experienced some of the biggest population gains in 2021, adding about 221,000 and 93,000 residents through domestic migration. Phoenix and Tampa added newcomers especially rapidly. “As people have basically poured into these Sun Belt metros, that’s put additional demand on the housing market, and supply has struggled to keep up,” said Taylor Marr, an economist at Redfin. “A lot of the inflation variation is pretty correlated with these migration patterns.”

leases are 35 percent more expensive than at the start of the pandemic but have risen only 2 percent in the past six months, for instance.

Adam Kamins, a director at Moody’s Analytics who focuses on regional and local forecasting, said he expected inflation to begin to equalize across the country as price increases in the South fade more swiftly.

“I think there’s going to be some level of convergence in regional inflation,” Mr. Kamins said. “We just haven’t seen it yet.”

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South Korea To Pardon Samsung’s Lee, Other Corporate Giants

By Associated Press
August 12, 2022

South Korea’s justice minister said the pardons of business tycoons were aimed at “overcoming the economic crisis through encouraging business.”

Samsung’s de facto leader secured a pardon Friday of his conviction for bribing a former president in a corruption scandal that toppled a previous South Korean government, an act of leniency that underscored the tech company’s huge influence in the nation.

Lee Jae-yong’s pardon is partially symbolic since he was released on parole a year ago after serving 18 months of a prison term that would have ended in July, and critics say the billionaire has remained in control of Samsung even while behind bars. Still, the pardon will allow the heir to the electronics juggernaut to fully resume his management duties and could make it easier for the company to pursue investments and mergers.

The Justice Ministry said President Yoon Suk Yeol, who as a prosecutor investigated the corruption scandal involving Lee, will issue the pardon Monday, a national holiday when some 1,700 people are set to receive clemency, including other top business leaders.

Lee, 54, was convicted in 2017 of bribing former President Park Geun-hye and her close confidante to win government support for a merger between two Samsung affiliates that tightened Lee’s control over the corporate empire. Park and the confidante were also convicted in the scandal, which enraged South Koreans, who staged massive protests for months demanding an end to the shady ties between business and politics. The demonstrations eventually led to Park’s ouster from office.

While some civic groups criticized the decision, recent opinion polls have indicated South Koreans — years removed from the protests in 2016 and 2017 — largely favored granting Lee a pardon. That reflects the continuing hold Samsung has in a country where it makes not just smartphones and TVs but also issues credit cards, builds luxury apartment buildings and runs the country’s most sought-after hospital.

Business leaders and politicians had also called for Lee’s pardon, which they said would allow Samsung, one of the world’s largest makers of computer memory chips and smartphones, to be bolder and quicker in business decisions by fully reinstating his rights to run the business empire.

Justice Minister Han Dong-hoon said the pardons of the business tycoons were aimed at “overcoming the economic crisis through encouraging business activity” at a time when South Koreans are grappling with rising prices, high personal debt and a faltering job market.

Lee’s detractors say he already fully resumed his management duties once out on parole — even though South Korea’s law bans people convicted of major financial crimes from returning to work for five years following the end of their sentences. Former Justice Minister Park Beom-kye defended Lee’s involvement in Samsung’s management, insisting that his activities weren’t in violation of the ban because the billionaire wasn’t receiving wages from Samsung.

In a statement released through Samsung, Lee said he was grateful for “receiving an opportunity to start anew.”

“I want to express my apologies for causing concerns for many people because of my shortcomings. I will work even harder to fulfill my responsibilities and duties as a businessperson,” Lee said.

Lee still faces a separate trial on charges of stock price manipulation and auditing violations related to the 2015 merger.

Among others set to be pardoned is Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin, who received a suspended prison term in 2018 on similar charges of bribing Park, whom then-President Moon Jae-in pardoned in December. Chang Sae-joo, chairman of Dongkuk Steel Mill, and former STX Group Chairman Kang Duk-soo will also receive clemency.

A coalition of civic groups, including People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy, issued a statement criticizing the move to pardon the business leaders, accusing Yoon of cozying up to “chaebol,” referring to the family-owned conglomerates that dominate the country’s economy.

A notable exclusion from Yoon’s pardons was former President Lee Myung-bak, who in June was granted a temporary release from a 17-year prison term after prosecutors acknowledged his health problems.

Han, the justice minister, said that the government did not consider the pardons of any convicted politicians or government employees this time, saying that the focus was on the economy.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

Source: newsy.com

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How The Federal Reserve’s Rate Hikes Affect Your Finances

Answers to some of the most common questions about the impact of the rate hike.

Higher mortgage rates have sent home sales tumbling. Credit card rates have grown more burdensome, and so have auto loans. Savers are finally receiving yields that are actually visible, while crypto assets are reeling.

The Federal Reserve’s move last week to further tighten credit raised its benchmark interest rate by a sizable 0.75 percentage point for a second straight time. The Fed’s latest hike, its fourth since March, will further magnify borrowing costs for homes, cars and credit cards, though many borrowers may not feel the impact immediately.

The central bank is aggressively raising borrowing costs to try to slow spending, cool the economy and defeat the worst outbreak of inflation in two generations.

The Fed’s actions have ended, for now, an era of ultra-low rates that arose from the 2008-2009 Great Recession to help rescue the economy — and then re-emerged during the brutal pandemic recession, when the Fed slashed its benchmark rate back to near zero.

Chair Jerome Powell hopes that by making borrowing more expensive, the Fed will succeed in slowing demand for homes, cars and other goods and services. Reduced spending could then help bring inflation, most recently measured at a four-decade high of 9.1%, back to the Fed’s 2% target.

Yet the risks are high. A series of higher rates could tip the U.S. economy into recession. That would mean higher unemployment, rising layoffs and further downward pressure on stock prices.

How will it all affect your finances? Here are some of the most common questions being asked about the impact of the rate hike:

I’M CONSIDERING BUYING A HOUSE. WHAT’S HAPPENING WITH MORTGAGE RATES?

Higher interest rates have torpedoed the housing market. Rates on home loans have nearly doubled from a year ago to 5.5%, though they’ve leveled off in recent weeks even as the Fed has signaled that more credit tightening is likely.

That’s because mortgage rates don’t necessarily move in tandem with the Fed’s increases. Sometimes, they even move in the opposite direction. Long-term mortgages tend to track the yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which, in turn, is influenced by a variety of factors. These factors include investors’ expectations for future inflation and global demand for U.S. Treasurys.

Investors expect a recession to hit the U.S. economy later this year or early next year. This would force the Fed to eventually cut its benchmark rate in response. The expectation that the Fed will have to reverse some of its hikes next year has helped reduce the 10-year yield, from 3.5% in mid-June to roughly 2.8%.

WILL IT BE EASIER TO FIND A HOUSE?

Sales of existing homes have dropped for five straight months, while new home sales plunged in June. If you’re financially able to go ahead with a home purchase, you’re likely to have more choices than you did a few months ago.

In many cities, the options are few. But the number of available houses nationwide has started to rise after falling to rock-bottom levels at the end of last year. There are now 1.26 million homes for sale, according to the National Association of Realtors, up 2.4% from a year ago.

I NEED A NEW CAR. SHOULD I BUY ONE NOW?

The Fed’s rate hikes typically make auto loans more expensive. But other factors also affect these rates, including competition among car makers, which can sometimes lower borrowing costs.

Wednesday’s rate hike won’t likely affect new-vehicle sales much because those buyers are mainly affluent customers who won’t be squeezed by a relatively small uptick in monthly payments, said Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for Cox Automotive. By contrast, he said, used-car buyers with weaker credit who pay higher loan rates could be hurt.

“Many used-vehicle buyers are already acutely feeling the impacts of higher prices for energy, food and rent,” Smoke said.

Used vehicle prices have begun to fall, he noted, and vehicle availability is beginning to return to normal levels.

The full amount of a Fed rate hike doesn’t always pass through to auto loans, according to Bankrate.com. New 60-month loans for new vehicles have risen about a percentage point this year to an average of 4.86%, Bankrate.com says, while a 48-month used-vehicle rate rose just under 1 point to 5.38%.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO MY CREDIT CARD?

For users of credit cards, home equity lines of credit and other variable-interest debt, rates would rise by roughly the same amount as the Fed hike, usually within one or two billing cycles. That’s because those rates are based in part on banks’ prime rate, which moves in tandem with the Fed.

