Is the US Economy Headed for a Slowdown?

President Biden seeks $33 billion in additional aid for Ukraine, anticipating conflict. “The cost of this fight is not cheap,” Biden said, “but caving to aggression is going to be more costly if we allow it to happen.” He added that his administration was also seeking new ways to punish Russian oligarchs.

China sets an economic stimulus plan to offset Covid lockdowns. The aid measures include providing money for students and allowing employers to stop paying unemployment insurance to the government if they promise to keep workers on the job.

Johnson & Johnson shareholders reject a proposal to end global talk sales. The resolution, fueled by concerns including the product’s potential links to cancer, failed to win a majority of investor votes.

Goldman Sachs experiments with Bitcoin-backed loans. The bank said it had allowed a customer to borrow money using cryptocurrency as collateral. Meanwhile, the Labor Department criticized a plan by Fidelity to let people add Bitcoin to their retirement accounts.

Elon Musk is amassing the funds he needs to buy Twitter, selling $4 billion in Tesla stock this week, according to a filing released last night. He said there were no further sales planned, which may come as a relief to Tesla shareholders, as the electric carmaker’s shares have fallen 20 percent since he first revealed that he had bought a 9 percent stake in Twitter. (Relatedly, the way he disclosed that stake has reportedly attracted scrutiny from the FTC, The Information reports.)

At Twitter, frustration is mounting over Musk’s moderation plansThe Times’s Kate Conger reports. Employees who work in content moderation are uneasy about Musk’s position as a “free speech absolutist.” They said they worried that Musk understands little about the reasoning behind Twitter’s current rules, and that his moderation plans would return the company to its early years — and troubles. The Times saw a list of questions that Twitter employees compiled and hoped to ask Musk:

  • “You have said that you want more ‘free speech’ and less moderation on Twitter,” one said. “What will this mean in practice?”

  • “Some people interpret your arguments in defense of free speech as a desire to open the door back up for harassment. Is that true? And if not, do you have ideas for how to both increase free speech and keep the door closed on harassment?” another asked.

  • Some employees questioned whether Musk would halt their work during a critical moment, when they are set to begin moderating tweets about elections.

Musk’s free speech plans have advertisers worried, too. Twitter has been reassuring brands concerned with the change in ownership that their ads would not be placed alongside harmful content, The Financial Times reports. Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, who helped set up an ad boycott against Facebook in 2020, said on Twitter that “exceptions” were celebrating Musk’s plans for Twitter and that they believed he would let them return to the platform. “This is dangerous,” he wrote.

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