The XX Factor

Recession Briefing 8.28

While it’s worrying that more and more Americans are considered miserable enough to warrant prescription antidepressants, there may be some solace in the fact that these drugs are in some ways good for the economy. ( The Big Money )

The real US unemployment rate is 16 percent if persons who have dropped out of the labor pool those working less than they would like are counted , a Federal Reserve official said. ( Agence France Presse )

“The whole image of America as a shiny land of big money, big cars, and big food on big plates is really played out and passé, at least since we can’t afford those things any more,” writes Hamilton Nolan. “Now it’s Indian chic! Manila magic! The ambiance of Bombay and the mystique of Lagos add up to make us a truly global nation!” ( Gawker )

Is the recession fueling the UK’s rise in births? ( Daily Mail )

Many analysts say growth likely returned in the current quarter. But with unemployment aid claims stubbornly high, Americans may benefit little from a recovery if jobs remain scarce and spending stays too low to fuel a strong rebound. ( Associated Press )

The American farm, which has weathered the global recession better than most U.S. industries, is starting to succumb to the downturn. ( Wall Street Journal )

The recession is speeding the decline of coal as the dominant U.S. fuel for generating electric power. ( Reuters )

When the credit crisis struck last year, federal regulators pumped tens of billions of dollars into the nation’s leading financial institutions because the banks were so big that officials feared their failure would ruin the entire financial system. Today, the biggest of those banks are even bigger. ( Washington Post )

The U.S. banking system will lose some 1,000 institutions over the next two years , said John Kanas, whose private equity firm bought BankUnited of Florida in May. ( CNBC )

Consumer confidence is on the rise and home prices have rebounded slightly, but things are still pretty miserable for millions of Americans, according to the latest update of the Real Misery Index. ( Huffington Post )