How Does The Wall Street Slide Affect You?

From business leaders trying to weather the storm to average Americans worrying about their nest eggs, this latest financial crisis has a lot of people asking a lot of questions. CBS News correspondent Jeff Glor talked to the experts, and he has some answers.

Wall Street's woes have Main Street wondering: What happened? How do institutions so old and once so respected fall so dramatically and suddenly?

"I have one word for you: greed," said financial advisor Jill Schlesinger. "Regulators, congressmen, investors, everyone, we all got greedy. We went to the frat party and partied our butts off - and this is a big hangover."

In other words, Schlesinger says too many loans were given, and too many loans were taken - everyone thought home prices would rise forever.

They didn't, leaving the worst housing crisis since the Great Depression, a battered market, and plenty of fear, according to Russell Pearlman's of SmartMoney magazine.

"A lot of people are scared right now, wondering, 'should I pull the money from my 401K or other investments?' What do you say to that?" Glor asked Perlman.

"The biggest thing: don't panic. As bad as things look today, they are just going to be a blip on the radar 10, 20 years from now," he said.

Is it worth suspending the payroll deductions for 401K?

"Absolutely not. Absolutely not. Sorry to cut you off, but absolutely not. This is the time you should be putting more money in!" Schlesinger said.

She says, think about it this way: You get something on sale, a 20 percent discount from where the market was last year. But, what if you need money today? How tough is it to get a loan right now, especially if you do want to buy a home?

"It's extremely tough right now," Perlman said. "The good news is, crunches like this don't last forever. So if you can afford to wait getting any loan, whether it's a car loan, home loan, wait, because odds are in a few months it will be easier and cheaper to get that loan."

Last but not least, when is all of this going to be over?

There's a growing consensus on Wall Street today that this could be the worst of it, but of course, that remains to be seen.