Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

President Biden speaking in the White House today. Photo: Oliver Contreras/Sipa/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden said Tuesday he has not spoken with Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell, saying he's "not going to do the kinds of things that have been done in the last administration."

Why it matters: It's an indicator that Biden will respect the independence of the Fed by not publicly commenting on its decisions, and it's a shift from the Trump administration.

Context: The Federal Reserve is designed to operate free of politics, though former President Trump throughout his term repeatedly and publicly criticized Powell, who he picked, Axios' Dan Primack reports.

  • Trump's open criticism of the Fed was unprecedented and raised concerns that Fed politicization would become the new norm.

What he's saying: "I think the Federal Reserve is an independent operation," Biden said.

  • "And starting off my presidency, I want to be real clear that I'm not going to do the kinds of things that have been done in the last administration — either talking to the attorney general about who he’s going to prosecute or not prosecute and under what circumstances, or the Fed, telling them what they should and shouldn't do."
  • "Even though that wouldn't be the basis upon which I’d be talking to them. So I have been very fastidious about not talking to them, but I do talk to the secretary of Treasury.”

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Apr 5, 2021 - Economy & Business

Why the Fed's balance sheet matters

Expand chart
Data: Federal Reserve; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Much has been made of the growth of the Fed's balance sheet from around $800 billion before the global financial crisis to over $7.7 trillion today.

What it is: The Fed's balance sheet is the number of assets the Fed holds — akin to an investment portfolio held by the central bank.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Apr 5, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Poll indicates low trust, poor public perception of the Fed

Expand chart
Data: Ipsos; Chart: Axios Visuals

Disjointed results for the wealthy and working classes since the pandemic hit the U.S. have fostered an environment in which most Americans don't trust the Federal Reserve, or think that the central bank is doing a good job.

Driving the news: New polling from Ipsos exclusively for Axios shows that 53% of Americans say they don't trust the central bank, and just 38% say the Fed has done a "good" or "excellent" job, while 58% say the Fed is doing a "fair" or "poor" job.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Apr 5, 2021 - Economy & Business

How the Fed took control of the economy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

To brace the U.S. economy and stave off another Great Depression, the Federal Reserve has taken control of it through unprecedented intervention — manipulating market prices, controlling rates and propping up companies on a previously unimaginable scale.

Why it matters: The U.S. is a market-run, capitalist economy. But the market is ostensibly now governed by an unelected and largely independent group of technocrats that directs it by creating ridiculous sums of money to buy assets.