Monday, July 5, 2010

Fareed Zakaria on Obama's CEO Problem

Fareed Zakaria is the Darling of Davos, the Mensch of Manhattan, the Zeitgeist of Zurich (yes, I know, you get it), everyone's favorite sufficiently unidentifiably ethnic (is he American? Euro? Pak?) observer on the international scene has gathered his friends from the world of business in his tony salon and concluded that they are not happy.  Why aren't they happy?  Well, it appears the Obama Administration has acquired the reputation of being a wee-bit anti-business.  Say it ain't so!

I watch CNBC quite a bit in the afternoons as the markets wind down, some days a couple of hours of it.  I remember during the primaries in 2008 and then in the general, there was this glib, hip, "he's one of us" vibe coming from many of the traders and CEO's interviewed.  Barack Obama was seen as un-threatening, he was going to save the economy and get America back to work.  His internationalist view was going to make doing business around the world easier. 

Now we're 18 months into it--the Obamanation--and the interviews are increasingly more negative.  There is dismay in the American business community--on Wall Street and every other street where business is done.  Here's one of Fareed's buddies:  "One CEO told me, "Almost every agency we deal with has announced some expansion of its authority, which naturally makes me concerned about what's in store for us for the future." Another pointed out that between the health-care bill, financial reform and possibly cap-and-trade, his company had lawyers working day and night to figure out the implications of all these new regulations." 

This Administration is the most anti-business and anti-capital group of my lifetime.  They have succeeded in driving trillions of dollars in cash to the sidelines because there is no confidence in the markets.  Everyone's waiting for the next shoe to drop.  Does anyone know what their personal income taxes are going to look like in 2011?  The Bush tax cuts --across the board tax cuts mind you--are set to expire next year.  If they do, every single taxpayer in America is liable to pay more, and some who did not pay taxes this year will.  I call that a tax increase--I'm sure the Dems won't.  What about the capital gains rate?  Will it increase?  This is just the environment for individuals.  What about corporate taxes?  What about cap and trade?  What about the impact of the healthcare bill? 

The bottom line is that there is a bunker mentality in the business community and Barack Obama is the dive bomber keeping their heads down.  There is no mystery here--this is what most of us predicted from the Obama Administration.  That so many on Wall Street were suckered by his smooth talk and his crypto-socialist ways still drives me nuts.  Simple truth here friends--the US economy will not resume growing at anything like an acceptable rate until Mr. Obama is replaced in the White House. 


Mark said...

I saw this bumper sticker yesterday:

"Obamanomics: Trickle Up Poverty"

How true.

Thorn said...

So are left with a choice between Dems who will over-regulate and over-reach and MOPs (Mediocre Old Party) who will under-regulate, under-supervise and take no responsibility for the outcome? Crud.

The Conservative Wahoo said...

Ah yes, Thorn continues his slide into Obamunism, complete with the adoption of the straw man argument.

Thorn said...

This is me not responding.

The Conservative Wahoo said...

Tee hee.

BigFred said...

And when is he going to pick a church? And how is that garden at the White House working out? Are they able to water in this heat, with much of MD on a water ban until that main is replaced? And how about the dog, whats his name? Bo/Beaux? Who had to be hypoallergenic or something?

I drag you through this for two reasons: (1) Velociman does not publish as often as I would like.
(2) The above topics are what something more than 50% of Americans were concerned about in the opening days of "...this Administration..." and in love with the "Office of the President-Elect", and changing their corporate logos to closer align to the President's own, which I now refer to as Obama-Cola. Hey Pepsi, nice work. Any idea how bad your going to take it in the shorts when the bush tax cuts expire? As I have said so many times here and on the radioshow, had I voted for Obama, I would feel cheated, and want my money back. You know, from Acorn.

Goldwater's Ghost said...

Does anyone know what their personal income taxes are going to look like in 2011?

Arthur Laffer does, and he suspects this is one of the reasons why there is any semblance of a market 'recovery' in 2010 - corporations are pulling profits forward ahead of 2011 tax hikes.

"The Hammer" said...

The issue isn't regulation vs. non-regulation. It's smart regulation vs. dumb regulation. Nobody wants the traffic lights torn down (smart regulation) but everybody was overjoyed when Carter's nationwide 55 mph speed limit was finally shitcanned (bad regulation).
Q.What's the purpose of regulating economic activity?
A. To make sure everything runs smoothly: i.e. there's a level playing field (or as level as possible), to give a little predictability to markets and to provide an environment for creation and growth. The purpose is not to drive behavior in a certain direction, or at least it shouldn't be.
Farouk El Raghead can kiss off, he don't know dick.

PK said...

"The economic crisis forced the government to expand its authority in dozens of areas, from finance to automobiles." Really?

"The Hammer" said...

Ayn Rand said progressives would regulate business to the point they could no longer solve their own problems, then declare that freedom and capitalism doesn't work.
Hey, call me crazy but that looks like what happened to GM.

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