Those questions are looming large for Americans after the Federal Reserve yet again raised rates to combat high inflation, and the latest gross domestic product report showed that the economy slowed for the second quarter in a row. But at the same time, the job and housing markets are still going strong, though they’ve cooled a bit.

That’s created a lot of mixed signals. The White House and other government leaders are saying the economy remains healthy. But several economists say there’s a good chance a recession will occur in the coming months — if one hasn’t started already.

Should there be a recession, here’s how it may affect your finances and what steps you can take to protect yourself.

Over the past two years, the pandemic-induced worker shortage — coupled with a structural shortage in which fewer younger workers are Replacing retiring workers — has given employees a lot

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Major Western oil companies reported record profits in the second quarter alongside gas prices that have topped a national average of more than $5 a gallon.

ExxonMobil, Chevron and Shell posted a combined $46 billion in earnings for the second quarter, according to earnings statements from the three companies. Exxon reported $17.9 billion in earnings, Chevron said it earned $11.6 billion.

The London-based Shell said it earned $16.7 billion when the cost of supplies is factored in. Its adjusted earnings for the quarter, which exclude certain price changes and one-time expenses, was $11.5 billion.

ExxonMobil and Chevron’s share prices are now just a few dollars short of their year-to-date highs, as the companies promised to increase stock buybacks and pay down debt, actions designed to reward shareholders.

At the same time, the companies say they plan to use their profits to build their energy supplies at a time when they

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Jones’ decision to seek bankruptcy protection for his company, Free Speech Systems, which operates the right-wing conspiratorial outlet Infowars, also comes after he was found legally responsible in a separate defamation case in Connecticut.

In that Connecticut case, a different group of families similarly sued Jones over false claims he made about the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting.

Three smaller companies tied to Jones declared bankruptcy earlier this year, briefly pausing the cases in both Texas and Connecticut. But the families suing Jones dropped the three smaller companies from their lawsuits so that the cases could move forward against Jones and Free Speech Systems. Shortly after, the three companies exited bankruptcy protection.

In a bizarre legal twist, Jones also filed a complaint Thursday against his own company in Connecticut, a move that could further delay proceedings in the Connecticut trial.

The attorney representing Jones in the Texas defamation case, Federico Andino

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The billion-dollar Mega Millions jackpot has finally been claimed in Illinois after being purchased at a Speedway gas station in Des Plaines.

But how much of that will end up in the winner’s pocket, and how much will be owed in taxes?

The tax bill depends on whether the Mega Millions winner chooses a cash payout of $780.5 million or annual payments totaling $1.3 billion over 29 years.

Speedway in Des Plaines, Illinois, where Mega Millions winning ticket was sold

A jackpot-winning Mega Millions ticket was purchased at a Speedway location in Des Plaines, Illinois, Friday, July 29, 2022. (Google Street View / Google Maps)

llinois currently withholds 24% in federal taxes, and 4.95% in state income taxes, though that may not be the total tax obligation, depending on the winner’s financial situation.

MEGA MILLIONS $1.28 BILLION JACKPOT: SHOULD YOU TAKE A LUMP SUM OR ANNUAL PAYOUTS?

If the winner decides to take the $780.5 million

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Most of the products on the drug store shelf are behind lock and key, even everyday items such as deodorant, toothpaste, candy, dish detergent, soap and aluminum foil. Manufacturers that supply lock cases and devices to chain stores have seen their business boom.

Locking up their shelves is a last resort for stores, but it has never been more widely practiced. It’s also become a growing irritation for shoppers and a source of frustration for some employees who must walk around the store with keys at the ready.

“It’s extremely discouraging to customers,” said Paco Underhill, the founder and CEO of behavioral research and consulting firm Envirosell. “It is a brutal experience for the merchant, too.”

The reason why stores resort to locking up these products is simple: to prevent shoplifting. But these decisions are far more nuanced and fraught for stores than you may think. Companies must walk

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