October 10th, 2008
02:43 PM ET

Finance questions? Ask the experts

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

Here's your chance to see what our financial experts have to say about your concerns.

Submit your questions to us here. They'll be answering your questions live on AC360° tonight at 10p ET.

Filed under: Bailout Turmoil • Economy
soundoff (61 Responses)
  1. Ryan Ripley

    Why isn't a one tenth of one percent taxation on derivatives speculation being considered to fund the bail out? Why not let the crooks bail themselves out as recommended by 2008 Presidential Candidate Ralph Nader on CNN's "American Morning"?

    According to Mr. Nader, this plan would raise 500 billion annually. Wouldn't this also be a great source of future government revenue? Perhaps it could fund health care or middle class tax relief?

    Ryan Ripley
    Plymouth, IN

    October 10, 2008 at 8:18 pm |
  2. Max in Phoenix, AZ

    Brian Smith also has another good point in "Yet, we as a county are choosing to spend 700 Billion Dollars bailing out private companies whose corporate executives have gotten rich off the backs of tax payers", however it was the President, Senate and House that ultimately chose to pass the bailout plan (only after they had over $100 billion in extra sweetners attached under the table). Any major poll on the issue before it was passed that you can find will show that at least 60% of the U.S. Citizens that took the polls voted AGAINST the bailout, yet it passed in our best intrest, ha.

    October 10, 2008 at 8:16 pm |
  3. Max in Phoenix, AZ

    "700 Billion is enough to give each and every city in the U.S. 35 Million dollars to help out with economic relief."

    This is a good way to look at it. 20,000 cities would be covered with this plan and i'm sure they would be able to see how to distribute and spend the money within their local communities that the government can sending it out from washington dc.

    October 10, 2008 at 8:13 pm |
  4. Max in Phoenix, AZ

    With all the headlines talking about the economy crisis, I find that though i'm not able to splurg on eating out on weekdays, going to the bar on the weekends, going on short road trips on my days off or shopping for items I want just because they look cool, I still am able to pay my bills and live a simple, but alright life. I keep reading about how it's getting worse and it's making me wonder how much worse? I'm single, renting, with only a very little amount invested on a few stocks, and I do have a company 401k that I started almost three years ago. What effect will the plumetting stocks and bank turmoil on wallstreet have on me in the short term and the long term?

    October 10, 2008 at 8:07 pm |
  5. Sherri

    My husband and I are both teachers. We pay in to TRS, not social security, our retirement system has taken a hit in the last eight years. My husband has taken a second job after school. With the second job, we have freed up some cash – we have considered starting a 403(b), is it horrible timing? What can we do to put away for our future? I am truly considering a mason jar in the back yard.

    October 10, 2008 at 7:59 pm |
  6. lampe

    I am already taking a loss on my 401k. So answer me this. If I am already taking a loss, why then would I want to vote for Obama, he wants to raise taxes, on peoples dividends? At this rate , I won't have to wait till I retire, before I am BROKE.

    October 10, 2008 at 7:53 pm |
  7. ralph

    Why did the President not just raise the debt ceiling or why not give Federal Reserve 700 billion dollars and charge them 21% interest on it? In other words what goes around comes around. Could it be both of these ideas reduce the dollar value to zero?

    October 10, 2008 at 7:50 pm |
  8. Bret Peters

    It is obvious Polson is making sure the public understands that although swiftness is vital in implementing the rescue pack, it is also imperative that it’s helpful for the taxpayer’s final cost. Sounds better than what it was originally. My concern is if Polson and others will personally benefit from knowledge of what is finally implemented from market growth? Is there a band on their personal trading within this time ? If not are they subject to insider trading laws? I see a very large opportunity for conflict of interests. To insure there is no “shady” deals, should there not be complete gag order, and legal ramifications if breached ?

    October 10, 2008 at 7:41 pm |
  9. Brian

    A different kind of 401k question...
    I know better than to bail and pull my money out. The guys that manage all of the different funds are looking at the big drop as buying opportunity. As a matter of fact I raised the amount I am putting in. My question is that a financial advisor program my company subscribes me to says that I am getting top heavy in my company’s stock holdings. This is the company’s contribution, so it happens from time to time and I reallocate. This advisor system has been right most of the time and actually say's I have a sunny outlook. Since this is a buying opportunity for the funds and it will all come back eventually they are likely right. With the giant drop in the market, should I do the reallocation or wait for the market to stabilize and bounce back first?

