Walking on the Clark Street bridge over the Chicago River this morning I noticed the water below was smoking however remained ice free. Chicago has endured three weeks of temps under thirty two degrees. The reason the water remains ice free is because water holds heat energy. In simple terms, the temperature of the surface of water has remain above thirty two degrees because the surface has been using latent heat energy trapped within. The process continues until the energy is no longer sufficient to prevent ice on the surface.
This recession has much in common with this meandering flatwater as a lot of the reserves that have kept individuals from succumbing to the icy cold of the recession are being depleted. Unless the economy thaws quickly the phase transition will occur and individuals who have been barely holding on, will let go!