Mark Koba is a senior editor at CNBC.com. Topics for his feature story writing include the business of politics, health care, employment and the economy.
Before working at CNBC.com, he spent 11 years at Bloomberg LP, where among various duties, he was program producer for the award-winning "Bloomberg Small Business" television show.
Koba's background includes a decade of news writing and show producing at CNN, E! Entertainment Television, ABC's "World News Now," "Good Morning America" and CBS' "This Morning."
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Alberto Vollmer owns a sugar plantation and rum factory in Venezuela. In fact--he owned thousands of acres that had been in his family for some 200 years. That was until 18 months ago when the government of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez took 2,500 of those acres--1/3 of Vollmer's total land--as part of his proclaimed "socialist revolution."
President Bush will give the State of The Union speech next Tuesday night to both Houses of Congress--and the American people--and he does at at time when he has one of the lowest approval ratings of his presidency. So--what can he say at such a time? CNBC's John Harwood appeared on "Squawk Box" to give his preview of the speech--and he was joined in commentary with former GE CEO Jack Welch...
Today's U.S. housing numbers that we've been reporting have some very good news--and some not so good news (seems most economic reports out lately are a double edged sword). First--the housing starts for multi-family homes are up 42% in the month of December (the largest jump since April of 2005.) Great, right? Well hold on. CNBC's Diana Olick reported from a KB Home site in Florida--that the celebration might be premature.
House and Senate Democrats are certainly trying to shake things up on Capitol Hill. Both chambers are expected to push an energy package through for some $15 billion in fees, taxes and royalties on big oil (we'll have another post on this subject). But--they're doing a lot more says CNBC's John Harwood on "Power Lunch."
The current field of Democrats running--or thought to be running--for the White House in 2008 might be shaking Wall Street to its roots. The 'fear' is based on getting a president that's unfriendly to the Street's business friendly philosophy. Among the early frontrunners is a one time Wal-Mart board member (Hillary Clinton), an ex-trial lawyer (John Edwards) and a relatively unknown (Barack Obama).
We've been mentioning the price of oil and Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez in the same sentence in some previous posts. This is in light of his moves to nationalize some of his country's utilities. It might be worth a look to see why he's popular-- for the most part--in Venezuela. CNBC's Michelle Caruso-Cabrera is on assignment in Venezuela...
He's Boone Pickens--he's CEO of the private equity firm BP Capital--and he's a major "player" when it comes to oil (he has an estimated worth of $2.7 billion). He called in to "Squawk Box" this morning to talk about the falling price of crude. A little background before we get to what Pickens said.
He's running--sort of. U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) is a major step closer to actually running for the presidential nomination of his party. Obama announced in high-tech fashion (on his personal Web site) that he's formed an exploratory committee to run for the top spot on the presidential ticket in 2008.
Telecommunications giant Verizon --got a bit smaller today--after announcing a $2.7 billion transaction to spin off its local exchange assets in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. Verizon plans to merge the assets with FairPoint Communications. This was good news for FairPoint's stock--it's been up as high as 13% today.
Many in the U.S. business community are concerned over regulations that they think are hurting them in key areas--like IPOs. According to the Committee on Capital Markets Regulation--the U.S. raised only 5% of the value of global IPOs last year. That's compared to 50% in 2000.