September 17th, 2008
07:12 PM ET

Erica’s News Note: Heading South

Erica Hill
AC360 Correspondent

It feels like the economic roller coaster we’ve been riding for so long has made it to the top of that scary drop and is perched there, teetering, ready for the dive. The big question, when will the final blow come? I’m not trying to be Debbie Downer, but it’s tough to watch the Dow drop nearly 450 points and not be a bit concerned. Bailouts can be scary, too. Yesterday’s AIG loan was the big talk in the makeup room last night. The consensus was a feeling of frustration at the continued bailouts with taxpayer money.

One studio crew member also wanted to know why we didn’t talk more about the vicious cycle he felt the government was creating. He mentioned the soaring deficit, tax dollars being used to continually bailout companies, and the decision to add pump more physical cash into the market when the US currency was already down. He said it seemed like everything the government was doing went against everything he learned in school.

And we cant forget about the good ol’ R word: recession. Despite the fact that 76% of Americans recently said they think the country is experiencing a recession, the money folks say we’re not. __________

One of the areas hit hardest by the mortgage crisis – just one of the many enjoyable elements of this financial meltdown – is south Florida. But forget the money issues, a more immediate issue in the Miami area: bees.


Also in Florida, strong, simple words from Governor Charlie Crist: “Enough is enough.” The state has received more than 2,000 complaints of price gouging related to Hurricane Ike – and the complaints began before the storm even made landfall.

Let’s end on an up note, shall we? We could all use some good news today. Here in NY, it’s a gorgeous fall day, the sun is shining the air is crisp and the sky is blue.

If CNN Hero Vicki Minor can’t give you some hope and a smile, then I’d be worried.

Filed under: Erica Hill • Erica's News Note
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Nathan - WV

    It seems that "no news is good news" may be true in this day and age. The Dow being down 450 points may seem scary but we've been here before, and I'm gonna guess that a lot of Americans don't even feel it.(As a lot of the poorest Americans didn't feel the depression) If you've no job, you have no money to sink into stocks.

    And is it just me, or does nature seem angry at us. First fifty billion hurricanes, now bee attacks.

    Keep up the work, someone has to be the bearer.

    September 17, 2008 at 11:32 pm |
  2. Steve McLoone

    congrats on your success and the fun chemistry with Anderson

    you are my fave on tv

    keep up the smart-sweetness (in a good way!)

    September 17, 2008 at 10:48 pm |
  3. andy

    How can they be calling Sarah Palin a fiscal conservative when she left Wasilla deep in debt(because that's what the residents wanted) an arena. Millions of dollars for an earmarked bridge was misappropriated for other projects while we in the lower 49 can't even afford gravel to keep our roads above the gutters or fire lines of sufficient size to adequately put out a local fire?? Thanks Andy

    September 17, 2008 at 10:25 pm |
  4. Greg

    Only 76% of people think were in a recession? What do the other 24% think? We are getting killed!!! Wish I just had a savings account right now. I was already down 18% for the year before today. I feel for the Baby Boomers- this disaster has to postpone retirement for a ton of them.

    Washington caused this recession-Dems and Republicans. There Credit Cards are maxed out and yet they keep opening up more accounts. When will it stop?

    September 17, 2008 at 10:09 pm |
  5. Lanna from Virginia

    Hi Erica,
    It is a fact that things are tough right now. But what most people do not understand is that the markets have cycles. This is not the first market crisis we have been through. My parents first home had a 17% interest rate, that was the norm. So were gas lines. Things are tough, but historical perspective might be nice.
    And as for the mortgage crisis, once again the responsible are paying for the irresponsible; job losses being the exception.
    L.D. From Virginia

    September 17, 2008 at 9:40 pm |
  6. Annie Kate

    Hi Erica!

    Price gouging is terrible when people have lost so much – greedy people want to take even more from them. The one thing I like about Alabama is that the Governor can declare a state of emergency and merchants then cannot raise their prices unless they can show the increase is directly tied to an increase in their costs. Governor Riley did that for Hurricane Ike and it helped a lot because merchants have found out that people will call in and report them and Governor Riley makes sure that the law has teeth. More places ought to have this law.

