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Photo: STR/AFP/Getty Images

China's financial stability is at risk as the number of defaults continues to rise, and weak banks threaten the world's second-largest economy, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: Chinese officials are wary of stepping in because they don't want to encourage "moral hazard and reckless spending," Bloomberg writes.

The state of play: The stability of small banks is one of the major concerns as their relationship with state-owned regional companies could lead to a "downward spiral" if Beijing doesn't stop in, Bloomberg notes.

  • China's central bank and other regulators said "they are forcing troubled banks to increase capital, cut bad loans, limit dividends and replace management," Bloomberg writes.
  • A sweeping package is being floated around that would push smaller banks to merge with the support of local governments.

The bottom line: Some support measures might help China's economy and financial stability right now, but it could lead to even bigger debt problems in the future, per Bloomberg.

Go deeper: China's economy grows at slowest pace since 1992

Go deeper

Media giants back Bannon's bid to release Jan. 6 documents

Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon at the FBI Washington Field Office in Washington, DC., in November. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

A coalition of news outlets including the Washington Post is supporting Stephen Bannon's campaign for the release of documents related to his contempt of Congress charges, WashPost confirmed Wednesday.

Why it matters: WashPost, the New York Times, CNN, NBC, the Wall Street Journal's parent company and others filed a motion arguing that a proposed protective order seeking to prevent the documents from being released violates the First Amendment, per the Daily Mail, which first reported on the news.

Symone Sanders leaving VP's office

Vice President Kamala Harris and her press secretary Symone Sanders. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Symone Sanders, senior advisor and chief spokesperson to Vice President Kamala Harris, is leaving the VP’s office by the end of this year, three White House officials told Axios on Wednesday.

Why it matters: The VP has faced an onslaught of criticism in her first year centered on her leadership and staff, adding to the suggestion, she’s not the Democratic Party’s preferred nominee for 2024.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Updated 3 hours ago - Health

Omicron travel bans are sign of what's to come

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The travel bans and border closures prompted by the Omicron variant likely won't fully prevent its spread, but that won't stop countries from leaning on the measures.

Why it matters: The rapid speed at which countries turned to travel bans with the emergence of Omicron indicates border controls will increasingly become a weapon against infectious disease — whether or not public health experts agree they are effective.