September 15th, 2008
09:02 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Market Meltdown

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/15/nyse9.15post.jpg caption="Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange."]

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

How's your stock portfolio or 401K doing? My advice: don't look.  And, the experts say don't do a thing.  They say just sit this out.  Remember, you should be in the markets for the "long haul".  

That still may be a tough thing for some of you to do after the brutal day on Wall Street. The Dow had its biggest one-day decline since September 17, 2001, when the markets reopened after the September 11th terrorist attacks. Today blue chips lost more than 500 points after Lehman Brothers filed for the biggest bankruptcy in U.S. history, Bank of America said it would buy Merrill Lynch and AIG lost a huge chunk of its value on fears that it can't raise cash.

Tonight on 360, we'll look at what the market meltdown means for you. How could this impact your wallet? We'll also look at how the troubles on Wall Street are impacting the race for the White House. You'll hear what Senators John McCain and Barack Obama say they'll do to boost the economy. We'd love to hear your thoughts. Do you think the crisis is only just beginning? And can McCain and/or Obama improve the U.S. markets?

Tonight, we're also on the Texas coast with the latest on the destruction from Hurricane Ike. We found a startling photo of the damage left behind in one beachfront community along the Gulf coast that we will share with you tonight.  When you see what the area looked like before the storm hit it's extraordinary to see the comparison of before and after.  It's a stark reminder of the power of Mother Nature.

All that and more tonight at 10pm ET on 360. Hope you can join us.

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Steve

    Americans have only themselves to blame for this mess. Borrowing far more than you can afford and using credit to service your wants is a recipe for disaster, and now the oven timer has gone off.

    Pointing the finger at politicians and wealthy CEOs is just a convenient way of shifting the blame. This financial crisis isn't the doing of a handful of people in Washington or on Wall Street...it was made possible by the millions of Americans who bit off way more than they could chew.

    The sad reality is that a domestic problem in the U.S. is now dragging down the world economy with it. I suppose it should come as no surprise to the rest of the world given the disregard the U.S. shows in its foreign military policy.

    September 29, 2008 at 11:39 pm |
  2. Phyllis from Delaware

    I just read where the CEO of Lehmans will walk away with 22 million dollars. This is outrageous. Since everyone decided to be greedy can a class action suite against the CEO and Board of Directors who are the caretakers of that bank be filed? Do you think it has merit?

    All the people that have invested and the Chairman of the Board and CEO walk away clean and secure for the rest of their lives.

    This makes me sick because they were paid to take care of everything not risk everything.

    September 16, 2008 at 10:46 am |
  3. joseph baugh

    has it ever crossed anyones mind that you cant sell these high-dollar homes and the next day eliminate the job that pays for it? just an idea.
    joe,fillmore IL

    September 16, 2008 at 4:06 am |
  4. Ted Sanford

    I'm a first time buyer and to day I looked at a house. Its 30 years old and asking $65,000. Me and my wife thought about making a bid,
    But After to day I dont know where I or the market Stand. So do i have a chance to get it or am I'm going to be shut out of the housing market. or I'm I a fool for even concidering it at this point?

    September 16, 2008 at 2:18 am |
  5. Ms. McCoy

    I am so incredibly sick and tired of hearing about another major corporation's meltdown and the CEO, President, Big Wig, what have you, who walks away with millions in his pocket. I wonder, what does someone do on a daily basis to make their time so worth so much more than the average American? I imagine a few rounds of golf, drinks, perhaps a meeting here and there. The middle-class goes through the ringer every few years because of sheer bad decisions made by people who think more about their wallets than the health of their stakeholders and employees. Now, our retirements are worth less and less, our homes are in despair, and I imagine in a few days we'll be told to "keep spending." With what?