    Recession – it may not fit the definition but I've learned through life that truth is what you perceive it to be more than what it actually is – so if you feel like we are in a recession there isn't going to be much to convince you otherwise. Companies have changed so drastically in the last few decades – they used to care about their employees and you could count on having a job with them until you retired. Not any more – they will lay you off without even blinking an eye....and then they complain that employees are not loyal to the company when employees find other jobs and leave for higher salaries or more security, etc. Loyalty is a 2 way street – too bad the corporations have never learned that one.

    See you tonight! Looking forward to your show of shows!

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    September 17, 2008 at 9:26 pm |
  7. Lorie Ann, Buellton, California

    Hi Erica,
    Yes, it's easy to have a Debbie Downer day. However, I guess a Peppy Pollyanna might be needed today to keep all of us a little hopeful. Here in California we are paying 3.75 a gallon for gas...But on the bright side, it's a breezy, sunshine filled Wednesday, and compared to what the victims of Ike are going through, I guess it's been a pretty good day. Take Care

    Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif.

    September 17, 2008 at 9:22 pm |
  8. Miriam E. Ferreira

    Hi Erica,

    Just want you to know I love watching you chat with Anderson on AC360.

    I think you are beautiful, bright, witty and so very friendly. Oh and I can't forget to reference your dry sense of humor which always triggers smiles.

    The 360 webcasts are such a welcome distraction from the official broadcast and advertisement. Please don't change. I really enjoy seeing women of your caliber and intelligence yet still fun and warm.

    I wish you all the best! your fan, Miriam

    September 17, 2008 at 8:36 pm |
  9. Greg - Johnstown,Pa


    Actually bees finding their way into homes/structures is fairly common. Considering the recent problems honeybees have been facing with Colony Collapse Disorder, it was good to see the residents actually contacted an apiarist to deal with the situation. In most areas you can find a keeper that will remove a hive for nothing if its fairly easy to get at. More complicated removals usually involve a fee.

    Also, homeowners usually cringe at the thought of what it sometimes takes to get the bees removed especially being that homeowners insurance doesnt cover the costs to replace siding, dryall, etc..

    At any rate, bees are a good thing !!

    September 17, 2008 at 8:31 pm |
  10. Faisal

    Hi Erica,

    I am wondering about the timing of all this. We are so close to elections, the administration might change, maybe the executives of all these companies are thinking to cash in the chips before they get nothing. Also, Why didn't the treasury dept. did the AIG bail-out before its rating dropped and it needed more the 80 billions insteaad of 20 billion originally? If they stopped till the rating dropped, why didn't they wait a little more and brought this in front of congress to be voted? Since, we taxpayers are now the owner of this company, can congress hold an investigation against the top executives of the company?

    Before there can be any regulation, there should be a law passed in congress to restrict the administration from spending this kind of money before a vote in congress.

    September 17, 2008 at 8:29 pm |
  11. Dorothea

    It's gorgeous weather here in Arkansas as well! What's not so gorgeous, and kind of scary, is that oil,vegetable oil that is, ranges from $4-$6 at the local grocery stores. On the upside maybe it will encourage others to seek healthier cooking methods.

    September 17, 2008 at 8:27 pm |
  12. Amanda Walton-Gaston

    Erica, I admire your candor on the markets, not sugarcoating it as many try to do and you with a voice I hope many heard, and takes to heart, understands and then prepares...

    Amen to what your wrote...and a prayer

    Cheers to the day..it was a beautiful one here in Ontario Canada too, unfortunately I heard of to many of my own circles here in Canada of buying rope and learning to tie a noose.

    I hope it was only a metaphor.

    September 17, 2008 at 8:22 pm |
  13. Keith

    Erica, now that we own AIG can we use that as credit to bail out Detroit?

    September 17, 2008 at 8:19 pm |
  14. Elaine C, Philadelphia, PA

    Hi Erica,
    I always enjoy the way Republicans chant how they want government off their backs. That is, until they want a bail out. I do fault both sides for letting things get so out of hand though. Basically these companies are saying that they're so big that it would create chaos worldwide so you have to bail us out. Big business can be as bad as big government.

    I'm not an economics scholar, but wasn't that why we enacted Anti-trust Legislation at the early part of the last century??

    September 17, 2008 at 8:16 pm |
  15. Butch, NC

    Hi Erica,
    You are absolutly beautiful. I love to see you everyday with that pretty smile and beautiful eyes. Anyway enough about you and onto the bail out situation. Why does our government bail these failing companies out, and reward their CEO's with huge amounts of money? When they should just fire them and let them go.