Those who don’t qualify for low-rate credit cards might be stuck paying higher interest on their balances. The rates on their cards would rise as the prime rate does.

The Fed’s rate increases have already sent credit card borrowing rates above 20% for the first time in at least four years, according to LendingTree, which has tracked the data since 2018.

HOW WILL THIS AFFECT MY SAVINGS?

You can now earn more on bonds, CDs, and other fixed income investments. And it depends on where your savings, if you have any, are parked.

Savings, certificates of deposit and money market accounts don’t typically track the Fed’s changes. Instead, banks tend to capitalize on a higher-rate environment to try to boost their profits. They do so by imposing higher rates on borrowers, without necessarily offering any juicer rates to savers.

But online banks and others with high-yield savings accounts are often an exception. These accounts are known for aggressively competing for depositors. The only catch is that they typically require significant deposits.

HOW HAVE THE RATE HIKES INFLUENCED CRYPTO?

Like many highly valued technology stocks, cryptocurrencies like bitcoin have sunk in value since the Fed began raising rates. Bitcoin has plunged from a peak at about $68,000 to $21,000.

Higher rates mean that safe assets like bonds and Treasuries become more attractive to investors because their yields are now higher. That, in turn, makes risky assets like technology stocks and cryptocurrencies less attractive.

All that said, bitcoin is suffering from its own problems that are separate from economic policy. Two major crypto firms have failed. The shaken confidence of crypto investors is not being helped by the fact that the safest place you can park money now — bonds — seems like a safer move.

WILL MY STUDENT LOAN PAYMENT GO UP?

Right now, payments on federal student loans are suspended until Aug. 31 as part of an emergency measure that was put in place early in the pandemic. Inflation means that loan-holders have less disposable income to make payments. Still, a slowed economy that reduces inflation could bring some relief by fall.

Depending on the state of the economy, the government may choose at the end of summer to extend the emergency measure that’s deferring the loan payments. President Joe Biden is also considering some form of loan forgiveness. Borrowers who take out new private student loans should prepare to pay more. Rates vary by lender but are expected to increase

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

Source: newsy.com

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Inflation Costs For Wedding Guests

The pandemic pushed back many weddings, and now many wedding guests are struggling to attend due to inflation costs.

As weddings are upon us, a record number of ceremonies are happening this year thanks to the pandemic, which has postponed a lot of celebrations until now.

But for wedding guests, attending can carry a hefty price tag, especially with costs rising due to inflation. 

Cameron Robertson was invited to eight weddings this year, not just in various states but in various countries like Spain and Lebanon.

“It’s been pretty rough in terms of the finances of it,” Robertson said. 

She’s gone to three weddings so far, but had to say no to two events. She’s undecided on the other three.  

“It has been a struggle financially. But those that I’ve been able to attend have been wonderful and obviously I’ve had to have those rough conversations. I’m not one to necessarily want to say no to any wedding they’re so fun,” Robertson said.  

The flights, hotels, gifts, cabs, and food can all add up.  

Guests spend an average of $1,000. 

Robertson agreed and said she’s spent about $1,000 on each wedding. 

That’s around what Credit Karma says is the average for guests. 

But their survey finds that 73% of guests say inflation is negatively affecting their ability to join celebrations. Polled guests say they are forced to take on debt or miss events completely.  

“It’s a lot of financial burden for one person to take on. And. You know, I’ll make up for it other ways. But you know I can get you a good registration gift,” Robertson said.  

To make it work, Robertson stayed at friends’ and family’s homes, put some expenses on credit cards, and even got some financial help from her family.  

“I’m not necessarily proud of saying that, but I have had to receive some financial support and to attend these weddings,” she said. 

Joseph Kraemer was invited to four weddings and extended parties. 

“I’ve kind of had to pick and choose with, you know, the extended wedding functions such as bachelor parties,” Kraemer said.   

He decided to forgo one bachelor party resulting in one disappointed friend, but he thought of another option.  

“I would love to celebrate you separately and, you know, maybe do something smaller, kind of closer to both of us. That way I can still be there and celebrate you, even though I’m not able to kind of join in the larger parties,” he said. 

Avshalom Gad, a certified financial planner at Eagle Strategies with New York Life, says if multiple wedding invites are in your future, don’t let your heart overrule your head. 

