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?

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.