The Financial Landscape: Post-Recession Blues; Netflix Kills Qwikster
• "In a grim sign of the enduring nature of the economic slump" -- and a mark of just how useless official macroeconomic determinations can sometimes seem to those on the ground -- The New York Times reports that "household income declined more in the two years after the recession ended than it did during the recession itself." According to one of the researchers behind the report, the 9.8% fall in income from the recession's start through this June represents "a significant decline in the American standard of living."
• Harvard economist Martin Feldstein sounds a related note, calling the recovery "about as bad an expansion as I've ever seen" and insisting that there's a "nontrivial" chance of another recession. Bloomberg, on the other hand, argues that "the U.S. has likely dodged a recession for now, even though it's too early to sound the all-clear for the economy."
• Reuters reports that European leaders claim to have devised a new plan to stabilize the eurozone by the end of the month, sending global stocks and the euro higher, though German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicholas Sarkozy were vague on the details of how they would solve Greece's sovereign debt crisis and recapitalize the continent's banks.
• Netflix kills its much-derided Qwikster plan before the DVD service has even launched:
• Free texting apps threaten to undermine the profits of wireless carriers, "an industry that makes most of its money from services that are high priced and low bandwidth, like texting."