Major US banks reported mixed fourth-quarter results Friday as executives pointed to the rising odds of a “mild recession,” with inflation and interest rate hikes challenging households and businesses.

According to Yahoo News, The biggest US bank, JPMorgan Chase, set aside $1.4 billion in fresh reserves in case of loan defaults, noting that its “central” scenario is “a mild recession” with somewhat higher unemployment.

Bank of America accounted for $403 million in possible bad loans as Chief Executive Brian Moynihan alluded to an “increasingly slowing economic environment,” while Citigroup reserved $640 million and Wells Fargo $397 million for similar purposes.

Citigroup Chief Financial Officer Mark Mason described the outlook as “a rolling country-level recession rather than a simultaneous global downturn.”

But Mason cited the moderate winter thus far in Europe as an ameliorating factor in the outlook, while noting that credit card delinquencies are still coming in at exceptionally low levels, a sign of consumer resilience.

“Our base case is still a mild recession in the latter part of 2023,” he said in a briefing with reporters, calling the outlook “very manageable.” Bank shares initially tumbled on the reports but reversed course in the middle of the session. All four banks finished solidly higher. analyst Patrick O’Hare noted that JPMorgan Chief Executive Jamie Dimon warned last year of a potential economic “hurricane.” “The banks are bracing for at least a mild recession, but it’s not a hard landing,” O’Hare told AFP.

Meanwhile, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Friday the United States will likely hit the $31.4 trillion statutory debt limit on Jan. 19, forcing the Treasury to launch extraordinary cash management measures that can likely prevent default until early June.

“Once the limit is reached, Treasury will need to start taking certain extraordinary measures to prevent the United States from defaulting on its obligations,” Yellen said in a letter to new Republican House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy and other congressional leaders.

She urged the lawmakers to act quickly to raise the debt ceiling to “protect the full faith and credit” of the United States. “While Treasury is not currently able to provide an estimate of how long extraordinary measures will enable us to continue to pay the government’s obligations, it is unlikely that cash and extraordinary measures will be exhausted before early June,” the letter said.

Republicans now in control of the House have threatened to use the debt ceiling as leverage to demand spending cuts from Democrats and the Biden administration. This has raised concerns in Washington and on Wall Street about a bruising fight over the debt ceiling this year that could be at least as disruptive as the protracted battle of 2011, which prompted a brief downgrade of the U.S. credit rating and years of forced domestic and military spending cuts.

The White House said on Friday after Yellen’s letter that it will not negotiate over raising the debt ceiling. “This should be done without conditions,” White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters. “There’s going to be no negotiation over it.”

House Republicans are planning to move a “debt prioritization” measure by the end of March that would call on the U.S. Treasury to continue making certain payments once it reaches the debt ceiling, but details have not been finalized, a person familiar with the plan told Reuters. The proposal was first reported by the Washington Post.

You Can't Wear That in Here!!!

​​Acts 16 provides one example of the many adventures and challenges faced by the early Christian church. It recounts the preaching of Paul and Silas, their persecution, and their imprisonment. Rather than feeling discouraged, while in jail the two Christians prayed and sang hymns.

        An earthquake shook the prison, the doors opened, and the chains of all the prisoners were loosed. The jailer, greatly concerned, approached the two, falling before them and pleading, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” Paul and Silas replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved …” (Acts 16:30-31, NIV).

        The passage is important in relation to the topic of salvation or, technically, soteriology. In everyday language, salvation has to do with how we are saved or delivered from our fallen condition. We are, as noted in another article in this series,[1] rebels in God’s image, fallen and in need of restoration. In Christian terms salvation refers to this restoration – setting right what is wrong. 

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A man wearing a 'Jesus Saves' T-shirt was ordered to remove the clothing or leave the Mall of America last weekend in a video that has gone viral on social media. 

A security guard at the nation's most famous shopping center in Minnesota can be heard telling the man: 'If you want to shop here you need to take off that shirt'. 

Another clip shows the same guard saying: 'Jesus is associated with religion and it is offending people. People have been offended.' A spokesman for Mall of America told that the man was allowed to remain in the Mall following the interaction while still wearing his shirt.

This is despite the fact guards can clearly be heard threatening to kick him out. 

 In the original clip, the shopper is seen in a yellow T-shirt branding the religious slogan. 

The back of the shirt reads 'Jesus is the only way' while the popular 'coexist' - symbol - which advocates different religions living alongside each other peacefully - is crossed out. 

The videos have now been shared across TikTok and Twitter while one was livestreamed to Facebook on January 7. 

One week prior, he had also been issued with a 24-hour trespass for 'soliciting guests'.

During the tense exchange, three security guards surround the man. 

He can be heard saying: 'I didn't say anything though. I didn't speak. I didn't say anything. I just went to Macy's.'

The guard replies:  'Again, I'm giving you a couple options. You can take the shirt off and you can go to Macy's and you can do your shopping. 

'Or you can leave the mall, OK? Those are your only options right now,.'

The officer later claims he was engaging in 'religious soliciting,' which the Mall forbids. 

However the man insists throughout the video that he was not attempting to preach but was simply wearing the shirt while shopping.

Mall policies prohibit 'inappropriate attire,' including apparel that 'has obscene language, obscene gestures or racial/religious/ethnic slurs that are likely to create a disturbance.' 

The Mall also forbids 'picketing, demonstrating, soliciting, protesting or petitioning.'

The man was asked on a different day to leave the mall because he was preaching. This time, however, he appears to have just walking around the mall.

A guard is heard saying: 'Yes, you're walking wearing that shirt in the form of soliciting and we've had guests come up and say they're offended by your shirt.'

The posts have attracted mass outrage online.

A Twitter user called John Mason captioned the video: 'I automatically assumed this was overseas, but it's right here in America.'

Another user Wyatt Sullivan replied: 'If I ever go to the Mall of America again, I'm wearing the biggest Jesus shirt I can find.' 

Meanwhile Pastor Chase Thompson wrote: 'He should sue them into oblivion.

A global food crisis fuelled by conflict, climate shocks and the COVID-19 pandemic is growing because of the ripple effects of the war in Ukraine driving rising prices of food, fuel and fertilizer. Millions of people across the world are at risk of being driven into starvation unless action is taken now to respond together and at scale. Due to the unprecedented overlap of crises, WFP’s annual operational requirements are at an all-time high of US$22.2 billion, with confirmed contributions so far at US$4.8 billion (22 percent). WFP is calling for coordinated action to address this crisis.Type your paragraph here.

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