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Thanks to growing momentum and changing attitudes among Americans, Brookings Institution fellow Andre Perry predicts that within 10 years the U.S. will provide some form of reparations to Black people.

What we're hearing: "What's happening in the streets today is indicative of the attitude change that is occurring in America," Perry, a scholar-in-residence at American University and author, said during our interview for "Axios on HBO."

  • "When I look out there, it's a much more diverse coalition than I've ever seen before. And so I'm encouraged that reparations is going to happen."

Why it matters to the market: Recent economic analyses by McKinsey & Company and Citigroup have both estimated that the racial wealth gap has cost the U.S. economy trillions of dollars and will continue to hold back economic growth until it is closed.

  • Citi's global economists estimate that closing the gap would add $1 trillion a year to the U.S. economy over the next five years.

Yes, but: Perry cautioned that while he believes reparations are "a moral debt that is owed to black people" and should be paid out in the form of direct cash or check payments, similar to the $1,200 direct payments that were a part of the CARES Act this year, he expects any reparations provided in the near term will likely be a means-tested fund that benefits some, but not all, Black people.

  • He expects it would provide funding for education, housing or business formation.

The last word: "I do think you're going to see some type of demand and that demand will be heard ultimately," Perry said.

  • "So I think within 10 years you're going to see some form of reparations distributed to Black Americans."

Go deeper

Dec 18, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Sen. Ron Johnson blocks Hawley bill proposing $1,200 stimulus checks

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) on Friday objected to Sen. Josh Hawley's (R-Mo.) motion to pass a bill via unanimous consent that would provide $1,200 to Americans in the form of direct stimulus checks, citing the ballooning national debt.

Why it matters: Hawley has teamed up with an unlikely partner, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), in a push to include direct payments in Congress' next coronavirus relief package, which has entered the final stages of negotiations.

Thousands without power as "hazardous" winter storm lashes East Coast

Winter view from Charlotte as winter storm Izzy creates dangerous conditions in Charlotte, N.C. on Jan. 16. Photo: Peter Zay/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A major winter storm was lashing much of the East Coast on Sunday, causing widespread power outages and disrupting travel over the holiday weekend.

The big picture: Heavy snow and ice accumulations were "likely to produce hazardous travel," downed trees and more outages from the Mid-South to the Northeast, per the National Weather Service. Some parts of the U.S. can expect to see up to a foot of snow through Monday.

Updated 7 hours ago - Science

Volcanic eruption in Tonga caused "significant" damage

This satellite image of the eruption on Jan. 15 taken by Himawari-8, a Japanese weather satellite operated by Japan Meteorological Agency and released by National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT). Photo: NICT via AP

Significant damage has been reported in Tonga following an undersea volcanic eruption on Saturday, which covered the Pacific nation in ash and cut off communication lines.

Driving the news: The eruption triggered tsunami warnings across Tonga's islands and in other regions, including the West Coast of the U.S. and New Zealand, which were later lifted.