September 29th, 2008
10:14 PM ET

The opening bell didnt ring today... a bad sign

Editor's Note: Susan Lisovicz is CNN's primary correspondent on financial news. She is most frequently seen from the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) reporting on the latest market and business news. Today was a day on Wall Street unlike any other. Susan shares her view from the center of it all:

Susan Lisovicz |BIO
CNN Financial Correspondent

The opening bell didn't ring today. Its the first time I can recall an electronic malfunction. A bad sign.

The Market was selling off. I asked traders, wasn't everyone clamoring for a deal? There was one on the table. They were wary because it had not passed and there was more stress in the financial market: Wachovia, and three European financial companies on the brink.

Midway through today's session, the traders gathered around the TV monitor. The last time I saw that was for some televised car chase. There simply isn't a lot of serious stuff so riveting to them. They act on headlines.

I got in the crowd to see what they were watching. It was the vote, and it wasn't going to pass.

Someone was singing the REM song “It's the End of the World as We Know It.”

The Dow was nose-diving... I reached for my sheet to double-check the so-called 'circuit breakers' – The amount of digits the market has to fall before trading is halted. The number? 1200 points. We were more than halfway there.

Washington talking heads say they will do another vote soon... Not soon for this crowd... Every day there is more blood on the Street.

To go back to that REM song, it may not be the end of the world, but I don't feel fine.

Filed under: Bailout Turmoil
soundoff (157 Responses)
  1. Ernie Silver

    We can agree that the of worlds distribution of power (USA controlling 65% of the world wealth while having less than 6% of the worlds population) is "out of balance". The recent "financial crisis" is nothing more that than a historical inevitability..The steps to a more fair and equalized distribution of wealth and power...We've had a great 100 years of prosperity and this is histories' way to allow others (India, China, etc.) have an opportunity to raise their standard of living.

    September 29, 2008 at 10:47 pm |
  2. Mary

    I have a question on what to do with my stocks. My mother's estate was completed last week. There was about 287,000 to be split between 6 of us siblings. My part of the trust was held in the trust and on Friday my brothers liquidated 5/6 of the trust into cash and left in trust my share 1/2 being in stocks and 1/2 Bonds. My friend says I should put my stocks in a money market account saying it won't go up but at least it won't go down.
    What do you think?

    September 29, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  3. Jim in KC

    Where's the domestic "surge", where's John McCain now, where's our elected officials? This is a disgrace and insult to all voting americans. If this package wasn't good enough, why vote on it. This is political posutring at it's worst.

    September 29, 2008 at 10:45 pm |
  4. Christine

    I understand the collosal magnitude of this situation and the fact that it isnt going anywhere anytime soon. That being said, Suze Orman preaching armeggedon doesnt help people and the state of mind of the nation. Maybe we should all pack our bags, drain our accounts (what's left of them) and move out of the U.S.. We can come back in 2015 when it will be safe (according to Suze) to show our faces and wallets again. She has offered nothing as far as a resolution or damage control other than telling everyone to pay off their credit cards. Yeah, that's my priority...

    September 29, 2008 at 10:44 pm |
  5. Jim in Florida

    Why is it that for two years from 2006-early 2008 the market rose 20% raising from 10,000 to 14,000. Is this not the market correcting itself. I am sorry that people saw their 401k drop by 10% but they are still above what they had in 2005? I had the foresight a year and a half ago when the mortgages were starting to go bad to take my money out of the market. So why is this hurting me. I understand if my job was at risk given some company's that have to borrow to pay employees on occassion. Those of us that did everything right and still get hurt because jobs force us to move and can't sell our houses feel like we are getting the shaft. I am paying a mortgage plus rent. I had 4 months worth of savings that I have now basically ran through during the last 8 months because of this. Now I am on the brink of bankruptcy and I see everybody getting bailed out but me. So I don't think this bailout is doing anything for me.

