10 Things in Politics: Wall Street says economy’s about to roar back

Wall Street.
Wall Street Matteo Colombo/Getty Images

Good morning! Welcome back to 10 Things in Politics. Sign up here to get this newsletter in your inbox each day.

Send your tips and thoughts to [email protected] or tweet me @BrentGriffiths.

Here’s what you need to know:


1. HERE COMES THE BOOM: Top Wall Street firms predict the economy will return to pre-pandemic levels later this month. Morgan Stanley expects US GDP to jump 8.1% this year, citing faster vaccinations, stronger-than-expected job growth, and a more normal economy. Other predictions aren’t as bullish, but the consensus is that a powerful boost is on the horizon.

  • Fast recovery does have some drawbacks: Higher prices for rent, healthcare, and staple goods will lift inflation to 2.6% in April and May, before easing to 2.3% at the end of the year, economists say.

Another reason for the rosy projections: President Biden’s $US1.9 ($2) trillion stimulus package is expected to pass the House later today. Biden has pledged to sign it into law soon after.

What’s in the bill: $US1,400 ($1,817) checks for many Americans (minus the presidential signature); $US300 ($389) per week in federal unemployment insurance; $US350 ($454) billion for state and local governments. More info here.


Maria Bartiromo
Maria Bartiromo of Fox News. Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

2. Fox’s Maria Bartiromo is gunning for a prime-time slot: Her “close relationship with Trump has helped her gin up ratings and won her fans on the political right. But with Trump gone, Bartiromo is hoping she can still keep the audiences tuning in,” Insider’s Claire Atkinson writes in her exclusive profile published this morning.

But if Bartiromo fails to fill the 7 p.m. opening, she may have to do some serious work repairing her relationships with corporate America. Many CEOs are hesitant to court controversy by going on her show.

  • Key quote: “She’s totally put her career in jeopardy. The problem now is everything that happened since the election, her association with him makes her toxic to any CEO she wants to interview,” Bartiromo’s former CNBC colleague Bill Melnick said.

Read our exclusive report here.


3. Alaska is the first state to allow anyone over 16 to get a vaccine: The state has the highest COVID-19 vaccination rate in the country, with 16.4% – or 119,631 of its 728,903 residents – fully vaccinated. Dr. Anne Zink, Alaska’s chief medical officer, said the decision was made after seeing open vaccination appointments.


4. The royal family broke its silence on Harry and Meghan’s interview: Buckingham Palace, in a statement on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II, said it was “saddened to learn” that the Sussexes felt the institution failed to support or defend them.

On the allegation of racism, the statement said: “The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning.” While not directly disputing the couple’s accounts, the royal family offered that “some recollections may vary.” More on the fallout here.


FBI video
Video footage released by the FBI of a suspect in the planting of pipe bombs in Washington, DC. Screenshot via FBI/YouTube

5. FBI releases new footage of the suspect who placed pipe bombs before the Capitol riot: The bombs were left outside both the Democratic and Republican party headquarters on the night of January 5. The footage shows the suspect carrying a backpack believed to be containing the bombs. The FBI even has a close-up on the gray Nike Air Max Speed Turf shoes the person was wearing.


6. The top things for your calendar, all times Eastern:

  • 12:00 p.m.: The Senate votes on Marcia Fudge’s nomination to lead HUD. Merrick Garland (DOJ) and Michael Regan (EPA) will also have confirmation votes later.
  • 12:30 p.m.: Jen Psaki holds the White House daily news briefing.
  • 1:30 p.m.: Secretary of State Antony Blinken testifies before the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
  • 3:00 p.m.: Biden hosts an event with the CEOs of Johnson & Johnson and Merck.
  • Afternoon: The House votes on Biden’s relief plan.

7. Trump tries to cut off the GOP: The former president is urging his supporters to donate directly to him and not to support Republican campaign committees that benefit “RINOs and fools.” Trump previously sent out cease-and-desist letters to top GOP committees saying they could not use his name or image. The latest move came after the Republican National Committee moved part of its spring retreat to Mar-a-Lago.


8. President Carter says he’s “angry” to see Georgia Republicans try to restrict voting: The oldest living former president slammed efforts by state lawmakers to impose voting restrictions after Biden became the first Democrat to win the state since 1992. Carter was an international election observer after his presidency and co-chaired a bipartisan commission on election reform. Read more on what’s happening in Georgia.


9. GOP lawmakers want a #FreeBritney hearing: Reps. Jim Jordan and Matt Gaetz want the House Judiciary Committee to hold a hearing on court-ordered conservatorships. Their reference to the “Free Britney” movement follows the Hulu documentary on pop star Britney Spears’ 13-year fight for control of her estate after a court placed her under a conservatorship. More on the debate here.


10. The “Pablo Escobear” story: Elizabeth Banks is to direct a movie about “cocaine bear,” a black bear that died of a drug overdose in 1985 after it consumed 32kg of the drug hurled from a plane by a Kentucky narcotics-officer-turned-drug-dealer. The bear was later preserved with taxidermy. Its nickname is Pablo Escobear and it wears a big cowboy hat.


Today’s trivia question: Who was the first reigning British monarch to visit the US? Bonus: When did it happen? Email your guess and a suggested question to me at [email protected].

  • Yesterday’s answer: Betty White was the first woman to win a Daytime Emmy for game-show hosting. She was honored for NBC’s “Just Men!” in 1983. It took until 2005 for another woman to win: Meredith Vieira for hosting “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.” (Vieira won it again in 2009.)