Wall Street shakeout clouds housing picture

Lower rates could be boon if economy doesn't falter

Turmoil on Wall Street could mean lower interest rates for home buyers, but any benefit for housing markets could be outweighed by higher unemployment and a prolonged recession if the credit crunch becomes an even greater drag on the economy.

Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. today filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, and Bank of America announced a $50 billion deal to acquire another troubled investment bank, Merrill Lynch.