If it takes too long to head off the "fiscal cliff," the Internal Revenue Service may be forced to push tax refunds into the second quarter as taxpayers hold off filing their returns, potentially taking more than $200 million out of the pockets of consumers in the second quarter. If even $100 million of refunds are delayed, that could cut retail spending and send the U.S. economy into recession.
Despite the sour economy, the New England Confectionery Co. is doing just fine. That's because many people can't afford expensive things but can still indulge in the sweets they have enjoyed for so many years. "Some of it is, 'I had these as a kid, I'm gonna start eating them again because it takes me back to a time when things weren't so pressure-packed and maybe a little more innocent,'" said Richard Krause, CEO of NECCO.
While the global recession is leading many high-tech companies to shelve new-business initiatives, Cisco Systems appears to be striking out in a number of directions. The company soon will take on IBM and Hewlett-Packard when it starts selling its own servers, and it recently agreed to acquire the assets of Pure Digital Technologies, which makes Flip camcorders.
In the absence of a single solution to surviving the recession, consultant Tom Peters offers a broad host of suggestions. They include working longer and harder, volunteering to do more, getting there earlier and leaving later, avoiding negative people and being kind to all mankind.