    September 29, 2008 at 10:42 pm |
  6. Eric

    Dear Anderson,

    I have a question. What is the potential impact of the financial crisis on our food supply. I understand that most farmers buy fuel, seed, fertilizer, equipment, labor, etc. with credit. They pay back the loans after the season is over when they have harvested and sold the crop. If farmers can't get loans they may not grow crops. How in danger is U.S. agriculture?

    September 29, 2008 at 10:40 pm |
  7. Allen

    you have heard of the rise and fall of the Roman empire is this the (Rise and fall of the American empire ??????

    September 29, 2008 at 10:40 pm |
  8. Joe

    I just happenned to request a direct rollover from my previous employer's 401k recently and haven't had a chance to mail the check to the new fund company to set up the rollover. Did I dodge a bullet today, and is this a good time to invest while the market is down? I'm 30 yrs old with a good risk tolerance.

    Fall River, MA

    September 29, 2008 at 10:39 pm |
  9. Dan Kelly

    A few months ago Ali interviewed me in Tombstone, AZ. He'll remember! I challenged him then to turn and find a single bag coming out of any shops! None to be seen! We who live in the real world have been watching this come to life for a while now! My own retirement droped 2 grand in the last year! (Must not have been putting my money in oil or instruments of war huh?) I'm working in Houma, LA. right now and folks....these folks are hurting in more ways than one! What ever they do is fine with me, as long as they don't ask Me to pay some CEO'S Salary!!!! It's about time our "Leader's" Lead, and stop begging for more handouts from the hard working "Middle Class"...And that doesn't mean people who make under 250 thousand a year, it's the folks like me who are LUCKY to make 65 to 80!

    September 29, 2008 at 10:39 pm |
  10. J. Barrera

    It is quite obvious that this current session of Congress has proven their worth, ZERO!. I call upon the people of this great country to oust their representatives and senators and replace them with people that will do something more productive. My god, a mule can do a better job than those worthless zeros who are currently representing us. Those congressmen and senators should all step down, if they have any self-respect (which I doubt), and go back to their home districts and work and struggle like the rest of us have been doing! I know now that you really do not need any qualifications to hold office in this country. Look where that has taken us!!

    Signed, A frustrated citizen

    September 29, 2008 at 10:38 pm |
  11. R.J.

    Is it not damaging for everyone that Susie who has no credentials outside personl finance is making comments on economic matters?

    What is wrong with channeling the 700 billion through the masses so they can pay their mortgage. Wont the money end up in banks and other financial institutions?

    Why is she uptight about people not being able to run up their credit card when he always says one should not run debt on ones credit card?

    Why not use part for stuedent grants and loans, schools, roads, small business (small bus. adm) etc. etc.

    September 29, 2008 at 10:38 pm |
  12. mark

    anderson when are you going to find out what the mainstream people are thinking. all i see on your show are people who have enough money to need the bailout to save there millions. If I was losing my house susie would tell me to be more conservative in the future. but if she's losing money we need a bailout. Thats the way I see it. Lou dobbs is the only one conserned about the little man

    September 29, 2008 at 10:38 pm |
  13. Adam Sissom

    C'mon we all know what would happen if this wallstreet bailout passes. The big FBI investigation will be dropped, the CEO's will be richer and we americans paid for it. Why bail wallstreet out when we can bailout america for 700 billion dollars? Its just another example of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. It is time for americans to stand up and show these fat cats and politications that we dont wont there greediness to mess this country up any more than it alredy is. There are plenty of others ways we could spend 700 billion in the economy. So who really benifits from this politications and fat cats or the american people? I think we all know the anwser.

    September 29, 2008 at 10:38 pm |
  14. dominic

    I've had to cash out my 401K to prevent foreclosure proceedings on our home. Any comment on using the 401K for this purpose. This has resulted in huge losses because I have had to cash it out at a loss. I am worried about the tax implications for next year.

    September 29, 2008 at 10:38 pm |
  15. Dr. Robert Chatov

    Please explain why, if the problem is bank liquidity, the banks cannot borrow from the Fed to take care of their financial needs? This is what needs to be explained relative to the alleged need of the government to purchase poorly performing assets from the banks and other institutions.

