The Money Mess

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke prepares to testify on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, April 2, 2008, before the Joint Economic Committee. AP Photos/Susan Walsh

This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.

Ripples of the subprime mess.

Congress is working overtime to come up with a plan that will help strapped mortgage payers out of their interest mess. This comes after a plan the White House and a number of banks cobbled together several months ago. This deal left many homeowners frustrated and angry because they said banks basically weren't interested in playing ball.

Yesterday Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke justified helping out Bear Stearns because he said he wanted to avoid a banking crisis. Well, here's what's missing in this picture. There are hundreds of thousands of individual crises playing out in communities across America every day. When help was really needed, say, a year ago, it was nowhere to be found.

This reporter started writing about the mortgage fiasco in February of 2007. Now we see that the government may have to finally acknowledge that a recession is on the way. We invite anyone who doubts that to step outside the Beltway.

Harry's daily commentary can be heard on many CBS Radio News affiliates across the country.
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