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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. Carm

    I am curious about the PMI Insurance that alot of us have had to pay over the years. PMI insurance pays off the lender in the event the borrower defaults on the mortgage. Did some of these companies recover any of the Insurance money? Shouldn't this have helped the losses.

    September 29, 2008 at 11:44 pm |
  2. John Arack

    William the Dems took over in Jan 2007. The Republicans had control from 1994-2006, just so you are informed..

    September 29, 2008 at 11:40 pm |
  3. Sally Martin

    If anyone has money in the bank or elsewhere and you are afraid of losing it, go buy a person's house that is being foreclosed on and you can agree on an interest rate you both would think is OK. Then you can either have a lifetime annuity, or you can sell the loan to a lender when the economy is sane again. You can save someone's home and your lifetime savings. Power to the people!!! SAM

    September 29, 2008 at 11:39 pm |
  4. dave malik

    Why the push the vote the bail out ? many of us don't have jobs now !and the jobs that are here are disappearing overseas! we don't have savings now!!! and most importantly we don't owe anyone anything my mortgage is paid every month i don,t live beyond my financial means.
    I work in a fairly well paying job yet I struggle and try to save i do without,, its time for large scale goverment change on both sides of the politcal isle.
    your bail out will only prolong the agony and the rich and the politicians will find the loophole as they always do. time to feel some pain so we can be motivated to make real change Americansare lazy and we won't act until we are forced .

    September 29, 2008 at 11:38 pm |
  5. Renegade

    All I here on the news is that the House members who voted against the bill are irresponsible (95 Democrats and 133 Republicans). They voted what main stream America believed in not a bailout for the rich and FAT CATS. Where are the provisions to bail out the homeowners? Convert all the adjustable home loans and high interest rate loans to affordable 30 or 40-year loans. The homeowners than can meet the mortgages, have money left over to pay credit cards and utilities and still put food on the table. The draw back will be less money for the million dollars CEO’s.

    September 29, 2008 at 11:35 pm |
  6. John Arack

    Return of FDR days 1930's (our Country did this before). Green economy is GOOD for America, Regulate Wall St., Regulate Banks, Quit outsourcing and Borrowing from China, Raise Tariffs, Raise Wages. We must turn the page NOW in NOVEMBER from this Katrina Economy..

    September 29, 2008 at 11:35 pm |
  7. jerry kerley

    I thought the Democrats had control of Congress. Why is everyone blaming the Republicans for not passing the bailout bill? Can Nancy Pelosi not lead or control her own people?? Can the Democrats not pass a bill without the Republicans?? Why bailout anyway? If I personally get too deep in debt no one bails me out. I can borrow against my assets but who ever bailed out the little guy??? Why not loan wall street money against their assets and if they ever make money the taxpayer gets his money back. It becomes a bailout only if all their assets go under. I would love to get someone to take all my bad debts and I could make a record profit the next year. How is that fair to the taxpayer to help wall street make more money while we struggle to get by?

    September 29, 2008 at 11:35 pm |
  8. Brittney

    I'm 22 and just got pre-approved for home loan. With everything going on is it still a good idea to buy a house?

    September 29, 2008 at 11:35 pm |
  9. Geri Bond

    Greetings Anderson and fellow concerned Americans,
    I propose we organize a non partisan grass roots movement headed by gurus with a track record who understand how we got here and how we can get out with mimimum risk and losses. We need our best and brightest – experts like Warren Buffet, Steve Forbes, Alan Greenspan, etc. And we need them now!

    Let's corral this brilliant team for Tuesday and Wednesday and come up with an alternate proposal or an adaptation of the congressional plan that we can understand, accept and ratify. I would have more trust in their plan and proposal than what our elected officals in congress are coming up with. I'm sure other Americans feel the same way. If we can't use these experts separately, can we bring them into the discussion and hold open, televised hearings?

    Thanks and let me what I can do to help. We are all in this together.

    September 29, 2008 at 11:34 pm |
  10. Paul Cronley

    Instead of playing the blame game or complaining, let’s have some suggestion on how you would fix this mess. Here is my suggestion.

    The federal government is going into the mortgage business. They should offer every home owner/property owner a 30-year low mortgage at between 3-4% interest – with the condition that the loan would max out at the current balance on your existing mortgage only; no add-ons in the form of new debt consolidation or purchases. I think enough people would take advantage of this massive re-fi to spark a natural comeback. It would give private citizens a sense of ownership in the solution; lower monthly mortgage payments, and free up money to pump into the economy. It would let banks and companies survive, save jobs, and fix the economy from the bottom up.

    September 29, 2008 at 11:34 pm |
  11. Oralia Ramirez

    I am one of the few people that is not late on there mortgage and have very little debt, but I do understand that if we do not do something to fix what is happening we are going to see something we have never seen. The reality of this is, weather we want this to happen or not it needs to happen in order to move on and try to get our economy back.

    September 29, 2008 at 11:34 pm |
  12. tommy ann wozniak

    I am a 31 year old female who is literally working on my small business loan proposal right now. Am I a fool to think I will ever get approved. I live in Detroit and am looking to borrow about $150,000. What do I do?

    September 29, 2008 at 11:34 pm |
  13. Vernon E. Parker III

    You mentioned as one of the biggest issue is that your home is not worth what it was before this crisis because of bad credit markets, that is part of the biggest problem about the housing market. They see homes as a profit and not as a necessary part of life, you know shelter. A home should never be viewed as an investment since housing is a basic need of human existence. See the problem? It is okay to want to make a few bucks on the sale of a home but at what price? I do not have any debt and am in the military and have a savings account, an annuity and a stock portfolio. Even with all that, I still cannot afford a home because the prices are so outrageous unless I take out a loan which is more than I can afford to pay back. So how is the housing market correcting itself a bad thing? How is the credit market coming down from ridiculous highs back to the reach of normal people a bad thing? Would the government bail out privately owned businesses such as coffee shops or cafes? No, these huge corporations have money, their board members have more money than 100 average citizens will make in 20 years. Let them shoulder the monetary losses since they squandered the money in the first place.

    September 29, 2008 at 11:33 pm |
  14. william

    Hey i thaught we put you democrats up thier to watch things you are in th majorty party and can pass this themselve.I thaought you were the party for the little guy not fat cats.On wall street o well i guess i was wrong again mabey my vote aginst one of you will change your mind and let you know you are not a good party now just whiners like flosie who blew the whole mess today. Now i know the democrats are just mouthie thats all.

    September 29, 2008 at 11:30 pm |
  15. Sally Martin

    Question? Could someone be manipulating the market so the ones with money could buy short and sell long? Could the gov. do this? Could the nay vote do this? I am not up on this. To solve the problem?
    Give every house hold an equal portion of the $700 billion dollars. This would cause spending without need for credit wouldn't it? This would help everyone wouldn't it? I guess i am lucky. I have no money
    anywhere. I believe that anyone who steals from the taxpayer should be put in jail. Don't you? After all, if we do not pay our taxes, we will be put in jail. Sincerely, SAM

    September 29, 2008 at 11:30 pm |
  16. carl Jahn

    you keep talking about people that are not retiring for 10 years, what is your advice for me I had planned to retire next year and 50% of my money is in a 401k that I can't move out without a taking a large hit???????

    September 29, 2008 at 11:29 pm |
  17. les fowler

    Stop trying to scare everyone. You know it's not going to affect the average person. It's you stock matket palyers and investors that its hitting, and you guys deserve it, you wanted deregulation so you geiuses could make money hand over fist well you made a bad decision and now its time to pay the piper, not us, you1!

    September 29, 2008 at 11:29 pm |
  18. Igor Kung

    I applaud the decision today of not passing the bailout package. The information supporting the bill does not add up. Frankly, does anyone understand how buying up the bad loans with the bailout package will relieve the credit crunch? Is it because now the banks have free money from the government to loan out, and they can return to the frivolous lending that got us in this mess in the first place? Won't that result in more bad loans that will dig us deeper in the hole.

    How about an alternate plan – We should let the banks fail, go through Chapter 11, and the presiding judge order them to forclose the defaulted real estate loans to recoupe money. The foreclosure sales should be at or below the current market price, not the kinds of foreclosure sales that are going on today where the banks are still not willing to take much lost. This way, the bank will get rid of the bad loans, and, at the same time, unleash an inventory of more affordable real estate into the market that will kick start the economy. I know many folks who were priced out of the housing market years ago are ready to jump in when the price is right. I'm one of them. That's what true free market economy is all about – let the natural economic cycle heal itself. That's my humble 2 cents.

    September 29, 2008 at 11:27 pm |
  19. Max S

    I guess that Tax Rebate " Economic Stimulus Package" was just a band-aid!! 7 months down the road and we are on the brink of a recession/depression... I knew something stunk about that. Give 2000 we take 2300 back.....

    September 29, 2008 at 11:27 pm |
  20. Mary Reynolds

    I'm a mother of 3 teenagers and i work at Walmart. I have very little and live paycheck to paycheck. I started 401K about 1 month ago. Do I continue this as I am 45 years old? Also what does the future look for my teenage children? What can I do for our future??

    Thank You~

    Mary

    September 29, 2008 at 11:25 pm |
  21. Trent

    We need to show congress that we are still running the United State. Those who are do not practists the Jewish holday should have to ansewer to their voters why they felt the need to take off durning the countries time of turmoil. Hold them accountable.

    September 29, 2008 at 11:24 pm |
  22. John Arack

    Paulson is NOT Trustworthy. He is taking care of his Country Club Buddies. BUSH is FORCED to sign ANYTHING now..

    September 29, 2008 at 11:23 pm |
  23. Yolanda

    You are right – it may not be the end of the world but I don't feel fine. I got up this morning to find out that my Wachovia stock is worthless. I am so angry that the bailout plan was not passed. What are they thinking? I guess it doesn't matter – they have money to burn. I don't.

    September 29, 2008 at 11:23 pm |
  24. Jane

    I can't help but think that if this bill had some actual provision for the averge working person it would have passed. We are looking at billions going out and helping the rich. What about the person who is trying to make a go of it but is having difficulity? Help them see what is needed other then give those who have a lot more and watch your friend have there home reposed.

    September 29, 2008 at 11:21 pm |
  25. james rogers

    I have been repairing my credit about seven months ago,i only have a car payment(430),two credit cards that are paid off.Last month applied for a loan ,what is going to happen and what should i do.I own a carpet cleaning buisness,i make 69,000,i have 10,000 in savings,my score was 539,its up to 590.Im i out of luck.

    September 29, 2008 at 11:20 pm |
  26. Katie

    My boyfriend and I are currently in college and plan on getting married when we graduate. Is this market going to make it more challenging for us to get a mortgage? Could there be a credit freeze?

    September 29, 2008 at 11:18 pm |
  27. carolyn

    The Democrats and Republicans need to come together and do what is right for all the people and stop playing the blame game. They should also think, "if the people of the United States goes down – all of the politicians will go to ." It is time to solve the problem and act for the good of everyone.

    September 29, 2008 at 11:17 pm |
  28. John Arack

    Lame Duck will sign ANYTHING NOW, Regulate NOW!!!!!! NO MORE De-Reaganonomics....

    September 29, 2008 at 11:17 pm |
  29. Trent

    How can we find out if our rep. voted for the rescure plan. Can you tell us if it is posted anywhere.

    September 29, 2008 at 11:16 pm |
  30. Peter Brooks

    When is someone going to mention that while the Congress was doing their thing, Ben Bernanke was "injecting $630 billion from the Fed into the system. What the hell is going on?

    September 29, 2008 at 11:16 pm |
  31. Eros

    If you have a debt with a bank that goes under, what happens to the debt?

    September 29, 2008 at 11:16 pm |
  32. danny

    why is cnn not talking about the 2004 hearings about fannie and freddy where republicans knew this was going to turn out bad but dems saw nothing wrong!!!

    September 29, 2008 at 11:15 pm |
  33. Rich

    Are my double tax free municipal bonds safe at this point?

    September 29, 2008 at 11:15 pm |
  34. Jaime M. Mesa,AZ

    please explain tonite to the voter. Someone has to get the message across, Rosh Hashona or not, where is Congress? There won't be much to come back to. Which Senator is going to show his stuff? Enough political fingerpointing, just put your heads together and fix it. This is not good that we are seeing how "broke" Washington is. The rest of us, and other countries are next if no one acts.

    September 29, 2008 at 11:12 pm |
  35. John Arack

    These Are the Bush Tax Breaks, Higher Gas, Higher Food Costs, Higher Medical Costs oh yes Declining Home Value.

    September 29, 2008 at 11:12 pm |
  36. ben rodriguez

    they say its credit cards and mortgage debt,i got a good idea use the 700 to renegotiate the rate on these mortgages on as many as they can......but they wont do that because the real bailout is not the seniors or the people but the ones who lost millions in the stock market and other investments and now have a paltry few million to live on from their previously grandiose hordes of cash

    September 29, 2008 at 11:10 pm |
  37. John Arack

    The Bell is Broken. Wall Street is GREED. Regulate and tax these FOOLS. They can bail themselves out by paying a tax on trades. Blame the guy in the White House for the last 8 years and the guy trying to suceed him. WAKE UP AMERICA..

    September 29, 2008 at 11:09 pm |
  38. Heather,Ca

    I love your reporting Susan! Yeah you literally are at the ground zero of the financial world. Maybe the electronic malfunction was a symbolic sign of what is still yet to come. It may not be the end of the world as we know it,but we sure are in for a long bumpy ride.

    September 29, 2008 at 11:09 pm |
  39. Numan

    Poor president Bush, he started his term with a disaster and ends with another disaster.

    September 29, 2008 at 11:05 pm |
  40. wm parfet

    I really think our younger adults need to understand how serious this economic condition is today. We should educate them on the 1929 crash and how this may impact the "X-generation" and the entiled generation of me first.

    September 29, 2008 at 10:54 pm |
  41. Frank

    Anderson
    What is wrong with Congress they take off for a Jewish holiday while the biggest crunch in the stock market since the great depression.
    They take off more time than they actually work and they need to do there jobs and get this worked out.
    We can’t say the Pledge of allegiance or pray in our public schools and they are taking in God we trust off our money. The Politicians we have in this country make me sick.
    Frank
    Palestine TX.

    September 29, 2008 at 10:54 pm |
  42. stephen pfeifer

    i have a question for mr andersons financial experts, In this time of crisis i, like many americans, have some credit card debt. Its not overwhelming ,but there none the less. would it be wise to hold onto every penny we have left in savings for any unforseen emergency or let it get used up alieviating our debt but have nothing left in our savings accont? we currently have about 8-10 months of mortgage payments in savings and the majority of it would be used up on debt payments

    September 29, 2008 at 10:54 pm |
  43. W. Hayes

    I haven't head anyone on CNN or other news media nor the canidates offer suggestions for addressing this crisis. I offer this suggestion as an Obama supporter. Simply, Change this bill to address the lopsideness where the corporations benefit (eliminate the golden parachutes), while taxpayer foot the bill. Also the government need to take an equity in the corporations that are balled-out. Most important, add provisions to help home owners in mortgage default and the rest of us little people.

    September 29, 2008 at 10:53 pm |
  44. Rich D

    Why can’t the Government guarantee 250 Billion in bonds similar to savings bonds and sell them to the public with a 5 % to 10% return after 5 years. I don’t think people want just a promise from the government that the money from the bail out will be returned to the tax payer.

    September 29, 2008 at 10:52 pm |
  45. Myia J.

    I would like to know Why did they leave? I would like to know why don't they help the middle class families who carry the country? Couldn't they pass bill that will allow those of familes who are loosing their homes to forclosures to have a mortage refiance amiste ? The home owners , who can make the monthly payments put what they are behind on the back in of the loan & refiance them at let's say up to 8% in interest & if they refiance again & get inthe same situtation so be it. If they want a bail out the stock markets. Help the people keep their homes & not keep mr. Mccain & ceo campain managers rich. Remember he was repremanded for lobbying 5 years ago.

    September 29, 2008 at 10:51 pm |
  46. walter lewis

    it is not the american people who should do whats best for the country,but the politicians,big business and the rich! they got us into this mother of all messes.

    September 29, 2008 at 10:50 pm |
  47. morris williams

    I have watched this political battle between the the candidates, along with the economic turmoil that our country now faces.
    point one, it is true that someting has to be done by the senate and congress in the form of some kind of bill to help get these markets back on track, but what I see as the problem is that their are to many people with money in charge of the status quoe that will not be affected by our present situations because of all of the big monies that they have made in the past 8 to 10 years.
    so how is a person that makes under $20,000 a year going to survive, and which candidate is willing to suppress what he makes per. year to make things happen for the little people???

    September 29, 2008 at 10:50 pm |
  48. Nay

    Look the bailout is wrong and these companies in the forbes top 200 hundred need to be the ones baioling themselves out of this mess. Wipe out there bank accounts. Hey, I owe for my school loans will the government lend me 10K. please do,. I blame this largely on the presidents of this country freom the beginning. The struccture of our country has not ben in good form. Three points I;ll make then i'll shut up. THis country doesn't go to GOD for answers. 2. Slavery, leaving hurricane victims stranded, not helping the poor. Look we are getting a taste of our own medicine so don't cry about it. 3. In order to have a better functioning country or world. The restriction level must come down. Now a days you must have a masters or doctors degree to even get a job. You must have a certain amount of money to get a loan. Certain grades to get into college. The bar of success is way to high. This country depends on small business owners. Why not give them grants that don't have to be paid pack. If someone really needs the money it won't hurt the government none to give these people a couple thousand to get on there feet. Some kids go on to college and excel more than they did in high school. All i ask is that we all starting giving each other a chance first if you mess up then hold it to restriction.................................Goodnight

    September 29, 2008 at 10:49 pm |
  49. Kay B

    The problem is that everyone is yacking about how necessary this bailout is but why isn't anyone on TV discussing the proposal in detail, put it on a big chart with bullet points in laymen terms and have fin.consultants explain it step by step, so we know exactly where our money is going. If this is our tax $, we should have the right to the actually proposal that congress just voted against. Its like making someone buy a car for 70,000, but you don't have any info on the car.
    If people could see the bailout plan, it might be easier for them to accept it.

    September 29, 2008 at 10:49 pm |
  50. Carla Bransford

    I am 30 and have 5000 in credit debit, with 10000 retirement. Should I take some out to pay this off?

    September 29, 2008 at 10:47 pm |
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