1) Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson's confirmation hearing begins today

With no government experience, Tillerson will qualify for the State Department based on his business record, which isn't without blemishes. Since Tillerson took the helm at Exxon in 2006, its stock has lagged behind the market as well as rival Chevron, and Tillerson has admitted to failing to predict or capitalize on the shale revolution.

2) Jack Lew urges Trump Administration to adopt more nuanced trade policy stance on China

Despite Trump's accusations of currency manipulation, China has actually been working overtime to support the value of the yuan. With so many important bilateral trade issues to negotiate, Trump should not squander time and good will with false accusations, Lew argued in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.

3) The hedge fund industry could have a voice in the White House

Skybridge Capital's Anthony Scaramucci told Bloomberg News that he may take a job working with Jared Kushner and Steve Bannon in an advisory role in the administration. Scaramucci is one of the most well-connected figures in the hedge fund world, serving as chair of the industry's well-attended S.A.L.T. conference. He can be expected to reliably advocate for big investors' interests in Washington.

4) What we're watching: Atlanta Fed releases monthly business inflation expectations

Higher expectations of inflation could be an indication of pending business investment, as businesses seek to avoid higher prices down the road.

Go deeper

How "naked ballots" could upend mail-in voting in Pennsylvania

Trump signs in Olyphant, Penn. Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

Pennsylvania's Supreme Court ordered state officials last week to throw out mail-in ballots submitted without a required inner "secrecy" envelope in November's election, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

The state of play: The decision went under the radar alongside the simultaneous decision to extend the time that mail-in ballots could be counted, but Philadelphia's top elections official warned state legislators this week that throwing out so-called "naked ballots" could bring "electoral chaos" to the state and cause "tens of thousands of votes" to be thrown out — potentially tipping the presidential election.

Commission releases topics for first presidential debate

Moderator Chris Wallace. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Fox News anchor Chris Wallace has selected what topics he'll cover while moderating the first presidential debate between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden next week.

What to watch: Topics for the Sept. 29 debate will include Trump and Biden's records, the Supreme Court, COVID-19, economic policy, racism and the integrity of the election, the Commission for Presidential Debates announced on Tuesday. Each topic will receive 15 minutes of conversation and will be presented in no particular order.

Fed chair warns economy will feel the weight of expired stimulus

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Fed Chair Jay Powell bump elbows before House hearing on Tuesday. Photo: Joshua Roberts/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday that the expiration of Congress' coronavirus stimulus will weigh on the U.S. economy.

Why it matters: Powell warned that the effects of dried-up benefits are a looming risk to the economy, even if the consequences aren't yet visible.

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