The economic news continues to be dire. President Obama seems to be announcing new initiatives every day. And America seems to be holding its breath, waiting to see if anything he does will unlock the frozen credit market. Meanwhile, enterprises of every stripe struggle to keep operating in the straightened environment. Hence this month's special report, “Coping with the Economic Crisis.”

In it, we have an unusual piece for Trusts & Estates: Jon Ruff and Vincent L. Childers of Bernstein Global Wealth Management identified 15 previous systemic financial breakdowns to see if patterns could be identified and, based on them, predictions of what might happen to us could be made, p. 31. Their conclusions are surprisingly optimistic.

We also fulfill Trusts & Estates' mission of presenting deeply practical information by offering Robert M. Held's “They Want To Sell Their Business Now?” p. 41, a handy guide for advisors who may need to help clients sell closely held businesses in any market, especially the current one.

Also, one of our board of advisors, Louis S. Harrison, and his colleague Emily J. Kuo really get down to business by offering much-needed tips to estate planning lawyers on how to reframe bills for their legal services, p. 50. And journalist Karen Donovan discusses how advisors might want to restrict gifts in the wake of Brandeis' plan to help buoy its sagging endowment by selling donated art, p. 58.

Of course, not everything is tied to the current fiscal problems, in this issue as in life. So check out our other offerings. And let's all take a deep breath.