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KKR co-CEO Henry Kravis. Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images.

Listed private equity firms are frustrated by what they view as artificially-low share prices, and are actively considering a structural fix: Converting from publicly-traded partnerships to C-corporations.

Why do it? Publicly-traded partnerships are off-limits for many institutional investors, and also aren't eligible for most equity indexes (like the S&P 500) or exchange-traded funds.

Why do it now? The corporate tax rate has moved closer to parity with capital gains, via the recent tax cuts. At 35%, conversion was a nonstarter.

Why not do it? There are still negative tax implications, and firms are trying to determine if they'd get enough stock price boost to offset. For example, KKR estimates that its 2017 after-tax economic net income would have been around 17% lower, calculated with the new tax rate. That means it would need to "see approximately two turns of multiple expansion, all else being equal, for a break-even stock price."

The conversion option was raised during several earnings calls in the past week — including for Apollo, Blackstone and Carlyle — but was brought into sharpest focus yesterday morning by KKR, which said it is "analyzing the potential impact of a conversion" and would likely have a final answer during its next earnings release.

Carlyle's Glenn Younkin added that converting is a "is a no-going-back kind of decision."

Go deeper

The front-runners for Biden's Supreme Court pick

Judge Kentaji Brown Jackson (left) and Justice Leondra Kruger (right) Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images and Lonnie Tague, US Department of Justice

Two highly accomplished Black female judges — Ketanji Brown Jackson, a judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals; and Leondra Kruger, a justice on the California Supreme Court — are seen as the early front-runners to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.

The big picture: Jackson is a powerful federal judge with a record that progressives feel they can trust. Kruger was a highly regarded litigator and has carved out a reputation for working well with conservative judges.

Fed: Rate hikes are near

The Federal Reserve's headquarters building. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

The Federal Reserve is on track to raise its main target interest rate in mid-March, as Chair Jerome Powell pledged to be "humble and nimble" in adapting policy to a fast-changing economy.

Why it matters: Fed leaders are looking to choke off inflation by raising interest rates in the near future, but keeping its options open for how fast and far the effort will go.

How long it’s taken to confirm Supreme Court justices

Expand chart
Data: Axios research, U.S. Supreme Court, Supreme Court Historical Society; Chart: Jacque Schrag/Axios

It takes a U.S. president an average of 70 days from the date a Supreme Court seat is vacated to nominate a replacement, according to data from the Supreme Court Historical Society.

Why it matters: With news outlets reporting liberal Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer's plans to retire, Democrats will be looking to confirm President Biden's nominee with enough time to refocus the national political debate ahead of the midterms.