This is an important topic for people to pay attention to for two reasons.
A)Survival: The worse things get, the harder preperations are going to be to
make, and the more expensive supplies and the like will be. And...
B)Self Defense, just as theft related crimes rise during the holiday season, they also do during times of economic "downturn", or plummeting downfall, as this might turn out to be.
Due to this, we need to realize the fact that you are not going to be able to rely on most mainstream sources of information on the economy. This is also due to(mostly) two reasons:
A) Corporate ownership of all media. Almost every media outlet in this country is owned by 6 companies. They are not just media companies, they are also producers of goods and services, which they want you to buy. Since most of the "goods" they produce are useless, and of no real value, they would be expendable to most people during an economic hard time. Since the aforementioned companies desire profit over anything, including honesty, they will not let the news be known, so as to not endanger their profit margin.
B)Related, but different than above. Almost all of these companies have "financial services" components of the corporations, and they are making a killing off this mess.
I guess it really just boils down to greed. In the words of Don, greed as a mental illness. Enough is not enough, and too much is barely adequate.
Well, since all this is happening, it, as usual, falls on us to take care of things ourselves. Be more cautious while you are out and about. Take the normal crime avoidance measures. Secure food, preferably some long term storage food(check the links for a good source). Get out of debt. Seriously. It is my wife and my biggest goal right now, and we are working very hard at it.
Make sure all your stuff is in good repair, car, house, all of it, not just gear geek stuff you like to play with.
Watch to not get suckered into buying for the sake of buying, save your money, but don't keep all of it in the bank. Remember IndyMac, and now, the FDIC is having trouble covering bank failures already, and they have just started.
Stay safe, and take care.