“You want to make sure that whatever you spend is based on your budget. You’re not overspending just because you really miss your friend and you don’t want to look bad and you have to go because everybody is going,” Gad said.

He warns you don’t want to spend all your savings now, and not just so you can retire some day. Because there will be more weddings ahead. 

“Some of your friends are going to get married twice and three times. What? You’re not going to go? You’re going to go. So you’re going to save money for that, too,” Gad said. 

Source: newsy.com

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U.S. Economy Shrank 0.9% Last Quarter, Its 2nd Straight Drop

The report comes at a critical time as consumers and businesses struggle under the weight of punishing inflation and higher borrowing costs.

The U.S. economy shrank from April through June for a second straight quarter, contracting at a 0.9% annual pace and raising fears that the nation may be approaching a recession.

The decline that the Commerce Department reported Thursday in the gross domestic product — the broadest gauge of the economy — followed a 1.6% annual drop from January through March. Consecutive quarters of falling GDP constitute one informal, though not definitive, indicator of a recession.

The GDP report for last quarter pointed to weakness across the economy. Consumer spending slowed as Americans bought fewer goods. Business investment fell. Inventories tumbled as businesses slowed their restocking of shelves, shedding 2 percentage points from GDP.

Higher interest rates, a consequence of the Federal Reserve’s series of rate hikes, clobbered home construction, which shrank at a 14% annual rate. Government spending dropped, too.

The report comes at a critical time. Consumers and businesses have been struggling under the weight of punishing inflation and higher borrowing costs. On Wednesday, the Fed raised its benchmark interest rate by a sizable three-quarters of a point for a second straight time in its push to conquer the worst inflation outbreak in four decades.

The Fed is hoping to achieve a notoriously difficult “soft landing”: an economic slowdown that manages to rein in rocketing prices without triggering a recession.

Apart from the United States, the global economy as a whole is also struggling with high inflation and weakening growth, especially after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sent energy and food prices soaring. Europe, highly dependent on Russian natural gas, appears especially vulnerable to a recession.

In the United States, the inflation surge and fear of a recession have eroded consumer confidence and stirred public anxiety about the economy, which is sending frustratingly mixed signals. And with the November midterm elections nearing, Americans’ discontent has diminished President Joe Biden’s public approval ratings and increased the likelihood that the Democrats will lose control of the House and Senate.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell and many economists have said that while the economy is showing some weakening, they doubt it’s in recession. Many of them point, in particular, to a still-robust labor market, with 11 million job openings and an uncommonly low 3.6% unemployment rate, to suggest that a recession, if one does occur, is still a ways off.

“The back-to-back contraction of GDP will feed the debate about whether the U.S. is in, or soon headed for, a recession,” said Sal Guatieri, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets. “The fact that the economy created 2.7 million payrolls in the first half of the year would seem to argue against an official recession call for now.”

Still, Guatieri said, “the economy has quickly lost steam in the face of four-decade high inflation, rapidly rising borrowing costs and a general tightening in financial conditions.”

Thursday’s first of three government estimates of GDP for the April-June quarter marks a drastic weakening from the 5.7% growth the economy achieved last year. That was the fastest calendar-year expansion since 1984, reflecting how vigorously the economy roared back from the brief but brutal pandemic recession of 2020.

But since then, the combination of mounting prices and higher borrowing costs have taken a toll. The Labor Department’s consumer price index skyrocketed 9.1% in June from a year earlier, a pace not matched since 1981. And despite widespread pay raises, prices are surging faster than wages. In June, average hourly earnings, after adjusting for inflation, slid 3.6% from a year earlier, the 15th straight year-over-year drop.

Americans are still spending, though more tepidly. Thursday’s report showed that consumer spending rose at a 1% annual pace from April through June, down from 1.8% in the first quarter and 2.5% in the final three months of 2021.

Spending on goods like appliances and furniture, which had soared while Americans were sheltering at home early in the pandemic, dropped at a 4.4% rate last quarter. Bit spending on services like airline trips and dinners out rose at a 4.1% rate, indicating that millions of consumers are venturing out more.

Before accounting for surging prices, the economy actually grew at a 7.8% annual pace in the April-June quarter. But inflation wiped out that gain and then some and produced a negative GDP number.

