgages from the very bank that turned me down now.

Bob writes:
Jack, Henry Paulson did an exploratory surgery on the banks last year, and ended up just sewing the patient back up. Better to pass on the problem to a new administration. Now Geithner is expected to have a miracle cure, and there are none. But we can't tell the American people this because it would cause a huge panic. Wall Street already senses this but is looking for some Washington D.C. magic. There is none. Obama will gradually tell us the truth and it will be very painful. Nationalization of our banking system is no longer out of the question.

Cori from Cape Canaveral, Florida writes:
Very concerned. It seems that at the beginning of every American Century, we need to reign in and severely regulate some manifestation of robber-barons. Now the robber-barons are the credit industry. I wish I had more confidence in this Congress to do what needs to be done.


Filed under: US Economy
soundoff (179 Responses)
  1. Terry from North Carolina

    Jack
    Very concerned, when you go downtown to the local bank and see a closed sign its scary. When Bank of America and Chase are laying off thousands of people, all of us have to worry.

    February 10, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  2. Kim in Dodge City, KS

    A better question would be "how concerned is the banking system about us?" If appearances are any indication, the bail-out did next to nothing for anyone except the CEOs and their executive flunkies. If you think of the American economy as a human body, then you can picture the banks as the spinchter, and when they tighten up, everything else turns to.....well, you get the picture.

    February 10, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  3. Laurie in Lawrence, KS

    I don't trust any of our systems anymore – health, banking, finance, etc. I would love to put my money under my matress, but then I would worry about fire or robbery. Unfortunately, we have no choice but to use the very systems that are in a shambles. I just cross my fingers and hope for the best.

    February 10, 2009 at 2:18 pm |
  4. Keith - Twinsburg, OH

    I'm concerned, Jack, that we will never see our $350M TARP-1 again, or ever know where it actually went. Now, we're preparing TARP-2?

    Up until now, I thought that congress was the lowest. Now the Finance gurus are making them look pretty good.

    Bring back the old TV Show: "Who Do You Trust", and put them all on the show..

    February 10, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  5. Kevin in MA

    I never have, nor do I ever, plan on using big banks. From when I was a young child up until I left my parent's house after graduating college, I used a credit union. Now, I currently use a small local bank.. Granted I haven't needed a loan (the only car I bought was $2,000) but my parents have been going to the credit union I grew up with an account in, so I can honestly say the big banks don't impress me.

    They charge you for anything and every, cause problems and charge you to fix them unless you fight tooth and nail for weeks, all to make money for thier shareholders. The idea of putting money in the bank is so that it is 1- sage and 2- earning interest for letting the bank use your money. Instead, big banks act like your money is a burden which they charge you to keep safe then turn around and take profits made with YOUR money and give it to their shareholders! I don't know about you, but I think the people with accounts with that banks (the people who give the most money) should receive a greater benefit from the use of their money (i.e.-interest on accounts) rather than investors who offer up a fraction of what the account holders as a whole have. Either banks need to shape up, or the government should say the only people who should own the banks are the people who put their money into an account!

    February 10, 2009 at 2:23 pm |
  6. Kevin in Dallas, TX

    I'm very concerned. Centuries ago, people who could barely read and write could successfully operate a bank. Yet these ivy league boys have managed to muck everything up. I can't help but wonder how so many people who are so stupid have lived so long.

    February 10, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  7. Ray in Nashville

    I'm very concerned. In the 1920's, manufacturing was of greater importance to our economy, but when Wall St. crashed and the banking industry followed, our economy collapsed. Over the past 25 years, the financial industry has overtaken manufacturing in ranking in our GDP, so now a failure in banking will bring even greater economic problems.

    February 10, 2009 at 2:26 pm |
  8. Tony from Torrington

    Very much concerned because of the ineptness that seems to be overtaking our country. Every citizen should be concerned when the people we put in charge as leaders are corrupt, tax cheats, womanizing drunks and lazy bastards. These are the people who are deciding how our tax dollars are spent. The banking system, healthcare and our very lives are to be in the hands of these people under the current leadership. It's scary.

    February 10, 2009 at 2:26 pm |
  9. AndyZag Lynn, MA

    i'm not concerned at all. It is a mere coincidence that I am converting all of my dollars to Russian Rubles and Polish Zloty.

    February 10, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  10. Mike McKibben, lady lake, Fl

    My concern over the US banking system can be summed up in one question, where are all the criminal indictments for bank and securities fraud over this mortgage mess? Perhaps, like with ENRON, a public accounting company shredded the paper trail to Wall Street?!

    February 10, 2009 at 2:32 pm |
  11. Larry

    Considering that the banking system is full of crooks and thieves, and the SEC is a bunch of do-nothing empty suits, I'm very concerned. There's outrage towards the money being spent on the economic stimulus plan, and there should be even MORE outrage on the "banking stimulus" plan that has thus far been a waste of money.

    February 10, 2009 at 2:35 pm |
  12. Joe in MO

    I'm concerned about their greed. Ask all the retirees who have lost huge amounts of their retirement who really benefited from the stock market in the last eight years. It was the stock brokers and the rich CEOs who paid themselves huge bonuses and golden parachutes for bankrupting their companies. Now those same people want the government to buy their toxic assets for thousands of times what they're worth so they can stay on the golden bandwagon.

    Make the whole recovery plan a balanced one which helps the banks in a reasonable way but does more to help the people the rich CEOs and the Madoff-types robbed.

    February 10, 2009 at 2:37 pm |
  13. pete in ny

    I'm concerned but I don't believe that trusting Barney Frank and Chris Dodd to fix it is the answer. Nor do I have a lot of faith in a man who coudn't use TURBO TAX!

    We should stop worrying about CEO salaries and empower the stockholders to rein in the CEO's. We should probably do "mark to market" to try to get a more realistic evaluation of assets. We should put in tax provisions which help investors and savers instead of spendthrifts and crooks. We should reevaluate what regulation is needed in ight of the multiplicity of financial instruments.

    February 10, 2009 at 2:40 pm |
  14. Melissa

    Frankly, yes. Though the banks brought it on themselves, they're taking the rest of us down with them. It needs to be fixed.

    February 10, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  15. Lauro Silva-Brazil

    So far the banking system has been receiving bailouts and nothing at all has been done to move the economy.It´s time the bailouts had to stop,too much mobey thrown around yet.

    February 10, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  16. Gigi in Alabama

    If I had anything left over after paying bills, I would rather put it in a mason jar and bury it in my backyard. Our banking system needs a complete overhaul.

    February 10, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  17. arlene in iowa

    i've been very concerned about the banking system. Thats why i belong to a credit union instead..I believe they offer more than a bank..like a real loan..

