Monday, November 09, 2009

Life in the Severance Economy

On A1 of today's paper, I take a look at the people of the severance economy. They're confronting a reality they never thought they would have to: long-term unemployment intersecting with savings on the brink.

I consider this an unofficial follow-up to my profile of a trader who now works at a steakhouse. See also: trader who now runs a Mister Softee truck, the slowdown on the NYSE floor and tracking down former Lehman employees.

While reporting this story, my brother was laid off. Several more pink slips flowed into the hands of friends out West and in New York, and points in between. There's been no shortage of layoffs in the journalism industry, either.

I guess sometimes personal finance reporting becomes, well, personal.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Bookquest 2009: The Home Stretch

Drawing inspiration from former presidents, I'm trying to read 50 books by December 31, 2009. With roughly eight weeks left in the year, I've read 43 titles so far! Keep those recommendations coming! When the weather gets bad, my drive to be a hermit and stay indoors and be literary only increases!

Add to the list:
"American Pastoral" by Philip Roth
"Reservation Blues" by Sherman Alexie
"The Insanity Defense" by Woody Allen
"Kafka on the Shore" by Haruki Murakami
"Indignation" by Philip Roth
"Snap Judgement" by David Adler (author Q and A)
"Midnight's Children" by Salman Rushdie
"Monopolygate" by Ralph Anspach (for WSJ, too)
"The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" by Steig Larsson
"A Mercy" by Toni Morrison
"Revolutionary Road" by Richard Yates
"The Billionaire's Vinegar" by Benjamin Wallace
"The Night of the Gun" by David Carr

The Pilons I saw in Paris

My own origin story gets that much more confusing while strolling in Montmartre...