    October 10, 2008 at 7:41 pm |
  10. Imani G. clinton, maryland

    Where does the government get all this money from to bailout companies? Are they not also in billions of dollars in debt? I am 14, how will this affect the country in the longterm, when my generation will be investing?

    October 10, 2008 at 7:33 pm |
  11. ralph

    Is it true that interest indexing this year was projected to be half the 8 cents our dollar still has in purchase power.? This current crisis is everyone worrying about loosing 1/2 of assets and having debt doubled. we have already sent 92% of the dollar to the federal reserve so let's give them 7 billion dollars. It's just like tax cuts take everyones tax revenue and give it to the few at the top. Kind of sounds like communism. No wonder we have the republicans changing regulations to create monopolies. Public utilities are socialistic and this seems to be one thing that's still working for us so far. Besides what's wrong with 3 farmers buying one piece of equipment and sharing it.

    October 10, 2008 at 7:32 pm |
  12. Lisa

    The US debt is now at 10 trillion dollars . Where is all this bail out money coming from? How can the bailout occur when we already owe China and India and many other countries lots of money. Are we going to just print up more?

    October 10, 2008 at 6:50 pm |
  13. R. Adams

    I work in the home industry and am asked almost daily WHY are people being told, when they need help, we can't help you UNTIL you are delinquent in your payment. This of course means your credit scores go down. These people have continued to make their payments, exhausted their savings because they lost their job not because they don't want to make their payments they can't make their payments. They have 5 to 15 years credit history with their lender. WHY can't these lenders step up to the plate and help these people before their credit is affected.

    October 10, 2008 at 6:07 pm |
  14. MARY

    I work for over 30 years for AIG in the insurance sector. I am part of, and witness to hard working professionals each day . We are all working with minimal tools and rely upon our shared knowledge and expertise across the board. We are frugal; we are the training ground for most of the insurance executives out there today. We require a series of approvals for high limit /exposure policies, deductibles, variable wording. When you say you work for AIG, people understood the job intensity and not too great pay. We are considered either very good or very stupid, depending on your definition on the quality of life.
    How did these Bozos in Connecticut get to do what they did and get away with it? At some point, some one should do a case study so that this does not happen again to the American Family. Those Bozos put the world in crisis and allowed our enemies to gloat over our suffering.
    Televised Prosecution for each of them – if I loose my job and only pension I may ever know, that's the least we should get.

    October 10, 2008 at 5:46 pm |
  15. Jennifer

    After checking my 401k the other day as many others, its lost thousands. I know the experts are saying that' its only "on paper" and Suzy Orman told us the other night to ride it out. Unfortunately before I heard her say that I went and changed the percentages going into the account from
    10 % down to 5%.
    Now after hearing her talk about this on your show, would it be wise to change it back to 10% ? Also she mentioned only investing as much as my employer is matching. Well about 6 months ago they stopped matching altogether. So I was contributing 10% with no matching. What advise can you give me ?

    October 10, 2008 at 5:43 pm |
  16. Donna

    What about all of the people who are struggling to make their mort pmts on time and are doing so in light of high gas prices and food prices. Don't they get a bail out? Shouldn't we give to the ones who are doing the responsible thing or keep giving to the ones who show they have no idea what they are doing and keep going into debt with no intentions of paying should things get a ittle rocky!
    We keep bailing out the people who are not being responsible instead of helping the ones who are.
    I just don't understand.

    October 10, 2008 at 5:29 pm |
  17. Stacy

    Last night on the webcast Ali Velshi noted that the economic downturn actually opened up an opportunity to make money if people got into the market while stocks were low, but he advised against buying individual stocks, urging us to go with mutual funds instead. Is this also your advice and why is it bad to buy individual stocks?

    October 10, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  18. kevin

    I bought a condo back in 2006, they based my mortage on what I made in 2005. in 2003 and 2004 i did not make half of what I made in 2005. I got the mortage and two months later it was bought by another company. right know I'm having trouble making my payments, I was wondering if I can renegotiate my loan.

    October 10, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  19. PZ

    I changed my 401K from stock to bonds 3 mos. ago. How safe is my money?

    October 10, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  20. Michael W.

    How will the markets play out in the days after the US election?