    February 10, 2009 at 2:50 pm |
  18. JD in NH

    Our family's business depends on the ability of people to buy and refinance homes, so I'm very concerned about the banking system. It's imperative we reregulate from top to bottom so taxpayers don't end up paying for gambling debts again. That's all it was, Jack. A whole lot of people made a whole lot of bad bets and none of them had any skin in the game.

    February 10, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  19. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    I'm ready to start stuffing my cash in a mattress.......all I need now is the cash.

    February 10, 2009 at 2:55 pm |
  20. Kiran Atlanta.

    It is totally rotten. Federal Government should take control of all major banks like the way it is done in India.

    February 10, 2009 at 2:55 pm |
  21. Rod from Allentown PA

    Jack,
    What is to worry about? After they get bailed out, resume their old ways and go out of business, we can all get into the bailout line. It will be much shorter.

    February 10, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  22. james

    Very concerned. Greed predominates with these bankers and no one can bridle them.

    February 10, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  23. Mary - California

    I do not like to see how this financial mess has made a change in my bank on decent customer service.
    They, like Washington, could care less about the American people, and have their priorities elsewhere. Giving them "bailout" money, just makes them more arrogant!

    February 10, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  24. kendall from missouri

    The banking system is the central nervous system of our economy
    and right now it is so damaged that it has made main street fall into
    a crisis like we've never seen before unless we fix it things will never
    be the same because everybody needs credit unless you are a millionaire ,but the sad part to this main street will be the ones to pay
    for it financially and with all the hard times it brings!!

    February 10, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  25. Casey | Sebastopol, CA

    I'm not that concerned, but I back President Obama's plan for strict control of any institution that receives bailout funds and I hope they require a percentage of that bailout to be reflected immediately in loans made to non-banking companies and individuals.

    But Jack, with respect to banking as an industry in general - until they begin to loan money, they won't make any, either.

    Even those idiots will (eventually) realize that.

    February 10, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  26. frankie

    Of course it would have to be done carefully, but people all over America could be released from prisons. The US prison population includes, for example, aging and elderly people who were sentenced years and years ago, and people who are there for nothing except marijuana. There are certainly people in prisoners who could go home without harming society, they might actually contribute to society. We have the highest incarceration rate of any country in the entire world. Just one more system of ours that needs fixing for everyone's benefit.

    February 10, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  27. Becky

    The fat cats did not care about us. They made lots of money from all of us. We learned to make do It's time they learn.I buy what i can pay for no one will bale me out.

    Becky
    Alabama

    February 10, 2009 at 3:17 pm |
  28. Vinnie Vino

    Jack,

    Without the Congress passing a massive government stimulus plan soon to kick start our anemic economy I will become very concern about the survival of the country's banking system...

    Central Islip, N.Y.

    February 10, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  29. Barbara

    Pretty much...I do think they should work a little harder, and stop the junkets (Las Vegas?) Aw come on...transparency? Give me a break. Make some money - and get off the government gravy train.

    Sadly this mess will not help the many people who have lost their jobs, homes, etc. My house is in need of serious refurbishing, but I still have it. I pray every day that I keep my job.

    February 10, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  30. Dorothy Plummer, Dingmans Ferry Pa

    It is the dishonest jerks in the system we can not trust,the got accustomed to a life of lies and are unable to break the addiction to living hi on lies.Congress is just as bad therefore no safe guard was put into bills and stimulus and bailouts. Heaven only knows what the the fools have done to the next phase.

    February 10, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  31. Eli, Oklahoma

    I'm not concerned at all.

    Deposits are insured and someone is always willing to by their loans.

    The banks should have to suffer like the rest of us.

    February 10, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  32. jack frost

    The more one knows about the banking mess the more they should be concerned. Derevatives. CDO's, synthetics and more bonus money for the banks??? And we are giving out more bailout money to these con men. Our collective sanity is in question.

    February 10, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  33. Cori

    The taxpayers were seriously ripped off, and banks got away with it. If that's what a "banking system" is, then I am frightened. Who knows what else they're capable of!

    February 10, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  34. Betty, San Diego, Ca.

    I am so concerned about our financial situation that I feel the banks should be nationalized to prevent banking executives from robbing the public. Not only is the banking system complex but it is a moving target that is very difficult to hit because the banking executives are hiding their real debt. Until we know the real bank debts, and effective regulations are put in place and enforced, I have no confidence in our banking system.

    February 10, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  35. CJ in Atlanta

    I am very concerned that our nation's banking system has operated without checks and balances, and now we are feeling the pain of that mistake. Those who own or owned stock in our banks should have long ago demanded their Board of Directors to reel in greedy CEO's and management who permitted high-risk lending and demanded massive salaries as reward. Since that did not happen, I am reluctantly enthusiastic that our government is attempting to do so. Hopefully Big Oil will be the next industry reeled in.

    February 10, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  36. Jeff in Minnesota

    The banking system is in pretty big trouble. The good news is that most community banks are okay and are not as caught up in the mess as their larger brethren. The bad news is that it's the really big banks that are in trouble and that means that the problem is extremely large. I think this can all ultimately be addressed, but it is going to take a lot of time and, unfortunately, a lot of money.

    February 10, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  37. Richard Green

    My concern is that the banking system isn't going to be changed in any substantial way as a result of the collapses and subsequent bailouts. The same people are running them, the rules have not changed, and , as a result, this recession won't be going away any time soon. Institutions that are insolvent because of risky investments need to enter bankruptcy and be reorganized before anyone will really have any confidence in our system again. It's the lack of confidence that has put a stop to our economy.

    Rich Green
    San Clemente, Ca.

    February 10, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
  38. George

    Jack,
    If bank failures did not translate into more job losses I would not be concerned. I HATE reading the news and watching CNN and seeing the thousands of layoffs every week. WE CAN"T AFFORD MORE JOB LOSSES!! so sadly if saving the banks puts people back to work *gulp* then we must do it.

    February 10, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  39. Steve Peach - Indiana

    I'm very concerned Jack. We've bailed them out without any oversight whatsoever. They have not opend up their lending to the American people and in turn have only made things worse around the country. If the banks don't want to lend money, fine, let's just nationalize them. Then the government would be in charge of lending, and Lord knows they are good at that. The American people deserve better, and one way or the other we will be treated better than we are right now. If Chase or Bank America want to treat Americans as if we were from another country, then I say kick them out and let them deal with foreginers and let true American bankers deal with us. Use the "kiss" method Jack, Keep It Simple Stupid!!!

    Steve Peach
    Nappanee, IN

    February 10, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  40. Jenna Wade

    How concerned are you about the nation’s banking system?

    Pretty concerned considering the last time that our government had to "bail out" banks was during the "Great" Depression

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    February 10, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  41. Jeff in E. Lyme, CT

    Yes Jack, I'm very concerned. However, I believe banks that used poor judgement and caused their own problems and those who continue to reward failure should be not be bailed out. Let them go under and prosecute the CEOs.

