September 18th, 2008
05:56 PM ET

How is the financial crisis affecting you?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/18/art.ny.papers.gi.jpg caption="The financial crisis is worsening on a daily basis."]

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

If you think the fallout from the crisis in the financial system is barely touching your life, think again.

The Dow, Nasdaq and S&P 500 are all down around 20 percent so far this year which means whether or not you've had the stomach to look at a statement, your 401(k) Is getting hit hard.

Thinking of taking your money out of the market and using it to buy a home instead? Besides the risk of selling stocks at a loss, banks are tightening lending standards making it tougher to get mortgages. And that's not just for people with bad credit.

Using your credit cards to get by until things start to clear up isn't such a great option either. Miss a payment and expect to get whacked by your credit card company. USA Today points to penalty rates as high at 32 percent.

Finally all those hundreds of billions in government loans and bailouts for AIG, Fannie Mae-Freddie Mac, Bear Stearns and the like is money you and I, the taxpayers, are on the hook for as well.

Here’s my question to you: How is the deepening financial crisis affecting you?

To read the rest of this entry

Mark writes:
Our credit cards went over the limit last month and the credit card company raised our interest rates very high. We are trying to get a second card to close out that credit card but that is proving very difficult even though our credit is very good. This is terrible for us.

Samuel from Orlando, Florida writes:
Jack, it's affecting me through my small business. Even with a good business idea and good personal credit, it's hard to get a bank to take a chance on a start-up. Something has got to change.

Martin from Georgia writes:
I am very worried because I think the worst may still come.

Audrey from Garland, Texas writes:
When George W. Bush took office, a certain stock I own was selling at $42 per share. Today, that same stock, which I still own, closed at 33 cents a share. Need I say more?

Rob from Virginia writes:
It’s not. I don’t live beyond my means, and I have a cash stash.

Charlie writes:
How has this financial crisis affected me? This old conservative Republican is going to vote for Barack Obama. That is how much this has affected me.

Stuart writes:
Well, I'm cutting back on everything I don't absolutely have to have. Like cable. So you tell me.

Filed under: US Economy
soundoff (162 Responses)
  1. Linda in Bisbee, AZ

    I can't afford cheese anymore.

    September 18, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  2. Malka D. Oceanside CA

    making for great jokes on Leno and Letterman at least I am kept laughing my pockets are more empty and I do not drive anymore so its getting better.

    September 18, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  3. Jason, Koloa, HI

    It makes me want to punch people in the face who are dumb enough to believe that right-wing crap about how "less regulation is good for the economy". Government needs to REGULATE business to keep things like this from happening. THAT'S WHY WE HAVE A GOVERNMENT. I'm too afraid to look at my 401k yet.

    September 18, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  4. Paulette Dallas PA

    Thankfully we are doing fine. It is our son and his family that I worry about. We have paid many bills for them to help them out and bought them a new computer,washer,etc. That's money out of my pocket but they need this help now.

    September 18, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  5. David, Tampa, Fl

    It makes finding a job, any job, even lousy paying ones difficult. Unfortunately, I dont have a golden parachute like CEO's that trash companies or big wig politician who can rely on their business buddies to grease their palms.

    September 18, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  6. Terry in Hanover County

    We've given up refinancing our house, stopped eating out, drive sparingly, and cut down even on necessities. This Christmas we're giving our relatives cards and homemade fudge, nothing else. If they don't like it, too bad. I'll tell them to stop whining; the bad economy is just a figment of their imagination. Wonder if Phil Gramm will dress up as The Grinch for the holiday season?

    September 18, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  7. Jenny Rome Ga

    We found out Monday that my husband's job is probably going to be eliminated in October. He works at the local Technical College and they are combining with qnother TC resluting in many dupliations of positions. My husband's job is one of these jobs. Since then I missed a day of work due to a migrain, been nausiated and generally very crabby to be around. Jack I work for the Dept of Labor here in GA. you owuld think that helping my husband find another job would be a snap. It isn't when you have college graduates competing with highschool grads and less for jobs at McDonalds.

    September 18, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  8. Mike Smith, New Orleans LA

    Most of my retirement funds are in a privatized 401K fund like the Republicans want Social Security to be. In the eight years of the Bush administration, my total balance has decreased by %25 even though I contribute regularly. I just have to postpone my retirement until 2087.

    September 18, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  9. Jayne

    My home was an investment meant to be a primary nest egg for retirement. Now it's a nest.

    September 18, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  10. Robin

    Well I was thinking of taking early retirement in 2 years when I am 55 yrs old. At this point it will take at least 2 years to recoup what I have lost in my 401K . Which means I guess I am working till I'm 75!!

    September 18, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  11. just a voter in Kansas

    I had planned to sell my house about now, but this is making me think twice about it. I have no stocks, and my modest savings account is earning practically nothing now– I may as well put the money under my mattress. My grown son's retirement account has dropped a lot, and he doesn't have the kind of account where his employer matches.
    Other than that, there's the gas prices and higher food prices. Otherwise, everything is just fine at the moment, but who knows what's next. Each day brings financial surprises. I remember the old folks talking about the Great Depression. I'm voting Democratic.

    September 18, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  12. Robin

    Well I was thinking of taking early retirement in 2 years when I am 55 yrs old. At this point it will take at least 2 years to recoup what I have lost in my 401K . Which means I guess I am working till I'm 75!!
    Fort Lauderdale, FL

    September 18, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  13. NORA, Gainesville, FLORIDA

    Jack, I'm a single mom who is unemployed, what do you mean how is it impacting me? Just summed it up.

    September 18, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  14. Gwen Barry

    Lake Worth, FL

    Jack; I'm the owner of handmade company who sells products to small businesses mostly in US, but also global. I've bootstrapped my business for the last three years. I have some debt and I'm working on the pay as you go to manufacture. I rely on my customers to pay as they order and they have been happy to for the most part. Other than that, I'm broke. I'm building my dream through all of this. And most of my customers are too. For both of us, the crisis will be an unfolding future... Fear is not an option. It doesn't do any good, anyhow, generally it is a dangerous way to approach anything. I think the opportunities for the American People through this crisis is to roll up our sleeves and reach out to one another to help. Here is the time for building character! The only leader I see with any is Obama.

    September 18, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  15. Kevin in Boston

    Fuel is going back up, and the value of a dollar is going back down. So life is gonna cost me more. Tell me something new.

    September 18, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  16. Judy, Exeter, Calif,

    So far it has not affected us. We have been nervous about this economy ever since Bush was elected, and chose not to gamble our retirement in the stock market. We have taken fewer gains, but in the long run we think we should be ok. Our mortgage is small, with a fixed interest rate, no credit card debt and my husband still has his job. I think we are fine for now, but we don't know what's down the pipeline. These are worrisome times.

    September 18, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  17. Deb n Texas

    Jack, I was just about to call and ask you to loan me some money for gas next week. Hell, it is affecting me really bad. I have to go light on grocery to have enough money for gas. Maybe, I'll just call one Palin or McCain to make me a gas loan. Do you think they will respond Jack or they will just turn my question around like they have been doing at the Town Hall Meeting. They don't answer question, they just start talking about anything like they are hard of hearing.

    September 18, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  18. LaWanda from Orangeburg, SC

    It's just allows me to think less and less of the American goverment. The only person in this world we can really and truly trust and depend on is God. With everything that's going on God help us if we have to endure 4 more years of the same.

    September 18, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  19. Ex-Dem. for McCain

    We lived throw hard times before, but our Nation and we will to work harder and save money. Our democrat Party could have stop this open check-book for bush, but they did not. Hillary voted for the War. That's why were voting for McCain and Palin!! We need real leadership in time of crisis!!

    September 18, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  20. Iris, GA

    Not affecting me now, because had to cash in my stock to pay mortgage....no IRA now.

    September 18, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  21. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    What financial crisis? I'm not affected at all as long as I keep my blinders on and vote for McCain.

    September 18, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  22. Bernie of Lowell, MA

    Our business is home delivery of food – and we're hurting for business.

    Things will only get worse as customers have to choose between the fast food and paying for higher energy costs this winter.

    September 18, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  23. Barbara - 65 yr old white female in NC

    It scares the Hell out of me !!

    What will we do when "our government" wakes up one day and says "UH OH – the FDIC can no longer guarantee your money" ?

    By then the doors will be locked and the fat cats will have ALL the money.

    September 18, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  24. Annie Kraft Naples FL

    we cannot do many things we used to in this economy, ie vacations, going out, we have to buy cheaper cuts of meat, economize on all our groceries and keep our trips to a minimum because of gasoline prices. I wish someone would bail us out.....we have a lot less debt than these big financial giants and are far more reliable in paying our debts

    September 18, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  25. Jan Davis, Knoxville, TN

    Since I have no money to invest on Wall Street and my insurance policies are not with AIG, I am just struggling along trying to keep up with the cost of gas, electricity, and other necessities. In Tennessee we have been fortunate up to the recent hurricane of having gas prices around $3.60/gallon. But in one day last week our gas prices went up to $4.99/gallon and many stations ran out of gas. Most people are struggling mightily and it is a scary time for her country. We need a change in direction by electing Barack Obama as our President and showing the Republicans they know nothing about how to handle our economy.

    September 18, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  26. Jim


    My wife and I worked hard for decades to build up a nice retirement nest egg. We're now watching it evaporate even as we care for elderly parents and contribute to college funds for two grandsons. Why, oh why did we ever let Dubya and his buddies take over, and why would we ever consider giving the republicans yet another four years. Bill Clinton proved that democratic economic policies can clean up republican economic messes. We need Obama, NOW!

    September 18, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  27. Terri from Virginia

    I am being even more cautious with my money. My Grandmother used to hide her money in her bed, in the hems of her curtains, and even in her back yard. This makes me wonder if she wasn't on to something. You won't draw interest but it should still be there by morning.

    September 18, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  28. Rochelle, Snellville, GA

    Well, looks like I won't be retiring anytime soon and also doesn't look much like I’ll be able to pay my next internet Invoice so, I’ll probably have to text you the answers to your daily Blogs if this keeps up... O wait, My cell is under the same company. I'll just send up smoke signals for my answers. Yeah, it’s going that good jack.

    September 18, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  29. Charles, Lansing, MI

    Everyonewith reirement accounts or other investments are affected. In fact, everyone not connected to the oil or agricultural industries are hurt by this crises. Those industries have so much government protection and subsidies that now the precedent has been set they should be nationalized so the government can pump some money in to replace that spent on the dogs.

    September 18, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  30. Annie, Atlanta

    I'm afraid to check our retirement accounts, to be honest, Jack.

    September 18, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  31. KC in Ohio

    I think that we will survive, Jack; But it's the next 2 or 3 generations that I'm concerned about.... Their bills are piling up and they aren't working yet, assuming there will be jobs for them... It's sad what we have saddled them with..

    September 18, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  32. Scott in Oregon.

    We were lucky enough to get a good mortgage with bank of America and we were young enough to take out our 401ks months ago and start saving on our own. This was all lucky, but the value of our new home will continue to go down. Everybody feels this one, Jack.

    September 18, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  33. Buster in Poughkeepsie, NY

    Let me tell you Jack, this financial crisis is a real pain in the neck AND a pain in the butt...literally. Not because my stock values withered to nothing, for I cashed in my chips before the market went belly up, and not because I fear my bank will go bust, as I withdrew all my funds from the vaults a few months ago. No, the real reason I can't sleep at night, the reason I'm being crippled by this deepening financial crisis is because of that huge lump of loot I have stuffed under my mattress.

    September 18, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  34. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Jack, it will raise my taxes. How so you ask. Well the bad news helps Obama. If Obama wins my taxes go up. Pretty simple really. I'm not worried about my 401K etc. because I won't retire for a long time, and this will either be fixed, or all of civilization will have collapsed. Either way not much I can do about it.

    September 18, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  35. A.J. Spiker

    Answer: How isn't it!

    September 18, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  36. Sara, Boston

    . . . Jack, If it gets any worse for me, I will be forced to try and
    redeem old S & H green stamps that I had lying around the house.

    September 18, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  37. Maggie Muggins From Selwyn

    Not at all Jack. Our household has 4 pensions coming in each month from the government and all our health care costs are covered through universal health care so everything seems to be tickety boo around here but then this is Canada.

    September 18, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  38. Katiec Pekin, IL

    It is terrifying me.
    Where is the money coming from in all these bailouts?
    We as a country are already almost bankrupt so how
    can they find these billions upon billions of dollars to
    fund these horrendous mismanagements?
    Are they printing additional money or are they
    borrowing more?
    However they are doing it, we, the people, will have
    to pay. That is once we find a job.

    September 18, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  39. Lori in MI

    It's scaring the bejeezus out of me! We haven't even began to feel the effects of the fallout yet. The current administration just keeps getting us in deeper and deeper. How many Zillions do we owe China now?

    September 18, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  40. Raj, Toronto

    It means 95 percent of Americans will be crushed, and the top 5 percent will be enjoying the idiotic people help vote them into power again for the republicans.

    September 18, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  41. Ryan -Galesburg, IL

    Well, I lost my business and then saw my Washington Mutual credit card rate more than double ONLY because they couldn't manage their own finances. The fat cats are begging for handouts, which I would never stoop low enough to do. On the up side, I do have more time to watch Cafferty File throughout the week...

    September 18, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  42. Buster in Poughkeepsie, NY

    Let me tell you Jack, this financial crisis is a real pain in the neck AND a pain in the butt…literally. Not because my stock values withered to nothing, for I cashed in my chips before the market went belly up, and not because I fear my bank will go bust, as I withdrew all my funds from the vaults a few months ago. No, the real reason I can’t sleep at night, the reason I’m being crippled by this deepening financial crisis is because of that huge lump of loot I have stuffed under my mattress.

    September 18, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  43. Ed from Durango, Colorado

    It is scaring me. So much for trust in the system.

    September 18, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  44. Jim in Puyallup

    For those who have lost alot of money, stop WHINGING no one cares, ask your leader...Bush.

    September 18, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  45. Mike in St. Pete Beach, Florida

    I just checked the website. My 401(k) has taken the biggest hit since I have had it...15 years.

    September 18, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  46. Doug from Bloomington IN

    I haven;t even looked. I'm sure our portfolio is suffering. I'm unemployed involuntarily and can't seem to find or acquire jobs that I am more-than-qualified for. If something comes my way, they're not willing to pay me what I'm worth...which isn't much due to my fairly simple lifestyle.

    In other words: To hear this lousy news about the major banks going belly up and the government bailing them out while not creating a climate where I can find a job I like; well, you can probably figure it out from there, Jack.

    September 18, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  47. Paul S. Columbia, SC

    I am one of the lucky ones. I went blind from an eye disease 3 years ago and; lost my job at 63; cashed in my depleted 401to eat on, took equity out of my home to pay my mortgage, taxes, and insurance; sold my home at a loss after two years on the market; lost my car which I can't drive anyway; and live on social security and a tiny pension. Wall Street mess hurting me? The only way I can be hurt any more would be if some banker jumps out of the window and lands on me.

    September 18, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  48. Mike, Lorain, Ohio

    Thanks for the reminder, now I've have to go pay my monthly student loan and somehow manage to find a job after being unemployed for nearly two years.

    September 18, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  49. joe providence R.I.

    Jack, I live paycheck to paycheck, just paying the bills, puting gas in the car and having enough food to eat is a challange. still I donated a little extra i had to obama, Because I think he cares and understands the middle class and the poor much more than mcain, and when i see him be called an elitist and the trumpster backing mcain, than look at thier tax plans it's clair to see who's on the side of the middle class.

    September 18, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  50. Michael - Las Vegas

    I can't refinance my home even though my credit score has gone up and I'm considered low risk. It's because I'm self employed and the banks would rather see me get a paycheck from someone other than myself, maybe like Lehman Brothers.

    September 18, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  51. Linda, Ruther Glen, Va

    Oh Jack, do you really want to know? Well lets see, I bought a home in 2003, had a great job, had a credit score up in the 800's, paid my bills on time, was putting money into a 401k, had a savings account, very responsible me, UNTIL this year. Now, I'm unemployed since January, longest period in my full life. My home has been on the market since Feb and it hasn't sold and the price decreases to try to sell it have been overwhelming. My savings is all gone. I'm a single parent and my daughters savings is all gone. The 401k money is all gone. And in the next two months I could very well be homeless as the Sept mortgage payment didn't get paid. There are few jobs and lots of people unemployed. And the newest thing is mapquesting future employees to see how far they live from workplace. Land of opportunity NO MORE

    September 18, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  52. Meg Ulmes

    It frightens me a bit. Especially when I see Bush not trying to spin anything or make it look better than it is. I hope that the money I have on deposit in a local bank is safe–but I'm not sure. It seems like our whole world is out of kilter, uncertain and treacherous. I don't trust our current administration to get us through it–especially because their actions or lack of action have created this situation. I worry even more when I hear McCain trying to place blame, when he's already admitted he lacks economic knowledge. If Americans put him in the White House who knows what might happen. I hope that the God our money tells us to trust in is out there making sure that we get through these dark days.

    Troy, Ohio

    September 18, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  53. Kyle, DuPont WA

    The whole financial crisis has made we wonder what ever happened to the ideas of community, financial responsibility, and philanthropy. It seems to me that a very few very rich individuals are doing everything they can to protect their own millions and golden parachutes at the expense of the average American. For far too long large corporations have been more concerned about the stockholder than the customer and finally it is turning around to bite them. Maybe this crisis will make us all focus on quality, the customer, and returning our manufacturing base to American soil.

    September 18, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  54. Beth Bangert, IN

    The dogs eat better and get to go out more often than hubby and I do. Just found out that his job is gone. Try living on $800 mth SS.

    September 18, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  55. Kolis

    The unfortunate thing is... I don't know yet Jack. However, since "WE" are bailing out these companies, can "WE" get a management and operations audit with that? Somehow I can't help but think that the Mortgage Melt Down is NOT the only culprit. $85 billion should at least buy an extra measure of public transparency and accountability.

    September 18, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  56. frank from phoenix

    The crisis hasn't affected me one bit. When Palin got the nomination I sold everything and buried gold in the backyard. I was already prepared.

    September 18, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  57. Willow, Sheldon Iowa

    I inherited a small amount when my Dad passed away. Most of it is his IRA (which I will get 1/5 of for the next 5 years). I lost $8000 dollars the first day, I'm afraid to go look at it today. I could live on $8000 for almost a year, I would apply for Social Security Disability, but my insurance runs out in about 11 months. so I'd have no health insurance until (and IF) I get accepted for disability. So I'm screwed either way.

    September 18, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  58. Anthony Smith

    I can't pay for gas to get to work. I can't pay for daycare so I can go to work. I can't feed the kids. I can't go on vacation. I can't afford a tip for the deli person who gives our children a free piece of cheese in the deli section. Most importantly, I can't afford to donate to any of these PATHETIC candidates!

    Wildwood Crest, NJ

    September 18, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  59. Deb, Whitehouse, OH

    Jack: It's wiping out my son's college tuition fund! How do you tell your kid the government may have ruined his chance to continue his education at his college of choice?

    September 18, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  60. Allen L Wenger

    Not much! I am already living in a van down by the river, I sneak into town at night to eat out of garbage cans, my dog left me for a better life in the kennel, and I hear it's going to be a hard winter.

    Mountain Home, ID

    September 18, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  61. Brian Anderson

    It has forced me to temporarily give up seeking a job in a government position like I would prefer, and search for one in the private sector. As odd as that sounds, it's true; it is woefully hard to find a career in the government right now, despite the oncoming SES retirement crisis.

    Annandale, VA

    September 18, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  62. steve o of barstow

    Jack if can recoup the mega mansions, the fast sports cars, the private jets and diamonds all those great CEO'S and their minions happen to collect while Bush has run the country in the ground. We may be less buried in the soil of his financial depression, still will need plenty of help getting out of this hole.
    Steve o of barstow.ca

    September 18, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  63. Tara

    My family has cut out extras, but it still feels like we're waiting for the other shoe to drop. Rising heating oil prices made a big dent in our budget last winter. I've also watched the cost of my modest grocery list rise by more than 30% over the last year.