Against that backdrop, Americans are losing confidence. Their assessment of economic conditions six months from now has reached its lowest point since 2013, according to the Conference Board, a research group.

Recession risks have been growing as the Fed’s policymakers have pursued a campaign of rate hikes that will likely extend into 2023. The Fed’s hikes have already led to higher rates on credit cards and auto loans and to a doubling of the average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage in the past year, to 5.5%. Home sales, which are especially sensitive to interest rate changes, have tumbled.

Even with the economy recording a second straight quarter of negative GDP, many economists do not regard it as constituting a recession. The definition of recession that is most widely accepted is the one determined by the National Bureau of Economic Research, a group of economists whose Business Cycle Dating Committee defines a recession as “a significant decline in economic activity that is spread across the economy and lasts more than a few months.”

The committee assesses a range of factors before publicly declaring the death of an economic expansion and the birth of a recession — and it often does so well after the fact.

This week, Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer, lowered its profit outlook, saying that higher gas and food prices were forcing shoppers to spend less on many discretionary items, like new clothing.

Manufacturing is slowing, too. America’s factories have enjoyed 25 consecutive months of expansion, according to the Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index, though supply chain bottlenecks have made it hard for factories to fill orders.

But now, the factory boom is showing signs of strain. The ISM’s index dropped last month to its lowest level in two years. New orders declined. Factory hiring dropped for a second straight month.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

Source: newsy.com

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How Republican-led states are targeting Wall Street with ‘anti-woke’ laws

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WASHINGTON, July 6 (Reuters) – Republican-led states have unleashed a policy push to punish Wall Street for taking stances on gun control, climate change, diversity and other social issues, in a warning for companies that have waded in to fractious social debates.

Abortion rights are poised to be the next frontier.

This year there are at least 44 bills or new laws in 17 conservative-led states penalizing such company policies, compared with roughly a dozen such measures in 2021, according to a Reuters analysis of state legislative agendas, public documents and statements.

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While some of the individual moves have been reported, the scale and speed at which such “anti-woke” state laws and policies are ballooning and the challenges they are creating for Wall Street companies is detailed here for the first time.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “woke” as being aware of and actively attentive to issues of racial and social justice, but it is often used by conservatives to disparage progressive policies. The term has gained traction as America has become more politically polarized over issues from racial justice and LGBTQ rights to the environment and COVID-19 vaccines.

Reuters counted bills considered and state laws passed in 2021 and 2022, although some state officials are also using executive powers to punish Wall Street.

The growing restrictions show how America’s culture wars are creating new risks for some of the most high-profile U.S. companies, forcing them to balance pressure from workers and investors to take stances on hot-button issues with potential backlash from conservative policymakers.

West Virginia and Arkansas this year, for example, stopped using BlackRock Inc (BLK.N) for certain services, due to its climate stance, according to West Virginia’s Republican treasurer Riley Moore and Arkansas media reports.

In Texas, JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N), Bank of America (BAC.N) and Goldman Sachs (GS.N) have been sidelined from the municipal bond market due to laws passed last year barring firms that “boycott” energy companies or “discriminate” against the firearms industry from doing new business with the state.

In many cases, the measures target a range of companies, restricting their ability to conduct state business. But financial institutions have been primary targets due to the pivotal roles they play in the economy and the early stances many took on such issues as fossil fuel and firearms financing.

Republicans say the policies of such companies deprive legitimate businesses of capital.

“They’re using the power of their capital to push their ideas and ideology down onto the rest of us,” said Moore. He spearheaded a law, passed in March, refusing business to banks that “boycott” fossil fuel companies and has rallied officials from 16 other states to promise to adopt similar policies. read more

With several major financial companies stepping in to cover travel costs for employees seeking abortions after the Supreme Court last month reversed federal abortion rights, the Republican push to sanction Wall Street for “woke” stances is likely to grow. read more

Republican Texas lawmaker Briscoe Cain said he plans legislation to outlaw such coverage and prohibit companies that provide it from receiving any Texas state business or contracts.

“No corporation doing business in Texas will be allowed to subsidize abortions or abortion travel in any manner,” Cain told Reuters in an email.

NO BOYCOTTS

The new curbs will make it harder for financial firms to do a range of state business, from bond underwriting to managing state funds, depository accounts and government credit cards, according to interviews with more than a dozen industry sources, bank lobbyists and lawyers.

