Finance & Economy

What Just Happened?

Bailout vote reaction

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) attends a news conference on Captiol Hill September 29, 2008 in Washington, DC. The House failed to pass the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act, 205-228. Wall Street immediately reacted with the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropping by more than 700 points. Getty Images hide caption

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Whoa! What can you say but, whoa! Yesterday was one of those days where you'd be having a perfectly normal conversation with somebody and all of a sudden their eyes would drift off and start staring at the TV screen over your shoulder and you'd be like, what, what ... what just happened?

What just happened? Let's see ...

The House defeated the President's economic rescue plan, voting 225 to 208.

Then the Dow started to slide and slide, and slide, ending the day DOWN a record 778 points — the largest one-day drop in history.

Then, Wachovia Bank got sold to Citigroup, the second time in five days that a major US bank was erased by fleeing depositors.

... The Asian markets began to slide.

And, to add insult to injury ... The Mets choked against the Marlins, 4-2, and were shut out of the post season, again.
(OK, so that happened Sunday, but I was in denial for a day.)

We were lucky to have two Members of Congress with us who are on either side of the question. We thought it was interesting to have two Democrats — two members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), both with some experience on financial committees — Rep. Gregory Meeks of New York, who is on Financial Services, and Rep. Robert "Bobby" Scott of Virginia, who is on the House Budget Committee. Scott came out on the OPPPOSITE side of the bill, and was against it. Meeks was for it.

What did you think?

And one thing I'm curious about: are you one of those people who actually contacted a Member of Congress to weigh in? We kept hearing from members that they were inundated with feedback from constituents. But I've never met anybody who actually called one. So, if you did, what did you say? Where do you come out on this and what made you feel strongly enough to call your elected official and weigh in?

We had a very interesting piece of information about Black women and money and, I have to tell you, I was and remain a bit squeamish about this report and wonder what the reaction will be. Here's why: anytime you single out a group, and make observations about the group, you will always make some people uncomfortable. They'll wonder, why are you singling out this group? Does this information hold this group up to negative evaluation by others? And, is it truly representative of the whole group? But, since I am a lifetime member of the "truth will set you free" school. I felt that once we had this information we owed to it ourselves to report it. It is by a reputable company with no apparent agenda, and the data collection method was sound.

The results are worrisome:

It suggested that African-American women, although they are often the prime decision makers for their households, are too often making these decisions without the benefit of guidance. More often than not, they do not have access to professional financial advice. And, the thing here that may ring true for many people, I am sure: they are inveterate givers. Black women often give and give, even if it means they have fewer savings to invest for their own needs, like retirement. And let's be real about the spending: many of these women report that they continue to spend no matter what — until they can't spend any more.

And they don't like themselves for doing it.

Read the more about study for yourself.

Does this ring true in your life? ... And what can we do to help?

Let us know.

And, speaking of keeping it real, spanking and paddling. Were you spanked? Do you spank? Check out today's discussion. What, if anything, more should we do about it?

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