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John Kerry is denying GOP allegations that he's putting inappropriate pressure on banks to change their financing practices to address climate change.

Why it matters: Banking giants are pledging to steer more capital into clean energy and other climate-friendly projects, and urging industrial clients to cut emissions.

  • But that's drawing the ire of some Republicans.
  • Kerry's back-and-forth with the GOP is part of wider tensions over Biden administration moves to steer Wall Street practices on finance and disclosure.

What they're saying: "We would like to reassure you that at no point have any financial institutions been pressured into making extralegal commitments," Kerry said in a recent letter to GOP Rep. Andy Barr.

Catch up fast: Dozens of House Republicans, in an April 21 letter to Kerry, alleged he's pressing banks to make "radical, overly prescriptive commitments...that may not be in the best interest of their businesses, shareholders, employees or customers."

  • The letter was led by Barr, the top Republican on the oversight panel of the House Financial Services Committee.
  • He pressed Kerry at a Foreign Affairs Committee hearing Wednesday (skip ahead to 2 hours, 30 minutes here).
  • "They have felt pressure from your office," Barr said.

Yes, but: Kerry's April 28 response letter says banks and asset managers "make their own decisions based on where they see risk and opportunity, and recent, voluntary announcements reflect their own views about where these institutions believe demand for financing will be in the future."

Go deeper

Justice Department asks Supreme Court to block Texas abortion ban

Abortion rights activists rally at the Texas State Capitol on Sept. 11, 2021, in Austin, Texas. Photo: Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images

The Justice Department on Monday asked the Supreme Court to temporarily block Texas' near-total ban on abortions while federal courts consider its constitutionality.

The big picture: The court last month allowed the ban to take effect, rejecting an emergency application by abortion-rights groups. The law bars the procedure after cardiac activity is detected, as early as six weeks into pregnancy.

Updated 40 mins ago - Health

This arthritis drug cost $198 in 2008. Now it's more than $10,000

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

In 2008, a box of 30 anti-inflammatory rectal suppositories that treats arthritis, called Indocin, had a price tag of $198. As of Oct. 1, the price of that same box was 52 times higher, totaling $10,350.

Why it matters: As federal lawmakers continue to waver on drug price reforms, Indocin is another example of how nothing prevents drug companies from hiking prices at will and selling them within a broken supply chain.

Fintech's record year

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Massive venture rounds into fintech companies have ballooned this year, pushing up total dollars invested — in just the first three quarters of 2021 — to nearly double the amount in all of 2020, per new PitchBook data.

Why it matters: The maturing of fintech startups means a growing number of companies are able to raise huge later-stage funding rounds as investors look to lock-in their bets.