WASHINGTON—Calling the evidence “troubling,” researchers from the Economic Policy Institute issued a statement Wednesday warning Americans that money withering to ash in their hands could be a sign of a recession.

“We found that numerous $5 bills suddenly turning into a powdery residue that slips through your fingers may be one of the strongest indicator that our country is heading toward a significant period of decline,” said lead researcher Kevin White, who recommended that Americans prepare for what may be looming ahead by attempting to fruitlessly grab at the charred remains of their savings as it blows away with the wind and spirals off into the horizon.

“We’ve studied hundreds of cases across the country of Americans opening their wallets only to find nothing but cinders. Originally, we were hoping this was a sign of a comeback, but it turns out things are looking rather dire. This may be even worse than when money began fading slowly out of existence in 2008. At this rate, we fear that there may be no cash left by the end of Q3.”

At press time, White urged Americans not to withdraw any money from their bank accounts, as they might suffocate in the sheer amount of ash.

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