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Jacob Ford / Odessa American via AP

The Permian Basin still matters:

Simon Lack of SL Advisors points out that even as Persian-Gulf OPEC states tried to chase American shale producers from the market following the oil-price crash of 2014, exploitation of the Permian Basin in West Texas remained a profitable, and the location is home to nearly half of the active rigs in America today.

The resilience of the Permian Basin speaks to the future economic power of Texas and its continued importance to the American energy, especially as rig counts in North Dakota and elsewhere have collapsed.

The Fed's public relations problem:

For years now, the Federal Reserve has seen no conflict between its goals of keeping inflation low and employment high. But as inflation rates rises above its 2% annual inflation target, Janet Yellen and company will have to start raising interest rates more quickly.

Why it matters: Donald Trump's inauguration address suggested that despite a low unemployment rate, the American public isn't satisfied. But as Ian Shepherdson of Pantheon Macroeconomics writes in a research note, the Fed pays closer attention econometrics than it does public opinion.

Shepherdson argues that the Fed can't force companies to focus on hiring folks who have left the workforce since 2008, which means that we could see much higher inflation before we see the labor market heal to the Trump White House's standards.

What we're watching:

McDonald's reports earnings Monday morning, and the results could provide a window into the health of the American economy.

Analysts don't expect the firm to maintain the growth that was spurred by the introduction of all day breakfast last year, and that slowdown could be exacerbated by the rising cost of labor.

Why it matters: Fast food companies like McDonald's will be the first to feel the sting of higher wage inflation, and how the firms react to a shorter supply of workers—whether it's through higher prices, investing in training, or investing in automation—will foreshadow the reaction of the rest of the economy.

Go deeper

3 hours ago - Technology

Facebook changes corporate name to Meta

Screen shot of CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the company's "Connect" virtual event

CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday said the social media giant is renaming its company Meta.

Why it matters: The effort is meant to shift its image from a social media platform to a “metaverse” company that focuses on building virtual work and social communities.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
4 hours ago - Economy & Business

Filings show Sweetgreen isn't profitable, despite claims

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Restaurant chain Sweetgreen on Monday filed to go public, and revealed that it lost money in each year since 2014.

Why it matters: The company lied when it repeatedly told reporters it was profitable.

U.S. border cities again see low violent crime rates

Expand chart
Data: FBI, Kansas Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Census Bureau; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

Reported violent crime in the United States rose in 2020 for the first time in four years, but violent crime rates in 11 of the largest communities along the U.S.-Mexico border stayed below the national average, an Axios analysis found. 

Why it matters: Year after year, data showing low violent crime rates in majority-Mexican American and Mexican immigrant border communities dispels myths of the U.S.-Mexico border as a region filled with crime and chaos.