A Downturn Wraps a City in Hesitance

Over the last four decades, Powell’s Books has swelled into the largest bookstore in North America ”” a capacious monument to reading that occupies a full square block of this often-drizzly city. But this year, growth has given way to anxiety.

Michael Powell, the store’s owner, recently dropped plans for a $5 million expansion. An architect had already prepared the drawings. His bankers had signaled that financing was available. But the project no longer looked prudent, Mr. Powell concluded ”” not with sales down nearly 5 percent, stock markets extinguishing savings, home prices plunging and jobs disappearing.

“It’s going to take a period of time to recover,” Mr. Powell said. “Whether it’s 2 years or 10 years I don’t know, but I don’t think it’s going to be quick. People are nervous.”

Reed it all.


Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

2 comments on “A Downturn Wraps a City in Hesitance

  1. Juandeveras says:

    Re: The book store expansion – Last year Congress passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 – retroactively demanding the immediate disposal of all pre-1985 children’s books in print – a devious way of promulgating Obama’s desire to delete all traces of our earlier culture ( particularly for kids ) on the thin premise that somehow the paper /ink they were printed on was tainted or carcenogenic. Nobody has seen fit to challenge this law on its real premise – all public libraries are mandated to dispose of all their kiddie lit. – So anyone contemplating the expansion of a book store has to take this into account. Sounds like the Nazis.

  2. Dilbertnomore says:

    Prudent move by Mr. Powell. Until the Administration’s intentions become clear with respect to Obama’s intention either to confirm or abrogate the enforceability of contracts, this is no time to play chicken with the unknown. Most unfortunate that this Administration would even consider tinkering in so vitally fundamental an area.

    Elections – General AND Primary – produce consequences. Hopefully, we’ll pay closer attention next time. 53% of us really dropped the ball this time.