October 9th, 2008
04:45 PM ET

Taking more questions LIVE tonight!

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Have unanswered questions about what the financial market turmoil means for your wallet, retirement, mortgage, or job?

Submit them to us here, we'll be taking more questions live tonight on AC360° tonight at 10p ET.

Read Suze Orman's answer's to last night's questions.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Economy
soundoff (60 Responses)
  1. Caroline

    My husband and I are facing foreclosure. I am a real estate paralegal and lost my job last year due to the slowing market. I was able to obtain the only job opening, but not unti after accruing substantial credit card debt, paying for the basics such as grocerries and gas while trying to maintain our mortgage payment. We are maxed out in every aspect and now face losing our home. We have tried working with CitiMortgage since May of this year before payments were late. They were not willing to work with us until we were 60 days behind. Despite the fact that we attempted to contact CitiMortgage daily, faxed the same documents at least 8 times to 8 different people in the company, the only CitiMortgage employees that would speak to us were representatives in the collections department. I desperately want to make payments and keep my children in our home that has depreciated $70,000 in value causing the mortgage to be more than the home will now appraise for, but without the cooperation from CitiMortgage it seems inevitable that we will lose it.

    How can the federal government bail out the large companies that are going under because of bad mortgages, but not help the millions of Americans losing everything they have. Is it not possible for Congress to not give hand outs to the companies that are not willing to restructure the loans to give people to the opportunity to keep their homes and continue to make the mortgage companies money? Why isn't Congress demanding more of the companies that possess bad debt in order to stop the surge of foreclosures? Why are there no emergency meetings to fix the taxpayers problems now? It seems to me that the loss to the lenders and the taxpayers would be less, but I have yet to hear anyone in the media discussing this issue in depth. The media has the power to force this issue on the officials seeking election next month. Apparently they cannot hear the voice of the American people unless it is on every news channel and all the time.

    October 9, 2008 at 6:40 pm |
  2. Sara Pat Badgley

    This week we saw our market sink, the Asian Market sink, the UK market sink....Is any country's market getting stronger or benefitting from the global economic failures?

    October 9, 2008 at 6:37 pm |
  3. Michele

    I'm curious...why only bail out the banks from the banking industry? Wouldn't it help if some of the bailout money was distributed to taxpayers so they could make their house payments? Wouldn't that help our economy, small business and taxpayers? I'm a small business owner and I can see that people are afraid to spend. It is effecting every business from the grocers and restaurants to home and clothing stores. I live in an area that was previously one of the fastest growing cities in the USA but, businesses are closing every day! Why not do a little bailing where it's getting deep and let it work through the system to the banks?

    October 9, 2008 at 6:37 pm |
  4. KC Denver

    I have a traditional IRA in a credit union and a defined benefit pension plan with me contributing 5.5% before taxes and the city goverment I work for matching my contribution. I am fully vested in 10 years. Right now I am 57 woman and plan to work until I am 70. I also have Social Security (if it is still sound by then) benefits coming too. How much of my retirement and IRA are tied to this mess in Wall Street? Are credit unions owned by employees, safer than a traditional bank?

    October 9, 2008 at 6:03 pm |
  5. Jim Fid

    My comment is regarding the interest rate credit card companies charge. Most credit cards as far as I know are products of banks. If the U.S. Treasury plans to help banks and that infusion of money is from tax dollars then the Treasury should mandate a fixed max rate on all outstanding balances ASAP. The fact is these banks charge over 30% interest and the folks at the top of these banks still can't seem to make ends meet with their extravagant lifestyles. A figure of 10% to me would seem reasonable.

    October 9, 2008 at 6:03 pm |
  6. Rick Eberle

    Instead of all the things they have done that take to long to stimulate the economy. Why don't they suspend the income tax till the end of the year or something similiar. wouldn't that work almost immediatly to get money in people hands and get things moving?

    October 9, 2008 at 6:02 pm |
  7. Cree (Reno, NV)

    What are the chances that Ford and GM could go belly up? If that is the case what does that do to the market and economy – especially in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana? Do the CEO's for these corps get paid first before the layoffs with no compensation to the blue collared workers?

    October 9, 2008 at 6:02 pm |
  8. Mitchell Jacobs

    I'm 43 yrs old and don't plan on retiring for some time. I have seen my 401k diminish. Suzie has said if retirement is in 10 years or more to stay in the market. I fall in that category, however, I have one child who will be hopefully going to college in 3 years and another in 6. Does that change the 10 yr plus thinking? Will colleges be impacted by this economy and and as result will there be less scholarships and/or aide? What should I do now? Thanks

    October 9, 2008 at 5:56 pm |
  9. Susan

    I thank God we did not have an aggressive Real estate agent because the rest of the process of buying a home was a snare for the unsuspecting buyer. The bank offered way more money than we could afford; the prices were inflated due to lack of competition (re: the consolidated Multiple Listing Services); the appraiser made a few hundred dollars for 5 minutes work, did not inspect the home and told us the reason was, "It is worth whatever you are willing to pay for it". This was ridiculous!
    We closed with a fixed rate mortgage, but our insurance keeps going up due to natural disasters. It really annoys me to have someone blame borrowers when we're paying and struggling in the low end of the middle class. It's just wrong. I'd apologize for buying a home but we needed a place to live.

    October 9, 2008 at 5:55 pm |
  10. Jolene, St. Joseph, MI

    What about US Treasury bonds, notes, and bills? Are these considered safe or do we have to worry about the government not having the money when they mature, especially if some mature this year.

    October 9, 2008 at 5:55 pm |
  11. Totianna Johnson

    Hello, my question is, My husband and I foreclosed on our home in February and we moved into an Apt. What will happen to those Individuals that have already Foreclosed and had to move on to make ends meet? How is the system (which ever or whom ever it may be) going to assist us (The American People)?

    2nd Question: What does it mean that certain Countries would like to have a GLOBAL CURRENCY? how will that affect us as a Country?

    Thank you for your time.

    October 9, 2008 at 5:54 pm |
  12. Joe W

    What is the government doing to do to stop Wall Street investor panic? What is the effect of government buying Bank shares?

    I agree with the first comment from D (Atlanta) comment that all management team from those fallen companies should be fired before letting them touch the taxpayers money. The government should have stronger oversight and make people accountable.

    Come on AIG execs going for a retreat after the government bail them out. Is sounds like a spa was hand out instead of a golden parachute!

    October 9, 2008 at 5:53 pm |
  13. Stephanie

    Please explain why Bush would be so quick to veto another stimulus bill for the American people, but said a $700 billion bailout was absolutely necessary.

    October 9, 2008 at 5:48 pm |
  14. Jonathan Talbot

    If the numbers assigned to the market are falling everywhere – but the amount of land, workers, physical stuff in the universe, products, etc. – are staying the same, can't everyone just ride it out until, say, a house is only worth 130,000 instead of 300,000, but what people can earn and what bread costs and the rest adjust accordingly? What am I missing? Is it that different things are devaluing at different rates? That debts aren't being devalued this way? Isn't the fall in the value of holding debts actually a good thing?

    October 9, 2008 at 5:42 pm |
  15. Larry

    Hello Suze:)

    I'm wondering if investing in an endowment to a university is risky or a good financial strategy?

    October 9, 2008 at 5:38 pm |
  16. ZsaZsa Ellis

    I have about $30K invested in the stock market and my portfolio is now at $14K. Its horrible! I also have about $15K in a Georgia College Savings 528 Plan, and I am afraid to even look at how that's performing. My son is 13 years old and will need that money a lot sooner than I'll need the money from my brokerage account. If I cant withdraw the money from his 528 without being penalized, should I just ride the wave and pray that the economy bounces back by the time he's ready for college? Is 5 years enough time to recoup any losses and hopefully make some gains?

    October 9, 2008 at 5:36 pm |
  17. TJ

    Maybe people would be more trusting in the bailout if Hank "Goldman Sacks" Paulson who took record paychecks home was not in charge and now putting more of his Goldman people in charge.

    October 9, 2008 at 5:34 pm |
  18. Mary California

    I have a 5 year interest only (4.78%) loan that is due to re-set Feb. 1st of 09. It is tied to the libor. It has a 2 point cap. I have applied for a 30 year fixed @ 5.125 with 2 points. Now they are telling me that my house is not worth the needed appriasal. When we refied 5 years ago we were planning on taking a job in another state. That didn't pan out and my husband lost his job of 12 years and has been unemployed for the last 18mo. so we have been stuck with this loan. We have also tried to sell our house for the last year to no avail. What on earth do we do? Should we just set tight and hope the libor is somewhere in the 4-5 nieghborhood or try a different loan company? Our FICO scores are in the 800's but with the market drop in the last few weeks has dropped our assets considerable. Our cash is just about gone. I'm panicking bigtime. Don't know what to do we badley need some information. Please help

    October 9, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  19. Jerry

    Why can our tax dollars be abused so blatently and the Attorney General not step in and take immediate action on Jailing these "Gangsters of Wall Street"? Is not a retreat to the spa for almost a half-million dollars not evidence enough that we have been scammed? Come on......do you really think the American people are going to completely sleep through this?

    October 9, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  20. Tammy, Berwick, LA

    I work as a teacher (planning on 25-30 more years in the system). My retirement is through the state. How are government retirement programs (state and federal) such as the one I'm in being impacted right now? I diversified a long time ago because I don't trust that the money will be there, but is my fear warranted considering? What should those of us in government retirement programs be doing to protect ourselves right now?

    October 9, 2008 at 5:23 pm |
  21. Rodney Bonds

    Sorry for the typo. ( Supposed to be a bright guy) Mr. Paulson

    October 9, 2008 at 5:23 pm |
  22. Carole Berger

    I appreciate the opportunity to listen to Suze Orman's advice, in spite of an insensitive comment she made yesterday. I'm referring to her stern remarks that if you stopped contributing money to your 401k you might as well pull it all out. Unfortunately, I'm one of many who was laid off after 12 years of raising children and 20 years of working, socking away as much as I could for my retirement, which I didn't expect for 5-10 years. Of course I'm unable to make the 401K contributions now. Hard to believe, but given today's market performance, I guess I would have been better off to face the 10% penalty and pull everything out today as Suze recommended.

    October 9, 2008 at 5:23 pm |
  23. Tori

    I wonder why someone doen't use the 700 Billion Bailout as a direct lending source to the public, that way the credit market move again, people can get lending again and we don't give to the banks that started the problem? Instead we give it back to the economy.


    October 9, 2008 at 5:23 pm |
  24. Rodney Bonds

    Hello Anderson,

    After learning what AIG has done and what they plan to do with another trip. I think Mr. Paulson and his "Cronies" need to be run out of town along with the Pres., Congress and the Senate. You have to an Idiot to give someone 85 Billion watch them have a good time with 400K then hear that they plan another outing, and give them 38 Billion more, what is Paulson thinking (and he is upposed to a bright guy?) . With people living week to week. I'm just feed up!!!

    October 9, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  25. Ken

    While Bush is still President he is responsible for the decline in the economy and the stock market.

    When the results of the election is know, however, the 'President-Elect will be known and he will be able to give the country some guidance and encouragement.

    The question is what would be Obama's or McCain's most likely actions as a President-Elect between the election and the inauguration, and how effective might they be?

    October 9, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  26. jo

    I live in hud assisted rentals section 8 housing. I have never made enough to get out and pay market value rent in calif. What will happen to low income section 8 housing.

    October 9, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  27. Jim

    I agree with D from Atlanta; DO NOT give money to ANY firm that has the same upper level pigs that were there when this mess exploded. Every CEO, COO, VP and other managers liable for this should have charges brought to them; they should be hauled in to court and given the maximum penalty. Have we not learned anything from Enron, Worldcom and Tyco? Osama Bin Laden would be proud of these pigs.

    October 9, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  28. Minnesota

    I do understand why we need to bail out some of these companies but what really upsets me is how AIG can spend $400,000 at a spa and ask for more money and we the tax payers are going to give it to them? Its my money, shouldn't I get to vote where my money goes? Also some CEO's have received millions and left the company to fall. Why cant we go back and take those bonuses away? There shouldn't be a hearing, we just go to them and take it back?

    October 9, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  29. Basel Tarabein

    I am the broker owner of RE/MAX At Home in Rolling Meadows, IL. our business has been declining for the last two and a half years. To help me keep the doors open in this tough market, the US goverment raised my property taxes from $53,000 to $90,000. that was after we protested the taxes. I have a hard time understanding why the goverment loan money to one company to help them out, and some others take the money to go on a spa trips.. and when it comes to small businesses like me, they raise there taxes..
    They should be helping the small business owners to stay in business instead of giving the big corporations money to go on a spa trips. We are the spine of the US economy. Shame on them for making it almost impossible for us to survive. shame on them.. Their stupidity and ignorance are going to cost us a lot of money..

    October 9, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  30. Ed Gildner

    We got into what we thought was a Home Equity Loan with Wells Fargo Financial, and it turned into a bill paying loan including our Mortgage loan. They now own our mortage, but it did not include our taxes and insurance. End result of this deception was an increase in our payments of over $325.00 more than our previous mortage holder. If the government wants to take over Wells Fargo Financial in relationship to mortgage, then we are happy.

    October 9, 2008 at 5:07 pm |
  31. Jan from Wood Dale, IL

    It's been reported that people with retirement accounts have lost over a trillion dollars so far. I know I've seen my own retirement fund going down, but where exactly is that money going to? Who is getting our retirement money?

    October 9, 2008 at 5:06 pm |
  32. Heather,ca

    I watch CNN Int at night and Prime Min Gordon Brown was asked what the gov there had planned to do to fix the mess from the ponzi scheme. Were they going to go over those involved. I bring this up because Suze always says dont panic but be concerned. Our gov can only do so much with money when confidence is key to investing. Does Suze think that ultimately the FBI arresting all involved will give investors confidence that they can trust the market and then we will see positive growth?

    October 9, 2008 at 5:05 pm |
  33. David Seaman

    Do you know what happens in China when an executive causes tremendous damage to national interests? They get executed.

    What happens in the US? They get made fun of on a few blogs, or maybe an embarrassing, brief segment about them airs on cable television, and then they are free to spend the rest of their days on a resort island somewhere playing golf.

    We don't need capital punishment for executives, but we do need more personal accountability. A lot of these business "leaders" belong behind bars.

    David Seaman
    New York

    October 9, 2008 at 5:05 pm |
  34. Christopher B

    How can financially responsible people benefit from this bailout (rescue) package? My wife and I were responsible enough to purchase a home we knew we could afford and not use the equity in our home as an ATM. It seems only the Wall Street CEO's, politicians, and financial idiots will be benefactors. Our leaders have become as corrupt as those of third world countries, it makes me sick.


    October 9, 2008 at 5:04 pm |
  35. JC- Los Angeles

    Here's one I'd like to see answered by the legal team:

    "With so many executives and politicians directly or indirectly tied to the collapse of America, if there is the prospect of impropriety, can their bank accounts and assets be frozen?"

    Thank you. JC

    October 9, 2008 at 5:00 pm |
  36. Luis

    Capital can't be destroyed. If we are loosing who's wining? If our capital is backed by gold in the reserve, our wealth can't just dissipate in o the air. Somebody must be wining. Also, can our society live out of credit? I believe that the market is trying to tell us something, and I believe that the message is that we can't build an economy where credit is the only gear for growth. This past decades the economy pushed Americans to spend money on things we don't really need. Is this the economy that we want? Having people in debt?

    October 9, 2008 at 4:55 pm |
  37. Sophie Golds

    It seems to me that those who work in the Stock Exchange have been behaving like spoilt toddlers who didn't want to play the game when it looked like they were going to lose and punished their parents( with sharp drops in the market). Unfortunately, the government has played the part of the weak parent and given in to their every demand, for fear they would throw another tantrum. Unfortunately, their weak parenting now means no one wants to play with the spoilt child (stock market) and they've gone off to play somewhere quieter (bonds and money markets). So the toddler has turned out to be a loser despite the best intentions of the well meaning but ultimately bad parent.

    October 9, 2008 at 4:54 pm |
  38. Bonnie Hall

    Why are we Americans still paying high prices for gasoline when the price of crude has dropped below $85 a barrel....or 1987 prices???

    October 9, 2008 at 4:54 pm |
  39. Alex Holloman III

    I do not feel that anything McCain, Obama, The President, Hank or Ben they do or say will positively affect the market. The credit market is tapped and we do not have extra funds to spend in today's market. We need a combination of things to happen before this economy stabilizes; drastic reduction in oil prices, reduction in the cost of living, financial investment in the green economy that creates jobs that can not be outsourced, mandate on companies that domicile in the US to have 90% of their employees work in the US(call centers), parameters need to be placed on investment firms on the level of speculative risk they can take and increase the minium wage by 30%.

    October 9, 2008 at 4:45 pm |
  40. Tim Spring Hill, FL

    How will this credit crisis affect the middle class credit rating? We all know that this will eventually recover, as these downturns always do. However, with all the foreclosures, loan defaults, and bankruptcies, what will be done to rescue the credit of Americans? After the recovery will the tax payers who have bailed out the banks be punished with unfair credit qualification, terms and interest rates, or should the Government pass legislation to protect borrowers from being gouged?

    October 9, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  41. Jessica (Nashville,TN)

    Are the corrupt CEO's of AIG and others (but really AIG) going to be prosecuted for their actions? I don't think they should walk away with any money at all. Obviously the American people won't be walking away with it either, instead we have to pay for their repeated mistakes.

    October 9, 2008 at 4:39 pm |
  42. Robert

    Can the government seize the assets of executives of failed financial institutions? or Can a class-action civil suit be filed on behalf of taxpayers against executives of failed companies?
    Since this whole financial mess is the result of poor decisions on the part of these failed or failing financial institutions, it only seems fair that the executives responsible for these poor decisions not profit from them. Since they are responsible for creating this mess, they should be held personally responsible for rectifying it. Otherwise the taxpayer is subsidizing their $100 million plus salaries and severance packages. I would have no problem with the bailout passing as long as every executive at every institution that made a subprime mortgage contributed every cent of their personal assets first. Some lawyer should jump at the chance to make a name for themself and pocket a portion of the award.

    October 9, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  43. Diane

    I have a 403b that I was contributing to until June of this year. I no longer am teaching, so I am not contributing to that account, but I have some money that I have been wanting to invest. My financial adviser has given me a proposal that includes a few individual stocks, mutual funds and bonds with most of them paying dividends averaging to about 4%. I told him to hold off because I think the market is going to drop more. Should I just put the money in CDs that mature at different times and invest later. Or should I go ahead and invest now? I have about 15 years before retirement and no outstanding debts other than my mortgage.

    October 9, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  44. Betty Ann, Nacogdoches,TX

    Hi Suze,
    What is the worst possible case scenario in this economy? What should we be prepared for? Should we know how to grow a garden? Could it be that bad?
    I really want to know your opinion!
    Thanks for being so helpful~

    October 9, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  45. Lilibeth

    I heard that even if you pay off your credit card bills every month, your credit card company may still reduce your credit limit. Is this true? Wouldn’t this lower your FICO score? Isn’t that unfair?

    Edmonds, Washington

    October 9, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  46. Craig Reed

    The Govt. has said it would make money off the mortages buyouts but the truth of the matter is that most of these mortages was based on bad appraisals. So the homes is not really worth near the value the Govt. may be expecting. Also although the FDIC has said the depositer is issured up to $250.000 the govt./FDIC has a little known law that states if necessary they could take up to 99 years to repay these monies.

    October 9, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  47. billie jarrett

    i am a73year old widow with 2 grandkids torear,i worked until feb .07when i was laidoff now all my benifits haye run out and i am being treatened on my mobile homei haveaiways had too much pride to ask for help but iam from ga. and did not mke enough money for a401k so now ihaveno whereto turn irealize i am by no means the only pearson inthia boat with me it is just i have not heard anyone mention our plight it isalway the middle class i hope and pray that someone will reed this and reailze we are here

    October 9, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  48. Abdellah

    Has Ali been sleeping lately? When I wake up at 6 oclock he`s there at morning news; at my lunch break..he`s there...situation room..he`s there...AC360..he`s there....I just want the stock to bounce back so poor Ali can get some sleep:)

    October 9, 2008 at 4:06 pm |
  49. Toni Pugh

    Why should I keep paying my mortgage? If there maybe a plan to buy delinquent mortgages and then give them back to the borrower for less, why would I keep trying to do the right thing? If "they" are going to get a bail out, why shouldn't I get one?

    October 9, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  50. D - Atlanta

    If we have to bail these morally corrupt idiots out, could we not require that the entire management team of each company requesting financial assistance be fired before any bailout checks are handed over? As evidenced by AIG recently, if we leave them at the helm, they are going to continue to abuse Jane and Jane Q Publics dollars.

    October 9, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
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