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Falling savings and rising debt leave consumers financially precarious



WASHINGTON. US households are reducing their saving and take more and more dutywhich puts many in a weaker position to weather an economic downturn made even more likely by the recent turmoil in the banking industry.

Fears of an economic slowdown were renewed this week as US regulators took over the Silicon Valley bank and Swiss officials stepped in to bolster the bank’s finances. CreditSuisseand a group of Wall Street firms threw a lifeline at First Republic Bank.

The events have drawn parallels with the 2008 financial crisis and are likely to force banks to tighten lending, which will put additional pressure on already stressed consumers, which in turn could force them to cut costs and cause layoffs in companies facing declining sales.

“What we are seeing right now, in terms of stress in the banking sector, is likely to have escalating implications for the deterioration in household finances,” said Gregory Dako, chief economist at EY-Parthenon. “We are likely to see an environment in which banks are more cautious in their lending, especially smaller regional banks, and this will further exacerbate the easing we have already seen.”

Goldman Sachs on Thursday raised its chances of a recession by 10 percentage points to 35%. Other economists are even less optimistic that the US can avoid a recession. Bloomberg poll the chance of a recession is 60%.

For much of the past year, with inflation at its highest level in decades, consumers have largely been able to keep increasing their spending. Although retail sales were slightly down in February compared to January, they were still up 5.4% year-over-year, the Commerce Department said this week.

Bank of America credit and debit card data for February showed household spending rose 2.7% year-on-year, “suggesting consumer spending remains resilient even as spending growth slows.” report last week from the Bank of America Institute.

But data indicates that wages have not kept pace with inflation over this period. As a result, Americans are increasingly turning to their credit cards and savings accounts to support their spending habits.

“The average person’s finances were probably better a year or two ago than they are now, just because they had more money and less debt,” said Ted Rossman, senior industry analyst at “At the start of 21, there was a time when credit card balances were 17% lower than before the pandemic. And now they are up 28% from that low.”

Americans have spent about half of the savings they accumulated during the pandemic, rising from about $2.1 trillion in excess savings through an influx of government stimulus checks and spending cuts during lockdowns to about $900 billion as of the third quarter of last year. report by JP Morgan.

At the same time, according to the data, the percentage of people’s wages going into savings has fallen by about half compared to what it was before the pandemic. data from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

Meanwhile, the amount of Americans’ debt has risen sharply. Credit card balances increased by $61 billion to a record high of $986 billion in the last quarter of 2022, a stark change from two years ago when Americans paid off debt with stimulus checks. data from the New York Federal Reserve. Auto loan balances rose by $94 billion.

There are signs that a growing number of consumers are finding it harder to pay off this debt.

According to Bankrate, the percentage of credit card holders in debt month on month increased to 46% from 39% a year ago. Auto loan delinquencies are steadily rising from pandemic lows, with the proportion of auto loans overdue by at least 60 days reaching its highest level since 2006, according to data report last month from Cox Automotive.

All of these factors have investors, economists, and corporate executives keeping a close eye on what steps the Federal Reserve will take on interest rates next week. Another round of rate hikes will make it more costly for consumers to borrow money to finance a home or car, or to balance their credit cards. It will also put pressure on businesses that want to borrow money.

But with persistently high inflation, until 6% in February compared to a year earlier – some economists say the Federal Reserve has no choice but to keep raising rates to cut spending.

Another key factor that economists say they are watching is the labor market, which remains strong in part because consumers continue to spend.

Job creation slowed in February but was still stronger than expected, with the economy adding 311,000 jobs, the Labor Department said last week. The unemployment rate rose to 3.6%, which is the same as last year. But even a small spike in unemployment could force millions of Americans to cut back on their spending.

“The backbone of consumer spending is the labor market,” said economist Dacko. “If the labor market starts to show more significant signs of cooling, slowing down, weakening, then this will have a direct impact on household incomes and, in turn, their ability and willingness to spend.”

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Wyoming becomes first state to ban abortion pills



It would also make it illegal “to create, edit, upload, publish, host, maintain, or register a domain name for an Internet site, platform, or other interactive computer service that assists or facilitates a person’s efforts in obtaining an abortion.” drugs.”

Many patients learn about abortion options from websites such as Plan C, a clearinghouse for information about medical abortion. And a growing number of patients in states where abortion is illegal are arranging to get pills through telemedicine websites such as Aid Access, a European service that delivers pills to any state from India, and Hey Jane, one of several US services that will provide pills to patients who travel to a state where abortion is legal and where they can get medicines by mail in those states.

