Stories of economic anxiety ripple across Northern California

The troubles rocking Wall Street are rippling out to Main Street, with investors, public officials, small businesses and everyday people worrying about the state of the economy -- and their pocketbooks.

"It's giving me a lot of anxiety, that's exactly the right word," said Iris Taggart, an 82-year-old Sacramento widow who is unnerved by the daily headlines about grim economic news. "I think, Oh, my God, what's it going to do to my pocketbook? It's scary, it's very scary, but I don't know what I can do about it."

It's like that across the region. Even with today's relatively positive news -- Dow Jones industrials rallied from two very bad days and closed up 410 points --people are frightened.

"I've never seen anything as concerning as this," said George Hudak, a 74-year-old retiree in El Dorado Hills. "I don't know whether it's a self-fulfilling prophecy or what, and I think a good deal of the panic out there is a result of what's being publicized on TV and in print.

"It just seems that since the housing market started going to hell, everything I read every day in the business section of the Sacramento Bee was bad stuff. And I don't know how much of that resulted in things getting worse."

Hudak is debating whether to take $350,000 he has in investments that are not government backed and move them into four different banks that will offer him FDIC insurance to protect his savings.

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