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Two smart pieces of commentary explore why OPEC's decision to lift output was a split decision for the White House, which openly called for higher production.

Situational awareness: "Oil prices rose Friday, holding on to more than three-year highs, supported by continuing risks to supply in Libya, Iran and North America," the Wall Street Journal reports.

1. In Bloomberg's opinion section, Harvard's Meghan O'Sullivan writes that President Trump may have overplayed his hand by taking tough stances against Iran and Venezuela at a time of tightening markets.

  • Unintended: "Trump seems to have been too confident in his ability to make foreign policy first and think about energy next. A byproduct of his 'energy dominance' approach has been to reinforce OPEC’s relevance at a time when the future of the cartel has been in question. Given Trump’s longstanding animosity toward OPEC, this result was surely unintended," she writes.

2. The Atlantic Council has a good interview with RBC Capital Markets' Helima Croft. She's more bullish on how the White House fared, calling the administration the "biggest winner" from the OPEC meeting.

  • "President Trump intervened in the OPEC decision-making in April with his first Tweet criticizing the organization, posted while they were meeting in Jeddah. He kept up the pressure and there were reports that America wanted a million barrels, and they got the number they wanted," she writes.
  • Yes, but: Croft later notes that it's not all sunny for the U.S., because logistical constraints in the Permian basin are slowing shale's growth. "This puts the White House back in a position where it is forced to ask Saudi Arabia and other Gulf allies for help. And that is why the United States is back in this position of dependence," she said.

Go deeper

Justice Department drops insider trading inquiry against Sen. Richard Burr

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) walking through the Senate Subway in the U.S. Capitol in December 2020. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

The Department of Justice told Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) on Tuesday that it will not move forward with insider trading charges against him.

Why it matters: The decision, first reported by the New York Times, effectively ends the DOJ's investigation into the senator's stock sell-off that occurred after multiple lawmakers were briefed about the coronavirus' potential economic toll. Burr subsequently stepped down as chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Netflix tops 200 million global subscribers

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Netflix said that it added another 8.5 million global subscribers last quarter, bringing its total number of paid subscribers globally to more than 200 million.

The big picture: Positive fourth-quarter results show Netflix's resiliency, despite increased competition and pandemic-related production headwinds.

Janet Yellen plays down debt, tax hike concerns in confirmation hearing

Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen at an event in December. Photo: Alex Wong via Getty Images

Janet Yellen, Biden's pick to lead the Treasury Department, pushed back against two key concerns from Republican senators at her confirmation hearing on Tuesday: the country's debt and the incoming administration's plans to eventually raise taxes.

Driving the news: Yellen — who's expected to win confirmation — said spending big now will prevent the U.S. from having to dig out of a deeper hole later. She also said the Biden administration's priority right now is coronavirus relief, not raising taxes.