Actually, I think this is an excellent place to consider the economic impact - my hats off to you for bring it up.
I am one of the many who shoot landscape, am not a pro with a paying client base, and lack the sense to not invest in MFD.
I am also someone who after he retired in 1994 decided to study the workings of the stock market and the world economy. Well, I traded full time for 4 years, Day Traded. I did well, worst year was 123%ROExposure. I pulled completely out of the market three weeks before the last "pull back" in 2000 - saw it coming and did not want to play it short.
In short, I know enough to be dangerous about the stock market and the economy.
Recently I updated my analysis of the USA economic picture - scared the daylights out of me.
To review just a few of the highlights, NEVER before have we had:
1. National Debt level that is beyond repair, and growing with no capacity to control it.
2. Personal debt levels at record highs.
3. Mortgage loans outstanding with folks that should never have been given a loan in the first place (but a lot of mortgage brokers made a lot of money writing crap!)
4. I find the rouge of "FDIC insured" to be a joke. They had 40 billion sitting behind them - one bank in CA fails and they loose 25% of their reserves. When we look at the figures we see that 2% of the US banks are in serious risk of failure (that's 2% of 9,000 banks) who in their right mind can think that the FDIC can cover that risk. Feds will have to print money and that will drive inflation, and possible Hyper Inflation.
5. A society that has warped into Self Indulgence and Instant Gratification, regardless of the consequences.
I could add substantially to this list, but you should be getting the "picture".
In short, I sold my H2/P45+ about 6 weeks ago. Why, because one could see what has happened this week coming.
Will I buy back in to the MFD gear with it's high cost of entry and rapid rate of obselence/depreciation - to be decided. If I do,it will probably be by seeking out dealer demo gear or gear from a pro photographer who needs to pay his bills.
In short, I would encourage all pro photographers to keep their reserves and be demanding that what you part with will actually increase your balance sheet in forms other than debt. We have not seen the worst of it, and it will get worse IMHO.
PS: No, I'm not saying it is the "end of the world" as we know it, just a time to be very conservative with our expenditures, be we Pro or obsessed photographers.
PPS: If you think this past week was financially challenging, wait till the ship hits the sand on Credit Card debt failures! At least with the mortgage crisis, there is collateral to grab!