    Thank you,

    R. Chatov, Prof. Emeritus of Public Policy, School of Management, SUNY@Buffalo

    September 29, 2008 at 10:37 pm |
  16. Louis

    Everyone is talking about small businesses will not receive short-term loan from the bank to make payroll. But no one is mentioning the fact that one of president bush’s first action when he took office was to cut the small loan program from the SBA, which was entirely geared towards helping small businesses. Can we see the connection?

    September 29, 2008 at 10:36 pm |
  17. Vince

    What happened to all the PMI for home buyers with less thatn 20% down?

    September 29, 2008 at 10:36 pm |
  18. Marcus

    What every news station fails to understand is that the American Public (Democrat and Republican) are against giving money to the crooks that caused this mess. It is principle! Why not have the Feds loan the money at interest to the crooked institutions? That's what banks do to us!!!

    The media keeps saying it is bad bill, but we need it and it really helps main street... What a joke!!! Loan them the money, make them work out their problems like we have to!!!

    September 29, 2008 at 10:36 pm |
  19. dominic

    I've had to ash out my 401K to prevent my home from going into foreclosure. any advice on using these funds for this purpose.

    September 29, 2008 at 10:36 pm |
  20. stacy

    I CANNOT believe your coverage and comments. All of your analysts are reacting as if the bailout plan was the ONLY option, and that Americans are too stupid to get what's going on. This was a horrible plan for may reasons, and Americans got that. (The parallels between iraq are eerie, including the mdeia's willingness to buy the Administration's arguments hook line and sinker).

    The situation is very serious–maybe Anericans were asking for a better plan before they plunk their money down even more. The fact that market fell doesn't say that the vote against the plan was misguided, only that the market is looking for a plan. Just who do you think was doing all the selling? The volume wasn't from "Main Street. "

    Now annoying Suzie Orman is rattling on. She just lamented the failure of the bill, and the next thing she's saying the market might not recover til 2015– give you any sense about her comments on the bailout? She knows nothing more than the rest of us.

    September 29, 2008 at 10:35 pm |
  21. Kelly Parry

    I want to know what the great Ralph Nader has to say about this finacial crisis????? This country would have been in better hands and in a better sate had Americans seen the light back in the day when he tried to run!....

    September 29, 2008 at 10:35 pm |
  22. Phil

    Why are you not telling people to not invest in any US government financial product! Give Ron Paul a call and he will tell you how to vote, how (not to) invest and start getting back to the basics of what made the US a great country.

    Work, save and build your house out of pocket!!

    September 29, 2008 at 10:35 pm |
  23. j.knight

    Suze |Orman has no business saying its going to take until 2015 to recover from this. THis makes people run in the other direction and panick this is very bad for the economy. I feel you need to be positive, yes tell people the truth but dont embelish and exagerate. This is not what we need right now. Get someone who really knows what they are talking about.

    September 29, 2008 at 10:35 pm |
  24. Kent

    I'm going on vacation to Europe in two weeks. Will the dollar's value decline so much that I should cancel my trip and cut my losses?

    September 29, 2008 at 10:35 pm |
  25. Traci Steen

    Land is at least tangible. Suzie's comments target young people and that they should not be as "concerned" as those close to retirement. I say, young people should play it smart, not "flipping" real estate, but long term investment...I had a father, who said, "land is tangible". No matter what happens, you still have the land...mutual funds, you have nothing...when lost!

    September 29, 2008 at 10:34 pm |
  26. DeDreana Freeman

    If the market is going down, who is buying,I would think that you would only be able to sell if there's a buyer but apparently I mistaken please explain.

    September 29, 2008 at 10:34 pm |
  27. Mark

    Hey Anderson,

    It seems to me that we can give all the money to Wall street that they want but how does that solve the problem. The middle class are the one's that are hurting. Why don't we take that 700 billion dollars and set up two funds. One to help the tax payer get out of these bogus mortgages and into a note that they can afford. Sure some of these people knew what they were getting into but so did the "fat cats" on Wall Street. The second to help the American public get out of high interest creditrcard debt. Offer them a way to get into a low interest rate so they can pay off their debt. Maybe this way people will be able to contiue to so stay in their homes and pay off their debt then they can start to borrow again.
    On a different note, John McCain should send Sarah Palin Parah salin.

