Janet Yellen wins Senate approval as treasury secretary [AP]
Yellen, a former chair of the Federal Reserve, was approved by the Senate on a 84-15 vote, becoming the third member of Biden’s Cabinet to win confirmation.
Yellen, a former chair of the Federal Reserve, was approved by the Senate on a 84-15 vote, becoming the third member of Biden’s Cabinet to win confirmation.

Democrats See Path to Biden’s Covid-19 Relief Bill Without GOP Help [WSJ]
Republicans have balked at much of Mr. Biden’s plan, meaning Democrats are likely to eventually move to a process called budget reconciliation to pass at least part of the legislation with a simple majority in the Senate. Reconciliation typically limits a bill to tax and spending measures, which means that stimulus checks, the child tax credit and unemployment insurance in Mr. Biden’s proposal would almost surely fit within its restrictions…. Some see it as a way to pass party priorities like raising the minimum wage without ending the filibuster, the Senate rule that in practice means most legislation requires 60 votes to advance….
Mr. Schumer said that Democrats would have two chances to use reconciliation procedures, one for the Covid relief package and likely again to advance Mr. Biden’s climate change and infrastructure plan.

UBS Plans $4.5 Billion Buyback After Wealth Management Surge [Bloomberg]
The lender is doubling the size of a previous program and said it expects to repurchase up to $1.1 billion of shares in the first quarter, according to a statement on Tuesday. The bank finished off the year strongly, with fourth-quarter net income of $1.7 billion that beat analyst estimates and the Zurich-based firm meeting or beating all its targets in 2020…. The focus on wealthy clients -- who benefited from soaring stock markets -- and relatively conservative lending have allowed UBS to sail relatively smoothly through the pandemic. The Swiss bank added just $66 million in the quarter to cover the cost of loans going sour, compared with analyst estimates of $159.5 million. Higher recurring fee income helped drive a 22% gain in private banking, where clients added more than $21 billion in net new money during the quarter.

When Surveillance and Censorship Mean Profits for Private Equity [Bloomberg]
Francisco Partners replaced Sandvine’s entire executive team, including [co-founder Don] Bowman, and Sandvine then began selling to governments with troubling records on human rights, according to interviews with more than a dozen people familiar with the matter and documents reviewed by Bloomberg News. Sandvine had previously dealt exclusively with the private sector, and its pursuit of government contracts, Bowman says, represented “a fundamental shift for the company….”
Belarus used Sandvine’s equipment to help shut down news websites, social media platforms, and messaging apps amid nationwide protests…. Sandvine has said it requested that Belarus return the equipment it had purchased. But that country’s government has declined, and Sandvine can’t force it to do so, according to Francisco Partners.

U.S. Treasury resuming steps to put Harriet Tubman on $20 bill - White House [Reuters]
The redesigned bill was initially to be unveiled in 2020, but those efforts were delayed by the Treasury after former President Donald Trump called them an example of “pure political correctness….”
“It’s important that our notes are... reflective of the history and diversity of our country and Harriet Tubman’s image gracing the new $20 note would certainly reflect that,” [White House Press Secretary Jen] Psaki said. “So we are exploring ways to speed up that effort.”

Chamath Palihapitiya to run for governor of California [Idaho Reporter]
“California is a mess — it’s too expensive, our teachers are underpaid, and our schools aren’t good enough.”-is the message Mr. Palihapitiya is sending via his 1 day old web site CHAMATHFORCA.com./His top priority will be to cut down taxes to 0% which will in turn, according to Palihapitiya “drive growth which will increase the state’s revenue from $15B to $30B.”

Related

By Federalreserve (FED_9638) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Opening Bell: 8.26.16

Carson Block vs St. Jude Medical; What does JP Morgan have to do to get you in a car today; Yellen, Yellen, Yellen; Couple takes wedding pictures on volcano aside hot lava; and more.

Photo: Getty Images

Opening Bell: 9.22.16

Yellen signals 2016 hike coming; Bill Gross is 'verklempt' after Fed decision; Australian hot dog and hamburger combination 'hamdog' coming to U.S.; and more.

yellen-wine

Opening Bell: 1.30.18

Warren, Jamie and Jeff to save American healthcare; Apple in trouble; Yellen walks away a winner; Jamie Dimon has a stalker who isn't us; and more!

george soros

Opening Bell: 6.9.16

George Soros is back; UBS cuts managers; Martin Shkreli The Musical; and more.

Twinkie Trump

Opening Bell: 8.28.18

Trump in a trade cul-de-sac; UBS banker in a pickle; Uber back in the money; Teetotaling kangaroo; and more!

virginatlantic

Opening Bell: 7.1.20

PPP lives?; NAFTA dies; hedge funds, too; no such thing as a free facemask; and more!

tiffany ring

Opening Bell: 10.29.20

Economy rebounds; fear, too; Apollo, Credit Suisse fall; and more!

arod

Opening Bell: 2.5.21

Relief filibuster catches COVID; Giuliani’s guys catch SEC attention; Clover Health, too; A-Rod’s grand SPAC; and more!