    February 10, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  42. Mike, Long Island New York

    If my concern was to be mesured by anything, it would be as long as the distance from the earth to the orbiting ISS station

    February 10, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  43. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Enough to quote Thomas Jefferson : I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.

    February 10, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  44. James Bosheya

    What a smart move. Sad for those people that will be put at risk. Why don't they apply a better strategy that will help to stimulate the economic. Never mind, no one listens anyway...

    James from Edmonton.

    February 10, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  45. Phil, Georgia

    We have to acknowledge that the TARP has worked in a big way to atleast stop the freefall of banks from collapsing. They are reaping from over charging Americans on Adjustable rates that caused foreclosures. Since the Republican gov. failed on oversights, its the present gov. job to atleast stabilize the banks and provide regulation.

    February 10, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  46. JR in Norfolk VA

    Not a whole lot of confidence when you consider it's in the hands of rank amateurs who forget to even pay their own taxes.

    February 10, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  47. gerry

    The main reason for Wall Street falling was because Geitner told the truth about exactly how much in a ditch the country is.

    February 10, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  48. Diane, Barneveld, NY

    I'm glad I don't use banks.

    February 10, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  49. sean brizendine

    jack i am very concerned about the banking system and frankly i think everyone in this country feels the same way as me.
    "sean in santa rosa"

    February 10, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  50. lamisha

    The banks have failed the people .Mr. Obama is working hard to help U.S. Economy out and the Banks should also.

    February 10, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  51. Nancy, Tennessee

    What concerns me about the banking system is the FDIC that makes us feel warm because our money is insured. If the majority of the banks go belly up, will there be enough money to pay everyone. Of course the Feds can print more money, but how much will it be worth. When the banks failed in the Great Depression, people got 10 cents on the dollar in some cases. Our coverage for money may amount to the same; one thin dime for every dollar and that's if we are lucky.

    February 10, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  52. Susan from Twn Falls Idaho

    I am concerned about our whole system. How could we have gotten in this shape? The banks are just one facet of our economy; if some of it has failed they are just as vulnerable. If bootstraps are still in style we should all be preparing ourselves to use them?

    February 10, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  53. Kim from Midland, Michigan

    I think the whole concept of "bank" went out with the bathwater. If you want a bank, use a local credit union. I expect very soon we will see individuals forming their own lending partnerships and circumventing the entire "banking" system entirely.

    Love your commentaries and work in journalism.

    February 10, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  54. Jai in Atlanta, GA

    Very concerned. Our government can't stop spending which means we can't stop borrowing. It's an ever turning cycle that can only end if we come with something new that the rest of the world wants. I think that the state of the financial market has been known by the previous administration even before the last 4 years in office, It's called sweeping dirt under a rug. Unfortunately for Bush by the time he left office he was sliding down a dirt mound the size of Rushmore on his carpet the size of a door mat.

    February 10, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  55. Mari Fernandez, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Hi Jack, what concerns me about the banking system is that they are not lending as much as they should to get the economy going. The banks are hoarding the money we, tax payers, lent them!

    February 10, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  56. Tripp Mechanicsburg, PA

    We are talking about people here, Jack, not a "system." It's the people who are walking around in fifty-thousand dollar suits who have lost touch with the real value of what a dollar can do that are truly in control and making these very bad decisions. These are the people who believe that a piece of clothing could be more valuable than a year's worth of hard work. These are the people who see government as a nuisance. These are the people who fight regulation and oversight. These are powerful people that make Senators and Congressmen cringe. And these people are not doing their job of lending credit to those of us who are in dire need. If these "Bankers" won't give us credit, then it’s time for our government to get into the business of banking.

    February 10, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  57. Dee in Florida

    If I were not very concerned I would be a total idiot!

    The banks are just a huge pyramid scheme, and will probably come crashing down no matter what the government does. As long as the people in charge of the banks see themselves as the keepers of a private nest of golden eggs nothing will save them.

    We already know (from past experience) that just being the head of a bank does NOT make one a financial genius, or an effective leader. In fact, having worked in the banking industry for several years I can say that I found many of those in charge to be bumbling idiots!

    What scares me more than the fate of our banks is, what is going to happen when those who OWN our country start calling in the notes!

    February 10, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  58. Shelby

    The news speaks for itself on this one: Wall Street hates it, and their business is money. If the people who make their living on knowing about money hate it, it must be pretty bad. End of story.

    February 10, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  59. Adrienne

    Very, very concerned Jack. And the fact that Geithner can't even figure out his own tax return, with the instructions no less, does not make me burst with confidence in him. I would not let him prepare my taxes let alone be the head of the IRS or the "brains" behind the economic stimulus. I just hope he someone helping him that knows what they are doing!

    February 10, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  60. Darren

    Now the crooks in Washington D.C. will be giving the crooks on Wall Street banking advice ... talk about the blind leading the blind.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  61. Katiec Pekin, IL

    Regulations have to be reinstated for all financial institutions.
    They have had a free ride for far too long, being allowed to rape the
    American people for their proftis.
    Not only salaries have to become realistic, but stock given as incentives have to be monitored. We have seen these institutions
    and corporate America do anything for profits and their shareholders.
    We Americans will no longer stand for corporate America running
    our country and us. Time to make these unscrupulous, greedy
    people to walk the line.
    And maybe pay back what they have stolen from the taxpayers??

    February 10, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  62. James from Dallas

    The banks are not being held accountable for anythiing they have done. Bailout dollars can be saved if the banks are held to a higher standard of accountabilty.

    Before another penny is lent, the banks need to go out into the communities they helped to destroy and walk up and down the streets and count one-by-one, every house they own that is empty or occupied in foreclosure. Once that is determined, they need to be FORCED! to work with the people still holding on to their homes and EXHAUST ALL OPTIONS to work with these people based on their situation.

    When this is completed then let the banks come to the gov for help after they understand that exec pay will be capped at $400k PERIOD. No bonus, no diviedend, no jets, no gov money helping to buy other banks, no leisure getaways, no personal asst, no layign off employees uless they start at the top of the food instead of the bottom, oh yeah and NO EXECPTIONS! bendign these rules!!! A Federal investigation will be launched on every institution and their upper manangement seeking TARP money.

    I promise you one of 2 things will happen, either the banking system will improve or the banking system will improve! And if that doesn't work, let the banks FAIL! Im sick of them!

