Hello, happy New Year (at least I think that’s the correct capitalization), and so on. Let’s start with some quick hits worth a read.

From “2009 Could Be Better Than You Think” in the Wall St. Journal:

Fixed-rate mortgages are already at historic lows, and the government is going to use every tool in its bag to get them lower over the course of the year. So if you find a piece of property you want, if the seller is willing to recognize how far the market has truly fallen, and if you have good credit — three big ifs — you can benefit from a once-in-a-lifetime double bonus of low prices and low interest rates.

And the Washington Post has a piece on how foreclosures are opening up new business opportunities:

One consequence of the skyrocketing foreclosure rate is that junk disposal has become a growth industry.

MSNBC has a small bright light: “Construction spending falls less than expected.” (It also has the “Duh” headline of the day: “Jobs outlook uncertain for 2009.” As opposed to other years, when the outlook was crystal clear.)

“We’re getting mixed signals,” says Rick Hearin, director of career services for Miami University in Ohio, who admits he can’t exactly figure out what this year has in store for job seekers.

But the AP is quick to respond with yet another company going under: “Crystal, china maker Waterford Wedgwood collapses.”

Radio Shack, however, is still doing fine.

"There must be some sort of business model that enables this company to make money, but I’ll be damned if I know what it is," [CEO Julian] Day said. "You wouldn’t think that people still buy enough strobe lights and extension cords to support an entire nationwide chain, but I guess they must.”

Some people are doing better than others, of course; check out “Housing Crisis Vindicates Guy Who Still Lives With Parents.”

And there you have it. Happy Monday.