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Reproduced from AARP via Deutsche Bank Research; Chart: Axios Visuals

The shock of the U.S. economy coming to a halt as more cities and states shut down businesses will be severe if lawmakers don't act quickly.

What's happening: AARP's latest study tracking U.S. household savings is based on a "yes" or "no" response to the following question: "Does your household have an emergency savings account?"

Why it matters: A majority of respondents answered "no," and even respondents who answered "yes" may not have a significant amount saved.

  • In fact, researchers note, "A broad interpretation of the question could count any plan for coping with an emergency, including borrowing from family and friends, as having an emergency savings account."
  • "Under this interpretation, even a household without savings in cash or a bank account may still answer 'yes' to the survey question."

Of note: A quarter of Americans who earn more than $150,000 a year don't have a savings account.

Further, "Fed data shows that 40% of U.S. households would not be able to come up with $400 for an emergency expense," Deutsche Bank Securities chief economist Torsten Sløk notes.

Go deeper: The coronavirus economy will devastate those who can least afford it

Go deeper

1 hour ago - Health

CDC: It's time for "universal face mask use"

Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty

The CDC is urging “universal face mask use” for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began, citing recent case spikes as the U.S. has entered a phase of “high-level transmission” before winter officially begins.

Why it matters: Daily COVID-related deaths across the U.S. hit a new record on Wednesday. Face coverings have been shown to increase protection of the wearer and those around them, despite some Americans' reluctance to use them.

2 hours ago - World

Saudi Arabia and Qatar near deal to end standoff, sources say

Qatar's prime minister (R) attends the 2019 Gulf Cooperation Council summit in Saudi Arabia. Photo: Fayez Nureldine/AFP via Getty

Saudi Arabia and Qatar are close to a deal to end the diplomatic crisis in the Gulf following U.S.-mediated reconciliation talks this week, sources familiar with the talks tell me.

Why it matters: Restoring relations between Saudi Arabia and Qatar would bring a sense of stability back to the Gulf after a 3.5 year standoff. It could also notch a last-minute achievement for the Trump administration before Jan. 20.

House passes bill to decriminalize marijuana

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), a longtime marijuana legalization advocate and co-sponsor of the bill. Photo: Pete Marovich For The Washington Post via Getty Images

The House on Friday voted 228-164 in favor of the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, marking the first time a congressional chamber has voted in favor of decriminalizing marijuana at the federal level.

Why it matters: The Washington Post describes the bill as a "landmark retreat in the nation’s decades-long war on drugs," which has disproportionately affected people of color.