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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Jerome Powell is a new kind of Fed chairman for a new time in American history. As President Trump has bulldozed norms of presidential behavior, Powell has gone about changing the nature of the Fed's relationship with Wall Street, Congress and Main Street.

What it means: Powell has clearly set his sights on changing the public's perception of the Fed from a faceless private bank that upholds the interests of corporate America to a source of economic growth that supports job creation.

His strategy is threefold:

What they’re saying:

  • "Powell has figured out that it's in the long-term interest of the Federal Reserve to be better understood by ... the American electorate," Steven Skancke, chief economic adviser at investment firm Keel Point and a former White House and Treasury Department official, tells Axios.
  • "Is that political? Yeah, that's political. Is he being partisan? I don't think so. But it's a political point of view when he says, 'We need to be sensitive to how we are viewed by the constituencies of America,'" he added.

The intrigue: Powell is also facing unprecedented pressure from the president, who looks to have lined the Fed up to take the blame if the economy turns south, as he did when the stock market sold off in December.

Investors, too, were leery of the new Fed chief when he was raising rates last year and looked poised to hike the U.S. into a recession, as many market participants believe has been the central bank's wont in the past. But as he's backed off of plans for further hikes, and paring down the central bank's now-less-than $4 trillion balance sheet, a consensus has grown on trading desks that the chairman has done the right thing.

  • Powell "made a mistake in December. And we see what happened," Skancke said. "Why would we otherwise expect the chairman of the Federal Reserve on '60 Minutes' trying to explain himself?"

Go deeper: Powell on the unequal nature of the economic recovery

Go deeper

Republican Sen. Roy Blunt will not seek re-election in 2022

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) will not run for re-election in 2022, he announced on Twitter Monday.

Why it matters: The 71-year-old senator is the No. 4-ranking Republican in the Senate, and the fifth GOP senator to announce he will not run for re-election in 2022 as the party faces questions about its post-Trump future.

35 mins ago - Health

Popular independent COVID tracker officially ends daily updates

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The COVID Tracking Project, a volunteer group of data analysts, researchers, and journalists brought together by The Atlantic, published its final daily update on Monday — the one-year anniversary of its founding.

Why it matters: The project quickly became a vital resource for news media, academic researchers, and everyday Americans to track COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in the absence of reliable and public data from the federal government.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Energy and climate move closer to center stage on Capitol Hill

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The imminent enactment of Democrats' $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package creates space for lawmakers and the White House to craft infrastructure plans with big climate and energy-related provisions.

Why it matters: President Biden, during the campaign, vowed to make low-carbon energy, climate-resilient infrastructure and transportation projects a big focus of an economic recovery package. And the Texas power crisis could give fresh momentum to investments in grid modernization.

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