Rita Gunther McGrath, a reader from NYC (and an associate professor at the Columbia Business School) writes:
"There I was, in my favorite local wine shop, and attempted to pay by check (as I usually do – they charge more if you pay by credit card). The young man, a new employee, serving me, said “Oh, I don’t know if we can accept checks any more – in this last month, we’ve had a huge increase in bounced checks.” Bounced checks at the liquor store – a sure sign of down times. Oh, and the manager did OK my check, eventually. I guess when life looks glum and you can’t think of a better solution, getting some hooch and drowning your sorrows looks pretty attractive."
Rita is the author of the forthcoming Discovery Driven Growth (2009 Harvard Business School Press). Check out http://ritamcgrath.com for her books, bio and blog.