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Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

"Stop writing about politics. I signed up for a business newsletter." I get that message, sometimes a lot of them, when this space's eyes wander toward Washington, D.C.

Why it matters: Years ago, it might have been a valid critique. Today, though, the line between business and politics has all but vanished.

First and foremost: The reconciliation debate is really about restructuring the entire American economy, and about funding those changes. It could be a massive externality for how investments perform, what investments are available and how investors get paid.

  • Within this, the status quo on carried interest taxation is facing its most serious challenge in over a decade.

Antitrust: The Biden administration is painting with a very wide brush, arguing that corporate consolidation drives up consumer prices and drives down wages.

  • Within Big Tech, which has received the bulk of media attention on antitrust, the FTC is now taking a harder look at small acquisitions; a development that could create sell-side headaches.
  • And none of this touches on trade policy with countries like China, which can bleed over into antitrust issues for U.S. companies seeking to do cross-border M&A.

F Street: New SEC commissioner Gary Gensler wants to tighten oversight of everything from crypto to SPACs to private investment funds.

  • If you don't think this really matters, take a look at crypto investor meltdowns on Twitter during Gensler's congressional testimony earlier this week.

Surface scratching: Add in everything from pandemic rules to labor availability (including immigration). And that's just at the federal level.

The bottom line: This isn't about supporting or opposing particular policies or politicians. It's just about paying close attention, because the alternative is to skirt due diligence.

Go deeper

Senate eyes tech firms' data troves

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Lawmakers mulling how to tighten antitrust laws' reins over online platforms will grill Google and Facebook Tuesday about a key asset in the digital age: data.

Why it matters: The intersection of data collection and competition policy is a particularly vulnerable point for the tech giants, whose power comes from amassing troves of information about users.

Updated 47 mins ago - World

Reports: Up to 17 U.S. missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince earlier this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

Children were among up to 17 American Christian missionaries and their relatives kidnapped by a gang in Haiti on Saturday, the New York Times first reported.

Details: The missionaries had just left an orphanage and were traveling by bus to the airport to "drop off some members" and planned to travel to another destination afterward when the gang abducted them in Port-au-Prince, Haitian security officials said, per the NYT.

Melbourne, "world's most locked-down city," to lift stay-at-home orders

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews during a news conference in Melbourne, Australia, on Sunday. Photo: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Melbourne's stay-at-home orders will end five days earlier than planned, officials in Australia's second-biggest city announced Sunday.

Why it matters: The capital of the state of Victoria has had six lockdowns totaling 262 days since March last year. That means Melbourne's spent longer under lockdowns than "any other city in the world" during the pandemic, Reuters notes.