    I am not lamenting the passing of luxuries like movies and restaurants, but rather the long term gains for my family (like college and retirement) which are taking a hit for short-term needs like food and warmth. Until salaries keep up with inflation, even a frugal American family will be feeling the pinch.

    September 18, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  64. mitchell ,arkansaw

    i made some money on my gold investments. i will be donating some of the profit to the barack obama campaign. he warned of the dangers to our economy, because of the war in iraq, and i took advantage of it. he deserves a cut.

    September 18, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  65. Suzanne Jupiter, FL

    My husband and I own a small business and sales are significantly down from the same time last year. Add to that all the increases in "everything" we need to run the business, and things are starting to become dire. On top of all that, we are trying not to have to lay off some of our employess, which is becoming increasingly difficult because the income is just not there.

    Wake up America! This small business owner wants Obama/Biden in the White House.

    September 18, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  66. Buster in Poughkeepsie, NY

    Let me tell you Jack, this financial crisis is a real pain in the neck AND a pain in the butt…literally. Not because my stock values withered to nothing, for I cashed in my chips before the market went belly up, and not because I fear my bank will go bust, as I withdrew all my funds from the vaults a few months ago. No, the real reason I can’t sleep at night, the reason I’m being crippled by this deepening financial crisis is because of that huge lump of loot I have stuffed under my mattress.

    September 18, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  67. Jerry from Jacksonville

    May have to cut back on playing golf from three to two days a week.

    September 18, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  68. Hope M. Madisonville, KY

    I'm not rich enough to have money in the stock market but all of this
    is and will affect everything from gas to the price of groceries which
    have gone up. I'm sure my insurance rates will go up shortly since
    that will be affected by AIG along with local property taxes since our
    local government is facing soaring costs along with the rest of us. The
    Feds are dancing pretty quickly but I don't think it's going to stop the
    inevitable slide into a depression for our country. Obama is right when
    he says tax the top 5% of the taxpayers. They are the ones who have
    been making money hand over fist at the expense of the rest of us. They've got it, we need it.

    September 18, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  69. Precious Coker

    I am waiting for Obama-Biden to bail out the ordinary Americans.
    Thanks but -no-thanks mister McCain the " I am fundamentally a deregulator"

    September 18, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  70. Judie from St. Augustine, Fl.

    The financial crisis sure a hell is not affecting me in a positive way. I am a small business owner who has just made the decision today to close my business. People do not have the money to spend so I don't have the money to keep my doors open. My home is worth 30% less than it was 2 years ago and I can not sell it in this market anyhow. So, do I walk away and try to start over again at 63 years of age or do I keep trying to pay the mortgage until I cannot and let the bank forclose. My 20 year old car is paid for but I can't afford to put gas in it. Isn't this a wonderful way to spend the autunm of my life? Maybe tomorrow will improve but I am not betting on it are you?

    St. Augustine, Fl

    September 18, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  71. Laurie in Lawrence, KS

    I was already to start a small investment program. That has changed. I know there are opportunities out there, but now is not the time to be taking advantage of them. I'll wait until things have settled down a bit.

    As for the rest of my finances? No change there either. Income stays stagnant, while expenses go up.

    September 18, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  72. Lisa, Ashford, Alabama

    I can barely afford to pay for my unemployed husband's heart medicine but I am so comforted Bush bailed out AIG, Freddie Mac and Fannie May. Oh and Bear Sterns too.

    Ashford, AL

    September 18, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  73. Buster in Poughkeepsie, NY

    Let me tell you Jack, this financial crisis is a real pain in the neck AND a pain in the butt…literally. Not because my stock values withered to nothing, for I cashed in my chips before the market went belly up, and not because I fear my bank will go bust, as I withdrew all my funds from the vaults a few months ago. No, the real reason I can’t sleep at night, the reason I’m being crippled by this deepening financial crisis is because of that huge lump of loot I have stuffed under my mattress.

    September 18, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  74. Marty

    I can't answer this question, Jack. Since I am what used to be the middle class and have been being hit by it for more than a year, I have become a little numb to the effects one more bad economic day brings. This week, the thought did cross my mind that since it is starting to hurt the wealthy, something may be done about it, though.

    September 18, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  75. Maureen / CA

    My bank was purchased by B of A who I don't like. I am waiting to see what happens there. Not that big of a deal. But my retirement account is with Merrill Lynch. We will see.

    September 18, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  76. Rex in Portland, Ore.

    I thought that when I retired my guaranteed income would be higher than the income I was earning when I retired. It was, it is, net; but after corrections for inflation I am now a poor man. After 12 years of this retired bliss I find that paying off the debts accrued by Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Bush 41, and Bush 43 is really hurting me. My poor grandbabies!

    September 18, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  77. Buster in Poughkeepsie, NY

    Let me tell you Jack, this financial crisis is a real pain in the neck AND a pain in the butt…literally. Not because my stock values withered to nothing, for I cashed in my chips before the market went belly up, and not because I fear my bank will go bust, as I withdrew all my funds from the vaults a few months ago. No, the real reason I can’t sleep at night, the reason I’m being crippled by this deepening financial crisis is because of that huge lump of loot I stuffed under my mattress.

    September 18, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  78. John, Fort Collins, CO

    After an initial bout of the dry heaves, I decided most of the damage was already done, so I calmed myself down and didn't even look at what hurricaine George did to my 401k. And knowing the president remained in Washington to wrap his mind around the financial crisis will allow me to sleep tight tonight. Imagine a busy man like him canceling an important fundraiser just to reassure us little people. What a wonderful man.

    September 18, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  79. Rex Anderson

    I like what Deb in Tx said,They Republicans don’t answer questions, they just start talking about anything like they are hard of hearing. It's true the republicans honestly have no answer. I can't believe that people are that stupid to vote Republican again knowing their getting the same as the last 8 years. PEOPLE PLEASE WAKE UP FOR GOD'S SAKE!

    September 18, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  80. Pugas-AZ

    Wasn't able to read the entire question. Can't afford new glasses, and forget about trying to buy a new hearing aide, wheel chair, etc.. Just a minute, I'm being evicted from my home.

    September 18, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  81. mariel

    We are losing our retirement savings, our children's college savings, and are not able to afford healthcare like we used to. We're losing our American Dream.

    September 18, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  82. alexa, Lovettsville, VA

    Eight years ago I said that if George Bush got elected that this country would get exactly what it deserved. Unfortunately those of us that didn't vote for him have to pay as well. I have watched the equity in our house almost completely evaporate and we have lived here for 21 years! This year we didn't take a vacation, cut back on driving, eating out and think twice when we buy something. Just goes to prove that the American voters no longer make an educated choice on their ballots. If they were, Al Gore would have been president, Hillary Clinton would be the democratic nominee and the republicans would have bowed out of the presidential election over the embarrassment of the last eight years.