    February 10, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  63. Robyn Banks

    I am concerned but I think it is high time we start to worry about small scale community building. It is obvious this current system is not sustainable, nor do the rich fat cats care about us poor and proletariat folks. We must begin to take back space in our own communities. Take it back from the corporations, the politicians and the bankers who wish to see a submissive society. Lets tear down this corrupt system and put in place our own desires.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  64. keith

    No! We can't put a band aid on the problem we need reform and accountability.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  65. michelle

    If i understand what they are trying to do with these banks, then not that much. They aren't taking all the money for it the same way the stimulus bailout is and they are supposed share the bill with private investors. As to how it's run, i have confidence in the intelligent staff working for Obama.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  66. michael

    i am very scared about the economy and where it is going money is tight and i am scared about my job

    February 10, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  67. John Richmond IV

    I'm not very worried at all. I have so little cash in the bank and owe them so much more, that if the banks went down it would probably have a positive effect on my bottom line.

    Riverside, ca

    February 10, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  68. Alan Boorstein

    Trickle down economics was invented by the Conservatives as class warfare. It took too long for the bubble to break but look how the upper crust lives their lifestyles while the rest of us struggle everyday. It has finally come home to roost and they have known it that this day would come along.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  69. Barbara

    I'm very concerned. We may need lessons from the Russians on how the barter system works.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  70. Jason, Galion OH

    I don't think we should spend a dime on helping the banks. Things are getting bad, but we will never run out of banks and lawyers. Instead, we should use that money to save a dying breed, honest men

    February 10, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  71. Ann

    I'm worried about any business, including banks, that are "too big to fail." With this kind of power, everyone becomes responsible for solving any disaster. We're happy to be greedy when times are good, but no one thinks about the downside. So support small banks and businesses! Especially those with American jobs...

    February 10, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  72. frostyolman

    I'm only concerned in the sense that I am an ATM repairman. Other than that, let 'em sink...Wells Fargo is taking their people to Vegas, and I'm quite sure if some one does a little digging they will find that they also have another trip planned later in the year....I cannot afford to go to either place to work, much less play....No more tax dollars for the rich to fiddle while the rest of us burn....

    February 10, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  73. Jeff - Oregon

    The banking system concerns me far less than the bankers in charge.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  74. shelly krok

    I think the banks should have to check there credit score. We should have access to it before we choose to use that bank.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  75. Becky Chandler

    The banking system is essentially insolvent–and the best thing to do would be put it into some kind of bankruptcy of receivership, so the toxic and worthless assets could be written down and depending on the institution, they be flushed down the crapper or merged, whatever.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  76. David

    This is just the beginning. It IS much worse than they are letting us know. It is exemplified as they unveil the bailouts one by one, each being bigger than the one preceeding it. These bank are liquifiy the American taxpayers assests... Its a USA going out of business sale.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  77. John Metz (Midlothian, VA)

    As Thomas Jefferson told us years ago, we need to be careful of bankers and their processes. He said they will control and rule the land if left unchecked. Gee, hHe was really smart. Guess nobody was listining to him.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  78. Richard

    Since the "banks" are not concerned about me; why should I be concerned about them?

    February 10, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  79. Liz, Windsor, Ontario, Canada

    Is this another trick question, Jack? The U.S. banking system is obviously in its worst shape in HISTORY – all we can do now is HOPE that Geithner's plan will stop the hemmoraging of the banking system, sell off the toxic assets (whatever they are), and cause the banks to actually LOAN out credit again, which seems to be the crux of the problem – if the banks will start lending again, the economy will start moving and working again. I hope to God this plan works.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  80. Joseph Durdack

    The banking system is almost done, thats why their all STILL hiding whats really on their balance sheets, according to my sources the stock market was minutes away {less than 5000 trades} away from a TOTAL crash last fall, if we can just get {govt} to tell the WHOLE truth this country will come together like never seen in human history, God help us!!

    February 10, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  81. Sharon, Rockford, IL

    What I don't understand why they don't take immediate steps to decrease the size of these banks. One of the original arguments about AIG was they were too big to fail yet we've allowed Bank of America and Citi group gobble up more financial institutions. Perhaps if we went back to local or regional banks where the bankers knew their customers things would start to get better. Consumers have become pieces of paper. It has become obvious that big isn't necessarily better – not in banking, insurance companies, etc., etc. I don't think we should let them fail but their should be broken up and highly regulated. These guys are too greedy to be allowed to do what they want.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  82. Ian from Los Angeles

    I am at the point right now where I don't trust the banking system at all. I've even considered using my mattress as my personal financial institution.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  83. Sharon F. Sykes

    Jack,

    I, like millions of other concerned Americans, am very worried. What we ought to do is take all the Repulican Senators and Congressmen out and put them in cars and let them live without bathrooms and kitchens, just like the lady in Fort Myers today, and see just how long it takes them to get with the program.

    Sharon Sykes
    Macungie, PA l8062

    February 10, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  84. joey from seattle

    Fairly, more so I am concerned with the republicans refussal to admit the obvious. For as much as they complain about poor minorities being on welfare, they fail to realize that the TARP bill was infact WELFARE FOR BANKS, and as such they're should be provisions such as the pay cap. I feel good however, that President Obama is doing something about it with the revision of Tarp bill.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  85. Matt from IL

    We should nationalizing all the banks!

    February 10, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  86. Mickey, Ga.

    I don't give a hoot about the people who ran it in the ground but if the system goes down so do we.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  87. Kathy

    I am extremely concerned especially knowing they executives who failed will still be running the banks. We need to do what the French Minister of Finance did; the government takes over the failing banks, fires the executives and stabilizes them before returning them to the private sector.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  88. James

    We'd be closer to recovery were it not for Paulson being audaciously irresponsible during his tenure. Geithner really has to put up with a lot - namely, his predecessor's incompetence.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  89. chuck gardner

    jack,
    i'm not concerned at all. if i have learned anything this last year it would be that what is good for wall st. is not necessarily good for the american people. it is nice to see an administration doing what is good for we the people first and let wall st. fall in step or simply fall; either way it will be up to them.

    bangor, maine

    February 10, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  90. Karen - Winchester, Virginia

    Why do we need so many banks? Granted, I've got a bank account or two – buy why do I want to help a banking executive get rich? I'd rather be (and am) a proud member of a credit union – a not for profit cooperative owned by members and operated by a volunteer board.

    Those that were greedy, contributed to the subprime mess by engaging in predatory lending need to fail – as do those that have received TARP money and are using those funds to pad their portfolios rather then to help their customers . . . may need to fail.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  91. Michael, Liverpool, NY

    With so many banks going bankrupt and requesting bailout money I am greatly concerned because it seems like they do not know what they are doing then when you add that they are not even trying to help us get out of this crisis it just makes the problem seem hopeless.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  92. Scot from Edmonton

    Well, I figure the whole system is like a balloon with "$1" printed on the outside but only has a penny bouncing around inside... if inflation is controlled by the amount of hard currency in the system? Then if the balloon pops does that mean we all get to go back to cost of living as it was in the 1800 when the crooked FED started this mess?

