Your Kids Are Bumming Out The Mall Santa

Your Kids Are Bumming Out The Mall Santa

The Wall Street Journal says that this year, mall Santas are spending their breaks looking bleakly at the wall and salting their mugs of bourbon with bitter tears. Why? Because your kids keep sitting on their laps and acting like characters from a Loretta Lynn song. One Santa used to joke that bad kids would get socks, but no more:

This year, he stopped telling the joke. Too many children were asking for socks. “They’ve probably heard their parents say, ‘Geez, I wish I had some money to get them clothes,'” says Mr. Riemersma, 56 years old.

What's This "Public-Private Partnership" Mean?

What's This "Public-Private Partnership" Mean?

So the latest solution to the problem of these toxic assets on the banks’ books is a “public-private partnership” between the government and the private sector…yawn what is he going on about, I wish I had a pancake…oh wait! Here’s Paddy Hirsch from marketplace drawing stick figures on a whiteboard and explaining it all. Now we’re talking.

Recession Boon Time For Online-Dating Sites

Recession Boon Time For Online-Dating Sites

eHarmony says they’ve noticed their site traffic increases on days when the Dow drops by more than 100 points. I guess add them to auto parts stores as another counter-cyclical investment. [Economist] (Photo: andronicusmax)

Easy Guide To California Unemployment Benefits

Easy Guide To California Unemployment Benefits

In California? Unemployed? The Screen Actors Guild guide to California Unemployment benefits is easier to use than CA’s hard to navigate unemployment site, and the advice is general enough to work even for non-thespians. [SAG]

Bottom Falls Out Of Movie Market

Bottom Falls Out Of Movie Market

Look for next year’s movie release schedule to be full of remakes and easy-bets. I spoke with a Hollywood actor who said that the bottom has completely fallen out of the movie market.

Peanut Butter, Dessert Of The Year

Peanut Butter, Dessert Of The Year

You know things are bad when Bon Appetit names “peanut butter” as “dessert of the year.” Wait ’til you see what fancy restaurants are doing with Hamburger Helper! [Bon Appetit] (Photo: Derek Purdy)

I Love The Recession Because Things That Suck Are Dying

I Love The Recession Because Things That Suck Are Dying

The good thing about the recession is that everything that is most bloated and cheesy and garish is imploding. Witness:

  • Harrah’s, the McDonald’s of casino chains, is in big trouble. So is Claire’s. They’re owned by the same private equity firm.
  • Sharper Image, Circuit City, and Linen’s n’ Things. Suck suck and suck, dead dead and dead.
  • Those glass condo towers disrupting your nice bo-ho “sweet spot of gentrification” neighborhoods? Building has stopped because they can’t get any construction loans.
  • Gas-gorging SUVs will soon be worth more being turned into the toasters they look like.

What excesses are you glad to see on deathwatch?

(Molly)

US In Recession Since Dec '07, Says Official Stat Group

We’ve been in a recession since December 2007, according to a fancypants stat group. WSJ reports, “In a statement, the National Bureau of Economic Research said its Business Cycle Dating Committee determined that the U.S. entered recession in December 2007, marking the end of the economic expansion that began in November 2001.” I don’t think Americans need a committee to tell them the economy has been on the express the train to Suck City for over a year…

http://consumerist.com/2008/11/13/the-recession-in-the-eu/

The recession in the EU might be even deeper than the one in the US. Case in point: Ireland, which thrived off now-dormant construction cranes. [Washington Post]

This Is Going To Be A Bad Recession

This Is Going To Be A Bad Recession

GDP fell .3% in the 3rd quarter of 2008, compared to 2.8% gain in the second quarter. While a recession is technically defined as two consecutive quarters of negative GDP, everyone can see the party is cashed. Marketwatch wrote, “Economists expect the economy to contract in the final three months of this year and the first three months of 2009, with the nation’s unemployment rate pegged to rise near the 8% mark.” Housing bust + oil shock + financial crisis + rising unemployment + high levels of personal debt and low saving rates = sad America. This can mean only one thing. Now is the time to enact my plan for WPA-style moon-farming programs.

Buy Or Be Stabbed

Buy Or Be Stabbed

The global economy is crashing, credit markets are playing ice age, and you consumers have a simple choice: buy things now or prepare to be stabbed next year.

Learn About Past Recessions With This Cool Interactive Graph

Learn About Past Recessions With This Cool Interactive Graph

So you’re probably sitting around thinking, “I want to know more about stagflation, but I want to have fun clicking stuff on the internet, too.” Right? No? Who cares. We’re still going to direct your attention to this neat interactive graph from the Harvard Business Review.

We're Not In A Recession!

At least by one standard, we’re not in a…