The XX Factor

Recession Briefing 8.5

The recession is sparking a new era in stand-up comedy . People still want to laugh. In fact, they need to laugh. They just can’t afford to go out and spend too much money. ( The Atlantic )

The recession has made legal service a more daunting expense for many. That has created a surge of litigants who must navigate the often-bewildering justice system by themselves. ( Chicago Tribune )

Fun-seekers venturing out to farm fairs, art festivals and other mainstays of the American summer are finding either crowds or cancellation notices this year. ( Associated Press )

Scores of homeowners who thought they’d cut a deal with their banks to sell their houses for less than their unpaid mortgages are seeing those agreements fall apart months later , contributing to the mounting foreclosures. ( USA Today )

Just 8 percent of Americans rate the economy positively in a new survey. 76 percent think it’s not a good time to buy things, and 56 percent rate their personal finances negatively. ( ABC News )

“Will America remember the economic lessons we’ve learned in the past year?” asks Douglas MacIntire. ( Newsweek )

The farther we get from the nadir of this financial crisis, the weaker the pull the administration will have over Wall Street. ( The Atlantic )

Solo entrepreneurs, freelancers and other self-employed professionals have always struggled to take vacations, and the recession is making it even harder. ( Wall Street Journal )

With personal income declining, consumers are going to be hard-pressed to make the purchases necessary to pull the economy out of recession and keep it from falling back into decline. ( Chicago Tribune )

The sour economy seems to have set the stage for misery’s perfect antidote: company. And matchmaking services are reaping the rewards. ( Philadelphia Inquirer )