We've been out of the office for six working days, since we abandoned ship on Friday the 12th in order to prepare for Ike. But what we didn't count on was having to prepare ourselves to survive the financial hurricane on Wall Street that happened last week. The much-touted, free-market form of American capitalism (that we have tried to export all over the world) is under grave assault due to this year's market events--and the federal government's far-reaching response. This mother of all bailouts will cost our children and grandchildren in both their money and in their ability to spend on more worthy causes, such as medical care and R&D and green technologies and the military and God knows what else. It remains to be seen if the response of the Fed, the Treasury and the White House will be approved by Congress, or will be upheld by whoever wins the presidency in November. But more troubling, it is not clear if this whole scheme will work. Meanwhile, for those of us having to make a living on Main Street, it's time to put on those hurricane shutters, store some extra water, non-perishable foods and batteries. Invest in oil and gas stocks and hope the creeks don't rise--but that the energy stocks do. No matter what else is going on, we will still need oil and gas energy, and lots of it, to repair this economy, to recover the American dream, and to move forward. --Leslie Haines, Editor-in-chief, Oil and Gas Investor, lhaines@hartenergy.com