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Gas vaults over $4 towards $5, Lehman Brothers signals more financial market issues, and last week’s jobs report suggests consumer spending will slacken quickly once tax rebate checks are cashed. Some on Wall Street may continue to look at technical numbers and see slow growth. But on Main Street the stress-o-meter registers extreme readings, sort of like temperatures in the Northeast this week. One guy I know just went on medication to calm nerves, another learned his severe toothache results from grinding at night. These aren’t subprime mortgagees. They are millionaires on paper with lots of debt, stock market losses, and diminishing prospects for year-end bonuses.

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