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Wilbur Ross (left) and Larry Kudlow (right). Photo by Brandan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Wilbur Ross, who served as U.S. Commerce Secretary during all of former President Trump's term, has turned his attention to the booming market for blank check companies, or SPACs.

Driving the news: Ross will serve as president, chairman and CEO of a new SPAC that seeks to raise $345 million in an IPO. Among those on its board of directors is Larry Kudlow, Trump's former chief economic adviser who recently joined Fox Business Channel to host a new program.

Between the lines: SPACs seek to raise money from public market investors, and then use that capital to help purchase a private company.

  • Once the purchase is complete, the acquired company becomes publicly traded.
  • Already in 2020, 100 SPACs have completed IPOs, raising over $29 billion.

Ross, who made his fortune as a private equity investor, is joined on his SPAC by some executives from private equity firm BroadPeak Global.

  • Many SPACs target specific industries, but this one appears to be sector agnostic.

Go deeper

Updated 39 mins ago - Health

California surpasses 50,000 COVID-19 deaths

A man prepares a funeral arrangement in in Los Angeles, California, Feb. 12. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

California's death toll from COVID-19 surpassed 50,000 on Wednesday, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: It's the first state to record more than 50,000 deaths from the coronavirus.

2 hours ago - Technology

Facebook bans Myanmar military

A protester holds a placard with a three-finger salute in front of a military tank parked aside the street in front of the Central Bank building during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar. Photo by Aung Kyaw Htet/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Facebook said on Wednesday it would ban the rest of the Myanmar military from its platform.

The big picture: It comes some three weeks after the military overthrew the civilian government in a coup and detained leader Aung San Suu Kyi, causing massive protests to erupt throughout the country. Military leaders have been using internet blackouts to try to maintain power in light of the coup.

It's harder to fill the Cabinet

Data: Chamberlain, 2020, "United States of America Cabinet Appointments Dataset" Chart: Will Chase/Axios

It's harder now for presidents to win Senate confirmation for their Cabinet picks, an Axios data analysis of votes for and against nominees found.

Why it matters: It's not just Neera Tanden. The trend is a product of growing polarization, rougher political discourse and slimming Senate majorities, experts say. It means some of the nation's most vital federal agencies go without a leader and the legislative authority that comes with one.