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

Amy Coney Barrett's immediate impact

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

In her first week on the job, Amy Coney Barrett may be deciding which votes to count in the presidential election. By her third week, she’ll be deciding the fate of the Affordable Care Act.

Where it stands: The Senate votes on Barrett’s nomination tomorrow. If she’s confirmed, Chief Justice John Roberts is expected to swear her in at the Supreme Court within hours, an administration official tells Axios.

Texas Democrats beg Biden to spend now

Photo: Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

The Biden campaign is rebuffing persistent pleas from Texas Democrats to spend at least $10 million in the Lone Star state, several people familiar with the talks tell Axios.

Why it matters: If Texas — which has 38 electoral votes and is steadily getting more blue, but hasn't backed a Democrat for president since 1976 — flipped to the Biden column, it would be game over. But the RealClearPolitics polling average stubbornly hovers at +2.6 for Trump — and Team Biden appears more focused on closer targets.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Election night in Trumpworld

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Chris Carlson-Pool/Getty Images

A luxe election-night watch party at the Trump International Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue is being planned for President Trump's donors, friends and advisers — but Trump's hand in it is minimal because he's "very superstitious" — people familiar with the plans tell Axios.

The big picture: This "mecca for all things MAGA," as one adviser described it, is one of three hubs where they say Trumpworld will watch returns. The others are the war room at campaign HQ in Rosslyn, Virginia, and the White House residence, where Trump and the first lady will gather close family and advisers before heading to the hotel later that night, the sources said.