The Motley Fool Crisis Survival Kit

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Here's a scary list:

Fannie Mae (NYSE: FNM  ) . Freddie Mac. AIG (NYSE: AIG  ) . Bank of America (NYSE: BAC  ) . Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC  ) . State Street. JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM  ) . Citigroup (NYSE: C  ) . Bank of New York Mellon. Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS  ) . Morgan Stanley.

Those are the once-strong, once-independent mega financial institutions in which the government now has a stake. And I'm not counting Bear Stearns and Merrill Lynch, both of which got or are getting swallowed up by the others. Yikes!  

Here's another scary list:

Panic. Recession. De-levering. Worst since. Foreclosure. Bubble. Paulson. Prolonged. Bankruptcy. Bernanke. Great Depression. Bailout. Only the beginning. Fear.

Off the top of my head, those are the words and phrases we've been throwing around ceaselessly to describe this financial crisis. Double yikes!

A final list:


Like Pandora, it feels like hope's all we've been left with recently. But President Roosevelt's words from some 70 years ago ring true today: "Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself -- nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance."

So fear not. With a calm head and a smart game plan, each of us can get through this. And we can get through this together, as Fools.

Our analyst team has put together this survival kit to help you through this crisis. Read below for answers to questions ranging from "How bad is this going to get?" to "What do I do with my 401(k)?"  

Chin up. Fool on!

How bad is this going to get?

How can I get my game plan together?

Is now the time to invest?

I need a breather. Got any gallows humor?

What hidden dangers should we watch out for?

What do I do with my 401(k)?

Did we miss one? Send us an email at, and check back at as we answer your questions.

JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America are Motley Fool Income Investor selections. The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.

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