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."
Follow Mark Koba on Twitter @MarkKobaCNBC.
It's almost the end of the financial world as we know it-- in New York City. At least that's according to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (R) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY). Both men say NYC--and the U.S. for that matter-- are losing their competitive edge as leaders in financial dealings. Today--the politicos released a study done by the mayor's office and consultant group McKinsey that apparently proves the point.
Most analysts have been watching the price of oil and how low it will go as a way to measure inflation in the U.S. But--there may be a new item on the inflation "menu" to keep an eye on: food. When oil went to high prices this past summer--the ethanol boom sent investors to corn (corn is used for making ethanol). Some economists now say agri-culture.....
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.