    September 16, 2008 at 1:37 am |
  6. Ree

    We are in real trouble. The country is willing to vote for two liars like McCain and Palin. Aren't we tired of lies and deceit!!! Everyone that is supporting McCain is crazy. I am glad I have a military retirement check that I will get for the rest of my life. All of you voting for McCain will be out of a job in the first 6 months and broke. Shame on you America for rejecting help in the midst of this crisis. May God have mercy on your souls. You are willing to take a man who doesn't have a clue about the economy and a woman who is unfit to tie my shoe to lead us in to more dismal days. Yes, I served in the military, I raised two children, I compeleted my degree, I worked full time, and I am a disable vet. And no she does not identify with me as a working mother. Because I know it is a difficult job to work and raise children. I will not pretend it is easier just to prove a point. You can't have your cake and eat it too when you are a mother. So ladies lets be honest about what we have to suffer in the quest to be on the top. I am a Christian who is ashamed of Ms. Palin for lying and parading her pregnant daughter in America's face. Where is her morals. She has none. Oh maybe they are telling little white lies. There is a difference.

    September 16, 2008 at 1:20 am |
  7. Rick Bertino

    Looks lke Ron Paul was right again... This country is in big trouble as long as the FEd Reserve bank and the IRS are in control.... How do you think 2 dumb candidates like McCain and Obama. Neither one is ready to make any changes as long as the Fed and their SS the IRS, are in power... We are screwed!
    And the Dumb Americans are too stupid to see Ron Paul was our only chance. As a country we are getting what we deserve.

    September 16, 2008 at 1:12 am |
  8. carenS

    the u.s. lives on credit. the economy depends on the consumer over-extending. congress spends money like there's no tomorrow. we really are a nation of ultimate conspicuous consumption. who will have the guts to tighten the reins on credit (cars, houses, toys) and risk alienating folks who will be left out of 'fun' consumption.
    so, how much in credit card debt do you owe? and have you ever missed a payment?.......

    September 16, 2008 at 12:15 am |
  9. Clarence, Albuquerque

    I've never appreciated the fact that 401k's have limited accessibility ....... meaning they cannot be tapped until after you or they have reached a certain maturity. I hope the personal losses of individuals is not as drastic as a sudden hurricane has proven to be.

    September 16, 2008 at 12:03 am |
  10. Mike,Texas

    Time for change of guard.

    September 15, 2008 at 11:54 pm |
  11. Jim

    Look up glass-steagall act and why it was passed then look up repeal of said act. History does repeat it's self. If we could only get rid of social security we could truly go into another depression. I think it's a legal way for government to keep money pumping into the economy and brother we do need it.Now maybe in few years after regulating and hopefully being back industries and jobs, free trade will be replaced with fair and equal trade. we need to throw out of office every free trader.

    September 15, 2008 at 11:41 pm |
  12. Bruce Rogers

    As a taxpayer, why should I believe any Republican about fixing the economy? The Bush administration has pushed for and gotten unrestricted capitalism, with little if any real regulatory oversight. The CEO's of these failed companies and agencies now want the taxpayers to pay for their mistakes. I say if you want to live by unrestricted capitalism, you should also die by it.

    The country needs a different direction. The Republicans have had their chance and their day. Let's let someone else take a turn at the wheel.

    September 15, 2008 at 11:36 pm |
  13. Teri

    Speakers at the republican convention like Mitt Romney and Guiliani said in their speaches that "we need less governement and less regulation" the republican platform should be their demise in this election. The financial meltdown on wallstreet and financial institutions is due to less government and less regulation. I can not believe the obama campaign has not put these speeches on comercials reminding the public... that they did say this and that this is their policy and will continue to be their policy. That is why McCain is using the same language as bush... almost verbatum... "the economy is still sound" the obama campaign should have sound bite of Bush and McCain using this language... I am so angry at the republican party for putting america in the financial gutter...

    September 15, 2008 at 11:32 pm |
  14. maxine everest

    Hey, CNN - keep up the good work of checking the facts! And keep up your credibility by trying to be non-partisan.

