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!

Sign up for Axios Pro Rata

Dive into the world of dealmakers across VC, PE and M&A with Axios Pro Rata. Delivered daily to your inbox by Dan Primack and Kia Kokalitcheva.

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!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Austin news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Austin newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Atlanta news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Atlanta newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Philadelphia news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Philadelphia newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Chicago news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Chicago newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top DC news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios DC newsletter.

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!

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

If Trump's presidency is about to end, an unprecedented golden era for big businesses could end with it.

Why it matters: Thanks to support from the president, Congress, the Supreme Court and the Federal Reserve reaching levels not seen in recent history — if ever — large companies have done a lot of winning.

What we're hearing: Trump's policies have "created a favorable business environment," U.S. Chamber of Commerce president Suzanne Clark tells Axios in an email. 

  • "We’ve seen some promising economic and fiscal policy developments over the last few years."

Between the lines: Businesses have benefited most from the people Trump put in charge.

The Fed: The success of big corporations is perhaps best evidenced by the stratospheric level of U.S. companies' stock value relative to GDP, and that's been thanks in large part to Trump's handpicked Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell.

  • The market capitalization of U.S. publicly traded companies has grown from around 200% of U.S. GDP in 2016 to a record high 266% of GDP this year — meaning corporations are worth roughly two-and-a-half times the value of everything produced and consumed by the U.S. in a year.
  • In 1995, the number was about 80% of GDP.

"Big businesses are outperforming the broader economy," Julia Coronado, president of MacroPolicy Perspectives, tells Axios.

  • "One of the things that's interesting is that market capitalization didn't get knocked on its ass in the current recession. It's at an all-time high."
  • "That's mainly the Fed right there."

The Supreme Court: With Trump's first Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, in place the Chamber of Commerce went 9-1 in cases where it supported business interests in the 2017-2018 term, its most lopsided record in six years.

  • With Brett Kavanaugh on the Court in the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 terms, the Chamber's victory rate declined to around 65% but included a historically high number of cases involving big business and many more where businesses had lost in the lower court.
  • "Only twice did the Court agree to review decisions favoring business interests—and in both cases the Court affirmed those pro-business rulings," notes the Constitutional Accountability Center, in reference to the 2018-2019 period.
  • The Court's recent pro-business rulings included pushing employees into arbitration over job complaints, making it harder for employees to join class action lawsuits, limiting protections for whistleblowers and striking down the ban against sports gambling.

Don't forget: The 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act passed by a GOP-led Senate and House reduced corporate taxes from 35% to 21%, but it also eliminated the graduated corporate tax rate schedule and the corporate alternative minimum tax, disproportionately benefiting big companies which downsized their tax bills to record low levels.

  • Trump also cut funding for the IRS by $239 million in 2017 — the combination led to business taxes in 2019 accounting for the lowest portion of federal revenue on record, dating back to 1929.
  • Business tax revenue as a proportion of GDP dropped by the most of any industrialized country in 2018, reaching just 1.1%.

Reproduced from Haver Analytics via MacroPolicy Perspectives; Chart: Axios Visuals

State of play: Trump's trade wars and tariffs have hurt small businesses and manufacturers but big companies managed to largely pass the costs of tariffs onto smaller suppliers.

  • And since the coronavirus pandemic hit, large U.S. companies have boosted their cash holdings and many have increased their market share as smaller competitors have fallen by the wayside.

Even some of the companies specifically targeted by Trump have seen their fortunes rise.

  • Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has seen his personal fortune swell by $121 billion since Trump became president, despite a divorce.
  • Chinese tech companies have seen their valuations surge on public markets and Trump's most recent target, TikTok owner ByteDance, is reportedly in fundraising talks that will value it at $180 billion, up $102 billion from its last funding round in 2018.

The bottom line: Joe Biden could potentially turn the whole place over in a first term.

  • He can replace Powell in 2022 and nominate at least three more Fed governors, add more Supreme Court justices by expanding the size of the court (perhaps after the 2022 midterms) and refang the IRS and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to boost the government's revenue collection and business regulation without changing tax law.

Go deeper

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Jan 29, 2021 - Economy & Business

The unprecedented stock market craziness, in one chart

Data: Bloomberg; Chart: Sara Wise and Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. Note: Stocks limited to companies with a market capitalization of more than $150 million. 

Almost never does a stock trade more than twice its market value in a single day. It never happened in 2001, for instance, and never happened in 2003, and only happened once in 2002.

Driving the news: It has happened 7 times this week already, and 20 times this month. In the past 12 months, it's happened 84 times, which is more than all of the previous occurrences going back to November 1998.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Jan 28, 2021 - Economy & Business

How GameStop exposed the market

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Retail traders have found a cheat code for the stock market, and barring some major action from regulatory authorities or a massive turn in their favored companies, they're going to keep using it to score "tendies" and turn Wall Street on its head.

What's happening: The share prices of companies like GameStop are rocketing higher, based largely on the social media organizing of a 3-million strong group of Redditors who are eagerly piling into companies that big hedge funds are short selling, or betting will fall in price.

45 mins ago - Health

NYC to impose vaccine mandate on private employers

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) announced a new COVID vaccine mandate for private companies during a Monday interview with MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

Why it matters: De Blasio said it was a "first-in-the-nation measure" and will go into effect starting Dec. 27.