    February 10, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  93. Norbert

    The bankers were scum before, now, & the future?
    Imagine a CEO took a cut in pay, to keep employees?
    Or the board of directors of any given big business?
    Yes, it sounds nice that an executive would act this way.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  94. Nate Meta

    I've spent all my savings trying to get another job while I 'm nearly out of employment ins, The banks got and abscounded with 350 mil geesh I could have used one quarter of a mil and not need to even write this tiny epistle...

    February 10, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  95. Red (Bklyn,NY)

    Very concerned! With the damaged that was done when those greedy CEO's were shaking down banks and companies and such, "Houston, we've got a problem".
    We don't want to see us a third world country and then wonder what happened!

    February 10, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  96. Frank Vale

    Jack, why should we want a rescue plan out of the White House that gets cheers from Wall St? Wall St got us into this mess. Owning a piece of corruption should have its price.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  97. Susan / Maryland

    Jack, how about this? While the banking execs were taking multi-million dollar bonuses and private jets, and living it up, I was getting 40 cents interest on my large savings accounts. What an incentive to put more money into these banks?

    February 10, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  98. Mark

    I am very concerned. I am in real estate finance and investments and don't quite understand how this "bad" bank is suppose to buy up all this toxic debt and function as a viable bank. we are just moving bad debt around. Just like we've been doing. It goes from the commercial bank, to the investment bank, is converted to a toxic MBS (mortgage backed security) and issued to the public on Wall Street. I don't see how shifting bad debts around helps solve anything. I don't know who has the answers but this "bad" bank idea is just that, a BAD idea.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  99. bob graham

    The real question is, "How concerned is the banking system about us". We do not do well because banks do well, banks do well when we do well. Imagine the world if all waves ended up piling up on one shore. It is not possible with water as it will correct itself by equalization. The human element of greed prevents money from doing the same thing.

    Banks owe us, we do not owe banks.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  100. david

    Bank? What bank. It seems to me that they don't want our business
    any longer. So I am not concerned unless we give them more money.
    Where happened to the requirment that they start giving loans again?
    I went in for a home loan and all but go laughed out the door. Even though my credit is supurb and have had 3 mortgages from the very
    bank that turned me down now. So SCREW THEM. I'm going to save my money.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  101. Russ Peterson

    I am very concerned. My bank, Wells Fargo, is said to be one of the most stable. Yet they continue with higher interest rates even as the government lending rate to them has lowered. For some of us who are teetering because of inflation, we just need our mortgage and credit interest rates to be a bit lower. But that won't happen because the banks, even the most stable ones like Wells Fargo, are using us, the good clients, to mop up from their fiscal disaster. Essentially those of us with jobs are paying in both inflation and higher interest for the disaster of the financial, unregulated elite who were extremely greedy. I see no real solution on the horizon.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  102. Tyrone

    I joined a credit union because of the bank fees and I just don't trust them. Look what happened last year with the banks in California !

    February 10, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  103. Vijay

    Ignorance is bliss!

    February 10, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  104. chris south bend Indiana

    Dear Jack I am very concerned about ever thing right now, but the banks have been playing games for the last eight to ten years and I just think of how much they have raked in and I feel they need to start loaning the money they already have myself its not theirs to sit on

    February 10, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  105. Bob

    Not concerned at all, Jack. Since bankers don't know how to spend bailout money appropriately, I'll just keep my money buried in the backyard. You don't get any return on it anyway. At least if I keep it they won't be able give themselves huge bonuses, lavish parties and extravagant remodels. These people need to understand that we are the ones who drive this economy and, until they get the money in our hands, it will continue to sputter.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  106. Mike,Roswell,GA

    Extremely concerned. We have more high-class crooks per square mile that anywhwere on earth. People who should be in prison are placed under house arrest in multimillion dollar penthouses. Within 50 years or so, there will be a revolution in this country. It's a matter of time.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  107. Michael Vevera

    Jack the banking system as it has been known since WWII is gone. I'm extremely worried that people just don't undertand what has really happened. The polticians don't want to tell people how dire it really is because that will make it worse, if that is imaginable. The trusted conservative (not the bad political word but the good word that means sensible) method of giving out loans that create something tangible and have a good to very good chance of being repaid disappeared over a twenty year period from 1981-2001. It only took the greed and political short sightedness of the last eight years to use the new rules that were finally created ofter 20 years of gimmickry to reduce 4 decades of real wealth creation to nothing. All hope is not lost but let's be clear: we have to start all over again and admit the tragic mistakes that were made.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  108. Chris Uhl

    I am extremely concerned about the banking system, but throwing money at it is not the answer, as we have seen from the Bush administrations strategy, or lack of one.

    We must track any money dollar by dollar to know what measures are working and which aren't. We should also take voting stock so that we, the taxpayers, have a say in these institutions, like with executive salaries.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  109. Roland (St George, UT)

    I have faith in the system. It's the idiots running it that scare me.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  110. Rod Eugene OR

    Yeah Jack, if Wall Street doesn't like Geithner's ideas, and throws up on itself, we the common people better be worried. Wait a minute. Wasn't it Wall Street that created this disaster over the last 8 years? Maybe if Wall street is against it, we should be for it!

    February 10, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  111. Cori in Cape Canaveral

    Very concerned.

    It seems that at the beginning of every American Century, we need to reign in and severely regulate some manifestation of robber-barons. Now the robber-barons are the credit industry. I wish I had more confidence in this Congress to do what needs to be done.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  112. D Gigs

    I'm worried. But that has little to do with Geithner's poorly articulated plan. Wall Street's fate has been sealed for the next year - at least. We're just beginning to realize how damaged our banking system is and any quick recovery shot is a placebo. The system has to work itself out and that will take time, not tax payer dollars.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  113. Meagan Beaumont

    'The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’ –Ronald Reagan

    Our banking system is rapidly moving from the private sector to government entities. This scares the capitalist pants right off me.

    Camarillo, CA

    February 10, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  114. Terry in Fayetteville, NC

    Let's put it this way, I just rescued the bushel corn baskets from my yard sale items and I am keeping a sharp eye out for wampum belts at my neighbour's yard sales.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  115. el don Rodrigo

    Hey Jack,

    I still remember the old coffee can and mattress account. Those will come in handy when the banks start jumping off the edge and yelling Geronimo! It won't be much but it's still something to work with.

    el don Rodrigo

    February 10, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  116. Ralph Spencer

    Not concerned at all and wish we would stop propping up bad banks.
    Let the bad ones fail as they will. Then we can use the bailout money as backing for new and cleanly run nationalized banks that would eventually be privatized. Why should we try to brace up bad institutions, it makes no sense. Let the gamblers reap the damage not the public.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  117. Carrie Stewart

    Actually, Jack, the attempts to stabilize our banking system by demanding strict, tight, muzzle accountability could really be a financial stimulus in itself. How about employing jobless topnotch financial investigators to follow these money trails and report back to the Obama Administration/Treasury Department? It would engender confidence, put people to work and provide support to American citizens, while strengthening our country. Maybe these so-called bankers would come to understand how it feels to have someone standing over their shoulders as they worked. We average employees (those of us who once had a job) don't fear accountability, as we sit for our yearly job evaluations. And, guess what? These evaluations determine if average employees a raise--–based on honest work.

