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Former President Obama speaking in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Dec. 13. Photo: Zahim Mohd/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama said Monday that he believes living standards and economic outcomes would improve if women led every country in the world, per the BBC.

The big picture: Speaking at a private leadership event in Singapore, Obama said he currently does not plan on getting back into political leadership because he believes in leaders stepping aside. "If you look at the world and look at the problems it's usually old people — usually old men — not getting out of the way," he said.

What he's saying: "Now, women, I just want you to know: you are not perfect, but what I can say pretty indisputably is that you're better than us [men]."

  • "I'm absolutely confident that for two years if every nation on earth was run by women, you would see a significant improvement across the board on just about everything ... living standards and outcomes."
  • "It is important for political leaders to try and remind themselves that you are there to do a job, but you are not there for life, you are not there in order to prop up your own sense of self importance or your own power."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
31 mins ago - Economy & Business

Why fears of a SPAC bubble may be overblown

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The SPAC surge continues unabated, with 10 new ones formed since Wednesday morning. And that's OK.

Between the lines: There are growing concerns that retail investors are about to get rolled, with smart sponsors taking advantage of dumb money.

Schumer says Senate will stay through weekend to vote on COVID relief

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) accused Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) of going to "ridiculous lengths" to show his opposition to a COVID relief package widely supported by the American public, after Johnson demanded that the entire 600-page bill be read on the Senate floor.

The state of play: Johnson's procedural move will likely add 10 hours to the 20 hours already allotted for debate, during which Republicans will propose amendments to force uncomfortable votes for Democrats. Schumer promised that the Senate will stay in session "no matter how long it takes" to finish voting on the $1.9 trillion rescue package.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

What central bank digital currencies mean for crypto

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Central bank digital currencies, or CBDCs, represent the ultimate ratification of digital finance: Its adoption by the most venerated guardians of the international monetary architecture.

Why it matters: Crypto-evangelists often talk about CBDCs in awed terms. But it's far from clear that the bitcoin-and-ethereum crowd would ultimately benefit from money going digital.