Newsletter - Weekending September 24

Why it matters: Treasury has almost unlimited financial power.

  • Treasury secretaries seen as being friendly to Wall Street — think Robert Rubin, Larry Summers or Tim Geithner — invariably exit to multimillion-dollar salaries in the financial sector. Steven Mnuchin has managed to do even better for himself.

Driving the news: Mnuchin has raised $2.5 billion so far for a private equity fund, including from Saudi Arabia, a country toward whom he was notably friendly while in office. If the fund is structured with a standard 2% management fee, that’s $50 million per year right there for Mnuchin and his colleagues, before they make a single penny from investment returns.

  • What we're reading: The New York Times has an in-depth story about how accountants cycle into Treasury, do a tour of duty there that often involves enforcing the law in business-friendly ways, and then cycle straight back out to their own firms "with loftier titles and higher pay."

The bottom line: As Summers himself says, "The real scandal is not the illegal things people do, rather it’s what is legal."

5. Coming up: Warby Parker goes public

eyeglasses on a pile of money

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Shares of Warby Parker are set to begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange next Wednesday, Axios’ Hope King writes.

Why it matters: The direct-to-consumer eyewear maker is going public via a direct listing, which means there's not going to be an IPO price.

  • Its shares have traded privately this year at $24.53 each; if the company trades on the public markets at that level, it would be worth roughly $2.7 billion.

6. Building of the week: L'Arc de Triomphe, wrapped

The posthumous triumph of Christo and Jeanne-Claude, their L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped, was first conceived in 1961.

What they're saying: "Seen up close, the wrapped arch is an almost nonsensical sight. The monument is more than 160 feet tall and nearly as wide; rippling fabric doesn’t make sense for a structure of this scale," writes CityLab's Kriston Capps.

  • French president Emmanuel Macron called it "a crazy dream come true".

The arch will be unwrapped and restored to its former state on Oct. 3.

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