Fuel prices is a big reason IMO. The housing thing pisses me off because the wife wants to move into a bigger house ASAP. All the idiots that got in over their heads makes it harder even for the guy who never misses a payment to get a good loan.
There are so many things combined that are working against the economy. We'll rebound so it's not all doom and gloom. It's the weathering of the storm that takes it's toll on the people least prepared or unable to get ahead and set aside funds. I hope the US turns it around and I know it will. WE all hope for as soon as possible.
Gonna leave my stocks the way they are for now, give myself a limit on how much I'm willing to lose, then start transfering the rest into a stable fund if it starts getting real bad. Not an expert on this stuff, but same thing happened with me in the 01 crash, ever one panics an sells off leaving you to buy cheap, then when the market rebounds you make out like a bandit.
The interest rate cut was a bandaid. Along with it came over a 2% reduction of the value of the dollar vs the euro. Keeping interest rates artificially low is what causes the financial problems we are having right now. Even Alan Greenspan (former head of the federal reserve) said that keeping the rates low is what is causing the current financial bubbles.
It is REALLY gonna suck for our generation if we don't do something about this real soon. I am NEVER gonna get a house at this rate.