* SOUNDING OFF:Wake up: Our country is, in fact, in distress (Daily Pilot)
Flying the flag upside down is recognized as an international distress signal and is even mentioned in the flag code. Marie Kolasinski is certainly correct that America is in distress and that more people need to wake up to it.
* Bank of England to warn recession will last far longer than Government’s forecast (Edmund Conway, Telegraph)
In its quarterly Inflation Report, the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee will slash its economic growth forecast to the lowest level since it was granted independence in 1997, and will indicate that it is now poised to start buying up securities directly in a bid to pump extra money into the economy.
* Gold prices retreat as investors scoop up profits (Sara Lepro)
Gold prices retreated Monday as investors collected profits from the metal’s recent rally. Oil prices fell, while agriculture futures rose.Gold prices have shown strength in recent weeks compared with other commodities, hovering around the $900 level as investors, fearing more turmoil in the equities markets and the economy, flocked to the investment in search of safety.But prices…
* Amid inflation, food shortages, Chavez seeks to stay in power (Tyler Bridges, Sacramento Bee)
Desiree Pereira couldn’t decide among the squash she was squeezing at a food stall here last week.
BEIJING : China’s inflation fell to just 1 percent in January, giving Beijing more leeway to carry out its massive economic stimulus plan without igniting new price rises even as concern mounts about a drought in key wheat-growing areas.
* Investment Column: Drink in Northumbria’s income stream (The Independent Online)
Apologists for water stocks point to reliability of demand. Northumbrian Water Group is no different. Yesterday’s interim management statement forecasting revenues of �4m in the second half, 1 per cent lower than in the six months to September blames the dip on the economic downturn. The company confirms that in all other particulars it is very much “business as usual” and the expectation f…
* More Evidence Against Grades  (Mark Bauerlein, Chronicle Higher Education)
Mark Bauerlein is professor of English at Emory University. His books include Literary Criticism: An Autopsy (1997) and Negrophobia: A Race Riot in Atlanta, 1906 (2001). His articles have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, The Weekly Standard, TLS, Yale Review, Partisan Review, Reason Magazine, and many other national periodicals. Topics he will cover include the ideological …
* Local gas stations scramble after Crescent bankruptcy (Kansas City Star)
Some area gas stations are scrambling for a new supplier following the bankruptcy of an Independence, Kan., fuel distributor.
* 25% of companies plan salary freeze (David Goldman, Money)
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — About a quarter of businesses have frozen workers’ salaries for 2009 in the wake of a pessimistic economic outlook, according to a survey released Monday.
* EDITORIAL: Tardy notice justifies outrage (Daily Pilot)
When Newport-Mesa Unified School District officials argue they were forced to merge Orange Coast Middle College High School into Early College High because of the ailing economy, we understand.