    September 18, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  83. Susan from Georgia

    My husband and I are fine for now,, but we are helping our children out to help pay for heat and food. People under 40 with young children are hammered by this, a gallon of milk is now $4.00 plus, and a dozen egss cost more that two dollars. As long as the Republicans run the show, things will be more costly, my 401K will keep disapearig, and my wallet will be empty.

    September 18, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  84. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    We sold our house yesterday, the cars today, and plan to sell the kids tomorrow to the highest bidder and then we plan to get a divorce and live in sin as it's a tax penalty to be married and after that we're going to live on the street with the rest of the middle class that make less than $5 Million.

    September 18, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  85. Bob from traverse city Michigan

    My wife and I talk a lot more than we used to. We talk about how can we keep our house, I,ve been looking for a job for ten months now. We talk about what we are going to do if we get sick, I"ll probably rob a 7-eleven if I get sick cause criminals get carte blanche health care in Michigan. We talk about how we can help our elderly parents when we can't afford the gas to drive to their house. We talk about leaving our family's behind to find work in another state, because if you don't live in Michigan you really don't understand how bad things are and how bad things are going to get for you. Yes the economy will affect my vote! I don't care what happens in Iraq! I don't care what the Russians are doing! If Iran wants a nuke then dammit give everyone in the middle east a nuke. Charity begins at home and I am voting for whoever will be PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES NOT PRESIDENT OF THE WORLD

    September 18, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  86. Colleen

    Two kids in college making less than $250,000 a year yes, It is effecting me. 401K's have lost about 25% this week, that effects me on paper but I won't access those funds for decades. Food and gas has gone up considerably this year which just means less money for other goods. The alternative minimum tax is my big gripe! Us 'REAL' middleclassers can't catch a break!

    Obama/ Biden

    September 18, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  87. Chris Ocean Grove MA

    I'm a licensed Electrician. I got laid off in May 07 usually a lay off lasts approx 6 months. I've worked 14 weeks since then not counting small residential jobs. The Bush tax cuts were supposed to jump start the slow economy. It didn't work. How is keeping them going supposed to help?

    September 18, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  88. Rex Anderson,RI

    My gut feeling is that Phalen/Failing is going to be uncovered for what she is. A lier and a cheat.

    September 18, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  89. Michelle

    I'm broke!!! With student loans, rent, car note, mandatory car insurance, no health insurance, my life will not change at all. I'll still be broke!!! Oh, sorry, financially challenged!!!

    September 18, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  90. Bruce St Paul MN

    I am hanging onto my house, hoping my 401k makes a comeback in the next ten years, and struggling to pay my monthly bills. I still have a job, but business is not great, and probably won't be for a while. Since I make less now than I did in 2001, disposable income is just a dim memory. I hope I don't have to cancel my cable TV. I'd miss you.

    September 18, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  91. PW, Arizona

    It's not affecting me directly too much just yet, but I'm worried about what it will mean for my retirelment. What is the point of saving and investing if the institutions charged with managing our assets collapse under the weight of their own greed?

    This actually makes me glad I opted to keep most of my money in "granny" investments for the short term, because my 401K is taking a beating. With it I can choose from a variety of funds, but they all have pretty heavy exposure to the shaky mortgage-backed securities that are behind this crash.

    September 18, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  92. Dan, Maryland

    I'm turning into a vegetarian....and that's killer for someone who eats as much chicken and steak as I used to and who isn't too fond of those green things on the shelves.

    September 18, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  93. karen in nj

    I recently closed a beautiful boutique art store that did well until gas prices started taking everyone's discretionary money. people can barely afford necessities, so little luxuries are a thing of the past. I lost my business and several employees lost their jobs. My college grad child is waiting tables. The only good that may come out of this is to wake people up to the abuses and incompetence of Mccain and his cohorts and energize all Americans to vote for an intelligent, competent, compassionate, empathetic, experienced team of Obama/Biden. It is incomprehensible that anyone, dem, repub, or independent would even consider voting for mccain/palin. The last few days mccain has been rapidly degenerating into incoherence, and palin has yet to say anything of substance.

    September 18, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  94. Joe in Clinton, Ma.

    It's affecting me at every turn. Higher food, medicine, gas prices at every turn. Higher utilities, it's down right bad. Hopefully the Democrats can turn some of this around when we vote out the Republicans in November who created this mess. I am sure they are having meat and fruit with at least 1 meal everyday.

    September 18, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  95. Sara, Boston

    Jack, I think I will take up canning and start a garden by the steps
    leading to my garage. I will also have to redeem some of the coupons
    that I use to dismiss as junk mail. Jack, do they still take S & H
    Green Stamps?

    Cordially yours,


    September 18, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  96. Joe in VA

    Easy to answer today , Jack. CEO's walk with millions, hanging we fools with a bill of billions. My paltry IRA is down 30% in a week due to their greed, folly and incompetence – you'd expect more for several millions a year would you not ? If I live long enough to see my life savings come back to any reasonable level, I'm cashing it in and will pay off my mortgage, become debt free, and it will be cold day in hell when I put another cent in the market.

    Chatham, VA

    September 18, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  97. Terry from North Carolina

    We went down the drain along time ago, this just puts us in a little deeper. So much for that 401K thats for our retirement. And the CEO of AIG lost his job and got a 5 million dollar severance package. I guess he aint gonna need food stamps.

    September 18, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
  98. Joe in DE

    Doesn't affect me much but it may since the whole US economy is on the brink of disaster. THis not just because of the financial mismanagement but the balance of payments, the national debt ,and the deficits – all f which is driven by insane trade agreeemnts, Time to sto imports that don't meet US Health & Safety standards.

    September 18, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
  99. Alex DeSeabra

    I'm in the biotechnology arena and recently lost a job starting up a company. The crisis has slowed down venture capital investment in this area which means fewer start-ups that I can possibly work for. I'm currently looking at opportunities outside of the US. You gotta do what you gotta do.

    September 18, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
  100. Jenna Wade

    How is the deepening financial crisis affecting you?

    I've been unemployed for over 3 years, no one is hiring, I don't even qualify for unemployment and I'm not counted in the figures of those without jobs – so you tell me...

    Now we've learned that my husband, our single income, may lose his job..

    When Obama takes office I actually have HOPE of employment and my husband may get to keep his!

