The XX Factor

Recession Briefing 6.9

Some airlines are dropping cutlery from their meal kits - or making spoons and forks fractionally smaller - in order to shed weight and save money on fuel costs. ( Daily Telegraph )

I would not be surprised if the official end of the U.S. recession ends up being, in retrospect, dated sometime this summer,” Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman said yesterday. ( Daily Finance )

For fine art, the recession may turn out to be inspirational. A wave of small-scale, independent initiatives is leading a shift toward a rediscovery of accessibility and classical skills. ( New York Times )

A Florida couple has issued a million-dollar “coupon” for a discount on their waterfront mansion. ( Los Angeles Times )

Credit card delinquencies jumped in the first quarter as strapped borrowers used their tax refunds to meet daily expenses instead of paying down their  balances. ( Wall Street Journal )

A new report says bank stress tests should be repeated if the unemployment rate continues to rise beyond the levels assumed by regulators. ( Reuters )

Travel writer Pico Iyer writes about his recession-friendly lifestyle - happily spending his days in a small apartment in Kyoto with very few possessions. ( New York Times /Happy Days )

Burlap becomes the new velvet as recession-time furniture mixes trends in organic, industrial and recycled. ( Los Angeles Times )

A record 27 percent of the nation’s 14.5 million jobless have been unemployed for about six months or longer. ( Washington Post )

Business is good for a handful of repo specialists who get the call when a bank wants back its Gulfstream II jet. ( Salon )