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America is on the edge of its biggest economic boom since 1946

America’s financial titansare coming to a consensus: We are on the early edge of the biggest economic boom since World War II, with the promise of years of growth after the privation of the pandemic. 

Why it matters: They might be wrong, but all point to the same data — this expansion will be kickstarted by trillions in spending from presidents Trump and Biden, the Fed's easy money, and piles of cash that consumers and companies accumulated during the COVID shutdown.


This is likely to be a global phenomenon: Biden administration spending will have ripple effects around the world, and overseas bank accounts also have grown during COVID. 

  • Governments' actions in response to the pandemic raised global GDP growth by a full six percentage points, estimates the IMF, adding that "the global growth contraction last year could have been three times worse than it was."
  • Still, total output shrank so much — by a stunning 3.3% in total — that there's now an unprecedented amount of slack in the global economy. In other words: The world has more potential upside than ever.

The biggest names in finance are making increasingly bullish predictions. JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon said Wednesday in his annual shareholder letter, closely watched on Wall Street: “This boom could easily run into 2023 because all the spending could extend well into 2023.” 

  • Goldman Sachs last month raised its U.S. growth projection for this year to 8%, which would constitute the largest economic expansion in generations.
  • In India, the growth rate will reach a torrid 12.5% this year, per the IMF's latest projections, to be followed up with world-beating 6.9% growth in 2022.

The biggest risk to future growth remains the pandemic. The U.S. is still far from achieving herd immunity, and most of the rest of the world is further away still, with widespread vaccine access still a pipe dream for most poorer countries.

  • For the time being, vaccine optimism is strong. But future outbreaks, lockdowns, and variants all have the potential to derail economic recovery.

Israel to continue Gaza operation, officials rule out cease-fire for now

The Israeli security cabinet on Sunday decided to continue the Gaza operation, according to military plans. Israeli officials said a cease-fire is not on the table right now.

Why it matters: There was a growing feeling within the military and senior defense establishment ahead of the cabinet meeting that Israel should start moving toward ending the operation.

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Liz Cheney says she regrets voting for Trump in 2020

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), who was ousted Wednesday as the third-highest ranking House Republican, told ABC's "This Week" that she regrets voting for former President Trump in 2020, although she could never have supported Biden.

Why it matters: Cheney, voted out of House Republican leadership over her repeated condemnation of Trump and his unfounded claims of election fraud, plans to challenge the former president for ideological dominance of the GOP.

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Blinken speaks with Associated Press CEO after Israeli airstrike destroys Gaza office

Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Associated Press CEO Gary Pruitt on Saturday after an Israeli airstrike destroyed the outlet's local media office in the Gaza Strip, which also housed the Al Jazeera office.

Why it matters: "The world will know less about what is happening in Gaza because of what transpired today" Pruitt said in a statement — as fighting between Israel and Hamas continues to bring more casualties.

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Fashion

Consumers and retailers alike are still trying to figure out what Americans will want to wear as they head back out into the world after a year at home, in sweatpants.

Why it matters: The choices people make about their post-pandemic wardrobes will help define what, exactly, our “new normal” is. They'll indicate how both work and socializing have changed, and will tell the story of how people expressed themselves in the aftermath of a year of massive transformation.

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UN Security Council meeting on Israel-Gaza as Netanyahu vows to continue strikes

The United Nations Security Council was preparing to meet Sunday, as the aerial bombardment between Israel and Hamas between entered a seventh day.

The latest: Four Palestinians died in airstrikes early Sunday, as Israeli forces bombed the home of Gaza's Hamas chief, Yehya al-Sinwar, per Reuters.

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In photos: Protesters rally across U.S. and the world over Israeli–Palestinian conflict

Thousands of people rallied across the U.S. and the world Saturday following days of violence in Gaza and Israel that's killed at least 145 Palestinians, including 41 children, and eight Israelis, per AP.

The big picture: Most demonstrations were in support of Palestinians. There were tense scenes between pro-Israeli government protesters and pro-Palestinian demonstrators in Winnipeg, Canada, and Leipzig, Germany, but no arrests were made, CBS News and DW.com report.

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Biden in call with Netanyahu raises concerns about civilian casualties in Gaza

President Biden spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Saturday and raised concerns about civilian casualties in Gaza and the bombing of the building that housed AP and other media offices, according to Israeli officials.

The big picture: At least 140 Palestinians, including dozens of children have been killed in Gaza since fighting between Israel and Hamas began Monday, according to Palestinian health officials. Nine people, including two children, have been killed by Hamas rockets in Israel.

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The COVID lab-leak theory goes mainstream

A group of high-profile scientists published a letter calling for renewed investigation into the origins of COVID-19 — including the theory that it spilled out of a virology lab.

Why it matters: The possibility that SARS-CoV-2 was created in a Chinese lab and accidentally escaped — rather than emerging naturally from an animal — was initially dismissed as a conspiracy theory. But the letter shows a potential lab leak is increasingly being taken seriously.

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