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Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Expect to begin hearing a lot about private equity firm Pine Island Capital Partners, as its partners include Tony Blinken (Biden's secretary of state nominee, now on leave from Pine Island) and Michèle Flournoy (Biden's possible defense secretary nominee).

What to know: Pine Island was formed in 2018 by former CIT Group and Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain, former Goldman Sachs buyout big Phil Cooper, and ex-Coca-Cola executive Clyde Tuggle. It focuses on mid-market companies in a variety of sectors, including aerospace and defense.

To date, it's operated as a fundless sponsor, buying two companies that rely in large part on government contracts. It also formed a SPAC and does have eventual plans to raise a traditional private equity fund.

Details: Pine Island has an informal relationship with WestExec Advisors, a consulting firm whose co-founders include Blinken and Flournoy. A Pine Island spokesperson says no money ever changed hands between the two shops.

Between the lines: Obviously, there's a D.C. revolving door issue here, although its importance is subjective rather than statutory. But don't be surprised if Senate Republicans demand information on Pine Island's investors, some of whom might be covered by confidentiality agreements.

Go deeper

Nov 30, 2020 - World

New Zealand authorities charge 13 parties over deadly volcano eruption

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at New Zealand's parliament in Wellington. Photo: Mark Tantrum Photography via Getty Images

New Zealand authorities laid safety violation charges Monday against 10 organizations and three individuals over the fatal Whakaari/White Island volcanic disaster last December, per a statement from the agency WorksSafe.

Details: WorksSafe declined to name those charged as they may seek name suppression in court. But Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said government agencies GNS Science, which monitors volcanic activity, and the National Emergency Management Agency were among those charged over the "horrific tragedy" that killed 22 people.

In cyber espionage, U.S. is both hunted and hunter

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

American outrage over foreign cyber espionage, like Russia's SolarWinds hack, obscures the uncomfortable reality that the U.S. secretly does just the same thing to other countries.

Why it matters: Secrecy is often necessary in cyber spying to protect sources and methods, preserve strategic edges that may stem from purloined information, and prevent diplomatic incidents.

1 hour ago - Politics & Policy
Scoop

White House plots "full-court press" for $1.9 trillion relief plan

National Economic Council director Brian Deese speaks during a White House news briefing. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Biden White House is deploying top officials to get a wide ideological spectrum of lawmakers, governors and mayors on board with the president’s $1.9 trillion COVID relief proposal, according to people familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: The broad, choreographed effort shows just how crucially Biden views the stimulus to the nation's recovery and his own political success.