Such contracts can be worth several million dollars each, public procurement data shows.

JPMorgan, for example, underwrote $3.2 billion worth of Texas muni bonds last year, compared with $210 million so far this year, Refinitiv data shows. Bank of America, which underwrote $3.7 billion in Texas muni bonds last year, has done none this year.

Some smaller firms, including Ramirez & Co Inc and Loop Capital Markets, meanwhile, have jumped more than 10 places so far this year in the Texas muni bond market bookrunner rankings, based on deal values.

To be sure, some Democratic-led states are also looking to tilt the scales. Washington state floated a “climate resiliency fee” for institutions that fund fossil fuel projects. California is considering a bill that would stop its pension plans, the country’s largest, from investing in fossil fuel companies.

But states led by Democrats are not pursuing as many punitive measures, according to the review and sources.

“We’re going to see a lot more of these statutes on one side of the coin or the other,” said John Crossley, a partner at K&L Gates who focuses on energy. “It’s going to make it more and more difficult for people to operate in these markets.”

Spokespeople for the above financial firms declined to comment or did not respond to requests for comment.

Financial firms say they aim to provide comprehensive healthcare benefits. They also argue government restrictions will drive up costs for Americans, and they dispute the characterization of their policies as boycotts.

BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager and a frequent target of Republican attacks, for example, has told Texas officials that while it has joined various efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions, it supports fossil fuel companies. read more

“The economy and financial system are best served when banks of all sizes can make their own banking and lending decisions about how to meet the needs of their communities based on their business model and risk tolerance,” said Joseph Pigg, senior vice president at the American Bankers Association.

ANTI-WOKE PUSH

The review shows “anti-woke” measures are gaining ground not only in traditional conservative strongholds such as Texas and Kentucky but also in so-called purple states – whose voters swing Democratic or Republican – such as Arizona and Ohio.

The issues such measures target are also mushrooming.

Guns and energy were the focus of the roughly dozen state laws and bills last year andof at least 30 legislative measures this year.

But this year there were also more than a dozen bills relating to social and other issues, including “divisive concepts” like critical race theory – an academic theory that racial bias is baked in to U.S. laws and institutions – mandatory COVID-19 vaccines, or the use of “social credit scores,” the Reuters analysis shows.

The latter is a theory that companies may take into account an individual’s political leanings when providing and pricing services.

In April, for example, Florida made it illegal for companies to require training that might make staff feel “guilt” or “anguish” because of past actions by members of the same race. Unveiling the bill, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis flagged Bank of America as one company conducting such “woke” training.

A bank spokesman said the materials were offered to hundreds of companies by a nonprofit and were not part of the bank’s training materials.

While the measures reviewed do not target corporate abortion policies, Cain said he expected other Republican-led states to pursue business restrictions on companies with such policies.

WALL STREET DIVISIONS

The financial industry is struggling to repel the onslaught, the sources said. Its trade groups are mainly registered to lobby the federal government, while state-based groups are not always aligned with Wall Street companies’ priorities.

Moore, for example, said West Virginia’s community banks supported his measures. The West Virginia Bankers Association declined to comment. The Texas Bankers Association said the group had not opposed the Texas curbs because its members were not in “consensus.”

Wall Street’s adversaries, on the other hand, are united.

Galvanized by what they say are efforts by Democrats in the federal government to push “woke” policies, oil and gas, firearms and conservative groups, including the Texas Public Policy Foundation and the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), are successfully pushing such curbs, according to industry sources and advocates. read more

“Banks should stay out of making policy choices,” said Lawrence Keane, general counsel at the NSSF, which advocated for the Texas law targeting lenders’ firearms policies.

The American Petroleum Institute, a major energy group, said it opposes discriminatory policies toward the industry.

Jason Isaac, a former Texas lawmaker who leads energy advocacy for the Texas Public Policy Foundation and helped craft the Texas fossil-fuel law, said he was discussing similar laws with other states, adding: “This woke political ideology will continue unless we get it in check.”

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Reporting by Pete Schroeder in Washington
Additional reporting by Chris Prentice in Washington and Ross Kerber in Boston
Editing by Michelle Price, Paritosh Bansal and Matthew Lewis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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