    Carrie in Maryland

    February 10, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  118. Jack

    Jack,

    You wrote "when Wall Street heard the news, it immediately threw up on itself... And if Wall Street doesn’t like it, I find it difficult to imagine why the rest of us should get too excited." Did you ever think of looking at from the point of view that the existing Wall Street paradigm got us into this mess in the first place? Perhaps the rest of us should be jumping for joy precisely because Wall Street doesn't like the stim. The Wall Street crowd and the rest of the financial flunkies that bilked us all for untold sums should hang their heads in shame.

    Palm Springs, CA

    February 10, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  119. Nick W.

    I am concerned with this concept of trickle-down theory. Everyone deals with the affects of American conspicuous consumption, which makes saving money difficult. Giving stimulus money to banking institutions leaves the people an extra obstacle before economic relief comes to you and me. I am not concerned for the wealth of bank owners. They're not going anywhere. The working middle class is the group ear deep in debt, without high paying skills, and misconceptions on how to consume.

    We put Obama in the office for change, and 20th century solutions are not going to solve problems in the 21st century. He's trying to think out of the box, but is tethered by Capitol Hill draconian checks and balances. HAVE FAITH CONGRESS! HE CAN DO IT! THE PEOPLE KNOW IT!

    February 10, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  120. Cecelia

    Im more concerned about the leaders of the country who have lost all sense of common sense.

    I have never been to a bank that would make a loan to me if my application looked like theirs. They dont know what is on thier books. Huh? And they cant tell us how the money will be spent. And they are going to pay the rich very high wages while firing tens of thousands of ordinary workers.

    If we want to be sure people get loans, the government should just make the loans to those people and cut out the middle man. The banks should be allowed to fail. That is free market economics.

    No I have no faith i them. And no trust either

    February 10, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  121. Tricia

    Wall Street and Banks leveraged our country to the tune of 40 to 1...we are talking 60 trillion dollars... no there is no trust... Regan was the beginning of the end with his trickle down deregulationed economic disasterous policies. It's a shame and the Republicians are still tring to blame everyone else. No trust here. I beleive in the American people... we will save this county not Wall Street the banks or Washington.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  122. Susan Gillliland

    You forget that the greed of wall street is what got us in this mess, so of course their not happy!!!! Anything is better than helping more greedy Banks. They don't worry about making their house payments, power payments, etc....

    February 10, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  123. Bert

    Extremely concerned. Many local banks and credit unions seem OK. But no one seems to know how to fix the "Big Bank's" problems. Watching today's House Committee hearing on banks and the economy makes me believe everyone is clueless.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  124. Richard C. King

    VERY CONCERNED! Yet, for those hypocrites who supported TARP and now piously opine against any stimulus for little people, I am sure they will support Geithner's plan for the banks. They have such a better lobby.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  125. Jill-IN

    This additional comment is in regard to Banks – Wall Street and not the consumer or Main Street. Until the day banks and publicly held companies quit bowing to investment analysts every quarter and stop making arrogant hybrid products to peel away profit from every layer of the product or service they sell with a view only to their ROE, and until publicly held institutions realize and identify all the stakeholders involved ie. the depositor, investor, policy holder, annuity holder, purchaser of a vehicle, home, or product, then and only then can banks and Wall Street be trusted.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  126. Miguel Adams

    I believe government must put more presure to the bank system, they are working without enough regulation, they are doing whatever they want with tax payer money and don't receive any purnishment. why the congress don't regulate the financial system. we are suffering for other people's mistake.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  127. Danielle

    We all can learn a lesson from this, it's time to get our priorities in order. Stay positive, budget our money and be patient.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  128. AP in Fremont, Ca.

    since the beginning of time, every Democracy has fallen from corruption. Let's eliminate the present Banking system and start all over...with more efficient rules to prevent corruption. Those who ignore history are condemned to repeat it..,

    February 10, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  129. denise

    Mr Cafferty,
    It's too late to be worried. You know we were never told the complete truth, because the powers don't think we can "handle the truth". For Pres. Bush, it would not have been in his best interest to tell (very poor timing) and forObama, it would not be in his best interest to tell either (again timing). De-regulation created a "big o'l mess", all the "foxes were in all the hen houses" and they were there to get as much as they could of all that was there.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  130. ed cunha

    Jack, I think REM said it best, "It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine". When all this is over and the ones who survive it look back, what will they say?

    February 10, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  131. kerry

    very concerned. so concerned i think we should spend a little on therapy for all these fat cats who seem to be experiencing a disconnect from reality. i don't know maybe make them handle there personal income in pennys only. there's an idea

    February 10, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  132. Corey, Ohio

    I'm not. When the banks are having tough times big brother steps in with a blank check. When I have tough times I get a forecloser notice. Sounds to to me like cries of the masses is turning into actions.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  133. Nicole

    I am not an economist and still have a job right now. It seems to me with the bank bailout the government thinking of buying the toxic liabilities and backing them with "our money so investors will buy them and then turning around and not refinancing because the loans they had a hand in overinflating, the value of the the houses are too low to refinance but yet they want their bad (toxic) loans off their books and the government with our money back them for investors if they buy them and the government paying too much, seems hyporitical to me. It is the "people" who need help and the banks are not going to do it. what a joke the new "bailout is!" Government is just as corrupt as the bankers with their golden parachutes. They don't work for us – Nancy Pelosi says "let them eat cake!" She almost danced a jig when they passed the stimulus they concocted – the American people are going to give up – my own profession (medical transcription) is almost down the tubes with so much of it going overseas where they work for 3/4 less than we can – we can't work for those wages, the cost of living is too high.

    I am not sure how much more hope we can hold onto.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  134. Christine, Thousand Oaks Ca

    I am very concerned about our banking system, and anything else Bush and his cronies had their hands in the past 8 years.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  135. Marietta

    Pres. Obama is giving us all a PHS in economics in laymen terms. Bush never did, nor cared enough . I Know now and under stand what Obama said in Florida to us all. Banks did not care what loans they gave out to who for morgages, if we could afford it or not. Why? Banks then turned around and sold our morgages to investors on the stock markets. Banks always got their money, win, win for them, but not for investors. Liars and crooks even to investors!