In addition to Wyoming and states with total bans on abortion, 15 states have introduced restrictions on access to medical abortion, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports abortion rights. These restrictions range from requiring medication to be provided by a doctor to requiring the patient to visit the doctor in person. Several states, including Texas and Arizona, are banning mail-order abortion pills, and mail-in pill bills have been introduced this year in at least three other states.

“We are seeing efforts to further limit access to medical abortion because anti-abortion advocates recognize that even with abortion bans in place in 12 states and no access in two more, patients can still get abortion pills,” said Elizabeth Nash. , state representative. political analyst at the Guttmacher Institute. “Now anti-abortion advocates have taken to the courts, attorneys general and state legislatures to further restrict access to the pill.”

Since January, when newly elected legislatures began to convene for the first time since Dobbs v. USA. The Jackson Women’s Health Organization’s decision ended the national right to abortion, with more than 500 abortion-related bills proposed in states across the country.

Some states, where Democratic legislatures have strong – or even unexpected – majorities, are taking steps to increase protection against abortion. in Minnesota, first account legislature in 2023, making it harder for future legislatures and governors to relax these protections, which signed in January by the governor. Tim Walz, Democrat. In Michigan, the legislature has reiterated the abortion ban, and the governor is expected to be signed by Democrat Gretchen Whitmer.

But most of the new bills are aimed at limiting access to abortion. And now, as several states close their legislative sessions, bills are starting to hit the governors’ tables.

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Proper disposal of massage oil after its expiration date



After the expiration date, the massage oil should be disposed of responsibly. Proper disposal is important to ensure that the oil is not only removed from the massage area, but safely removed from the environment. It is also important to ensure that the oil is disposed of in a manner that does not create health or safety issues. Proper disposal of massage oil ensures that not only is it removed from the site, but it also has no negative impact on the environment.

It is important to properly dispose of massage oil when it reaches its expiration date. Massage oil is a product that can be hazardous to the environment if not properly disposed of. To ensure that recycling massage oil done safely, masseurs should check product packaging for disposal instructions. In many cases, massage oil must be taken to a hazardous waste collection center for proper disposal. It is also important to ensure that the massage oil is stored in an airtight container if it needs to be delivered to a hazardous waste collection center. In some cases, massage oil can be recycled in accordance with local regulations.

  • Check the massage oil expiration date before disposal.

When it comes to massage therapy, there are several factors to consider to ensure the safety of your clients and yourself. One of the most important factors to consider is the shelf life of massage oils. Check the expiration date before disposal and replace the expired oil as soon as possible. Not only is this important for safety and hygiene reasons, but it can also help you save money and keep your massage practice running smoothly.

Before disposing of massage oil, it is important to make sure that the product has not expired. Checking the expiration date is the best way to make sure the oil is still safe to use. All massage oils must have an expiration date on the packaging and it is recommended to check this date before use. If the expiration date has passed, the oil may have deteriorated and cannot be used safely. It is important to dispose of any expired massage oils in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations.

  • Never pour massage oil down the drain

Regular massage always requires massage oil or lotion. This oil is an essential element of massage as it allows the massage therapist to manipulate your muscles and provide a pleasant sensation. While massage oil is essential for massage, it comes with a few drawbacks, especially when it comes to cleansing. For example, if you are giving a massage at a client’s home, never pour the massage oil down the drain. This is not only harmful to the environment, but can also cause plumbing problems.

Never pour massage oil down the drain, as this can lead to clogging and other plumbing problems. When massage oil comes into contact with water, it can harden and cause clogged pipes. In addition, unwanted debris can build up along the pipe walls, leading to plumbing problems and eventually clogging. Massage oil should be disposed of in the trash and not down the drain to prevent these problems. In addition, it is recommended to wipe up spilled oil immediately, because oil can damage porous surfaces by seeping into them. Never pour massage oil down the drain; instead, put it in the trash according to proper disposal procedures.

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Allegations of racism leveled at House of Representatives hearing on coronavirus



WASHINGTON. Science writer Nicholas Wade arrived on Capitol Hill Wednesday to testify before a Republican commission on the origins of the coronavirus, but was instead asked questions about “Troubled Legacy”, his controversial 2014 book on race and genetics, which Democrats noted was endorsed by notorious racist and anti-Semite David Duke, as well as other white supremacists.

