How do we fix this recession?
Aside from lowering taxes, we should be directing more money to the real economy, not to the financial economy. The volatility of the markets is so great that more is won or lost in a single day than in five years of accumulated interest. That’s nota good thing.
I don’t know what Warren Buffett pays, but I think that the fiscal policy should be fair. You don’t need to raise taxes on rich people, because they create capitalization and investment. But you need to tax speculation—meaning capital gains. Why should it be just 15 percent? Salaried people pay 35 percent. Why shouldn’t that be paid on capital gains?
You cannot have people retiring at 60 years old, and you cannot provide universal health care the way you do. The focus should be the support of small- and middle-sized business. That is where the employment is. There should be investment in the real economy. Infrastructure is an example. The best way to do that is with the private sector.
You recently paid $44 million for the Doris Duke mansion on Fifth Avenue. Are you planning to spend more time in New York?
No, no, no. It has six or seven floors. Do you think I will live in a house of seven floors? I bought it to build apartments for renting or business. I’ll be staying in a hotel, always.
You’re a rabid New York Yankees fan. Would you like to buy the team?
No. I like baseball to enjoy. If you are in business, you are not enjoying. You are working. It’s more fun to watch them play.
You lent The New York Times Co. $250 million at 14 percent interest, own more than 7 percent of the company, and have warrants to increase your holdings to 16 percent by 2015. What’s up?
It’s a financial investment. It was a very good sign when they paid back the loan early. I think it’s a good company and a great brand. We are not speculating. We are there for a long time. But if the stock goes down more, it will be interesting because it will come back more.
What if they start writing critical articles about Carlos Slim?
They have done that.