    September 17, 2008 at 8:08 pm |
  16. Renee

    The big question, when will the final blow come?

    Erica, if you and I knew we would be the richest mothers in America! I think you need a big crystal ball on your desk tonight.

    If you want to see a modern day movie about the Great Depression I would recommend Kit Kittridge An American Girl movie rated G.

    September 17, 2008 at 8:05 pm |
  17. Melissa, Los Angeles

    We may not be in a recession according to the money folks but it's hard not to ignore two of the largest furniture companies in S. CA go out of business along with a few other smaller ones. It's also hard to ignore driving down Wilshire Blvd. in Beverly Hills to see 3 empty business with "For Lease" signs posted – doesn't sound like much but I don't think I've ever seen a "For Lease" sign in that area until recently. Businesses are dying and there are definitely a lot more empty store fronts. The grocery store I go to has definitely thinned out in terms of patrons. I've gone to the mall a few times this year and it too has thinned out. Call it what they want but something is definitely up!

    September 17, 2008 at 7:53 pm |
  18. glen

    I guess that means that us poor folks will get poorer. What a country. ONLY IN AMERICA.

    September 17, 2008 at 7:48 pm |
  19. Heather,Ca

    Hello Erica,

    I really enjoy hearing your thoughts.

    There are are a number of key people who are responsible for setting the stage for the current financial disaster that this country is in. Pres Clinton back in Nov of 1999 along with a Republican congress signed the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act.A modernization of our financial institutions that deregulated them allowing them to cross over into other sectors. Second is Mr Greenspan who publically called for and recommended flexible mortgage products that would allow for an increase in homeownership. Then add the record low interest rates put in place after 9/11 on top of outragiously high and over priced property. All these lenders cared about was making a deal. It used to be if you couldn't qualify, you couldn't get a house. You can't get something from nothing. That is a lesson to be learned. Everyone was solely concerned with making money from closing a loan. They didnt care or think of the fact that they were falsifying income. They were thinking of themselves. It was all cheap easy money. The only problem is this thing has due to deregulation spread to all sectors of our financial institutions. These people should be in prison. AIG,Lehman Bros is just the beginning. This isn't over by a long shot. It will keep spreading like a tree branch. It has just spread over seas. Its terrible that this has happened but it was just a matter of time. I find it rather interesting Pres Clinton hasnt said a word nor has McCain who voted for deregulation or even Greenspan who invited subprime products to begin with.

    I think the Gov of Florida always does an excellent job in a disaster.

    September 17, 2008 at 7:46 pm |
  20. Rose from Muscoy, Calif

    Hi Erica!

    Here in California HOT!

    Yes, I do agree it is a bite scary, and it's not HOLLOWEEN, yet. I don't think it's a RECESSION it's a DEPRESSION like in the 1930's. History always repeats itself we never learn do we, Erica?

    September 17, 2008 at 7:41 pm |
  21. Alexander

    Erica, I am not even sure we're not in a sort of depression. Actually, I don't think we are but no doubt we are in a real recession. It is scary, and I had predicted, not impressively, since it was kind of obvious, that the market would dip about the amount it did today. Hope your evening is going well, though, Erica, besides all this financial stuff.: )

    September 17, 2008 at 7:40 pm |
  22. Lilibeth

    So there are some people that still think we're not in a recession, huh? I'd like to know what planet they live in...

    September 17, 2008 at 7:36 pm |
  23. Megan Dresslar

    Hellooo Erica,
    I agree with you...... That is so very scary for people who lost their companies second time a row and This afternoon I checked that Dow going down or drop big boom...... I hope that they will save their companies back their feet.... I am planning to save my money in the bank ( Bank of America), but I am not bailout or helping other compaines...... I know what they will do to solve problem back up. I wish that they have change their plans. I hope they will recovery speed....... I will see you tonight Live blog and program AC360....... See you there!!!!!
    Megan D.
    Shoreline, Wa

    September 17, 2008 at 7:35 pm |
  24. Jennifer - Michigan

    Hi Erica,
    Man! That bee swarm getting into the house, that's terrible. Bad news there. Very scary.
    Very scary stock market today too. 450 points down. Ugh! === I guess we're all wondering where exactly is the bottom? Anyway, have a great night, see you later.

    September 17, 2008 at 7:21 pm |