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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo by Bauzen/GC Images

Private equity wasn't mentioned by Elizabeth Warren during last night's debate, even though she got more speaking time than any of the other 11 candidates. For private equity, that was the good news.

The state of play: The bad news for private equity was that at least 9 of the other 11 candidates tacitly acknowledged that Warren is now the Democratic Party's frontrunner.

  • Each of the past three presidential administrations has either brought in top PE executives, or included individuals who went on to become top PE executives.
  • It's almost impossible to imagine that would be true of a Warren presidency, from the perspective of both supply and demand.
  • Without a seat at the table, PE is prone to being on the table.

The real test now for private equity is to move past denial and into bargaining, beyond just supporting Trump or one of Warren's Democratic rivals. Will industry leaders publicly give ground on carried interest taxation? Worker protections? Some portfolio liabilities?

The bottom line: Warren has her plan. Private equity needs one, too.

Go deeper: Warren takes aim at private equity after Splinter shutdown

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
46 mins ago - Technology

Epic's long game against Apple

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Epic's Apple lawsuit is costing the company dearly, but the game developer has its eye on a valuable long-term goal: prying tomorrow's virtual worlds loose from the grip of app store proprietors like Apple.

Between the lines: Epic isn't spending a fortune in legal fees and foregoing a ton of revenue just to shave some costs off in-app purchases on today's phones. Rather, it's planning for a future of creating virtual universes via augmented and virtual reality — without having to send a big chunk of their economies to Apple or Google.

Updated 50 mins ago - Health

The race to avoid a possible "monster" COVID variant

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

Slow global COVID-19 vaccination rates are raising concerns that worse variants of the coronavirus could be percolating, ready to rip into the world before herd immunity can diminish their impact.

Why it matters: The U.S. aims to at least partially vaccinate 70% of adults by July 4, a move expected to accelerate the current drop of new infections here. But variants are the wild card, and in a global pandemic where only about 8% of all people have received one dose, the virus will continue mutating unabated.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
1 hour ago - Health

Democrats are still looking for a plan on drug prices

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

Democrats have no workable plan to tackle the cost of prescription drugs, even with full control of Washington and after campaigning on the issue for years.

The picture: Voters still care about the cost of drugs, but Democrats don't have a feasible legislative strategy yet — or an agreed-upon policy to fit into a legislative strategy.