Economic fear in the street

I've never experienced anything quite like today.  The stock market crash after Sept. 11 made sense. As a nation, we were under attack and people were scared. So most people sold stocks.  But the events of the last 2 weeks, and in particular today, are in an economic sense much murkier than those that followed Sept 11.   My question, is economic fear worse than physical fear? 
After Sept 11, people feared for the physical safety as much if not more than their economic safety. At the time, people were concerned about whether or not their would be a dirty bomb in NY or whether our ports were safe.  There also was a strong sense that terrorists were aiming to harm the US economically.  At that time, economically the US was resilient.
Today, things are very different.  People are scared. There's no credit. House prices are falling. Banks are failing. Money markets aren't safe. People are buying treasuries just because they are "safe".  People have lost lots of money lately but don't understand why. We're not in physical danger -- but the fear is palpable.  The "bad guy" in this economic situation is unclear and I think not having an icon to blame (other than "greed" or "wall street") makes everyone more scared. 
I'm wondering today -- is true panic around the corner?  And more importantly, will I be able to see it?