Posts Tagged ‘Recession’

From the New York Press: 

What You Make

A surprising analysis of what mostly white kids, 22 – 32, make in New York. The answer is, apparently, not much – a lot of folks in this city, established, professional, educated, or not, make less than 30 grand a year. 

And here I thought it was just me that was broke.  Small comfort I guess . . . 

This parallels the situation in London where I knew many 20 something producers, directors, graphic artists, admin people,  and so on, who survived on more or less the same – and London is still more expensive than New York. I made more as a housepainter – not that I made much. 

When the folks on Wall Street, the City can make stratospheric salaries for, I don’t know – failing – there’s something wrong here. 

The article would have been a lot stronger if they’d profiled what, say, a black working man in Brooklyn is making, but this gives a good example of the gross income disparity in our society . . .


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Why go to the riots when you can read about them on Vice?

Do they owe us a living?

A blow by blow account by blogger John Knight. Great pix by James Pearson-Hawes (aka Queenie) and Jamie Teate.

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New York Times Photography special:

Picturing The RecessionPicturing the Recession

Readers and journalists from across the world send pictures detailing the impact of the recession.

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Taken Fall, 2008

As the Heygate Estate empties out – it is over fifty percent empty now and the first demolitions are scheduled to begin after the summer, what is lees and less clear is what will happen once the estate is demolished. The credit crunch has made the future of the Elephant and Castle regeneration uncertain. At the moment, it looks as if the estate could be pulled down and a vast moribund construction site be left in it’s place. For years. 

   At least it would slow down the gentrification of the Elephant. 


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NY Times reports Laid-off Foreigners Flee as Dubai Spirals Down. Some newspapers report that 3000 cars sit abandoned in the car park of Dubai International, left when their owners fled the country. Seems that foreigners – well anyone – with debts can be put in debtor’s prison. So if you bought property, ran up your credit card, then lose your job and with it your work visa, you go to prison unless you flee the country. Parts of Dubai apparently like a ghost town so many people have left. 

And just a year ago all the smart people in the Manhattan bars, in the City of London, were talking about Dubai, Dubai, Dubai. We had to give bonuses, otherwise the top talent, the financial wizards, would follow the money and go to places like – Dubai. Just one year ago, for the elite of the world, Dubai was a stopover between London, Manhattan, and I don’t know where else (since I’m pretty far from being one of the elite). Friends in London said if you want to make money, make a name in journalism, in anything at all, go to Dubai – great salaries, no tax, holidays etc. Not much fun, but plant yourself for one year, two, and you’ll go places. 

Now, it seems, the good times are over. 

I wonder how far it will go, since Dubai, unlike it’s cousin in the UAI, has no oil and owed it’s prosperity to real estate and finance. Under these circumstances, when things go bad, they can go pretty bad. I know – reading this story I couldn’t help thinking of where I grew up, a boomtown in northern Canada. The boom ended twice, once in the late 50’s, and again in the early 80’s. Both times, most folks ditched whatever they had and got the hell out, leaving behind miles of empty houses, and dozens of automobiles parked in empty driveways (there was no road out). The town still sits high up in PreCambrian Shield, home to 87 people and hundreds of empty buildings, sinking slowly into the earth. 

Hark ye, hark ye.

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From bedstuyblog.com. A link to Brian Lehrer’s NPR show ‘Uncommon Economic Indicators’ – people writing calling charting the recession. 

Report Bed-Stuy’s Uncommon Economic Indicators

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More cautious optimism . . . tainted by uncertainty. A sense now of momentum building up to the inauguration (coronation?) Tuesday.

All up and down Washington Ave, here in Prospect Heights, shop windows display Obama posters, ‘change is coming to America’, quotes from the Bible foretelling the coming of ‘Barack’. You walk into black neighborhoods and you feel a change – people feel happy, more open than I’ve seen black people here in a long, long time. You feel too that some of the tension with white folks has dropped – since everyone but the most obtuse black folks know that any white folks living in Bed-Stuy or Prospect Heights voted for Obama . . .

A friend tells me her business down in Tribeca catering to the wives of hedge fund managers is pulling in one tenth of what it pulled in a year ago, three stores on her block have closed up in the last six months, Bobby D’s new restaurant around the corner opened in September and closed just a couple of weeks ago. Other friends talk about how difficult it’s getting to find work, even temp work.

The jetliner landing in the Hudson somehow sums up the spirit of New York in this moment – potential disaster, the pictures of the passengers on the wings, all the rescue boats and commuter ferries rushing in, no lives lost, a heroic pilot. And I’d walked down the boardwalk along the Hudson just a couple of days ago . . .

For the moment, New York City feels joyful, exhibiting the wonderful, even liberating strength and humanity that I’ve always loved in this city. A good time to be here . . .

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