"For Sale" Signs Double As Worry Signs

A sale pending bank owned home is seen in Tujunga, Calif., Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2007. Hit by a severe credit crunch, existing home sales fell for the eighth straight month with median home prices dropping by a record amount.
AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes
This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.
The stock market seems a long way from recovery and people on the street say some of that comes from fear.

Fear is the market's worst enemy. It creates irrationality, the experts say. After all, if you look at the numbers, the economy isn't in such bad shape, is it? Funny how this stuff works. The Wall Street Journal says today that among the surveyed economists, the chance of a recession now stands at 49 percent. I'll bet that if you asked just about any average Joe or Jane in the country they'd say it's already started.

Consumer spending is slowing down significantly. Retailers said today that January sales were dismal. A survey in U.S.A Today shows delinquencies on mortgages, vehicle loans, and bank cards on the rise.

It is getting ugly out there in the real world. Voter polls show the number one issue facing the country is the economy. People see the "For Sale" signs on their streets, and they don't need an economist to tell them it is time to worry.

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