    Roseville CA

    September 18, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  101. Matthew Welch in Baltimore, MD

    It's pissing me off. I look at the deductions on my paycheck and I see Federal (bomb), Medicare (Cheney's pension), and Social Security (Golden Parachute to Cayman tax shelter). My child's future has been leveraged by people for whom I have no respect and who have no respect for me or my family. Republicans have to take some responsibility and be held to account for the havoc their greed hath wrought. Their bullying, sneering, and condescension about liberalism looks pretty childish from this side of a free market free-for-all. Every time somebody talks about healthcare, Republicans scream "Socialist!" but see a bunch of billinaires about to be taken to the cleaners and the American taxpayer all of a sudden has deep pockets and big responsibilities to the government and the marketplace. They are frauds and they have been exposed. No more Republicans. No more lies. Wayne Gilchrest and Chuck Hagel are probably the last two left with any integrity or credibility left. It's time for a change in America. How a parent or grandparent could in good conscience pull the lever for McCain-Palin given the numerous implications for future generations, not to mention our own, is beyond me. Think about the future, vote Obama-Biden '08. Thanks.

    September 18, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  102. Billy G in Las Vegas


    your not short the market? I thought New Yorkers all knew how to play stock market moves up OR down? people that bouught the "short ETF's" like the QID and SKF are making a fortune on this move. gonna be a new crop of Joseph P Kennedy, who made his fortune shorting the market in 1929, style multimillionaires when this is over and done with.

    September 18, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  103. Chris, Ottawa Canada

    I've stopped worrying about terrorism.

    September 18, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  104. vern-anaheim,ca

    jack ,the financial crisis hasa had me to lower my standard of living because prices for everything are so high i can't afford what i used to.we need someone who can repair the mess this administration has caused. all the way with obama&biden in 08

    September 18, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  105. Tom Langford Montreal Canada

    It's not affecting me one little bit Jack AFTERALL doesn't everybody at CNN think Obama will fix all of this?

    You know once CNN gets him elected?

    September 18, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  106. Katiec Pekin, IL

    Once again, my comment is under moderation!!

    September 18, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  107. Chris, Thousand Oaks Ca

    Luckily, I'm financially fine and have no mortgage,but don't want to look at my portfolio. But I do worry about my son and his generation who will have a very hard time making a reasonable living. The free market philosophy of the Republicans has gotten us into global chaos. Obama-biden 08.

    September 18, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  108. mike, ohio

    I think my home as worth as much as my used car!

    September 18, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  109. NANCY , Grand Ledge MI

    I don't have a 401 K, can't afford to buy a home, and don't own stocks!What affects me is the price of gas, groceries, and the high cost of the health insurance that I have to pay for and doesn't cover hardly anything! I have a job that doesn't pay much, and I can barely afford to drive to work! But I have known for years that this house of cards was going to come crashing down!! Hopefully, those with the power in Washington will start paying attention, but I'm not holding my breath!

    September 18, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  110. mike, ohio

    I think my home is worth as much as my used car!

    September 18, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  111. Frank Canada

    Well Jack I have shot and skinned a moose so I guess that makes me as qualified to get through any financial crisis as it makes Sara qualified to fix the economy.

    Oh I might be more qualified than Sara as I went on a cruise and was actually in Russia whereas Sara has only seen Russia from her house.

    September 18, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  112. Raoul - Lake City, SC

    Jack, I've been in a financial crisis my whole life. This is nothing new to me. I'm 41 years old and out of work. I have no savings, no 401(k), no investments in the market, a disabled wife and three special needs children at home. It disturbs me when I see our government give hundreds of billions of dollars to companies for a bail-out. It seems we have forgotten what the word investment means. To me it involves a risk. If you lose money in the market, that's the risk you take. If the company goes under, that's the risk you take.

    What the government is doing is sending a message to people like me, if you are poor and struggling, you are on your own. Just grin and bear it. This is not fair. If the government wants to stimulate the economy, why not bail ordinary people like me out. Or maybe, I'm just not that important.

    September 18, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  113. Tina (Fort Worth)

    I am digging holes now to bury my money. I am scared that our country is failing and of course the top ceo's will come out smelling like a rose and I will still smell like the manure.

    September 18, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  114. Shirley -AK OHIO

    It already affected me, my job was outsourced in 2007 and I had to use my 401K from AIG to get my parent's home out of foreclosure. I am having a hard time finding a job in the medical field, in which I have a 2 year college degree in medical administration because of my skin completion, I guess you would call this the trickle down affect that Obama is talking about.

    September 18, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  115. Don Ocala, FL.

    We are in Real Estate--ANY QUESTIONS!

    September 18, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  116. Bill, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    We have become very cautious and what we buy. We have tried to stock up on food when it goes on sale. We buy only necessary things and do not even go out to eat. I had to go on disability because of heart problems and busting up my body in a machine shop for over 35 years.. I was hoping that my wife would be able to retire and we would enjoy life together even if it's just rocking on the front porch. But the greed on Wall Street and our government leaving them run free might prevent that. If this is the trickle down theory I think someone turned off the faucet. Instead of printing more money maybe we could ask Iraq for loan since they have a surplus and we do not.

    September 18, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  117. Pablo, Charles Town, WV

    It is having a dichotomous effect. On one hand, I am becoming more efficient with all my resources and conserving, which is a good thing, and something we should all be doing. On the other hand, I am clinching my fist in anger and frustration for all the greedy prospectors, stock market gurus and CEOs who have secured their wealth at the expense of the average taxpayer. Shame on them. My guess is many of them will vote McCain / Palin – which is tantamount to a vote for the status quo – an environment protecting more duplicitous business.

    September 18, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  118. Will from San Jose, CA

    Well it's taken my already meager financial savings and made them look more pathetic. Thankfully I'm doing well enough to not need to dip into that money until it rides out this storm, but it's not fun to watch.

    September 18, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  119. joanne, Carrington, ND

    My mother is in a nursing home 150 miles away from us. Round-trip the 300 miles is very expensive now. We'd like to spend a day a week with her but now it's once a month.

    September 18, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  120. Scott - Wichita, Kansas

    Um, my 401k is up 18% so far this year, because it is well spread out, Jack. It isn't rocket science. I should know, I'm an Aerospace Engineer...

    September 18, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  121. Paul

    It has made my 401K a 101K. Yeah it is that bad and things are just getting tighter with each day.
    Round Rock, Texas

    September 18, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  122. sandy in ohio

    Jack, I had no money to loose on the stock market but I'm taking a beating at the grocery and everywhere else. My oldest son who finally found a job after six months of looking said he's really glad he was all ready poor when this hit. I hate to say it, but I think this is only the beginning and it is going to get worse before it can even start to get better.

    September 18, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  123. Maggie Muggins From Selwyn

    Not at all Jack. Our household has 4 pensions coming in each month from the government and all our health care costs are covered through universal health care so everything seems to be tickety boo around here but then this is Canada.

    September 18, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  124. Lynn, frustrated Republican

    Literally – so far we've lost 17K in a roll-over, but think God it was in a "emergency nest" and not something we have to depend on – I feel sick for those who have been living on credit cards or have their future retirement bound up in investments – another reason to NOT privatise Social Security or protected annunities.

