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Illustration: Greg Ruben/Axios

Reinvigorated corporate governance could be key to bringing the "blue wave" to shore this November.

At least, that's what seems to be the thinking of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who just unveiled a new plan that would, among other things, let large company employees elect around 40% of that company's board of directors.

The details: It's called the Accountable Capitalism Act. Here's the bill text.

  • It focuses on companies with at least $1 billion in revenue, and would require them to obtain a federal charter via a proposed U.S. Commerce Department office, obligating them to consider the interests of all corporate stakeholders (i.e., shareholders, employees, community). One immediate consequence could be reduction in successful shareholder lawsuits on fiduciary grounds.
  • It would prevent officers or directors from selling stock within five years of receipt or within three years of a company stock buyback.
  • It would prevent companies from making political candidate expenditures without approval of 75% of directors or shareholders.

No, this isn't going to become law, particularly with the current Congress. And the proposed "corporate charter" requirements are way too vague to be practically applied.

But, politically speaking, it could be the sort of pro-worker, economic populism that Democrats successfully adopt to contrast themselves with Trump, without veering to the anti-capitalist left. A pitch that emphasizes how much of the 2017 tax cuts were used by corporations for stock buybacks rather than for substantially increased wages.

  • It's also something that I could see some big companies supporting (at least publicly), given that it's not a tax, and could further inoculate themselves from the socialist specter.

The bottom line: Warren's proposal is DOA as legislation, but it could be the beginning of a very loud conversation.

Go deeper

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Former FDA chief Rob Califf on the vaccine approval process

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is reviewing two emergency use authorization requests for COVID-19 vaccines, with an outside advisory committee scheduled to meet next Thursday to review data from Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech.

Axios Re:Cap digs in with former FDA commissioner Rob Calif about the EUA process, the science and who should make the final call.

10 mins ago - Politics & Policy

The recovery needs rocket fuel

Data: BLS. Chart: Axios Visuals

Friday's deeply disappointing jobs report should light a fire under Congress, which has dithered despite signs the economy is struggling to kick back into gear.

Driving the news: President-elect Biden said Friday afternoon in Wilmington that he supports another round of $1,200 checks.

1 hour ago - Health

CDC: It's time for "universal face mask use"

Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty

The CDC is urging “universal face mask use” for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began, citing recent case spikes as the U.S. has entered a phase of “high-level transmission” before winter officially begins.

Why it matters: Daily COVID-related deaths across the U.S. hit a new record on Wednesday. Face coverings have been shown to increase protection of the wearer and those around them, despite some Americans' reluctance to use them.