(Fortune Magazine) -- The recession is no doubt hurting you, perhaps badly. Your sales may well be down. Maybe you've even lost your job. Whatever your troubles, you may safely blame them on the recession.
After all, most of the CFOs questioned in a recent poll agree that the U.S. is in a recession; among the general public, 76% said the U.S. was in a recession six months ago, and other polling suggests most people believe things have grown worse since then.
The government takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, its rescue of insurance giant AIG (AIG, Fortune 500), the collapse of Lehman Brothers, and this week's hair-raising plunges in the Dow reinforce the sense of economic collapse. Even the No. 1 album on iTunes recently was Young Jeezy's The Recession. When hip-hop chart toppers are talking about the economy, something big is going on. The recession is everywhere.