The XX Factor

Recession Briefing 8.20

What does the recession smell like? It has created scents as varied as those produced by the overheated Wall Street shell game that gave birth to it. The mix is different. There’s less perfume, for one. Fragrance sales have fallen 7 percent this year.( New York Times / T )

A man is driving across the U.S. asking people to write stories of how the financial crisis has affected their lives on the side of his orange van . ( Washington Post )

JetBlue suspended sales of its recession-friendly unlimited-flight pass Wednesday , saying it had to do so because of strong demand. ( USA Today )

The hypnotic, gyrating, seizure-inducing happy lender Flash ads are showing up again online. Could they be a possible sign of the thawing of credit markets? ( New York Times /Economix )

The numbers of poor and uninsured Americans are likely rising - with more than 38.8 million believed to be in poverty. ( CBS News )

Everyone should stop asking when the recession is going to end, writes Nouriel Roubini. ( Forbes )

What are some of the principles to consider when you are hiring during the recession? There are some very good people out there looking for jobs - but there are many more less-than-good people. ( New York Times /You’re the Boss )

College students are appealing financial aid decisions this summer in unprecedented numbers , an outpouring of need that underscores how layoffs and pay cuts have battered household budgets in the past year. ( Washington Post )

More Americans are moving away from material frivolities and taking pleasure in a simpler lifestyle, writes John Zogby. Now that a recession is forcing many others to also live within limits, how many will discover that they never really needed all those material things to be happy in the first place? ( Forbes )

While the private sector has shed 6.9 million jobs since the beginning of the recession, state and local governments have expanded their payrolls and added 110,000 jobs , according to a report to be issued today. ( New York Times )