The XX Factor

Recession Briefing 5.12

Tattoo parlors seem to be beating the recession , seeing steady profits thus far during the downturn as consumers shift toward “meaningful” purchases. ( Christian Science Monitor )

As the economy slows, the U.S. mint is producing far fewer coins than in previous years. The Mint will make 3 billion coins in 2009 - a 70 percent decline from the 10 billion produced in 2008. ( National Public Radio )

Despite receiving stimulus funds from the Federal government, many states are still finding that they need to cut thousands of jobs. ( Washington Post )

In a time of widespread job insecurity, tough times have not translated into the firings of companies’ chief executives. “Overall, 361 of the world’s 2,500 largest public companies, or 14.4 per cent, replaced their chief executive in 2008.” ( Financial Times )

It’s unclear how the recession is affecting colleges generally, but small colleges without large endowments appear to be in the most danger . ( Associated Press )

“How does this compare to the Great Depression?” asks Price Fishback. “We won’t know the final outcome of this recession for a while, but I can safely say that the current situation is nowhere near as bad as the situation during the 1930’s.” ( New York Times /Freakonomics )

The economic downturn has finally hit Iraq. “Car sales have plummeted. The once-booming property market has skidded to a halt. Electronic goods that were flying off the shelves a few months back are staying put. And … more than a quarter of men ages 18 to 29 are unemployed.” ( Los Angeles Times )

Hit by the recession, some in France are stocking up on an unusual and safe form of investment: cows. Buying into a cattle fund can bring a 4 to 5 percent return a year after taxes, based on “natural growth” - the sale of their offspring. ( New York Times )

How are the wealthy weathering to the recession? 53% are worried they could run out of money, and 78% report that the crisis has affected their sense of financial security. ( Luxist )