Big shitpile roundup:

* Illinois is in a recession (via Progress Illinois)

* PI also notes that the price of salt is twice what it was last year, an unpleasant thought given the effect of the past rough winter on the city budget.

* “The US government’s $700 billion financial rescue effort is only a few weeks old – but it’s already morphed into something far broader and more ambitious than its designers originally intended.”

* Personal spending is way down and this holiday season is going to get ugly.

* The Washington Post speaks to Young Rae Cho, a South Korean immigrant who runs a popular Milwaukee hip-hopclothing store.

* Other greater midwest news: Cleveland is getting hit very hard.

* The one bit of good news in all this is that Alan Greenspan is a lot less Randian than he used to be.