How’s this as a recipe for recession? Start with a handful of Wall Street titans falling (requiring a $700 billion bailout by the government) and U.S. companies slashing jobs and downgrading financial forecasts. Add rising house foreclosures, tepid retail sales, and a complete lack of consumer confidence. Finish with a global credit crunch and topsy-turvy stock markets, and presto!
Americans from every walk of life and each corner of the country are bracing for what economists are predicting could be a deep, protracted recession. On the following pages we bring you eight of them, who span different tax brackets but share a common anxiety about economic forces that seem beyond their control.