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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Carlyle Group's David Rubenstein has called capital one of America's greatest exports, particularly in regards to China. Now there's talk of a blockade.

The big picture: Bloomberg reported on Friday that the White House is considering limitations on U.S. investments in Chinese companies. Several other news outlets reported the same, including Axios. The White House itself did not confirm or deny the reports.

Details: Discussions included the possibilities of de-listing Chinese companies from U.S. stock exchanges and banning federal employee pensions funds from investing in Chinese equities.

  • There is no known talk of making similar restrictions on state or municipal pension funds' direct of indirect investments. But, were it to expand there, it could create major headaches for venture and private equity firms that invest in Chinese companies (even private ones, since hold periods usually extend post-IPO).

What they're saying: A Treasury Department spokesperson subsequently said the administration is not contemplating changes to listing rules for Chinese companies "at this time," and Trump economic advisor Peter Navarro today told CNBC that the original Bloomberg story was "fake news."

  • Again, the original reporting was legit.

The bottom line: The trade war may be moving well beyond tariffs, even if those involved are struggling to keep their stories straight.

Go deeper: China seems unfazed by U.S. threats to limit investor access

Go deeper

Exclusive: White House meeting with members of Problem Solvers Caucus

Members of the Problem Solvers Caucus discuss the COVID-19 relief bill in December. Photo: Oliver Contreras/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Top White House officials will meet Wednesday with a bipartisan coalition of House lawmakers as the administration tries to enlist moderates to support the president's infrastructure proposal.

Why it matters: The meeting is something of an olive branch after President Biden's team courted groups of progressives to back the $2.2 trillion package.

2 hours ago - Health

The new vaccine threat is fear itself

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The FDA’s decision to pause the use of Johnson & Johnson's coronavirus vaccine has set off a chain reaction of fear — about the safety of the vaccine, and about whether the FDA is overreacting — that's causing unnecessary drama just as the vaccine effort is finally picking up speed.

The big picture: Throughout the pandemic, the public and the media, and sometimes even regulators, have struggled to keep risks in perspective — to acknowledge them without exaggerating them, and to avoid downplaying them because other people will exaggerate them.

Cryptocurrency giant Coinbase heads to Wall Street

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Coinbase, the country's largest cryptocurrency exchange, is expected to go public today at what could be a valuation north of $100 billion.

Why it matters: This gives crypto a Wall Street seal of legitimacy, after an early existence marred by ties to illicit goods.