FOR THE WEEK OF OCT. 13, 2008
Wall Street roller coaster keeps U.S. on scary ride
This front page topic spills into most other sections. Find one or more articles about how financial stress affects school districts, stores, recreation, travel and other family activities.
For adults as well as students, financial news can be tricky to understand -- especially if unfamiliar words are used. See if you spot terms not explained clearly. Discuss whether to send a message to the business editor, suggesting how coverage could be improved.
Wall Street waves are pounding Main Street everywhere, so papers give local reactions from varied sources. Pick a quote from someone in your community or state to read aloud.
Watching the stock market, where millions of Americans have invested part of their savings, is no fun these days. Serious economic setbacks, which began with a severe drop in housing construction and home values, have escalated into a financial crisis described as the worst since the Great Depression began in 1929. Banks are hesitant to loan money right now, and some big ones have collapsed. Stocks, which are publicly traded ownship shares in companies, have fallen dramatically in value as panicky investors pull out their investments.
Last week was the wildest ever on Wall Street, the New York site of America's main stock-trading exchanges. The leading gauge of U.S. investment strength, called the Dow Jones Industrial Index, dropped in value for eight straight days and posted its biggest weekly loss in its 112 years.
Government officials, business owners and families count on the conventional wisdom that what goes down must come up. To make sure, the Bush administration and Congress are scrambling to support failing banks and take other economic rescue steps. But the financial crisis has spread to Europe, the timing of any turnaround remains unknown and real risks remain for ordinary folks and big companies alike.
Preident says: "We're in this together and we'll come through this together." -- President Bush at White House last Friday
Stock broker says: "A lot of people are saying they don't want to see how the movie ends. When in doubt, get your tail out." -- Stephen Wood of Russell Investments, New York City
Journalist says: "We did nothing to warn people that any of this was coming. The number of print and broadcast reporters assigned to cover business, economic and finance has plunged in recent years." -- Timothy Rutten, Los Angeles Times columnist
Front Page Talking Points Archive