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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

Dave Lawler, author of World
2 hours ago - World

Venezuela's predictable elections herald an uncertain future

The watchful eyes of Hugo Chávez on an election poster in Caracas. Photo: Cristian Hernandez/AFP via Getty

Venezuelans will go to the polls on Sunday, Nicolás Maduro will complete his takeover of the last opposition-held body, and much of the world will refuse to recognize the results.

The big picture: The U.S. and dozens of other countries have backed an opposition boycott of the National Assembly elections on the grounds that — given Maduro's tactics (like tying jobs and welfare benefits to voting), track record, and control of the National Electoral Council — they will be neither free nor fair.

Biden plans to ask public to wear masks for first 100 days in office

Joe Biden. Photo: Mark Makela/Gettu Images

President-elect Joe Biden told CNN on Thursday that he plans to ask the American public to wear face masks for the first 100 days of his presidency.

The big picture: Biden also stated he has asked NIAID director Anthony Fauci to stay on in his current role, serve as a chief medical adviser and be part of his COVID-19 response team when he takes office early next year.