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President Trump and Fed Chair Jerome Powell. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said on CNBC's "Squawk Box" Monday that President Trump liked Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell's speech last week, in which Powell struck a less aggressive tone and said interest rates are "just below" the level that would neither promote nor restrict economic growth.

Between the lines: Trump has publicly and repeatedly expressed disappointment in Powell, even calling the Fed's interest rate hikes a "much bigger problem than China" in an interview with the Washington Post last week. Trump’s approval of Powell’s speech — which was widely interpreted to be less hawkish — makes it clear that Powell has to do one thing to get back in Trump’s good graces: stop raising interest rates. As a politically independent institution, however, none of this should matter much to the Fed.

Go deeper

The startup that wants to disrupt big internet providers

Maura Losch/Axios

A new startup backed by funding from AOL founder Steve Case and Laurene Powell Jobs wants to break up broadband monopolies across the country.

Why it matters: Internet access has been crucial during the pandemic, but it's not ubiquitous, and it can be both slow and unaffordable in swaths of the country.

1 hour ago - World

Top general: China's hypersonic missile test "very close" to a "Sputnik moment"

Gen. Mark Milley. Photo: Rod Lamkey-Pool/Getty Images

Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, warned Wednesday that China's test of a hypersonic missile is "very concerning" and "very close" to the kind of "Sputnik moment" that triggered the Space Race during the Cold War.

Why it matters: The comments by America's top uniformed general underscore the depths of U.S. concerns about China's rapid military expansion and development of advanced weaponry.

Climate reckoning for oil and gas CEOs

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Top executives from ExxonMobil, BP, Chevron and Shell will face a reckoning on Capitol Hill Thursday, as they're grilled on evidence that their companies knew for years that their products were driving climate change but chose to downplay or deny it.

Why it matters: The hearing before the House Oversight Committee will be the first time these executives have been brought together to provide sworn testimony regarding what they knew about the ties between their company's products and climate change, and when they knew it.