    September 18, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  125. John, Winston Salem, NC

    I don't have a job, I had to sell my car( I guess that's good with these gas prices), we lost 10% of our retirement plan value in the last month. You could say I'm not doing too good Jack.

    September 18, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  126. Tom

    It makes me nervous. The Republicans got to go.

    September 18, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  127. Jerry from Monroe Co., WV

    How can our system of checks and balances that we learned in grade school civics ever work when the excecutive branch will not allow the legislative branch to check the balance? Aren't we tired of this yet?
    If this is what McCain/Palin offer as change and reform from Bush/Cheney, where's the difference?

    September 18, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  128. Greg, Hamilton Ontario

    We were going to give a real good goverment a majority to get even more work done and done faster. But sence all this hit the fan the socialists and the left wingers have used the liberal media to blame everything on our previous goverment, including what happens in the US. You are 86% of our economy and like America tend to vote in the biggest dummy we can get our hands on and ignore real talent, based on what the media says.

    September 18, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  129. Daryl

    Those who live within their means are still doing well. I don't make much money but I don't got out and use my visa for food, toys, and clothes either. I still set aside money each week for "A rainy day" so it isnt affecting me much. I have many friends who have spent like there was no tomorrow and they are stuck big time. Why do Americans feel the need to "Keep up with the Jones's"?

    September 18, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  130. Mike, Vancouver

    It has affected so many people to the point where they have no recourse, government doesn't listen. The goal is to just get re-elected at any cost.

    Corporate greed especially in the oil industry is so far out of control that the average Joe can only shake his head because there isn't a damn thing he can do about it.

    We truly have gone back to the days of the surfs

    September 18, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  131. C from GA

    HAHAHAHA... I'm trying to sell my house. I've already moved to the new one, so it's not like I can say "never mind".

    Actually it's been for sale since January – sold briefly then the buyer had personal chaos and it fell apart. Then they changed the down payment rules and the buyers stopped coming.

    So last month I was thinking how the new legislation to help homebuyers afford a house would help, then I thought the Fannie/Freddie bailout would help, then I felt good that Merrill didn't go under, then AIG gets "UN privatized"...

    How am I doing? It sucks. And it's not nearly as bad for me as it is for many Americans. Sure hope we can trust Obama's promises.

    September 18, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  132. Ann, Newton, New Jersey

    Let's see – senior citizen, over seventy, unable to live on SS, still have to work and just about survive from pay check to ss check. In all my years have never seen it this bad. Wonder how we all will survive when we have to rob from Peter to pay Paul and you get to the point when there's no money to do either.

    September 18, 2008 at 3:45 pm |

    tampa, fl. well, if the gov't wants to bail out an important piece of society they can start with me. i must be important as they sent me $600 and told me to go spend it. i did. now i would like to extend my hand and ask that they fill it up with some of those millions that magically appear to bail out all of their rich friends. i deserve a few mill more than the greedy bastards that already bled these companies dry, due to the fact i actually paid taxes. isn't it nice to live in a country that doesn't have to live within it's means?

    September 18, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  134. Nicole, San Clemente, CA

    So far we have only lost a few hundred in the market. I guess that is chump change compared to those who have lost jobs, thousands of dollars, and their sanity. I think if the government wants to bail people out to save the economy, how about bailing out those people below the poverty line, or those in the middle class who are struggling to pay for gas and put food on the table, or those who lost their home because they were duped into thinking they were getting a good loan. I believe helping those people out would help bounce our economy back, but I guess giving millions of dollars in severance to those in charge of crumbling their companies and making people jobless is way more important.

    September 18, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  135. Melanie M

    You bet it's important. It goes to charachter which is very gray during the campaign. If I have to depend on her to stand before the American people and tell the truth about our money, safety, country, the trust is gone before she even gets started. Thanks for the fact checking. Obama 1 McCain O.

    September 18, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  136. Bill

    The economy and energy crisis,is about to gobble me alive! I am about to loose everything my wife and I have worked for for the past 35 years,due to rising inflation and the energy crisis. Gas has inflated everything,and our dollar is worthless. We'll have to change our slogan to: "Another day,another dime!"

    September 18, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  137. Sara, Indiana


    I'm trying not to panic, but my husband wants to put our money under the mattress. We are retired and were doing OK, but now we have to think twice before we spend a dime. We worry about all the people that were just getting by before the economy went in the tank. We are going to see a lot of cold hungry people this winter.

    September 18, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  138. Sly From Alpena, Michigan

    Well... On one of my Stock, i'm Down: $44,000., but, i have no other choice but, to ride it out, it's part of my Retirement.

    September 18, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  139. Val

    Our family is a 3 generation household. My daughter has 3 months to graduation for her BS and no job prospects. I retired due to back injury after 38 years in nursing. We eat very cheaply, don't eat out, birthdays are simple for the kids, I sew clothes or remake clothes for them, etc. We are in danger of not being able to make the mortgage because I can't sell my house. I am awake at night trying to figure out what I can do to cut back even more. It is hard to say to the grandkids, "We can't, I don't have any money."

    September 18, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  140. Steve Mosher

    Considering that I am a certified residential property appraiser in Texas, my business has not been effected at all. Appraisers are either appraising purchases, refi's, or foreclosures. Business is very good.

    September 18, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  141. Peter Fern Park, Fla.

    So far it has not. My wife and I are doing quite well financially. I'm retired, she still works. We're downsizing in preperation for her retirement so our resources will provide us a decent retirement. We will be fine.
    My worry is for our 39 and 37 year old daughters and their children. They are both college graduates with well paying jobs-today. I have no faith that they or their husbands will have those jobs or similar job opportunities in the future.
    The only way a country can create new wealth is to make something and sell it. A service economy creates nothing new. It simply shuffles already existing money from on place to another.

    September 18, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  142. Ann from Atlanta, TX

    My husband and I retired two years ago. We had worked very hard to prepare for a comfortable retirement. Everything has gone up. We are watching our retirement annunity shrink each day. We are having to help out our children because they can't make ends meet in this economy.

    I get so frustrated when I see the polls showing Obama and McSame tied! I can't take four more years of the same.

    September 18, 2008 at 5:23 pm |
  143. Lance Poiroux- TN

    It hasn't affected me. I just work an extra day during the pay period. Sometimes you just have to suck it up and do what you have to do to make ends meet. I also think it depends on your job profession. I am married, wife stays at home and I have four children.

