The XX Factor

Recession Briefing 8.26

Thanks to the economic downturn and rising shipping costs, junk mail volume was down 16 percent in the nine months ending in June compared with the same period a year earlier . ( Associated Press )

Karen Blumenthal writes about big-time booms and busts - and how she got caught up in the Beanie Babies bubble. ( Wall Street Journal )

Build your own 360-square-foot home for less than $3000? Yup, if you’ve got a place to put it, here’s how to make one out of cob. ( TreeHugger , The Year of Mud )

Researchers questioned 250 homeowners going through foreclosure and found that 47 percent showed symptoms of depression, with 37 percent exhibiting signs of major depression. ( Washington Post )

The USA TODAY /IHS Global Insight economic outlook index predicts GDP growth starting in September, the first increase since July 2008. The index predicts future growth based on 11 leading economic and financial indicators. ( USA Today )

U.S. unemployment will surge to 10 percent this year and the budget deficit will be $1.5 trillion next year, both higher than previous Obama administration forecasts , White House budget chief Peter Orszag said. ( Bloomberg )

The FDIC wants to ditch a subsidy that has been helpful for small banks amid the recession, but withdrawing insurance on big checking accounts won’t be popular. ( CNN/Money )

An interesting change the how small businesses are being financed in the poor economy: fewer business owners needed to obtain financial capital to start their companies. ( New York Times /You’re the Boss )

How are pampered pets faring in the recession? Still pampered. ( Chicago Sun-Times )

In this recession, there are struggling apparel retailers all across the country. Then there’s Abercrombie & Fitch. The upscale teen retailer has suffered 10 straight months of double-digit same-store-sales declines. ( Time )