Stories by Daniel Gross

  • Thomas Friedman Goes Green In Latest Book

    Thomas Friedman, the New York Times columnist and globalization exponent, has discovered something while racking up air miles. Global warming is a serious issue, the rising price of energy is seriously distorting the global world order, and the trend is not our friend. "Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution," is an impassioned plea for consumers, businesses and politicians to wake up to both the perils and opportunities presented by global warming and the emerging resource-constrained world.The problem, says Friedman, is that the world's getting crowded and hot, thanks to the recent flattening trends discussed in his last megaseller, "The World Is Flat." More people tapping on their computers and zipping around in cars means more competition for resources—particularly energy—and more climate-changing emissions. Among other woes, the convergence of these trends is "intensifying the extinction of plants and animals [and] strengthening petro-dictatorship." If we don't...
  • Gross: The World Needs More Subprime Loans

    What the world needs right now is more subprime lending—a lot more of it. Yes, I know that in the public imagination, subprime lending is the scourge responsible for crippling the U.S. financial system. The massive extension of credit to people who lacked extensive credit histories and documented wages seems, in hindsight, supremely stupid. But far from the madding, depressed crowds of Wall Street, billions of people are starving for credit.Lending tiny sums to people who live on a few dollars a day—street vendors in New Delhi, goatherds in Kenya—doesn't carry the glamour or financial rewards of haute banque. And compared with efforts to vaccinate children, or build dams, it seems like an exercise comparable to shooting pellets at a runaway rhinoceros. But in an era when a great deal of foreign aid has been wasted, or fallen into the hands of corrupt officials, microlending has built a track record of effective poverty relief. Microcredit pioneer Muhammad Yunus, who founded...
  • How Paulson Became the New Face of Capitalism

    Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson has a radical game plan for beating America's financial crisis. This former investment banker may be the right man at the right time.
  • Let’s Rally Around the Green Flag

    In "Hot, Flat, and Crowded," New York Times columnist and globalization exponent Thomas Friedman pleads for Americans to wake up to the perils and opportunities of an emerging resource-strapped world. The author comes across as a blend of Will Rogers, Jack Welch and Norman Vincent Peale—a plain-spoken citizen outraged at the bullheadedness of U.S. politicians, yet optimistic about the power of ingenuity and finely crafted policy to avert disaster. ...
  • Why McCain's Gas Tax Flopped, But Drilling Stuck

    John McCain's proposal for a gas-tax holiday went over like a ton of bricks. But his proposals to open up the continental shelf for drilling have struck a chord. A recent CBS/New York Times poll showed that Americans back offshore drilling, 62-28; a bipartisan group of senators is at work on a compromise, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has signaled openness to the issue. Expect to hear a continuous chorus of "Drill here, drill now" in Minneapolis this week. But as a short-term fix, offshore drilling is just as lame as a gas-tax holiday. Exploring off the beaches of south Florida won't bring new supplies to the market for several years. And when offshore oil does arrive, the amounts will be so small compared with global demand that they won't have much impact on the price we pay. So why has drilling resonated? NEWSWEEK's economics expert Daniel Gross offers five theories: ...
  • Cold Cash, Not Cold War

    How Russia's new economic ties to the West diminish the possibility of a violent confrontation with the U.S.
  • Are Big Name Universities Worth the Money?

    Sticker shock: it's really both. Families who pay huge bills for college educations can take some consolation knowing the degrees yield lifelong dividends.
  • Can Russia Save the U.S. Housing Market?

    In this summer of high-end real-estate purgatory, New York real-estate circles are abuzz over some good news. In early July, a town house on a gilded block of East 64th Street changed hands for $42.5 million. The buyer hasn't been publicly identified. But speculation is centering on Leonard Blavatnik, a Russian oil magnate who last fall paid $50 million to buy the neighboring house from Seagram's heir Edgar Bronfman Jr.A quarter century after the debut of "Red Dawn," in which Patrick Swayze and Charlie Sheen fought back against a Soviet invasion of a bucolic Colorado town, Russians are again occupying promontories in the Rockies. This time they come bearing hard currency rather than Kalashnikovs. Roman Abramovich, the Russian billionaire whose holdings include London's Chelsea soccer team, in May paid $36 million for a 200-acre ranch in Aspen. Recently, Dmitry Rybolovlev, a 41-year-old fertilizer multibillionaire (net worth: about $13 billion), agreed to pay Donald Trump $95 million...
  • Seeing Shades of the 1930s

    The government's efforts to keep Fannie and Freddie afloat have a lot in common with the New Deal.