Crossing Fingers Amid Sweeping Layoffs

It seems as though everything wrong with the economy these days is somehow related to the mortgage industry crisis. The way we see it, there’s a sort of formulaic connection between the troubled industry and the unraveling of the economy: Subprime mess plus banking meltdown times the effects of the bailout legislation equals hard times for the so-called “real economy,” no matter what policy heads are saying after the package’s approval Friday by House members. Just look at the staggering number of job losses in September alone. A report released on MarketWatch tallied September job cuts at 159,000. “Whatever the government might or might not do to try to bail out the financial system, a consumer-led recession is upon us, and it promises to be a serious one,” wrote economist Josh Shapiro, according to the report. The U.S. Postal Service, faced with an overwhelming deficit and a decline in demand for postal mail services, is even considering layoffs, according to The Washington Post. The mess is spreading to Europe, where Swiss banking giant UBS AG [stock UBS][/stock] announced Friday morning some 2,000 pending investment banking job cuts, bringing the total number of losses to 6,000 since Q3 2007. These are scary times not only for mortgage industry professionals, but for banking professional. Like you, we have little choice but to just have to wait and see what kind of real financial relief — if any — comes about by way of the economic bailout bill. Here’s hoping that Treasury Secretary Paulson really IS the smartest guy in the room …

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