    October 10, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  21. R

    Dear Anderson:
    What a week. But you know what I did all week long? I bought stock. I bought at 9500, I bought at 9000, I bought at 8700. People, it's time to calm down. Stampeding panic gets everyone hurt. Right now over 1600 of the 3300 companies that trade stocks have hit 52 week lows. That's amazing. You can practically buy anything right now that doesn't end in "Mac", "Mae", "Sachs" or "Stanley" and make money in the long run.

    It's often said what is the lesson of these times for Americans, what should we learn from this pandimonium. Two words: value investing. Forgo the fancy dinner and buy a few shares of GE. Scale back on lunch and buy some oil stocks. That's what rationale people should be doing.

    October 10, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  22. Michael W.

    Consider the scenario that Obama wins the election. How wil the markets react in the days following the election?

    October 10, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  23. Rick

    My question is this:

    Am I correct in the assumption that there is a counterparty to the Collateralized Debt Obligations that are driving all these financial institutions and brokerage houses under? Put simply, if Merrill, Bear Stearns, Lehman etc. bet wrong on these investments, who bet right and who is collecting these trillions upon trillions of dollars?

    Thanks for any insight you can provide.

    Rick in NYC

    October 10, 2008 at 5:07 pm |
  24. Lilibeth

    What is the difference between a recession and a depression?

    Edmonds, Washington

    October 10, 2008 at 5:05 pm |
  25. Ruby Jones

    Hello, I have a question. I was watching the view this morning and Whoopie G. made a suggestion that I agree with. Why can't the government give amnesty to 25% of home owner mortgages from 2003 to 2008? Then have the banks re-negotiate all mortgages, yes even those who may not deserve the amnesty.

    Wouldn't this help free up the credit freeze? Should they start with the consumer? Shouldn't they ensure that companies don't close their doors over night and leave our country like the Archway company in Ohio did?

    I personally know how those people feel. when Reagan and Bush I were in office I lost my job because they found it cheaper to do the job in China. I had worked at that job for 15 years, that particular company no longer exist. I almost ended up on the streets. I took me close to five years to get a steady job and get my finances straighten out.

    To the people in Ohio you have my sympathy and prayers that things will get better and jobs will be restored.

    October 10, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  26. rokkuramu

    I'm a college student and currently have about $500 to my name. It's not a lot, but it's mine. I used to put it in Wachovia, but after Citygroup bought out the company, I'm worried. Citybank has monthly fees which I don't like. I talked to the bank and they (of course) ensure me that it'll be safe. Most likely Citybank will adopt Wachovia's rules, but it's highly unlikely to me since Citybank is the actual owner here – they'll do whatever they please. So finally, my question is should I keep my money in the bank or in the ground?

    October 10, 2008 at 4:50 pm |
  27. Chike, Edmonton, Canada

    Does anyone know when this economic crises will end?

    October 10, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  28. Howard Surdin

    We talk a lot about job loss, why is it no one talks about jobs lost to NAFTA or the WTO. We have shipped most middle class job off shore for the betterment of the corporations. When will the lawmakers start to protect the American worker. Bring manufacturers to back America and watch how this economy grows. You can't give away your manufacturing sector and then expect the middle class to find work. It would be nice for all these politicians to start representing the people who voted them in, not the ones who buy them off.

    October 10, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  29. Andrea Cardozo (Edmonton, Canada)

    Anderson: Just heard Ali Velshi talking about Global recession and Sal Khan talking about deflation, what does that mean for the current US economy?
    When will the americans fell the relief, it is disgusting to see how after AIG was bailed out it went on a spending frenzy, when millions are out of their homes, that means at least 3 million people are without a home(i.e if you say there are 2 parents and one child per family, the least), what is congress going to do about this?

    October 10, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  30. Jennifer

    I work at a community bank in IL in the collection department. I take care of collections – loss mitigation to foreclosure. We service approximately 7,000 mortgages, (Not sub-prime) 5,000 of that are sold to Freddie Mac. The mortgages are good, traditional mortgages. I have had a number of phone calls from worried borrowers wanting to know if we can help them with the payments. The bailout is not for a person who cannot meet their monthly bills, but there are people out there waiting for that help or a handout.
    My question: What part of the economy is the bailout suppossed to stimulate? My customers are needing "cost of living" assistance. Since the market has gone down – will the price for fuel and food go down with the price of it's stock?

