CNBC's Tyler Mathisen looks back at the week's top business and financial stories.» Read More
It's been easy over the last few months to feel a bit sorry for Hank Paulson. He left Goldman Sachs, reluctantly, to lead President Bush's second-term Treasury in the belief that his skills might help solve two thorny problems: deteriorating political sentiment toward China's rising economic might, and the long-term insolvency of the U.S. entitlement programs as the Baby Boom generation heads toward retirement.
Even on vacation in Alaska last week, I couldn't avoid the news about politics and money fom back in Washington. After taking my kids to see the sea lions and seals at the splendid Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward, I looked in the local newspaper box and saw a headline declaring that the investigations of Sen. Ted Stevens and his son have extended to the SeaLife Center itself.
Karl Rove, close political adviser to U.S. President George W. Bush and a lightning rod for anger among Democrats, has said he will leave the White House at the end of this month.
Just like President Bush and Congress, I'm going away on vacation. But I will surely return to work before they will--on Aug. 15. I'll talk to you then--about the issues affecting your wallet in Washington, and the accelerating pace of the 2008 presidential race.
As Congress scrambled to finish up before summer vacation, I talked to House Republican Whip Roy Blunt of Missouri. Like all minorities in the House of recent vintage, the House GOP is getting steamrolled on vote after vote. But Blunt says he's happy with his party's positioning.
I sat down in Rochester, New Hampshire earlier this week with Rudy Giuliani, the national front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination. In between town hall meetings, where he's trying to erase Mitt Romney's lead in the first primary state, we discussed a wide range of issues--from his new health care plan designed to counter Democrats' "socialized medicine," to his opposition to private equity tax increases that he says could damage capital markets, to his support for free trade with China despite protectionist pressures.
I had an interesting lunch in Washington yesterday with Gov. Jon Corzine of New Jersey, thankfully on the mend after his horrendous auto accident earlier this year. It was all the more interesting for the fact that I had interviewed his sort-of political neighbor, Rudy Giuliani, two days before. Corzine sharply disputed Giuliani's assessment of several economic issues. That's not surprising, since Corzine is a liberal Democrat who supports Hillary Clinton for president and Giuliani is seeking the Republican nomination.
Presidential candidate Rudolph Giuliani laid out his vision for health care, taxes and the markets in a CNBC interview.
I’m in Rochester, NH with Rudy Giuliani. This morning at a town meeting he’ll describe some new elements of his health care policy, which I described in an article in this morning’s Wall Street Journal. In an interview with me yesterday, the former New York City mayor described development of the traditionally-anemic market for individually-purchased health insurance policies as the centerpiece of his plan.
From my email and the blogosphere, I see that some people have taken exception to my remarks on "Meet the Press" Sunday (see clip below) about Hillary Clinton and the Washington Post article about her display of cleavage on the Senate floor. My point was, and remains, as follows:
Here are a few things I'll be following this week, as the capital battles summer doldrums: Washington Watches Wall Street. Top Bush advisers I talked to over the weekend shrugged off last week's market turbulence. One noted dozens of movements of similar magnitude on a percentage basis in recent years. Another cited Ben Stein's observation that market hand-wringing is "not anything but smoke being blown." The Dow opens Monday 6 percent up for the year.
The world of business and finance may consider the fight between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton over foreign policy, which emerged at this week's YouTube debate, as irrelevant to their concerns. That view is wrong. It's true that, in a narrow sense, neither Wall Street nor the investor community has a direct stake in the back and forth over whether either prospective Democratic president would agree to face to face meetings with Hugo Chavez or Fidel Castro or other anti-American tyrants.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson also reiterated previous statements that he sees "subprime risk as largely contained" and that he is "very much for a strong dollar," noting that strong growth outside of the U.S. has driven the dollar lower.
Volatility in in the air this morning, signaling another up and down day for Wall Street.Asian markets took a beating overnight after the big drop in U.S. stocks yesterday. Japan was off 2.4% and Korea fell 4%, its worse decline in three years. European markets were able to stem the wave of global selling in equities for a while but rolled over as U.S. futures slid. Some markets there are now moving higher.
North Carolina Senator and Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards argued on CNBC Thursday that maintaining long-term economic growth requires a tax structure designed to benefit the middle class--and it can be done without hindering Wall Street.
Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards--once again seeking to drive the 2008 campaign debate within his party--will today propose raising the capital gains tax rate to 28% from 15%, and use the money to finance tax cuts for middle and lower income families. While raising the capital gains levy to that level, which Edwards points out was a rate once signed into law by President Ronald Reagan, Edwards proposes a series of breaks for those not currently thriving in the U.S. economy..
The tax debate is sharpening. The John Edwards' campaign tells me he'll deliver a speech in Iowa tomorrow on tax policy changes to make the IRS code reward "work, not wealth" in a greater way than it does now. Details come in Des Moines tomorrow morning--just as Bush Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson is holding a conference on the need to cut corporate taxes to spur the economy.
As Robert Palmer might sing it, 'we might as well face it, the Democratic presidential candidates are addicted to war.' Which is another way of saying that Iraq, the issue that has most driven down President Bush's popularity, is driving the debate in the Democratic debate as well. The economy is not.
The sound of marching military cadets is not normally considered the Democratic theme song. That makes the scene here in Charleston,SC, hours before the Democratic presidential candidates debate on the campus of The Citadel, decidedly out of the ordinary. But then there's nothing ordinary about this debate. In an attempt to link an old political format to new technology, questions will be posed to the candidates via YouTube.