Recession stories have a lot in common with global warming stories - there are a lot of them and you hear only one side. And like global warming, recession is the subject of a Newsweek cover story, appearing on the front of the magazine's February 4 issue.

The story, "The U.S. Economy Faces the Guillotine," written by Daniel Gross, takes a one-sided gloomy approach to reporting on the U.S. economy. It worked on the assumption a recession is inevitable and may have even already started.

"The Great Global Market Freak-Out of 2008 has everyone asking whether the United States - already on the road to recession - is entering into a protracted period of economic trouble where jobs will be slashed, prices will continue to rise and the dollar will keep falling; and if so, whether the declining U.S. economy will pull the rest of the world down with it," Gross wrote. "A recession is defined as a widespread contraction in economic activity lasting more than a few months, and because of the lag in financial data, recessions typically aren't officially declared until long after they start. In short, the United States could already be in one."



You've probably heard about the French trader who has managed to stash away $7 billion before going on the lam. What's the big deal with sticking it to some French bank for $7 billion?

This $7-billion loss by the French bank Societe Generale (SocGen) (EPA:GLE) might have caused the sharp plunge in some European stock markets on January 21 - which spurred the Federal Reserve to make an unprecedented emergency 75-basis-point rate cut on January 22.

One economist drew a correlation between the SocGen scandal and the Fed's decision to make the emergency rate cut.