    February 10, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  136. Al in IA

    The truth is all that Reagan/Clinton de-regulation permitted deposIt banks where you have your checking and savings accounts to merge with investment banks where you speculate on markets with your retirement accounts. It is not merely a coincidence that the collapse of oil futures and other commodity futures coincided with the collapse of these major banks; they all were up to their necks in commodity speculation and lost their shirts when commodities took a nose dive. We are simply bailing out legalized gambling on commodities.

    And by the way, if Wall Street doesn't like it, it is probably good for main street.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  137. Ann M. Gutierrez, Chicago, IL

    We have to be concerned about the banking system, but when I think it was their irresponsible actions that contributed to this financial crisis, I say let them go down and let the strong survive. That is just what they say about Main Street America. Let them suffer the consequences of their stupid actions.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  138. marty yates

    So, Jack, when did you and the rest of the nation start to let wall-street decide what is good for the country? The fact that they are running scared might mean it's a better plan than we think

    February 10, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  139. Mike Dufour

    I am not an economist but I play one on tv. I begged my parents to sell the house in Las Vegas for triple what they paid for it, but they didn't listen. Now that real estate market has crashed like every other market. When the dow hit 14,000 oct of 07 I was screaming for my parents to get there affairs in order for retirement. Once again I was not listened to and we all know what happened to our 201ks.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  140. kay Wimberly

    Jack:

    I am extremely concerned about our banking system.

    My big question to Obama is: WHAT IS PLAN "B"?

    February 10, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  141. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    I'm concerned about the nations banking system because the robbers don't wear mask when I'm making a deposit. They smile and say "thank you for doing business with us" as I leave with a small piece of paper with a long paper trail to who knows where.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  142. HA in VA

    I suspect the "problem" Wall Street is having has to do with the announced controls and accountability. This round won't just be free money that they can use as they please. Obviously, the million dollar bonuses are out if your bank gets any of this round of bailout funds. And surviving on a mere $500k per year just isn't civilized, is it? I wouldn't care if it wasn't my retirement they are playing Russian roulette with. I hope the Administration stays the course on this and cleans up this unholy mess. Maybe prosecuting a few of the worst offenders would make them see the light.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  143. Natoya

    I'm very concerned about the banking crisis, but I'm sure if any of the banks that recieved money from the first bailout should get any more money. I know it sounds harsh but maybe they shouldn't be given any more support. I feel like if the present banks go belly up other banks that can follow the rules could establish and maybe prosper.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  144. Derek

    The Bush administration left the world a mess of biblical proportions...
    The economy is broken, and we all know why. I hope to God that hindsight is 20/20, because History needs to learn from the past 8 years of Partisan politics.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  145. Don in West Virginia

    Not very. It is a good signThou, If the wall street pundits don't like the stimulus package, it must be good for main street.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  146. Mark in Portland,OR

    What people have to understand is that nationalizing banks is not going to solve the corruption or bad practices of banks. Greed can not be cured; there is creed and corruption in the private sector and there is greed and corruption in Washington. No matter who controls or regulates our banking system, there will always be someone looking out for themselves and their best interests. It sucks but its true.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  147. Al Bozzo

    The banking system is broken and it's the banking system that broke it! Everyone in this country should be very concerned about it. The Treasury Secretary pretty much layed out the future for our financial system and wasn't to shy about disguising his plans – it's called r-e-g-u-l-a-t-i-o-n. I felt his tone was tough, yet reassuring. The financial industry is having the hardest time owning the nightmare they have created. Did you really expect Wall St. to like our new Secretary's plan??? The free ride may be finally over...

    February 10, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  148. Tim

    We need a federal Bank! Buy up all the bad debt and nationalize some of the worst banks. Then refinance all the mortgages and credit card debt. Eventually we can get people in houses and using credit lines they can afford and maybe they can even save a little. Then the bank can begin providing loans for green industry and technological innovations. You can even provide green only car loans and provide loans to homes and businesses to help them upgrade. Finance the entrepreneurial spirit that flickers within our souls, without gouging US All like corporate banks!

    February 10, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  149. Suzan - Peachtree City, Ga.

    . I believe everyone should be worried about these mega banks, developer brokered banks, etc., such as they are. They gambled with the peoples money and that is was not appropriate. Personally, who ever was responsible for these fiasco's, I think should be prosecuted and put where the sun doesn't shine. GREED has been the name of the Game for the last 8 years. Now we all have to pay the price, is that fair, NO?

    February 10, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  150. Michael

    Honestly I believe that our economy has gone past the point of turning around.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  151. Saffron

    And why, pray tell, should we give a rat's derriere about what Wall street thinks at this point?

    Perhaps its time we all stopped looking at that ticker and decided to do what's right for this country. Wall street will eventually follow.

    I know this isn't the way things work right now, but we've all been slaves to that Street for too long. They got us here, they will not get us out. We need to do that ourselves, and when we do, they'll follow.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  152. Alex

    Jack,

    I am more concerned that the same idiots are still running these banks regardless of where the money comes from. Seriously? Pay Bonuses? SERIOUSLY? The regular people who "get-it" should be allowed to vote these boneheads off the island.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  153. Ralph

    Jack, we as a nation can not borrow our way out of this. Manufacturing jobs have been leaving this country for longer than the past 8 years. Too late to get back??? We as a nation can't survive without a strong manufacturing base. Where will people work after bridges and roads have been built and the debt has grown? It just doesn't work.. Sooner or later the bill comes due...

    One other point, seems there is a need for permanent employment on our borders but I haven't seen that fullfilled in this so called stimulus package...

    Think someone got the foreclosure notice sent to Treasury but someone failed to open.......

    February 10, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  154. Gary in Denver

    How can we not be concerned? This is Reagonomics on steroids! Where is Milton Friedman when you need him?

    February 10, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  155. rpb Viburnum Mo

    The money masters have made billions while sucking our money into a black hole. Remember Ross Peroe "THAT SUCKING SOUND" we are now paying for our stupidity. The banking system as we know it is about over good luck out there.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  156. Pete in Panama City

    In order to bail out one needs a parachute which works best with an ejection seat . The parachutes are unfortunately only for the bigshots these days and not for regular people.Ejection seats for Senators and up only.So the only thing the little man can do,is to get hold of the bible under the seat in the (financial) airliner and start praying.God have mercy on our souls and retirement.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  157. Dan Lemon, Fl

    Jack,
    Is anyone really surprised by this? For years we have been electing people without any morals or ethics. We are only receiving what we asked for. If we do not hold our officials accountable then why are we surprised. Our government reflects us. Unless and until we demand that our public officials serve the people and not special interest, lobbiest and business then we will continue receiving b.s. We need to wake up and understand that the experts got us into this mess and do not have a clue as to how to get us out. It is going to be up to us and it just might take a revolution in attitude.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  158. Carol

    I don't believe we should have given a dime to the banks to begin with! They are the ones who got us into this mess. These corrupt banks should have been forced to close their doors, and new banks given a chance to work. I believe the stimulas package may work only if we keep it out of the hands of the banks, and only if we have full disclosure of where our money is going.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  159. Claudia in Chicago

    The rich will still find away around the new laws to bleed America dry. The banking system will survive, unfortunately! While the poor still won't be able to afford a bank account!

