The size of Bank of Japan's balance sheet is fast approaching Japan's GDP, as BoJ has spent more than a year buying up government debt (primarily to meet a 2% inflation target). For context, the Federal Reserve balance sheet represents less than one quarter of U.S. GDP.

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Data: GDP from Japan Cabinet Office, seasonally adjusted. Bank of Japan assets from Bank of Japan, not seasonally adjusted. Both retrieved from Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

Why it matters: Local economists to worry about what will happen to BoJ when long-term interest rates eventually begin to rise, lowering the value of the central bank's holdings but spiking its interest rate payments. And while we don't yet have Q3 GDP data for Japan, we do know that BoJ assets continued to grow.

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Case growth outpacing testing in coronavirus hotspots

Data: The COVID Tracking Project. Note: Vermont and Hawaii were not included because they have fewer than 20 cases per day. Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The United States' alarming rise in coronavirus cases isn't due to increased testing — particularly not where cases have grown fastest over the last month.

Why it matters: The U.S. doesn't yet know what it looks like when a pandemic rages on relatively unchecked after the health system has become overwhelmed. It may be about to find out.

The impending retail apocalypse

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Because of the coronavirus and people's buying habits moving online, retail stores are closing everywhere — often for good.

Why it matters: Malls are going belly up. Familiar names like J.C. Penney, Neiman Marcus and J. Crew have filed for bankruptcy. Increasingly, Americans' shopping choices will boil down to a handful of internet Everything Stores and survival-of-the-fittest national chains.

Biden campaign using Instagram to mobilize celebrity supporters

Collins appears on the Build live interview series in November 2019. Photo: Gary Gershoff/Getty Images

The Biden campaign is launching a new initiative today that will draft Hollywood celebrities for Instagram Live chats with campaign officials and other Biden supporters.

Why it matters: The campaign, called #TeamJoeTalks, is an attempt to open up a new front on social media, drawing on celebrities’ Instagram followers to help find and motivate voters while large parts of the country remain locked down.