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November 19, 2008

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casey shain

well i freelance in publishing, for those that don't know me, and my main client has stopped using freelancers alltogether. the parent company has very limited funds due to the credit crunch. all discretionary spending has been halted, which includes their freelance budgets. i watch, and read, the news all the time. what you are seeing are people with existing credit cards and (hopefully) fairly secure jobs, spending to their limits. no one is buying large purchases (cars/houses) unless they have a credit score of 700 or more to start with. you are seeing people running up their cards, which honestly, is not smart.

Unemployment has increased to almost 7%, up from less around 4% 6 months ago, and is only headed higher, Citigroup has announce the loss of 53,000 more jobs just yesterday. in september the US lost 159,000 jobs, in October we lost 225,000 more jobs. i won't even go into what may happen with the possible failure of the domestic automakers, which is a very real possibility. suffice it to say if they do, it will make the 1930s look like a bad day at the track.

i would say those shoppers are basically rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic-trying to maintain a bit of normalcy in a sad time. the economy WILL get worse next year and perhaps even 2010 from everything i've been told by a few big execs of major companies i blog with on other sites.

i'm virtually penniless now, so i'm not sure how much worse it can get for me... but i'll be selling antiques that have been in the family for centuries pretty soon. : ) always the optimist...

Mark Randall Kilburn

Lisa,

I like your honest observation about how people are still shopping. I know someone who was just in the Aston-Martin showroom in Greenwich and he said all the cars are SOLD. We are being lied to by the media. Pick your conspiracy, but it is readily apparent that things are not the way we are being told they are.

Mark Randall Kilburn

In my opinion, this is a catalyst for social/monetary reform. When the smoke finally clears, the American people will find they have accepted something never before imaginable in our republic.

casey shain

high end items like luxury cars, mansions etc, are pretty much immune in times like this. i don't mean affordable luxury cars like a Lexus, i'm talking about the aforementioned Aston Martins. Rolls Royces, Ferraris. Homes larger than 12,000 sq ft are selling well still. why? the richest of the rich are immune. Bush has taken care of his high-end boys and girls. What does it matter if your stock portfolio loses 25% if it's more than $150million? it's a fact that Toyota sales are down almost 40%. Ford sales are down almost 40%. Lexus is down almost 50%. No affordable carmaker is posting anything close to the sales with last year.

look at the number of foreclosures. there were 59,000 in California last month, and that was down from more than 100,000 the month before, but only because of a 30 day moratorium on foreclosures. anyone that thinks this is a media-driven problem isn't facing facts: China's economy has lost more than 60% in the last year. Hong Kong is down more than 50%. Japan is down more than 40%. the US economy is down more than 40% since last year. that means we have lost almost half of our net worth!!! and who has lost the most? when you consider the fact that the vast majority of businesses in the USA are considered "small" businesses, it is the common person that is losing the most, not the rich, fat cats. People buying Bentleys will continue to buy them. People buying Chevys not so much.

American Express is raising their interest rates on all of their customers, while lowering their credit limits. People that pay every bill on time, with great credit ratings are having their interest rates raised as i write this. this IS bad, and is only getting worse! in the past 2 days, TWO DAYS, the stock market has lost almost 10% in net worth, and the credit markets have frozen again. the last 2 days!
'
this is not a time to fiddle while Rome is burning. it's a time for some gosh darn leadership at every level.

Mark Randall Kilburn

Our elected officials have failed us miserably and we have let it happen.

People like Barney Franks who was never taken to task for his boyfreind running a illegal prostituion scheme in an apartment paid for by tax dollars. The mayor of D.C. on crack....George W. Bush failing our troops miserably AND running an illegal undeclared war. On & on & on...when is enough, enough???

Paul R.

Hi Lisa - I really enjoy your astute observations. Are there any further articles to read on Ted Mikulski? He's an interesting figure in the art world right now. If only in a small area, his youth and energy are amazing and exciting

Just wondering if there are any interviews or articles on him?

Bonnie MacKenzie

If you believe things are bad, that's exactly what you'll experience. If you feel things are great...well...you get the idea! We create our own reality.

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