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Hundreds of Companies Unite to Oppose Voting Rights Limits, but Others Abstain

On Tuesday, a spokesman for the bank said, “We publicly made our own strong statement last month about the critical importance of every citizen being able to exercise their fundamental right to vote.”That statement released on Wednesday came together over the past week and a half, after the Black executives who spoke out received an outpouring of support.About 10 days ago, Mr. Chenault and Mr. Frazier conferred with three other Black executives — William M. Lewis Jr., the chairman of investment banking at Lazard; Clarence Otis Jr., a former chief executive of Darden Restaurants; and Charles Phillips, a former chief …

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Virus Did Not Bring Financial Rout That Many States Feared

Windfalls for Some StatesIn his survey, Peter DeGroot, head of municipal research and strategy at J.P. Morgan, found a handful of states, including Idaho, South Dakota and New Mexico, that managed to take in even more money last year than in 2019. The survey also identified several states where tax revenues have not yet bounced back because they depend heavily on tourism, oil and gas, or coal extraction — among them Hawaii, Nevada, Florida, Texas and West Virginia.Ms. Sheiner’s analysis showed that Idaho had the biggest revenue recovery of any state. She conducted her research with Byron Lutz, an …

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McKinsey Settles for $573 Million Over Role in Opioid Crisis

McKinsey & Company, the consultant to blue-chip corporations and governments around the world, has agreed to pay $573 million to settle investigations into its role in helping “turbocharge” opioid sales, a rare instance of it being held publicly accountable for its work with clients.The firm has reached the agreement with attorneys general in 47 states, the District of Columbia and five territories, according to a court filing in Massachusetts on Thursday. The settlement comes after lawsuits unearthed a trove of documents showing how McKinsey worked to drive sales of Purdue Pharma’s OxyContin painkiller amid an opioid crisis in the United States …

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How Our Unemployment Benefits System Failed

The nation’s unemployment insurance program, conceived during the Great Depression, was meant to keep jobless workers and their families from suffering drops in income that could tip them into poverty or force them to liquidate their assets to afford food, rent and other necessities.Its goals included allowing the unemployed to wait for a productive job to materialize, rather than take the first one that appeared, and providing stability to the economy in recessions, mitigating the expected drop in consumption when millions of workers lost their jobs.The tussle in Congress last month over whether to extend emergency unemployment …

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Unemployment Claims Rise Sharply, Showing New Economic Pain

Ten months after the coronavirus crisis decimated the labor market, the resurgent pandemic keeps sending shock waves through the American economy.Though more than half of the 22 million jobs lost last spring have been regained, a new surge of infections has prompted shutdowns and layoffs that have hit the leisure and hospitality industries especially hard, dealing a setback to the recovery.The latest evidence came on Thursday when the Labor Department reported that initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose sharply last week, exceeding one million for the first time since July.Just days earlier, the government announced that employers …

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The Auto I.R.A. Is Gaining Traction as a Retirement Savings Option

Illinois is seeing steady growth in worker participation despite the economic mess brought on by the coronavirus. In March, Illinois Secure Choice had 60,000 funded accounts, with $17.2 million in assets. In November, those numbers had climbed to 77,000 and $42.8 million.“To me, that underscores the value of these programs and the importance of having access,” said Courtney Eccles, the director of Illinois Secure Choice.As auto I.R.A.s gain footholds around the country, critics have surfaced. “It’s hard to say it’s a bad thing to make a savings opportunity available to people, but I would have preferred that …

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Why Some States Are Seeing Higher Revenue Than Expected Amid Job Losses

As Congress has spent the last few weeks debating aid to state and local governments, a number of states have announced surprising news: Their finances no longer look quite as bad as they had feared in the uncertain early days of the pandemic.States are still broadly hurting from the economic crisis. But California now expects a one-time windfall this fiscal year. Wisconsin said it might still be able to sock away some revenue in its rainy day fund. Maryland nudged up its projected revenues, for the second time this fall. And Minnesota now forecasts a surplus.This good news …

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Use It or Lose It: Tenant Aid Effort Nears a Federal Cutoff

Looking to expand aid, Mayor Jim Kenney announced in early March that the city would budget $50 million for a five-year program to assist low-income households. It would also run an experiment, giving one group of households rental vouchers while another group of families got unrestricted cash assistance.The coronavirus ended that by blowing a hole in the city’s budget. But the CARES Act added some $60 million in new funds, some through the state and some in direct federal support to cities. The catch was that it had to be spent quickly. And that’s where Mr. Heller’s group …

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Why Antitrust Suits Against Facebook Face Hurdles

SAN FRANCISCO — When the Federal Trade Commission and more than 40 states sued Facebook on Wednesday for illegally killing competition and demanded that the company be split apart, lawmakers and public interest groups applauded.Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut, said, “Facebook’s reign of unaccountable, abusive practices against consumers, competitors and innovation must end.” Senator Josh Hawley, Republican of Missouri, called the lawsuits “a necessity” and said Facebook’s acquisitions of nascent rivals “were meant to be anti-competitive, and they should be broken up.”But lawmakers and consumer advocates did not address a hard-to-deny factor: The cases against Facebook are …

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States Try to Rescue Small Businesses as U.S. Aid Is Snarled

Kirk Meurer was on track to have one of his best years ever in his business installing office furniture in the Cleveland area. But when companies began sending their workers home last spring, his business dried up practically overnight.“Even though we didn’t have to shut down like the restaurants and bars and the travel industries, it didn’t matter,” he said. “The business wasn’t there.”After some delays, Mr. Meurer got money through the federal Paycheck Protection Program, which he thought would be enough to sustain him until business rebounded. But as the pandemic dragged on and …

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