The year 2009 will undoubtedly be long described as one of the most difficult years in recent and even not so recent times. More than 120 U.S. banks failed (compared to just over two dozen in 2008). The federal government bailed out a variety of financial institutions and major companies. And while things seem to have stabilized, various stimulus initiatives haven’t quite encouraged the consumer. Rocked by recession, unemployment and general anxiety about personal finances, most Americans have been forced to make fundamental changes in how they live and spend money. The ripple effect of these changes is more than obvious in virtually every aspect of the economy. From retailers to restaurateurs, consumer goods to media and advertising, few sectors have been spared from the “Great Recession.” Tapping expert knowledge across the media, consumer goods, advertising, telecom, entertainment, online and sports sectors, over the next few days, Nielsen offers a four-part series on what’s likely in store for 2010.