How Wall Street's problems are hitting North Carolina

Financial vibrations from Wall Street's collapsing giants are rippling down to Charlotte in various and human ways: Workers are putting off retirement as they watch investments dwindle. Consumer credit is being squeezed at retail stores and gold and silver wholesalers are seeing a boon but can't sell their own high-end jewelry. Here are a few of their stories:

Mildred Michael, 63, checks her family finances online every morning – while she and husband, John, 65, laugh to keep from crying.

His retirement fund from 30 years as a welder lost $6,000 on a recent day as the stock market spiraled.

The Michaels, who live near Greensboro but were in town to sell crafts at Festival in the Park, don't plan any changes in their investments.

"If you took your money out now with the market down," John Michael said, "you'd be giving it away."

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