“I have nothing to do with white supremacist views,” Wade said at one point during the hearing.

“However, they love you,” retorted Rep. Kweisi Mfume, M.D., arguing that Wade’s presence was an affront to any legitimate inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus — the subject of Wednesday’s hearing.

Former NAACP head Mfume said he was “appalled that this hearing is now about race.”

Writer Nicholas Wade testifies before a committee of the House of Representatives.

Writer Nicholas Wade testifies Wednesday before a House subcommittee on the coronavirus pandemic. (Chip Somodeville/Getty Images)

Visibly trembling, Mfume told Wade that he was “absolutely offended that you will have the opportunity to take this platform and add something important to it.”

A tense exchange has cast doubt on whether inviting Wade to testify at the first hearing of the House Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic was an effective move by the Republican majority, which seeks to legitimize the notion that the coronavirus was the product of a lab accident in China.

Wade proponent of this hypothesisbut his past writings on genetics and race seem to have frustrated his attempts to focus the conversation on the pandemic.

The committee’s leading Democrat, Rep. Raul Ruiz of California, used his opening statement to discredit Wade. “His participation undermines the credibility of this hearing,” he said.

Briefly, Capitol Hill was plunged into a nearly decade-old controversy, though the topics understandably continue to stir deep passions today.

A native of England and a graduate of Cambridge, Wade has worked for the prestigious Science magazine. and nature in the late 1970s and early 80s, by which point he had settled in the United States. Hello joined the New York Times in 1982. and will remain in the newspaper for 30 years.

Rep. Raul Ruiz speaks at a House subcommittee hearing.

Rep. Raul Ruiz, D-Calif., expresses concern that the subcommittee has invited Wade to testify. (Chip Somodeville/Getty Images)

Wade has written several books in his career, but none have been as explosive as his 2014 foray into the connection between race and genetics—a connection that by then many came with a discount.

In an attempt to repair the disputed correlation, Wade ventured into some of the most obscene areas of what was once known as scientific expertise. (His supporters would say that he was dragged into this dangerous territory by detractors who had not actually read his book, but some of those critics appeared to be familiar with his arguments.)

Racial Science was a favorite pastime of the Nazis, who sought to collect evidence, such as the shape of the skull, to prove that Jews and other people of non-European descent were inherently inferior. eugenicists in the United States, similar arguments were used to try to restrict immigration or expand civil rights for blacks.

While racial differences may seem huge culturally and socially, genetic differences between populations are actually quite insignificant.

Wade objected to this prevailing view. Intending to “demystify the genetic basis of race”, he attempted to describe distinct racial groups that he claimed originated in Africa, Europe, and East Asia. He then attempted to explain how the three groups evolved different genomes and how these differences shape their respective cultures.

These explanations have led to some highly suspicious claims, such as that the Jews were uniquely “adapted to capitalism” – a classic anti-Semitic cliché. Meanwhile, people of African descent, according to Wade’s analysis, had a “violent propensity”.

Former New York Times editor and writer Nicholas Wade.

During Wednesday’s hearing, Wade was asked questions about his controversial 2014 book on race and genetics, A Troubled Legacy. (Chip Somodeville/Getty Images)

The mainstream reaction to the book was harsh. IN his reviewThe Times called A Troubled Legacy a “deeply flawed, misleading and dangerous book” that gives racists license while accused Wade trade in “marginal racist theories masquerading as mainstream biology”. American conservative found the book unconvincing.

IN letter to the New York Times Book ReviewHe was accused by 139 scientists (including many whose work Wade cited) of “misappropriating” research results to advance discrediting arguments. They stated that “in the field of population genetics, Wade’s hypotheses are not supported.”

He hit the news again with the advent of the coronavirus, becoming one of the first science writers to speak out against the plausibility of the prevailing view that the pathogen originated from an animal before it entered the human population, most likely in the U.S. wildlife market. Chinese city of Wuhan.

Wade detailed the case for the so-called laboratory leak theory. Average post in May 2021. This article remains a milestone for other skeptics of the official Chinese version. However, many scientists believe that the virus originated in animals and then passed to humans.

Wade strenuously defended his record – and his book – on Wednesday. “It was a decidedly non-racist book. As far as I know, there are no scientific errors in it. It contains no racist statements. It emphasizes the theme of unity,” he told the deputies sitting in front of him.

But his Democratic critics remained unconvinced, while some supporters of the lab leak hypothesis expressed frustration on social media that the important question of the origin of the coronavirus is being obscured.

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