    September 29, 2008 at 10:34 pm |
  28. David

    I am in the process of refinancing my home in the Texas area (I was spared damage by Hurricane Ike). In fact, the appraiser was here today.

    How will this '777 crash' affect mortgage interest rates? What factors will mortgage banks and brokers now require from lenders after this debacle? My credit score is excellent...will that matter any more?

    September 29, 2008 at 10:34 pm |
  29. shaun

    i am embarassed to be an american under a republican dumbrella. we have been mislead by bush mccain paulson house gop absent dick cheney. why would any half brain american want the republicans to be the leader of this changing country. republicans sold us one too many lies and want us to buy another one. the party cried wolf too many times. new young forward thinking presidential leadership is needed. GOD bless us all. the world we so snub is watching the wright roosters come home to roost.

    September 29, 2008 at 10:32 pm |
  30. Kamal

    What is the guarantee that this mess will be cleared with the $700 billion? What if this $700 billion bailout plan makes the situation even worse? What will we do if the problem doesn’t go away and require another round of $700 billion?

    September 29, 2008 at 10:31 pm |
  31. Gail Plyler

    I have been widowed for 23 years and I have a small Social Security check and also a Civil Service Pension. This is my only means of support. Do you have any idea how this situation might affect the incomes of all of the persons who are living on Government pensions? Thank you.

    September 29, 2008 at 10:31 pm |
  32. Danny Gitsas

    Here's a very simple and educated solution;

    Give every American home owner over 20 years of age $400,000. By doing this, people will pay off their mortgages, loans, cars, etc. This will benefit EVERYONE because we will be stimulating the economy much more than we would if we spent $700 Billion to buy out a single bank. Hello?!?!?!?!??? Did I also mention that the government would also tax that $400k and STILL get money back?? Yup, it's a win-win situation! 🙂 WAKE UP AMERICA!!!!

    September 29, 2008 at 10:30 pm |
  33. eric

    What would be wrong with turning the bail out into an economic stimulus package....giving every american $2300 would go a long way to reduce the debt that is the heart of this problem....a family of four would get around $9200....that could pay off credit cards, make at least a few mortgage payments, and probably encourage retail spending?

    Besides...the vast majority of americans would be for that...which would go a long way to encourage those in congress to approve it.

    September 29, 2008 at 10:30 pm |
  34. Natalie Perez

    If the 700 billion dollar had won the majority vote, how much would that have cost me as an individual?

    September 29, 2008 at 10:30 pm |

    Not Quite Mr. Cooper.

    Where do you think the $700B is coming from?
    The White Night must sale $700B of assets or take the money out of a bank.

    For Example, $700B leaves a bank, goes to the4 Fed;s and Goes back to a bank.

    Or the investor sales $700B of Stock and buys the $700B of new bonds.

    September 29, 2008 at 10:29 pm |
  36. lindaM

    This 700 billion problem is the repuplican fault and now they want the poor people to bail them out and Mc Cain started this mess and now he wants to blame Obama give me a break the people on wall street want tgo get richer and richer and it is not fair for us to suffer with high taxes to help them out. We are living in some tough time , We cannot have 4 more years of this mess with the Mccain and Palen ticket.I have a solution make everyone who makes less than 200,000.oo to not pay their mor4tgage for 4 months.

    September 29, 2008 at 10:28 pm |
  37. Barabara

    Hey Susan, on Opra you gave great advice!!! America Life Within Your Means! Go cash. If You don,t have the money; wait till you do.

    Susan==please get the word to the Presedent-his solution is to enable more econimy by "Lies"-===IE -his statement in his speece "do the bailout so banks can began lending money"

    but most of all--with money comes responsibility! any company needing a bail out would not pay any perks to management. Salary only.

    September 29, 2008 at 10:28 pm |
  38. Robin--Michigan

    What does PMI cover, I thought this was to cover a mortgage if you defaulted.

    September 29, 2008 at 10:28 pm |
  39. Bob Denny

    It would be nice if someone in the news media actually tried to educate us on WHAT the bill has in it (without us needing to read all 100+ pages of weaselwording) and help us understand, say, the 5 biggest points of contention on which the vote hinged. Instead all I hear is WHO did this, WHO said that, WHO wants this...

    How about some useful information for us voters. Provide us with some understanding of the ISSUES not the PEOPLE.

    September 29, 2008 at 10:28 pm |
  40. Wallace Gustafson

    Is it possible to find out what members of congress voted AGAINST the bailout AND pulled significant money OUT of the market in the last 7 days. I would hate to think that someone would vote against it, but then make a move that displays their knowledge of what this means for the general public. I have a bad feeling there would be more than we think. Can this be done?

    September 29, 2008 at 10:27 pm |
  41. Joe

    If McCain or Obama want to win overwhelmingly, here is what they should commit to at the next debate.

    They will pass the $700B bill within 30 days after entering office. They will pull out of Iraq within 30 days, yes 30 days, after that in order to help save $10B per month to offset the $700B and the earlier $85B bailouts. The only way we would stay in Iraq is if Iraq pays us every month in advance. They will review every other foreign entity that we are supporting with the goal of possibly stopping financial aid within 30 days. America must first be able to feed itself and take care of itself before it takes care of the rest of the world. It really is as simple as that.

    The world will understand. Whomever is brave enough to make this commitment and follow through will be the next President of the United States of America. And a great President at that.

    September 29, 2008 at 10:27 pm |
  42. Matthew Robert

    It is UN American how congress has gone home for the Jewish holiday. This just shows how poor our representatives are. Republicans and Democrats both don't care about us the tax payer. I cant wait to vote our representatives out of office because our fellow brothers and sisters are losing their homes their jobs and their savings.

    September 29, 2008 at 10:26 pm |
  43. william brodie

    fear is NOT the answer! its america in trouble ,we shall overcome this!hang tuff america


    September 29, 2008 at 10:25 pm |
  44. Stephen Wilkerson


    Let's take the 700B and invest it in getting us off foreign oil.
    At least we'll get something then. I'm not buying the arguments being made by the press.

    September 29, 2008 at 10:24 pm |
  45. Lynda Dorris


    September 29, 2008 at 10:24 pm |
  46. Sue Scheibe

    Question for our law makers:

    Why don't we use the $700 Billion to sure up the strong banks and let the weak ones fail? The American pubilc may buy into suring up the stronger, more responsible banks so credit will continue to flow!

    September 29, 2008 at 10:24 pm |
  47. Gayle Deale


    People are angry. They want Bush, the Republicans, Bernanke, and Paulson –who all denied a problem until a few weeks ago - to admit they made huge mistakes.

    We want Pelosi to stand up and assign blameinstead of allowing disaster after disaster to occur without anyone be held accountable. Maybe we'd be more likely to endorse a bail-out if only Bush and company would accept blame. We want to see Bush contrite before he leaves office.

    Kudos to Pelosi!!!!

    September 29, 2008 at 10:23 pm |
  48. Bob

    Ugh! It seems we've finally exhausted the value of a two-party system. The country is so polarized we can't seem to save ourselves. We need the benefits of multiple parties, more choices and a true coalition form of government.

    September 29, 2008 at 10:22 pm |
  49. Yolanda

    I have a question for Susan Lisovicz . I'm 62 and want to know if I should sell some of my stocks to pay off my home?

    Lost in thoughts in Massachusetts.

    September 29, 2008 at 10:20 pm |
  50. Darren Sterud

    Hi Susan, I'm a college student with college loans from a private lender, Sallie Mae. Many College students out there have loans from companies like this now a days. How is this going to effect us as college students in making payments, and the interest that we may face.

    Darren Sterud
    UW Whitewater
    Whitewater, WI

    September 29, 2008 at 10:20 pm |
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