The story that Accenture has abandoned its lead pitch-man dominates the tabloids, and also appears in the New Yorker. Perhaps Tiger will now empathize with all the other recession stories in the papers today.

But probably not as he's still worth millions (or even a billion). Financial news dominates — and it is apparently OK to run standard recession stories again. They've formed a bell curve that is inversely proportional to the path of the crisis itself. As the recession began we had thousands of 'the downturn will affect (insert topic here)' stories. During the long, dull grind of penury everyone was too busy being poor to read about it, so we had a small respite. Now, as a recovery is tentatively whispered about, we get stories like these:

  • The Los Angeles Times has two pieces that feel like they're rehashed from a year ago — graduate jobs are down, movie attendances are up.
  • The New York Times says that Citigroup will pay back its bailout money.
  • And the Wall Street Journal reports on the soul-destroying impact the recession has had on kids sitting on Santa's knee — they now ask for essentials their families can't afford, instead of toys.

Disclosure: I freelance write and report for newspapers that are included in this roundup. Where there is a direct conflict of interest I will make it clear.

The New York Times: reports that Citigroup is preparing to pay back the bailout money it received. It's amazing what a motivator bonuses are. In the story on one side, in what can only be described a socialist story placement, the paper says people in Bolivia are struggling to find water. On the other is a report that Governor Paterson has withheld about $250m from schools and local government as an emergency measure. Youth prison in New York is appalling, Facebook viruses are annoying (though arguably not really news) and Paul A. Samuelson, Nobel Prize-winning economist is dead at 94.

The Washington Post: looks a bit silly because Abu Dhabi bailed Dubai out after they went to press. So they've got a whole, mostly obsolete, big story on the meaning of a missed bond payment that wasn't missed. Reporting that still stands includes stories on efforts to turn insurgents in Afghanistan, the senate spending bill, more political ridiculousness in California and a Virginia vigilante lady who takes down illegal roadside signs.

The LA Times: have two recession stories that feel well-worn — graduates are struggling to find jobs, but movie attendance is up. There are very interesting pieces on efforts to curb 'stealth' greenhouse gases, that are not as well-publicized as carbon dioxide, and the fact that drone attacks are to spread to Pakistani cities. Teachers sometimes struggle to control kids (hold the front... oh) and there's a look at what it's like to live near the US/Mexican drug wars in Baja, California.

The Wall Street Journal: proves once more it is significantly the most fun broadsheet by running a huge picture of Berlusconi after he was hit yesterday. They cover the big business story — Bank of America's CEO search continues — but fun it up further with an interesting look at the Google phone, the fact the government is now in the venture capital business and a heartbreaking tale of lowered expectations when kids go to see santa.

The New York Post: it's a rare day that the Post and the New Yorker share a story — but Tiger Woods seems to unite the lowbrow and highbrow media. Especially when it comes to his losing corporate sponsorship. Both this piece and James Surowiecki's New Yorker column cover the topic.

The Daily News: covers the same story, but adds news that Woods was with a mistress when his dad died. Which, by the law of averages, is not that surprising.

Sun-Sentinel: ever wondered how big a manatee is in relation to a submarine. This diagram means you need wonder no more!

Herald-Sun (Australia): and here's a new phrase for you: king-hit.