Ups And Downs

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Monday, Dec. 8, 2008. AP Photo/Richard Drew

This column was written by CBS News Early Show Co-Anchor Harry Smith.
When is somebody going to put a floor in this place?

Christmas is two weeks away. Toy sales are down. Unemployment is up.

AIG is using bailout money to retain executives, using the euphemism "retention payments."

The Senate may let Detroit twist in the wind for a few more days and the markets, adjusted for inflation are at 1970-something levels.

More than anything, fear seems to be the controlling emotion in the nation's psyche and until that fear abates, we will be stuck in a cycle of bad news followed by more bad news.

There has been talk of all kinds of mortgage rescues for months now.

Remember Fannie and Freddie were supposed to offer super low interest rates on old and new mortgages.

Super low rates sure would take the pressure off a lot of people. And the number of people whose homes are worth less while the mortgages they're paying continues to grow.

Why not stop the madness? The government could do this, why not?
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