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Data: YCharts; Chart: Axios Visuals

For an idea of how much influence jurists can have on a company's share price, look no further than Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, whose prognosis has changed radically in the wake of a Supreme Court ruling this week.

The big picture: The Trump administration said that it was committed to removing the housing agencies from their current conservatorship, under which they need to remit all their profits to the government.

  • The Biden administration, by contrast, is likely to embrace its de facto control of the agencies in an attempt to address structural problems with America's housing market, including racial disparities and the broad imbalance between supply and demand.

Driving the news: The Supreme Court ruled that the president could fire Trump-appointed regulator, Mark Calabria.

The bottom line: Stock in Fannie and Freddie has always been a high-risk bet on certain judicial outcomes. Those outcomes, today, are more remote than ever.

Go deeper: Biden replaces FHFA director after Supreme Court ruling

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Sep 22, 2021 - Economy & Business

Building the future depends on building more housing

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

America's troubled urban housing policies are having negative effects that go far beyond high rents and real estate prices.

Why it matters: Decades-old barriers to building more housing in America's most productive cities make it harder to move and live there, which eats into wages, depresses population, saps economic growth, and even worsens climate change.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Sep 23, 2021 - Economy & Business

Stepping into the debt-default unknown

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

No one wants to test the strength of the debt ceiling. The current Treasury Secretary, backed up by many of her predecessors, says that it's so rock-solid that running into it will be catastrophic.

Why it matters: The brinkmanship we're currently seeing over the debt ceiling is the kind of dance that no sane person would perform on the edge of a real cliff. One possible explanation is that the cliff isn't quite as vertiginous as politicians are being warned it is.

Obama says Powell exemplified what America "can and should be"

Then-President Obama speaks alongside former Secretary of State Colin Powell (left) during a meeting in the Oval Office in 2010. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Former President Obama called Colin Powell an "exemplary soldier and an exemplary patriot" in a statement honoring the former general following his death from COVID complications on Monday.

Why it matters: Powell, the first Black U.S. secretary of state, was known as a Republican but played a critical role in helping Obama get elected in 2008.