As a side effect of the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bailout, there has been some after shocks triggering issues on credit default swaps by some companies.
Lehman Brothers, Washington Mutual and Wachovia are all troubled. Lehman & WaMu are more likely going to go bankrupt or pennies on the dollar buy out. (DISCLAIMER: I have no inside information, and am merely speculating based upon charts below and reading spin on internet)
Below is Lehman and WaMu stock charts, both show how far these companies have fallen. Lehman from $80 a share down to $7.5 now. Wamu from steady 40-50 down to 2.
Be wary of Money Market and CD's, they may give fixed income, but are often not insured.
Please keep in mind that money is insured by FDIC only if indicated, and up to 100K per account. If you have more than one account, you may not be insured. If anyone you are friends with has money at risk, please consult the appropriate professionals to ensure their money will be guaranteed.
In addition if one or more of these institutions do find themselves under control of FDIC, the FDIC itself will likely need to get more funds from Congress.
Even with all this bail out and backstopping by the government, looks like we are continuing to see deflation and and NOT inflation. To the right is a chart of the USA dollar;s value.
This chart indicates stay away from Gold and other resources, however, it wouldn't surprise me to see a snap back short rally in resources.
And always, best place to put money is Federal Bonds.