    October 10, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  31. Scott Black

    I am convinced the low interest rates set by the Federal Reserve made everyone happy in the short term but the fall is so much faster and greater than it would have been. Nobody is blaming the FED instead we are blaming Wall Street and saying people were living beyond their means, blaming congress …..it is all a deflection to me. Now we have no more bullets in the interest rate gun to stimulate a darn thing.

    Why isn't anyone blaming the Federal Reserve. GNP and employment aren’t out of whack but everyone thinks they will be – hence the shrinking stock values. Right now it as if is as if we are in a self fulfilling prophecy. Retirement has tanked – houses can’t be sold so there is nothing left to do but sell what you have left.

    October 10, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  32. Theresa

    Can someone explain to me what actually constitues a despression? I keep hearing it tossed around.

    October 10, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  33. Tom Thompson

    I am wondering if you can tell me how much of this sell frenzy is being driven by people "selling short". It seems to me that this is EXACTLY the type of situation the uptick rule was supposed to help out in. With that rule nicely pushed to the side, you could have a lot of people selling short and making a lot of money of this downslide. They get richer, but the continued selling just feeds that downslide. So, can we stop short selling? Don't other markets have that as illegal? Can we, at the very least, get the uptick rule put back in place?

    My preference? Shut down the market while we get the $700 billion in play. If we let things continue as they are now then even that won't be enough money to save us...

    October 10, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  34. Tracy Oats

    All the experts seem to recommend that regular people should not panic and sell equities right now. So, is the stock market crashing because lots of regular people are in fact panicking and selling, or are there other large / institutional investors who are selling huge blocks of equities? If the latter, what motivations do institutional investors have to sell in a falling market?

    October 10, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  35. Betty, Virginia

    Are my savings bonds at risk?

    October 10, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  36. Joan

    HI Geri & Ric, If I wait to sell my home, will the value just keep going down?

    October 10, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  37. meikoseymour

    Anderson, I have now heard from Ali Velshi and Suzi Orman on CNN that now is a good time for people like me in their 20's to invest in the stock market. While this is great news for me and my friends, I have not heard from any of them as to WHAT I should be investing in. can you help?

    October 10, 2008 at 4:07 pm |
  38. Betty Ann, Nacogdoches,TX

    How bad will all this get? What is the worst case scenario?
    I mean, do we need to know how to grow a garden?
    Please advise!

    October 10, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  39. Jeff in California

    I take exception to all of bailing out of people–consumers and Wall St. execs alike–who made bad decisions. Predatory lending practices? Yes, they were there. Bad decisions from consumers who bit off more than they could chew? Absolutely. So now the responsible people are supposed to fund the solution? Not with the McCain plan! Look, if the government enforces a freeze on interest rates for existing loans–or requires interest rate reductions on the questionable mortgages out there–people at risk get to stay in there homes, but...to forego responsbile tax payers from footing the bill, the differential interest should continue to accrue and come due in the form of a ballon payment at the end of the term. Consumers stay in their home, banks re-gain confidence is the secondary market, and tax payers don't have to foot the bill. Problem solved.

    October 10, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  40. Dwight Blanton

    I'm curious as to why the bailout that Congress came up with didn't address itself directly to individual mortgages so that families in trouble could get their terms renegotiated. The difference in what they could legitimately pay and what was owed could be covered by Government insurance and more people could keep their homes. Also, are all of the problem loans government backed loans issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? Are some of them covered by private mortgage insurance or were those types of loans subject to a different set of rules such as documented income instead of stated income?

    October 10, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  41. Jean-Pierre Salazar

    Everyone, especially John MCcain, are talking about how we need to help those with bad mortgages, and expect foreclosure; but what about the people that had a bad mortgage and whose house already foreclosed, what about their ruined credit? Shout out to my mom, Floerncia, for pointing that out to me. Love you mom.

    October 10, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  42. Catherine Wharam

    My husband and I are in our early 50's. Been working since highschool, been married 33 years. He has a 401K mine was just changed from 401K to a 403B (different co. bought our hospital).
    I have a guided portfolio, he does not. He moved all of his retirement into one moderate fund, mine is guided so they've been moving mine
    around a lot. We've both lost thousands of dollars these last two months. We're not that far away from retirement. Should we pull what we have left from our accounts and put them somewhere else where the $ will be protected and not lose any further? I hate to even look on line at our accounts. Neither one of us are financial experts and the companies we work for aren't giving us any help as far as suggestions; never have. We just don't want to lose any more of our future. What do you suggest?

