Recession Briefing: 1.26

by Laura Rich on January 26, 2009 in News

What you need to know today to survive and thrive in the recession.

Recession Warrior?
Tim Geithner is expected to be confirmed today as Treasury Secretary — and architect of the way out of the downturn. [CNN Money]

The Quitter Economy
Slate says the waning of American confidence will be a mighty hurdle in President Obama’s aim to fix the economy. [Slate]

U.S. Bank?
Obama needs to fix the banking system, which remains broken despite infusions of cash. One sensitive option being considered: nationalization, which might be the only way to return any benefits of the bailouts to citizens. [NYTimes]

No Time for Poetry
Frank Rich notes that the austerity in rhetoric in Obama’s inaugural speech “seemed a tonal corrective to the glitz and the glut” in the years that led to the recession. [NYTimes]

Downturn Do-Badders
According to The Guardian, the 25 people responsible for the global financial crisis, including a host of once-heralded faces of boom times, such as Alan Greenspan Bill Clinton, as well as others in key banking and government positions, such as Goldman Sachs chief U.S. strategest Abi Cohen, Bank of England governor Mervyn King, senator Phil Gramm and Iceland prime minister Geir Haarde. The British paper also takes aim at the American public. [Guardian]

Spitzer Speaks
Eliot Spitzer, who once crusaded against Wall Street, gives his first interview, to the Huffington Post, blaming SEC head Chris Cox for “interventionist enforcement” tactics, and offering suggestions for Obama on the economy. [HuffPo]

Legal Trouble
Law firms are the latest sector feeling the squeeze of the recession, with an uptick in shutdowns and layoffs. [WSJ]

Business Breadlines
A feeding frenzy has begun among industries seeking consideration in Obama’s $825 billion economic stimulus bill. [WSJ]

Starving Artists
Arts and cultural institutions want in on recovery cash, too. [NYTimes]

ING Layoff Count: 7,000
The Paris-based bank is cutting 7,000 jobs and its CEO is stepping down, following the bank’s first quarterly loss ever in November due to toxic mortgage debt. Meanwhile, the bank is working with the Dutch government, which will acquire 27.7 billion euros of illiquid assets and in return receive 80 percent of the portfolio’s cash flows. [NYTimes]

Bright Spot?
Smaller household budgets are good news for McDonald’s which is thriving in the downturn. [The Big Money]

Starbucks Layoff Count: 1,000
The coffee company, whose CEO Howard Schultz feels acute pain at such things, is expected to lay off 1,000 workers in the coming weeks. [NY Post]

More Pain

In a report to be released today, the National Association of Business Economics expected many more layoffs through 2009, as GDP could fall by more than 1 percent (in the group’s October report, none expected the GDP to fall so much). [NY Post]

Bottom’s Up
To forget your recession troubles, Vanity Fair recommends the Madoff-Made-Off Mojito. [Vanity Fair]

Chinese New Year Omens
The Chinese year of the Ox, which begins today, is expected to be a volatile one, although some “good news” could come in August. [CityFile]

Turnaround Talk
A panel discussion to be held at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan in March will predict where the city’s real estate market is headed. [92nd Stret Y]

Billionaire Buyers’ Market
Eight top addresses in Manhattan get a serious sale-price slashing — as long as you can still play in the multi-million dollar market. [NY Observer]

Ahhh, Craigslist
Tips for using Craigslist for living in the recession. [Lifehacker]

Cash Only
Get those wire transfers in order: Reversing a long-time policy, Sotheby’s will not accept credit cards at its Old Masters Drawings auction that begins Wednesday. [NY Mag]

Late-January Deals
Phones slashed from $4oo to $10, high-end coats marked down 75 percent (to affordable $100 ranges), cheaper lunches, personal services on a budget — and more from New York magazine’s late-January deals review. [NY Mag]

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