(Washington, D.C.) The U.S. economy shrank to a 5.7 percent annual pace in the first quarter of 2009, ending its worst drop in five decades due to declines in housing, inventories and business investments. However, a ray of hope, the White House General Accounting Office (GAO), the budget arm of the Executive Office, said that if "one time items" such as "Bernie Madoff and AIG" were factored out, the economy only shrank 5.689%.
(Washington, D.C.) In a related note, Consumer spending rose at a 1.5 percent annual rate last quarter, after plunging like a rupture at a 4.3 percent annual rate in the last three months of 2008. But the GAO attempted to manage expectations with a footnote. Now that Bernie Madoff isn't spending they caution to expect a slight drop in Consumer spending in the upcoming quarter to .00005%.
(New York-NY) Reacting to this, economists surveyed believe spending may falter in the current quarter as job losses mount. Economists believe that unemployment, currently at a 25-year high of 8.9 percent, may reach almost 10 percent by the end of 2009. President Obama countered this in his weekly YouTube address. "While some see unemployment up to 10% by the end of this year, I see employment up to 90%. That's a solid A- when I went to school." Rumors the Obama administration is considering a blanket pardon of Bernie Madoff to "goose the economy" were neither confirmed nor denied by Whit House Press Secretary, Robert "Bob" Gibbs.
(Dallas--TX) Southwest Airlines will add a $50 round-trip service charge for children flying alone and double its baggage fees due to the current recession, which has shrunk airline revenue more than a man jumping in an unheated pool in the dead of winter wearing a thong bathing suit. The airline will still allow passengers a free two-bag check in. But there will now be a $50 fee for a third checked bag. However, Southwest notes that unsupervised children traveling and stuffed in the third bag will only cost $75 for both bag and child.
(New York-NY) Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who views "Citizen Kane" as inspirational tale of a can do guy, found himself in trouble with the New York reporters for a second time at a press conference. Bloomberg told a reporter that he was "a disgrace" after the reporter asked Bloomberg about running for a third term. This came less than a year after the New York Mayor scolded a reporter in a wheelchair for dropping his tape recorder during the Mayor's press conference. Bloomberg refused to apologize for this saying, "Well, he shouldn't have dropped it. It's his feet that don't work, not his hands."
(Silicon Valley-CA) Google unveiled its new application, Google Wave. Google claims that this new application is "what e-mail would be like if e-mail were invented today." Awkward syntax aside, Google also claims that when the "Wave breaks" it will "bring a level of interaction to socializing that has never been known before." Google's ultimate goal? "We remain committed to bringing people closer together on the web until one day you don't have to see anyone or leave your room. The bi-products of this are many, such as an exponential drop in serial killing and murder. We're still working on suicide. "