The XX Factor

Recession Briefing 8.25

Cities nationwide have been logging fewer traffic fatalities since the current recession officially started in December 2007 , according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. ( Arizona Republic )

Beginning late this fall, a new Cash-for-Clunkers-type program will authorize rebates of $50 to $200 for purchases of high-efficiency household appliances. ( BusinessWeek )

After spawning legions of victims, the recession is forging a class of winners. Downturns “are very fertile fields of opportunity,” says Nancy Koehn, a business historian and professor at Harvard Business School. ( Wall Street Journal )

Penny-pinching Americans are getting cold feet at the checkout - thinking twice about spending and ditching items before they’re rung up. ( Associated Press )

The signs are growing that there’s a new Wall Street gold rush under way - for the same complex bundles of mortgage loans that fueled banks’ profits between 2005 and 2007. ( The Big Money )

Rhode Island will shut down its state government for 12 days and hopes to trim millions of dollars in funding for local governments to balance a budget hammered by surging unemployment and plummeting tax revenue. ( Associated Press )

The Obama Aministration will issue national debt numbers today that show federal debt rising by $9 trillion over the next decade - significantly higher than the forecast earlier this year. ( Financial Times )

Brian Wingfield writes that President Obama’s decision to retain Ben Bernanke as Federal Reserve Chairman sends a message that he doesn’t think the crisis is over. ( Forbes )

The U.S. government’s popular “Cash for Clunkers” program officially ended last night, and auto dealers across the country are now bracing for a hangover. ( Washington Post )

The Federal Reserve must for the first time identify the companies in its emergency lending programs after losing a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. ( Bloomberg )