    I'd like an answer. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae heads were replaced. How many $$ did they each 'retire' with?


    September 15, 2008 at 11:24 pm |
  15. Sharon L.

    I am a small business owner struggling for survival. The market/economy is horrible. Both parties are abysmal. How does the small business survive in this economy? I am a CPA by training...not an uneducated woman. If indeed small business is the cornerstone of this country, where do we go from here? The prospects seem bleak at best.

    September 15, 2008 at 11:17 pm |
  16. Michelle

    In 1999 Bill Clinton signed into law the Financial Services Modernization Act. This repealed the Glass-Steagall Act which was legislation born out of the Great Depression – segregating banking, brokerage and insurance companies. The Financial Services Modernization Act allowed mergers like Citi and Travelers, and has produced cross-industry financial giants. Many economists are pointing to this deregulation as the source of the current sub-prime financial mess we're in. Apparently we didn't learn much...
    The 1999 legislation had very broad bi-partisan support, and was one of the most heavily lobbied legislation of the decade – both sides took lots of cash. And Bill signed it....
    There's enough blame to go around, the rating agencies who rated these SIV's and CDO's as AAA. The companies who created these derivative vehicles. The loan officers who wrote bad loans because they didn't have any intention of carrying them on their own balance sheet for more than 90 days.

    September 15, 2008 at 11:16 pm |
  17. Winn

    We could not afford to spend lives & money in war. Fix our own country is the top priority!!!

    September 15, 2008 at 11:02 pm |
  18. susan - Virginia

    Ronnie Reagan & subsequent Republicans have always wanted to privatize social securtiy because they say "the market will self correct." Hummmm..."What's in your wallet... now? So much for deregulation, huh....!

    September 15, 2008 at 10:48 pm |
  19. Joyce

    Yes, the economy is a mess. Who is responsible? Who has been in charge for the last 8 years? Who started the de-regulation that distroyed the oversight of so many areas in our economy? Banking? Oil prices and energy? Who allowed monopolies in the communications industry which is supposed to be the watchdog of government? The Republicans- thank you Reagan and George W! What has the Iraq War done to our economy? Money going our -nothing coming in-except to Haliburton and war profiteers. And still the Republicans want us to turn over our government to them for another 8 years. Give us a break!

    September 15, 2008 at 10:43 pm |
  20. Su


    For Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) opened through Washington Mutual, what does it mean when WaMu is downgraded to "Junk"??? What does this mean to individual investors and what can they do about it?

    September 15, 2008 at 10:21 pm |
  21. Delores Paulk

    If John McCain believes that American workers are the fundamentals that make the economy strong, that they are the best, most innovative, greatest workers in the world, then why do they keep shipping American jobs overseas???

    September 15, 2008 at 10:21 pm |
  22. Joan

    In the dot com meltdown I took a major hit in my 401K so back in the spring when the signs of a faltering economy were bothering me, I sold my stocks and moved my cash into a Treasury Fund.. It didn't earn any money, but I could sure sleep at night; especially now.
    Instead of another paltry stimulus check, we should be able to tap into our IRA's/401K without tax penalties if we need the money. that would help a lot of people who may be feeling the credit crunch, mortgage meltdown, high energy & food costs and high medical or health insurance costs. My area has been devastated by the housing slump. So many stores and businesses have closed. Foreclosures are high and there is no end in sight yet.

    Joan – Florida

    September 15, 2008 at 10:03 pm |
  23. Annie Kate

    I'm sure my 401K is sadder looking today than it already was – its been a tough year for investments. I'm not going to look – or move anything – but I don't think not doing either will make me feel any better. I'm not that far from retirement and my 401K wasn't adequate to begin with; now I hate to think what its like. Maybe living in a box under a bridge will become fashionable.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    September 15, 2008 at 9:26 pm |
  24. keith

    All my $$ is spread out in FDIC banks.

    September 15, 2008 at 9:21 pm |

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