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Howard Morgan

Howard Morgan today announced that he has agreed to become chairman of B Capital Group, a global growth equity firm led by Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin and former Bain Capital investor Raj Ganguly.

Why it matters: Morgan has a Midas touch when it comes to new investment firms, from Renaissance Capital to Idealab to First Round Capital. His part-time role at B Capital Group is more focused on firm operations than investment, but he's hoping to continue the streak.

Resume: It's not hyperbole to call Howard Morgan a tech industry legend, first as a computer science professor at the early dawn of the Internet age (he's credited with bringing World Wide Web predecessor ARPANET to Philadelphia, where he taught). Morgan would go on to become an original team member at early quantitative hedge fund Renaissance Technologies, before moving on to become an early investor with Idealab at the beginning of the dotcom boom and as co-founder of First Round Capital in 2004. He formally retired from First Round earlier this year.

New job: Morgan tells Axios that he will spend around 20% of his time with B Capital, primarily to help the firm figure out how to best operate with multiple global offices. "They really need help building out the firm and integrating people." He's particularly intrigued by B Capital's financial ties to Boston Consulting Group, which he believes will help growth-stage portfolio companies get access to the Global 5000.

History: Morgan first met Ganguly around seven years ago at a tech industry conference, and was introduced to Saverin several years after that. He says that Saverin has correctly identified a large tech investment opportunity in Southeast Asia, and refers to the Facebook founder as "much more humble and self-effacing than most people think... He's not the guy from the movie."

Go deeper

Coronavirus hospitalizations top 100,000 for the first time

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking ProjectHarvard Global Health Institute; Cartogram: Danielle Alberti and Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

More than 100,000 Americans are now in the hospital with coronavirus infections — a new record, an indication that the pandemic is continuing to get worse and a reminder that the virus is still very dangerous.

Why it matters: Hospitalizations are a way to measure severe illnesses — and severe illnesses are on the rise across the U.S. In some areas, health systems and health care workers are already overwhelmed, and outbreaks are only getting worse.

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

Our make-believe economy

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The Federal Reserve and global central banks are remaking the world's economy in an effort to save it, but have created something of a monster.

Why it matters: The Fed-driven economy relies on the creation of trillions of dollars — literally out of thin air — that are used to purchase bonds and push money into a pandemic-ravaged economy that has long been dependent on free cash and is only growing more addicted.

New hope for "smart cities"

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

It's time to polish our gleaming vision of urban environments where internet technology makes everything from finding a parking space to measuring air quality a snap.

Why it matters: The Biden administration's Cabinet appointees are likely to be champions of bold futurism in urban planning — which could mean that smart infrastructure projects, like broadband deployment and digital city services, get fresh funding and momentum.