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Andrew Harnik / AP

In a private meeting Wednesday with Senate Banking Committee members, Gary Cohn, Trump's top economic advisor, said he generally favors breaking up big US banks, per Bloomberg. In other words, the former Goldman Sachs president supports a separation between firms that trade and underwrite securities and firms that issue loans.

Quick take: The Glass-Steagall Act, passed in the Depression-era and repealed in 1999, might be coming back. With Cohn not putting up a fight against reinstating the act, there is no one left in Trump's inner circle to prevent it, per the WSJ.

Why it matters: The repeal in 1999 allowed big Wall Street firms to overtake rivals and package up several financial services into one-stop-shops. And many Americans are still frustrated over the $700 billion bailout Americans paid for the banks in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis.

It's bipartisan... GOP and Democratic platforms both called for it to be reinstated in some form, and Trump called for the creation of a "21st century Glass-Steagall." But… Congress might be too entangled in current legislative issues like health care and tax reform to shift focus to this issue.

Go deeper

Armin Laschet elected as leader of Merkel's CDU party in Germany

Armin Laschet. Photo: Christian Marquar - Pool/Getty Images

Armin Laschet, the centrist governor of North Rhine-Westphalia, was elected on Saturday as the new leader of Germany's Christian Democratic Union (CDU), defeating the more conservative Friedrich Merz by a 521-466 margin.

Why it matters: Laschet is now the most likely successor to Chancellor Angela Merkel as the standard bearer of the German center-right heading into September's elections. With Merkel preparing to step down after 16 years in power, Laschet is seen as a continuity candidate.

Updated 11 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to coronavirus pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Azar says deadly Capitol siege could "tarnish" Trump administration's legacy — Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.
Bryan Walsh, author of Future
18 mins ago - Politics & Policy

America is anxious, angry and heavily armed

Data: FBI; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Firearms background checks in the U.S. hit a record high in 2020.

The big picture: This past year took our collective arsenal to new heights, with millions of Americans buying guns for the first time. That trend coincides with a moment of peak political and social tension.

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