Daniel Gross

Stories by Daniel Gross

  • Gross: McCain Lost Track of the Economic Narrative

    In 1992, for Bill Clinton, it was the economy, stupid. In 2008, for John McCain, it was the stupid economy. Exit polls showed that 62 percent of the electorate said the economy was the most important issue.But when, precisely, did John McCain lose the narrative on the economy? Was it in July, when adviser Phil Gramm, discussing the "mental recession," noted that "we've sort of become a nation of whiners"? Perhaps it was back in December 2007, when McCain said, "The issue of economics is not something I've understood as well I should." Or was McCain's economic goose cooked long before the campaigns started? Ray Fair, the Yale professor who plugs macroeconomic data into an election-predicting model, said, "Since November 2006, the model has consistently been predicting that the Democratic candidate would get about 52 percent of the two-party vote."McCain managed to give Obama a run for the money through mid-September. But the polls began to turn against him when the global financial...
  • The Anatomy of Fear, and Its Effect on the Economy

    The technology that transmits odors and fragrances digitally is still in the very early stages of development. But on Monday, Oct. 6, the whiff of fear emanating from the television was overwhelming. James Cramer, CNBC star, ex-hedge-fund manager, mascot of the 1990s tech boom and the recent bull market, was throwing up his hands. "There's always a bull market somewhere" has long been one of his signature lines. But Cramer admitted to the "Today" show's Ann Curry that "somewhere" was now nowhere to be found. "Whatever money you may need for the next five years, please take it out of the stock market right now, this week," he pleaded. "I do not believe that you should risk those assets in the stock markets." (Article continued below...)In the ensuing days, many investors—professional and amateur alike—took Cramer's advice. As a series of global convulsions shook markets from New York to Tokyo, and all points in between, thestock markets plummeted, with the S&P ending the week...
  • 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.