The Federal Reserve and others have been trying to restore confidence on Wall Street. The Bear Stearns collapse is only the latest blow. All of the recent interest rate cuts and other moves were designed in part to bring calm.
Bethany McClean, editor-at-large at Fortune magazine, explains why there is still fear among investors, despite all those efforts.
"People aren't sure whether it will work and whether the Fed really has the tools to control the panic in the market right now, and people are afraid of the consequences of the Fed's actions — meaning inflation and a falling dollar," she says.
"The market is moving very much on emotion because we really are in uncharted waters. ... We've created this financial system of mammoth complexity, and I think people are just beginning to come to terms with ... how little even the architects of that system understand it."