Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

The price of insuring $10 million of Sears bonds for five years just rose to a record $4.6 million annually last week, up from $3.3 million in September, per the WSJ.

Quick take: Insurers are smelling a bad deal with Sears, and today shares fell 5.23%.

Data: Money.net

Sears' underlying business model doesn't promise a turnaround from its disappointing performance in the last decade, either. It's true that the retail industry has seen better days as shoppers are increasingly turning to online shopping — but Sears has problems of its own:

  • Sears lost $8.2. billion since fiscal year 2011, with total sales falling about 40%, and its stock has been cratering for about a decade
  • Its CFO stepped down last year, and CEO Edward Lampert hired Citigroup and LionTree Advisors to help plan for the future
  • It has been selling its assets to fund its losses up to $2 billion annually, like the recent brand name Craftsman sale to Stanley Black & Decker for $900 million
  • Sears will also sell 109 Kmart and Sears stores this year, just like it sold 78 stores last year and 200 the year before

Why it matters: This trend of selling assets and stores is a short-term strategy to stay above water. This strategy may even undermine what could lead to long-term success : particularly for Sears, its household brand names like Kenmore, Sears Home Services, Sears Auto Centers, and Die Hard give the Sears name value, per Forbes. Shedding those brands may boost cash flow, but takes away from the value Sears has to offer in the first place.

Go deeper

The modern way to hire a big-city police chief

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

When it comes to picking a city's top cop, closed-door selection processes have been replaced by highly public exercises where everyone gets to vet the candidates — who must have better community-relations skills than ever.

Why it matters: In the post-George-Floyd era, with policing under utmost scrutiny, the choosing of a police chief has become something akin to an election, with the need to build consensus around a candidate. And the candidate pool has gotten smaller.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Speculative crypto art market takes off

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Move over, GameStop. The newest speculative game in town is NFTs — digital files that can be owned and traded on a plethora of new online platforms.

Why it matters: Most NFTs include some kind of still or moving image, which makes them similar to many physical art objects. Some of them, including a gif of Nyan Cat flying through the sky with a pop-tart body and rainbow trail, can be worth more than your house.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
2 hours ago - Health

Republicans are least likely to want the coronavirus vaccine

Reproduced from Civiqs; Chart: Axios Visuals

Americans of all ages, education levels, genders, races and political parties say they're more likely than not to get the coronavirus vaccine — except Republicans.

Why it matters: Vaccine hesitancy is higher among white Republicans than any other demographic group, and it hasn't been improving much as the vaccination effort continues, according to Civiqs polling.