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Illustration: Sarah Grillo / Axios

Private equity firms Bain Capital and KKR this morning announced the creation of a $20 million fund to compensate thousands of Toys "R" Us employees who lost their jobs when the retailer shut down earlier this year.

Why it matters: The Toys "R" Us situation was unusual in terms of both scale and the decision to liquidate rather than scale back or sell, but there could be some who view this new fund as precedent-setting.

The TRU Financial Assistance Fund will be administered by Kenneth Feinberg and Camille Biros, who are best known for their work on funds related to tragedies like 9/11, the BP oil spill and child sex abuse by Catholic priests.

  • Bain and KKR each contributed $10 million, none of which will come from limited partners.
  • There had been earlier reports of the fund plans, but nothing was made official until today.
  • Both firms continue to seek participation by Vornado — their original buyout partner — and several secured lenders that forced Toys "R" Us into liquidation. So far, none of those others has been receptive. Workers' rights groups had initially sought a total of around $50 million.

There is little doubt that Bain and KKR are doing the right thing here. Their actions with Toys "R" Us contributed to its collapse, even if they weren't the ones who ultimately turned off the lights.

The question now is what happens next time there is a similar situation, or even one that has just some faint similarities. It's hard to imagine that there won't be a future group of fired employees that looks at those compensated by the TRU Financial Assistance Fund and asks, "If them, why not us?"

Go deeper

2 hours ago - Health

Pfizer says COVID vaccine over 90% effective in kids

A health care worker preparing a Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine dose in New York City on Oct. 21. Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Pfizer and BioNTech said their COVID-19 vaccine was more than 90% effective at protecting children between the ages of 5 and 11 from symptomatic infections from the virus, according to a study posted online by the Food and Drug Administration Friday.

Why it matters: Pfizer is seeking an emergency use authorization to vaccinate children — one of the last groups of Americans still largely ineligible to receive a coronavirus vaccine.

Changing the inflation conversation

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Inflation looks like it’ll run hot for longer than plenty of smart people thought it would. The conversation over just how much more Americans will have to pay for their stuff has taken on a new intensity, as supply problems show few signs of fading.

Why it matters: The rate of price growth has remained consistently strong in recent months — a time that some thought would bring cooling prices after an initial reopening spike. What goes on with prices will influence the decisions made by Congress, the Biden Administration, and the Federal Reserve.

The biggest headline from Biden's town hall

President Biden greets attendees during a commercial break in Baltimore last night. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

What matters from President Biden's town hall with CNN's Anderson Cooper at Baltimore Center Stage on Thursday:

The biggest headline: Biden is jettisoning the corporate tax increases that White House officials have insisted, for the past 10 months, are wildly popular across the country. He admitted he doesn't have the votes.