The XX Factor

Recession Briefing 8.31

The recession is taking its toll on New York’s cocaine dealers : “You’re gonna find me at the post office if this goes on for much longer,” says one. ( New York /Daily Intel )

Sales of men’s underwear typically are stable because they rank as a necessity. But during times of severe financial strain, men will try to stretch the time between buying new pairs, causing underwear sales to dip. ( Washington Post )

To help pare their budgets, more Americans are bypassing the salon and opting to lop off their own locks. The results can be shear disaster - clogged drains, fresh cowlicks and crooked trims. ( Wall Street Journal )

The Federal Reserve has made a $14 billion in profit on loan programs that have provided hundreds of billions of dollars in liquidity to the financial system since the start of the crisis two years ago. ( Financial Times )

New and prospective college students are abandoning their “dream schools” in favor of more affordable options , forcing many colleges to work harder to justify their price of admission. ( USA Today )

Unemployment for middle-aged workers is the highest it’s been since data was first collected 60 years ago. And while the middle-aged are still more likely to have jobs than younger workers, once they are laid off, finding a new job is harder. ( New York Times )

Regulators closed three banks Friday, pushing U.S. bank failures to 84 this year amid continuing fallout from the economic crisis. ( Bloomberg )

The nation’s economic gloom hasn’t affected the way working Americans feel about their own jobs. In Gallup’s latest poll, 87% reported being completely (50%) or somewhat (37%) satisfied with their jobs. ( Forbes )

The recession’s legacy may be Americans’ newfound reluctance to spend. ( New York Times )

Federal Reserve and Treasury officials are scrambling to prevent the commercial-real-estate sector from delivering a roundhouse punch to the U.S. economy just as it struggles to get up off the mat. ( Wall Street Journal )