    September 18, 2008 at 5:23 pm |
  144. Mike from New Jersey

    I lost my Job back in February, I've sent out more resumes than I can count without success – But I'm still one of the lucky ones because my wife works and has insurance from her company – so while it is difficult we have been getting through, but if she looses her position its all over

    September 18, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  145. Jan from NW Iowa

    as a small business owner – 10% drop in sales the last 2 months compared to these 2 months in 2007 and more people paying their bill with credit cards. Credit cards sales are up 23% in July and August from 2007. ( Scary when you realize the interest it is costing customers on their credit cards.) We had an part-employee quit in June and we are not replacing her. I will work the extra hours. If sales pick up then we might considering hiring someone else. We were going out for dinner every weekend. That is now once every 4-5 weeks. My husband's 401K has dropped $15,000 in value since May of 2007! Our investment level in 401K is rated in the fairly conservative level for people in their 50's. Alot of changes!

    September 18, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  146. Kelly

    There's rumors that people should get their money out of Washington Mutual bank because it is going bankrupt, is that true?

    September 18, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  147. Gloria Steinberg

    It made me believe that I don't need higher taxes. John McCain called for oversight of Fannie and Freddy back in 2005 and congress did nothing. Now they want top blame Bush. Go figure.

    September 18, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  148. W. L. Head

    Why don't we hear more about McCain's agressive actions to remove all "free market" restraints and how he belittled others who thought government should actually represent the people ????

    He has a record of violently opposing ANY regulation. Get it out.

    September 18, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  149. Donna Colorado Springs,Co

    It hasn't affected me yet, but I'm sure that it will very soon. This crisis is getting really scary, and I hope Mr. Bush and his cronies are pleased with themselves. They have managed to almost cripple this economy within a matter of a few days, and who knows how long it will take to get back on track.

    September 18, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
  150. ED in RI

    Dear Jack;

    The same way that I felt when GW "claimed" two elections, and did to the country, what he did to Texas in two terms. God Bless us all.

    September 18, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
  151. Maria, Germany


    I don't know what Obama has to say....all I know of he's lack of experience.

    I'll vote for John McCain. He is my Hero and Obama is for the Zero.

    September 18, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
  152. steve p

    If she want's to trust the republican ticket she should be true and honest with the voting public and answer all questions and not stonewall. I think she is like a flare fired from a life raft that burns bright for a short time but fizzles very soon. The republican parties SOS.

    September 18, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  153. Guille Mtz. from San Antonio,Texas

    How is the crisis affecting me?...It's frustrating me that people don't see that all of this is a result of rich ole republicans derugulating for the benefit of their rich supporters. John McCain being one of them. He is so out of touch with middle class America, it's frightening. There is no way he can possible understand what it's like to "earn too much" money to not qualify for any assistance (free lunch, pell grants etc) and still not have enough money to pay for the kids' lunch or college!

    September 18, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  154. paula

    It really suck, I can't afford anything.America is going backward instead of forward and now mccain/sarha p. wants to take the us backwards even more.America wake up mccain/sarha is not for us.
    mcain /palin care only fot the rich and the hell with all the poor.

    September 18, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  155. Matt


    I'm having to explain to a lot more people what the economy actually is, and that a recession is 2 qtrs of Negative GDP growth. Not some made up subjective definition. I've found that there are a lot of uneducated people out there who think they know what they're talking about but when confronted with someone who knows their stuff realize pretty quickly they better listen, and I think you should do the same Jack. Call it an economic down turn, call it a rough spot, but don't be a lemming and call it a Recession. Certain terms are to be used under certain conditions and those haven't been met yet for a recession. Study up Jack, and lots of other people.

    Minneapolis, MN.

    September 18, 2008 at 5:50 pm |
  156. Kevin

    Jack, when you owe 80 grand on a house in a neighborhood of foreclosed homes being bought from the banks at 20 to 30 thousand and rented out ,you are not happily sitting in the green grass above the septic tank, you're in it, along with my wife who is in the same situation.

    Warren, MI

    September 18, 2008 at 5:52 pm |
  157. JoAnn C in San Diego CA

    Jack, It's really affecting most of us. The problem is I don't see it getting better for a long, long time. If Obama wins probably sooner. I think in six months we'll all be up the river without a Palin and Bidin our time for a better day for the middle class. If we had Universal Health care our finances would be better. If gas was $3 a gallon feeling a little less stressed and our young men home in college rather than dying for people who don't want us there. Senator Obama keep fighting for us. We need you! NOW!

    September 18, 2008 at 5:52 pm |
  158. Ellen from Dunedin, FL


    It took me seven months to find a job from September last year to March this year. The recession was certainly starting to hit up in the Northeast before the rest of the country. I had to move south to Florida to find a position in telecommunications, a field, where I have 20 years of experience. The loss of my job drained my 401k and I am slowly starting to make back the money. But where do I invest my money...I am afraid that a new home or retirement plan will lose value over time. I feel safer with just putting my money in a savings account in a bank....the old fashion way.

    September 18, 2008 at 5:53 pm |
  159. Dave from Toronto

    When Wall Street fumbles... the whole world tumbles. Canadian Markets are taking a bigger hit than the Dow Jones Industrials, and we didn't have anything to do with the failures.

    The problem with the trickle down economic policies of the GOP, is that it assumes American Executives are high integrity, successful businessmen. They are glad to take credit for the good times, and are the first ones to run and hide behind the lawyers when thier actions destroy people's lives.

    At the bottom of the pyramind, it's not only money that trickles down from above.

    September 18, 2008 at 5:54 pm |
  160. dennis hunter

    It makes me wonder if we will have a country to call home. you can only print so much money before we are broke. The stock market is a joke or we are brain dead because the value is over stated compare to the assets minus debit equals but that is right math is not one of our subjects just smoke and mirrors.

    September 18, 2008 at 5:54 pm |
  161. Faiz

    We have not seen the effect of what happened over the last three days yet. Wait till all this start hitting regular people. It won't be long before the Republican Administration trickle down all the effects of the bail-outs to the ordinary people. Some examples I can see forthcming:

    1) Our insurance premiums will jump and I am not talking about health insurance here. I am talking about the car and home insurance.

    2) all the other companies wil now have much tougher time getting loans and will face liquidity problems. We will start seeing layoffs soon

    3) I am still waiting to hear insurance and finance company to link up Gustav, Ike and AIG downfall (which insured lots of oil refineries taht got hit by hurricane). Once the big oil companies link them we will start seeing artifficial rise in gas prices although per barrel would be going down.

    I can go on and on Jack. Wait for couple of weeks. You will start seeing the affect all over the place. Call me paranoid but I think the greedy people linked to businesses supported by this administration are not done yet. They will suck each and every blood drop of this economy before the administration changes. 3 months is a long time.

    So ask me after 3 months "How did the economy hurt me". You will not even have to ask. It will be obvious.

    September 18, 2008 at 5:54 pm |
  162. charlie steffens, tucson, AZ

    Donald Trump's endorsement of McCain says a lot. Isn't he like the Republican poster child for bankruptcy? We don't need anymore wealthy people profiteering while the rest of us pick up the $800 billion tab. Time for change!

    September 18, 2008 at 5:55 pm |