The XX Factor

Recession Briefing 9.15

French President Nicolas Sarkozy wants world leaders to drop their obsession with gross domestic product and factor measures like “happiness” into economic indicators. ( Associated Press )

Despite fresh signs that the worst may be over for the beleaguered U.S. economy, there has been no letup in public fears about possible financial hardship ahead and there is broad concern that not enough is being done to avert another meltdown . ( Washington Post )

With more Americans than ever on food stamps, Randy James takes a look back on the program’s history. ( TIME )

A woman is refusing to pay off her Bank of America credit card until she is offered a lower interest rate. ( Huffington Post )

Tens of thousands of financially strapped homeowners who have asked lenders to lower their mortgage payments are instead winding up with higher monthly payments and larger debts on their homes. ( USA Today )

Some companies are offering career counseling to customers who’ve lost jobs during the recession , hoping to help old friends and win additional loyalty when the economy recovers. ( Wall Street Journal )

“This recession, a full-blown economic horror, has left a gaping hole in the heart of working America that is unlikely to heal for years, if not decades,” writes Bob Herbert. ( New York Times )

James Altucher has five sacred truths in finance that are no longer true in the middle of The Great Recession. ( Daily Finance )

The world has not tackled the problems at the heart of the economic downturn and is likely to slip back into recession , says William White, the former chief economist at the Bank for International Settlements. ( Financial Times )

The government has gotten back hundreds of billions of dollars in bailout loans, but it still has more than $2 trillion to wind down . ( CNN/Money )