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When Real Desrochers stepped down suddenly last week as head of private equity at the California Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS), we noted that the nation's largest public pension was being kind of cagey about his eventual successor. It named an interim head (Desrochers deputy Sarah Corrs), but no official search process. Now we know why:

The news: Per board meeting documents published yesterday, CalPERS investment staff (read: CIO Ted Eliopoulos) is recommending that the systems's $26 billion private equity program be merged with the public equities program.

What's coming: More details will be disclosed during upcoming board meetings, but it sounds like CalPERS is thinking about adopting more of a Canadian pension strategy of big direct investments (as opposed to solely being a passive investor in PE funds). Perhaps, then, it's not surprising that a source tells Axios that Eliopoulos has been spending lots of time lately with BlackRock, the current home of Mark Wiseman ― who is largely credited with developing the direct investment strategy while leading the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
38 mins ago - Economy & Business

The digital dollar is now high priority for the Fed

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The U.S. is starting to get serious about a central-bank-backed digital currency, with recent comments from top officials laying out the strongest support yet.

Driving the news: On Tuesday Fed chair Jerome Powell told Congress that developing a digital dollar is a "high priority project for us," but added that there are "significant technical and policy questions."

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Coinbase files to go public

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase on Thursday filed to go public via a $1 billion direct listing.

Why it matters: This comes in the midst of a crypto boom, and the listing may further legitimize the industry.

Trump’s blunt weapon: State GOP leaders

Trump supporters rally near Mar-a-Lago on Feb. 15. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

President Trump didn't have to punish his critics in Congress — his allies back in the states instantly and eagerly did the dirty work.

Why it matters: Virtually every Republican who supported impeachment was censured back home, or threatened with a primary challenge.

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