    October 10, 2008 at 3:34 pm |
  43. Jennifer in Oregon

    Dear Geri, Rick and Anderson; I left the market behind after October 1989, and own three single family properties which are nearly paid for. I have about $50,000.00 in cash, too. My boss is talking up the bargains available – but he's in his 40's. The Blue Chip food & basics seem enticing, and they won't stay cheap forever. I'm looking for some profit within 5 years – at least more than a money market or CD. I'm seriously over 40: should I or shouldn't I?

    October 10, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  44. Robert A.

    Hello Gerri and Ric,

    Other governments around the world have halted trading on their stock markets in order for things to calm down a bit. Specifically, Iceland and Russia have taken these measures. Could the U.S. Government as well as the governments in Europe, Asia, etc. take the same measures in order for things to calm down a bit? Maybe stop the trading for a week or so.

    I believe there are U.S. regulations which indicate the govenment must wait for the market to drop so many points before they can stop trading. But at this point, is it better to stand on the sidelines waiting for the right point indicator, or bypass these regulations and do something to fix the situation? Why is this option not being explored?


    Robert A., Chicago

    October 10, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  45. ED

    The thing i can't figure out is if we are having large sell offs in the markets. Does that mean someone is buying what's being sold off? If so why would they buy these stocks if there not worth having ? I wonder if all these events are a ploy to squash the small investors so the big wheels can have it all?

    October 10, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
  46. rick from nebraska

    I'm wondering why, if the home mortgage crisis caused our current problems, the defaulting of home loans when peoples interest rates increased, didn't the lenders just leave the rates alone for another couple of years. some home payments are better than no payments.

    October 10, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  47. Lilibeth

    Hello Gerri and Ric,

    Since this is a global financial crisis, are other countries having their own "bailouts?" What does this say about the future of the global economy?

    Edmonds, Washington

    October 10, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  48. xtina, chicago IL

    More of comment than a question. If the value of your house is down, but you're making your mortgage payment and you don't need a home equity loan, how is this hurting you ? And most of us don't need our 401ks for many years. My take on the "crisis" is that if you wait a few yrs. things will cycle up.

    October 10, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  49. Amit

    While the market & financial companies are going through cycles of devaluing the Mortgage Backed Securities, would it not make logical sense to do the same of the Mortgages which were used to create these securities in the first place. We have a situation wherein the Mortgage retains its original value, but all of the securities created from it are being devalued. Should an asset backed security not reflect the value of the Asset?

    October 10, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  50. Brian Smith

    700 Billion Dollars!!! 700 Billion!!! Do people realize just how large a number 700 Billion is exactly? Well, let’s put it in perspective. What could one do with 700 billion Dollars?
    • 700 Billion is enough to give every man, woman and child $100 in the world;
    • 700 Billion is enough to give every man, woman and child in the U.S. $2,282.00;
    • 700 Billion is enough to give every business in the U.S. approximately $30,000.00;
    • 700 Billion is enough to give each and every city in the U.S. 35 Million dollars to help out with economic relief.
    Yet, we as a county are choosing to spend 700 Billion Dollars bailing out private companies whose corporate executives have gotten rich off the backs of tax payers. In fact, one company, AIG, is taking a whopping 100 Billion Dollars alone. This is not just absurd, it is pure gluttony! I, as a small business owner and an American, am angry. And, I think the American people are angry! From my perspective, if my business were failing or if the business of a good friend of mine who owns a commercial fishing company failed, we would receive absolutely no assistance from anybody. Apparently, we are not large enough, do not employ enough people, and have failed to lose the requisite amount of money to capture to attention of Congress. Lest we all forget, American was forged and created on the backs of small business and on people willing to work hard for family and for country.
    With that being said, I have a modest proposal, let’s give every business in the U.S. $30,000 to help spur the economy. If AIG wants to spend their 30K on a bar tab, let them. But, I would be willing to bet that many engineering Americans would make very good use of the money and our economy would be much better off in the long run by betting on the most valuable commodity this county has to offer instead of on a bunch of corporate executive who already have a proven track record of failure!

    October 10, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
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