    February 10, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  160. Rory Murray

    Jack,
    We're not just concerned, we're scared. My wife and I are trying to renegotiate our loan with Wachovia. THEY recieved a bailout. We just want a reduction on the principle. We've never been late with our mortgage payment. Where is OUR bailout?
    -Rory Murray
    San Bernardino, CA

    February 10, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  161. Karl from SF, CA

    Our banks are in bad shape, mostly self-inflicted, and unless the feds take the bull by the horns, they will be filling their pockets with bailout cash until they are stopped. The CEOs need to be removed and prosecuted.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  162. Ross

    I don't know about you Jack, but I got most of my money tide up in hard assests like: Gold and Silver. The fiat money system by design, was bound to burst and now we're starting to see just the begining signs of crack. What you're seeing is just the tip of the iceberg.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  163. Dana in Las Veagas

    Well Jack not much. In a system that is suppose to have some of the brightest minds in finance and now they need the federal government to bail them out do to misguided investments. Unlike you and me they are too big to fail and have direct access to the government. You and I go down the tubes, they are thrown a life line. Then blame it on us for overreaching buy spending too much on things we can not afford.
    Who loaned us the money? They did, my mother was a loan officer years ago and often told people that the could not get the loan as they would be overextended. Now they give you a credit card and even if you make all of your payments on time and never pay the minimum they double your APR after receving $45 Billion or more in TARP monies.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  164. Ross

    The people that got us into this mess are the people that are going to try to fix it? I'm VERY CONCERNED!!

    February 10, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  165. Ken Oakes

    Jack:

    Trickle down economics really do work. I have been waiting for years for
    mine to get here. It arrived today.....I found a penny in the parking lot.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  166. Pat Sczerbicki

    Concerned about the banks? The banks were forced, by the Federal Government, to give loans to illegal immigrants and people who had a poor credit history. I live in Arizona, where the economy has been nearly destroyed by a Democrat governor who is now a national problem, as she has recently been named head of the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security (Janet Napolitano). While I can still say it without being arrested: God help us all.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  167. Robert

    Of course I am concerned, the US financial markets are the cornerstone to the world's economy. Our president gives a press conference that does little to reassure the world that he has it under control. He may be eloquant, but he sure lacks positive substance. The market crash today is the world's response to his press conference.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  168. Dave B.Iron Mountain Michigan

    Very concerned, I have two accounts. One is a larger bank,and the other a credit union. I have more faith in the credit union,service is much better as well.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  169. shawn ratcliffe

    Very worried. This started long ago, and was kept from us all. Now we pay for it by loaning money, and taking hits with interest rates, lowered credit limits and no real accountability. It has been my hope that President Obaba will be able to get this straight, and I think he is on the right track. I do think that maybe it's time to stop the currently bailed out companies from being able to trade on any open market, until such time as they accept that they need to account for their use of our funds, and begin the process of paying it back. Shareholders should not benefit from our tax dollars.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  170. Dana Ives

    OKayyy – So everyone's concerned about the bailout. What does the common fudd without the PhD in economics DO about his family's financial future? Cash in what little remains of his retirement account, buy guns, ammunition and hole up in Montana?! What does the common fudd do? NO ONE IS ANSWERING THIS!

    February 10, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  171. CHITOWNGAL07

    I am very concerned!!! I am concerned that we are borrowing from Peter to pay Paul and so on and so forth!! I am concerned that Congress dished out money like they had a money tree in the backyard without asking for accountability and thought that that would fix the economy.......now we are going to throw more money after bad.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  172. Tom Bailey

    It is hard to build a solid economy with rotten material. The whole economic foundation is infested with parisites.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  173. Marie

    I am very concerned about the bank bailout scam. It has occurred to me that taxpayers are loaning their own money to themselves now. Why would anyone have to pay any interest on a loan they made to themselves? A scam is a scam, whether it's Madoff and his Ponzi scheme or the banks getting billions from taxpayers and giving it to themselves. Disgusting.
    Marie from Idaho

    February 10, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  174. Marcelo

    We, as taxpayers are saving Chase/Wamu with our money but they are using this extra money offering $100 if you open a free checking account. Result ...we and our kids are paying the WAMU marketing campaign.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  175. Conor in Chicago

    Concerned? Not at all. I've already accepted the disintergration of the United States. Now it's just time to get ready for it. Once our money is worthless you'll know what I'm talking about. Once you're trying to get to Canada to escape the draft you'll know what I'm talking about. Once you're in prison for protesting you'll know what I am talking about.

    This is just the beginning. Welcome to economic slavery.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  176. j/NJ

    How concerned are you about the nation’s banking system?

    The banking system has very little if any credibility, indeed like all institutional bureaucracies all banks are mired in needless self serving regulation or worse...since the American people have not been told the truth as it relates to the magnitude of financial crisis, the failing banks should not under any circumstances receive tax payer assistance...

    February 10, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  177. Wayne Colflesh

    Jack,
    The congress was quick to ask the workers to take cuts when the automakers came to them for help.
    The banking industry, from CEO and executives on down to front line workers should be taking a share of the hit- anyone making more than the national median income of $50,000. I applaud the limit of $500,000 per year on top executives, but it should go all down the line. The stockholder's have already taken a hit; I watched my Citigroup sharevalue plummet from about $47 per share to below $3 per share.
    Wayne in West Chester

    4

    February 10, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  178. Chris

    I don't really understand all of the economics of the current situation. What I do understand is that the majority of Americans are against this new "stimulus". Our government tell us this is necessary to avert some type of cataclysmic catastrophe. Well for whom? The rich? The middle class? The poor? I know, Iknow, we NEED to do this because millions of people will lose their jobs, families will be ruined, fortunes lost, Mothra and Godzilla will rise from the great abyss and stomp out all life. I would like one of 2 things to happen. First: No TARP II. Second: All Wall Street CEO's shall be publicly flogged, and sodomized with Rosie O'Donnells toothbrush. When are We as a "People" going to tell our government what to do? Instead of vice-versa?

    February 10, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  179. B in Chicago

    I'm not concerned at all. In fact I hope the entire financial system fails in spectacular fashion . The crooks on Wall Street, the brain-dead CEO's, and idiots on Capital Hill will then have to answer before the enraged mob, and I don't foresee a bailout.

    February 10, 2009 at 5:53 pm |