Daniel Gross

Stories by Daniel Gross

  • Obama: Taking Care of Business?

    In case you hadn’t noticed, President Obama has been on a mission to love-bomb corporate America in recent weeks, from cutting a deal to extend Bush-era tax rates to peppering the State of the Union address with paens to private enterprise. But are business leaders buying into the courtship?
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    Gross: Are We Out of the Economic Slump Yet?

    Pundits will say President Obama’s poll numbers are rising because he can define himself against the GOP, he’s cutting deals, and he’s shifting to the center with new appointments. Bollocks. Most Americans can’t tell Bill Daley (the new, corporate-friendly chief of staff) from Rahm Emanuel (the old, corporate-friendly chief of staff). No, Obama’s slowly improving political fundamentals—just in time for his State of the Union address, thank you very much—can be attributed to steadily improving economic fundamentals. In early January, he said, “We’ve got a big hole that we’re digging ourselves out of.” But how much of the shoveling is behind us—and how much more do we have left? We offer a progress report on the recovery.
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    Economy: Debt and Politics

    Global leaders may not have much time in their schedules for Broadway shows, but it’s their loss if they’ve missed Al Pacino’s star turn on Broadway as Shylock in "The Merchant of Venice."
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    Austerity, But Not for All

    The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. But is 2011 the year this adage no longer holds?
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    Taxing My Patience

    Here are five things you need to know about the debate over extending the temporary tax cuts Congress passed almost a decade ago.
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    'Wall Street 2': A Day Late and Many Dollars Short

    When he first appears in "Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps," Michael Douglas’s Gordon Gekko—older, gray, thicker around the midsection—is lecturing at a college about the out-of-control debt culture. The inside trader has reinvented himself as a scold.
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    Rock-Bottom Prices!

    Welcome to the lowball culture. In a world of sluggish growth, excess capacity, and depressed expectations, buyers of goods and services—labor, houses, and restaurant meals, among others—have come to believe that desperate sellers should take any offer they make. But that kind of systemic bargain hunting can create a dangerous spiral: employers short-change workers, workers buy fewer goods—and the overall economy suffers.
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    A Successful Turn

    With Ford's restructuring, and the bankruptcies of General Motors and Chrysler, the U.S. auto industry has shrunk and cut costs to the point at which it can make money on a smaller, more realistic number of sales. Is this a new normal?
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    CEO Crybabies

    The newly passed financial-reform bill requires CEOs of public companies to measure and report the ratio of their pay to that of their workers. Blackstone Group CEO Stephen Schwarzman is complaining that the Obama administration is like Hitler invading Poland. With government and the media making life so difficult for CEOs, it must be nearly impossible to turn a profit. Right? Um, not really.
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    What the JetBlue Guy Says About the Economy

    It may seem ironic that signs of employee dissatisfaction should emerge at a time of high unemployment, but it’s hardly surprising. For the two phenomena—the poor labor market and workers’ antagonism toward employers and customers—are actually connected. Employees are sick and tired of tough conditions and crummy salaries.
  • How Businesses Aren't Helping Matters

    The financial crisis forced many employers to cut or stop 401(k) matches. But for many, their profits are back, but not the retirement contributions. Here's why it's time for them to restore perks.
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    The Volt Jolt

    General Motors has announced that the bottom-end version of the Chevy Volt, its new electric car, will cost $41,000. Even after a generous federal rebate, it's still pricey.
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    Restore the Estate Tax!

    The billionaire, the union leader, and the heiress trying to bring back the tax on inherited wealth.
  • Why Investment Bankers Are Hurting

    Let's pause and shed a tear for a class of American workers who are suffering unduly thanks to big, uncontrollable trends in the global economy. The slowdown and uncertainty in the markets is reducing demand for their services. They've become political punching bags. They're America's investment bankers.
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    Why CEOs Are Never Happy

    After an eight-year slumber, the Environmental Protection Agency is issuing regulations again. Two years after an appalling financial debacle, Congress is finally moving to regulate Wall Street. But to hear our nation’s commercial chieftains tell it, it’s enough to plunge us back into recession.
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    Goldman's $550 Million Settlement: Its Best Trade Ever

    Goldman Sachs has long been known for being a sharp trader. And the settlement announced with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday seems like a great trade. Goldman agreed to pay $550 million to settle charges that it had misled investors about mortgage-related products. How is this a smart trade for Goldman, its top executives, and its shareholders? Let us count the ways.
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    The Miracle Deficit Cure? Growth.

    On Tuesday, the Treasury reported the federal government's receipts and expenses for June. The upshot: through the first nine months of fiscal 2010 (which started last fall), the federal government has run a $1 trillion deficit.
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    Why a Higher Postal Rate Is Good for the Economy

    When the U.S. Postal Service loses money, it's effectively subsidizing inefficient business models and operations. And less mail would be better for the economy, better for businesses and consumers, and better for the environment.