Show an ad over header. AMP

Biden to push economic agenda to the left of Biden, Clinton

Power will move from Wall Street to Washington over the next four years. That's the message being sent by President-elect Biden, with his expected nomination of Wall Street foe Gary Gensler as the new head of the SEC, and and also by Sherrod Brown, the incoming head of the Senate Banking Committee.

Why it matters: Biden is going to attempt to chart an economic policy that's visibly to the left of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. If he succeeds, it's going to show up not only in taxes and spending, but also in regulation.

What they're saying: "In stark contrast to the prior chairman, Gary will actually look out for Mr. and Mrs. 401k and Main Street investors," says Better Markets CEO Dennis Kelleher. "Gary is the right choice to lead the SEC in a new direction."

Flashback: Clinton was constrained by the so-called "bond vigilantes," who would drive up interest rates if they feared a departure from economic orthodoxy. His most trusted economic advisor was Bob Rubin, a former CEO of Goldman Sachs who believed in deregulation.

  • Rubin's acolytes Larry Summers and Tim Geithner, both consummate technocrats, then took over economic policymaking under Obama.

What's new: Economic orthodoxy has moved sharply to the left in recent years. The fears of the bond vigilantes were proved unfounded: Large deficits and low unemployment did not cause any visible uptick in inflation, and a new consensus started to emerge that the biggest danger in economic policy is doing too little, rather than too much.

  • What they're saying: Biden said last week that “the overwhelming consensus among leading economists left, right and center is that in order to keep the economy from collapsing this year, getting much, much worse, we should be investing significant amounts of money right now.”
  • Axios' Hans Nichols reports that Biden plans a $3 trillion stimulus plan — on top of new $1,400 checks for most Americans.
  • Bank accounts could also start being provided by the government, possibly via the Post Office. Postal banking has long been a dream of progressive legislators — and a nightmare of commercial banks, who fear the reach and convenience that a postal bank would be able to provide.

The big picture: Brown told Axios' Dion Rabouin that former Fed chair and incoming Treasury secretary Janet Yellen has "become a mentor and adviser." Yellen was considered a dovish pick for Fed chair, and she is clearly helping to drive Biden's interventionist economic policy in ways that would have been unthinkable to the likes of Rubin and Summers.

The bottom line: Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang said last year that “the magic of Joe Biden is that everything he does becomes the new reasonable.” Biden's economic policy is likely to be extremely aggressive — but, by dint of his naturally moderate personality, it might not be received that way.

Russian police arrest over 3,000 protesters demanding Navalny's release

Russian police on Saturday arrested more than 3,300 people as protesters nationwide demanded that opposition leader Alexey Navalny be released from jail.

Details: Demonstrations that began in the eastern regions of Russia spread west to more than 60 cities. At least 3,324 of people were detained and tens of thousands of others protested into the night despite the presence of law enforcement and extremely low temperatures, per the OVD-Info group, which monitors political arrests.

Keep reading... Show less

Arizona Republicans censure Cindy McCain, Gov. Doug Ducey and Jeff Flake

Arizona Republican Party members voted on Saturday to censure prominent GOP figures Cindy McCain, Gov. Doug Ducey and former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who've all faced clashes with former President Trump, per AZCentral.

Why it matters: Although the resolution is symbolic, this move plus the re-election of Trump loyalist Kelli Ward as state GOP chair shows the strong hold the former president has on the party in Arizona, despite President Biden winning the state in the 2020 election.

Keep reading... Show less

DOJ: Capitol rioter threatened to "assassinate" Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

A Texas man who has be charged with storming the U.S. Capitol in the deadly Jan. 6 siege posted death threats against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), the Department of Justice said.

The big picture: Garret Miller faces five charges in connection to the riot by supporters of former President Trump, including violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and making threats. According to court documents, Miller posted violent threats online the day of the siege, including tweeting “Assassinate AOC.”

Keep reading... Show less

Schumer calls for IG probe into alleged plan by Trump, DOJ lawyer to oust acting AG

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Saturday called for the Justice Department inspector general to investigate an alleged plan by former President Trump and a DOJ lawyer to remove the acting attorney general and replace him with someone more willing to investigate unfounded claims of election fraud.

Driving the news: The New York Times first reported Friday that the lawyer, Jeffrey Clark, allegedly devised "ways to cast doubt on the election results and to bolster Mr. Trump’s continuing legal battles and the pressure on Georgia politicians. Because Mr. [Jeffrey] Rosen had refused the president’s entreaties to carry out those plans, Mr. Trump was about to decide whether to fire Mr. Rosen and replace him with Mr. Clark."

Keep reading... Show less

Brazil begins distributing AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine

Brazil on Saturday began distributing the 2 million doses of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine that arrived from India Friday, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: Brazil has the third highest COVID-19 case-count in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The 2 million doses "only scratch the surface of the shortfall," Brazilian public health experts told the AP.

Keep reading... Show less

U.S. national security adviser speaks with Israeli counterpart for the first time

U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan spoke on the phone Saturday with his Israeli counterpart Meir Ben Shabbat, Israeli officials tell Axios.

Why it matters: This is the first contact between the Biden White House and Israeli prime minister's office. During the transition, the Biden team refrained from speaking to foreign governments.

Keep reading... Show less

Biden speaks to Mexican president about reversing Trump's "draconian immigration policies"

President Biden told his Mexican counterpart, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, on a phone call Friday that he plans to reverse former President Trump’s “draconian immigration policies.”

The big picture: The Biden administration has already started repealing several of Trump’s immigration policies, including ordering a 100-day freeze on deporting many unauthorized immigrants, halting work on the southern border wall, and reversing plans to exclude undocumented people from being included in the 2020 census.

Keep reading... Show less

Muslim families hope to reunite following Biden's travel ban repeal

Muslim Americans across the U.S. are celebrating President Biden's day-1 reversal of former President Trump's travel ban that targeted several Muslim-majority countries.

The big picture: The repeal of what many critics called the "Muslim ban" renews hope for thousands of families separated by Trump's order.

Keep reading... Show less



Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories