For us to be so unhappy- why do I find this report hilarious??

10 Unhappiest American Cities
No sun, no jobs and lots of foreclosures. This can be a recipe for unhappiness.

Not surprisingly, some cities whose residents struggle with lots of these issues also have high levels of suicide, clinical depression, divorce and violent crime.

BusinessWeek.com ranked 50 of the largest metros based on their misery and depression levels. The depression scoring is based on insurance reporting. The rest of the rankings come from the National Assembly of County & City Health Officials, FBI crime reports, the U.S. Weather Bureau and the U.S. Census.

While it’s not clear that the recession has made these social issues worse – most of these cities had these problems before the economy headed south – and economic woes certainly can’t be helping.

Here are the top 10 most depressed cities.

  1. Portland, Ore.
  2. St. Louis
  3. New Orleans
  4. Detroit
  5. Cleveland, Ohio
  6. Jacksonville, Fla.
  7. Las Vegas
  8. Nashville, Tenn.
  9. Cincinnati, Ohio
  10. Atlanta


Source: BusinessWeek.com, Prashant Gopal (02/26/2009)

Fixing Commercial Real Estate Is Key for Recovery

The commercial real estate market is the “one domestic factor that keeps me up at night,” Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Dennis Lockhart told the Association for Financial Professionals meeting Monday in Orlando.

Lockhart told the group that $400 billion of commercial real estate refinancing was hanging over the market and could slow the country’s economic recovery, which he expects to be clearly underway in the second half of 2009.

 He also said he believed many of the predictions for the timing of the end of this downturn to be too pessimistic. “Economic forecasts will tend to be overly optimistic as the economy goes into a recession, but overly pessimistic as the economy comes out of recession and begins its expansion phase. Perhaps, we should take some comfort from that,” he said.

Source: Reuters News, Alister Bull

Tighter Lending Stalls Housing Recovery

Rising foreclosures and tightening credit standards are making it more difficult for the housing market to recover from the current downturn than it has been for the market to rebound from previous slowdowns, according to a Harvard University study.

“Historically, housing markets recover only after the economy has entered a recession and a combination of falling mortgage interest rates and house prices have improved housing affordability,” Nicolas P. Retsinas, director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard, said in a statement.

“It will take longer this time to rebound given the unusually high levels of foreclosures and constrained credit markets,” he said. “The slump in housing markets has not yet run its full course.”

The center predicted that income growth over the next 10 years would be constrained, reducing demand for homes. Much of employment growth will be in part-time and low-wage positions, the study said.

“The somber conclusion is that if the economy slips into recession or job losses keep racking up, household growth and homeownership demand could fall even more,” the center said in the release.

Source: Reuters News, Lynn Adler 06/23)