The best line in U.S. President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address was his contention that “this is our generation’s Sputnik moment.”
UPDATE — Since I wrote this column early on Thursday morning, my prediction (in the final paragraph), that we would today hear more about Immelt and his ideas on how to create U.S. jobs has been vindicated: President Obama this morning appointed Immelt to lead his outside panel of economic advisers. To hear more from Immelt, watch my exclusive interview with him here.
Earlier this week in her exclusive interview with Jeff Immelt, Chrystia asked whether the GE head would replace Paul Volcker as chairman of President Obama’s outside panel of economic advisers. Immelt ducked the question a bit, saying he would leave that decision to the President. Today it became clear why he was noncommittal as the White House announced that Immelt will chair a new Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, the successor to the President’s Economic Recovery of Advisory Board which Paul Volcker chaired.
As President Barack Obama’s new lieutenants settle into their offices in the White House, talk has turned again to the revolving door between Washington and Wall Street: William Daley, the president’s chief of staff, arrives from JPMorgan Chase, where he earned millions; Gene Sperling, the new top economic adviser, collected $887,727 from Goldman Sachs for advice on a charity project on a recent hiatus from government.
Watch Chrystia and Reuters finance blogger Felix Salmon discuss how to find “frisson” at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting at Davos, starting with that 20-minute cab ride with the Ayatollah. Oh, and the reinstatement of Russia’s president – all because of Davos.
For anyone who ever hoped Russia could become a liberal, free-market democracy, the grim trial last month of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the former oil tycoon who was once his country’s richest man, offered a slender solace—it was widely and loudly condemned.
The January/February issue of The Atlantic features Chrystia’s cover story, “The Rise of the New Global Elite.” The piece discusses the rise in income inequality over the past few decades, how today’s tycoons are more likely to be self-made and cosmopolitan than the plutocrats of the past, and how the new elite have more in common with the nouveau riche in emerging markets than with their own countrymen.
Though the ongoing crisis in Europe dominated Chrystia’s interview with Dominique Strauss-Kahn last Thursday, the IMF head has much to say about the economic outlook for the United States. He believesthe biggest issue facing the U.S. right now is growth — not deficits — although he added that America needs a medium-term plan for fiscal consolidation.
Yesterday, IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn sat down with Chrystia at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., for an hour-long Newsmaker interview. The European sovereign debt crisis dominated most of the conversation. The IMF chief admitted that the situation “worried” him and that he wanted Europeans to find a more “comprehensive” solution: