Money Matters

Fox Business Network's Lori Rothman

Fox Business Network anchor Lori Rothman where the economy has been — and where it’s going

Why has America has become so fascinated by business news – enough to support three major channels devoted exclusively to business coverage?

Nearly three years ago, we witnessed the collapse of the financial markets and subsequently the economy. People lost huge amounts of money in their savings and retirement funds; they lost their jobs and their homes. Today the economy is still fragile with the housing market weak and the job market showing only minor improvement. This has all been a wakeup call that you have to keep follow the markets and the economy because it can impact so aspects of your life.

Business has for so long been predominantly a male industry; do you see this changing? What’s it like being a woman in business?

We are seeing more and more women enter into business.  We’re especially seeing a lot of women starting or holding influential positions in small and mid-sized businesses. Wall Street is growing again, and you see more women involved with investment banking and hedge funds and other alternative investment-type firms. There are, however, only a handful of female CEO’s right now, among Fortune 500 companies. I’d like to see that change.  As for me, there happen to be a lot of female business journalists, so I certainly don’t feel alone in my field. But we do interview a lot more men than women on various subjects.

We are bombarded with two political agendas, it seems. Is it possible to create more jobs and spend less at the same time?

This is a very hotly debated right now on Wall Street, Main Street and Capitol Hill.  My thoughts are that we can create jobs and spend less. Job creation by the private sector comes from increased demand from consumers and confidence in the state of the economy. Spending cuts in Washington can actually help spur hiring. If we cut spending we may not need to increase taxes, as many have argued we don’t have a revenue problem we have a spending problem. The less taxes we impose not only on corporations but on individuals the more it encourages spending and in turn hiring.

What’s the most important story you’ve covered to date?

I was covering the New York Stock Exchange on the morning of September 11, 2001. We were four blocks away from the World Trade Center. It was a horrifying day for everyone. And returning to Ground Zero, in the immediate days and months after the attack, reporting on the human and economic crisis, were among the most challenging of my entire life and career.

Tell us the story that you are covering right now that will have the most impact on consumers.

The most important story for consumers right now is the state of employment in the country. While the unemployment rate is down to its lowest level in two years, there are still 13.5 million people who are still unemployed — and the average length of unemployment is at a record 39 weeks. Consumer spending accounts for over 70% of the nation’s GDP, but if those consumers don’t have jobs, they aren’t spending. We need a healthy consumer to have a healthy economy and that can only happen if we see significant job growth.

Many of wOw’s readers are approaching retirement. It used to be thought that the percentage of your portfolio that was in bonds should be your age.  (If you’re 60, it should be 60%, etc.) Is that still true?

It’s hard to generalize what everyone’s portfolio should look like, but in general the older you get the more conservative you want to be in your portfolio. Rather than put one solid number on it as you enter your 60s, try to talk to your financial advisors and fine-tune your asset allocations every 2 to 3 years. If your situation changes, for example if you sell your home, the way your investments are allocated may also need to change. However, most investment advisors would still recommend that at least 50%-60% of your portfolio be in bonds or other assets considered safe.

Tax Day is Monday! For Lori’s top five last-minute tips, click here

Lori Rothman joined FOX Business Network (FBN) in September 2010 as an anchor.
Previously, she served as a dayside anchor at Bloomberg Television covering markets, corporate earnings, and the global economic recession; as a morning news anchor at NBC affiliate WPTZ-TV Burlington/Plattsburgh; and as a weekend anchor for CBS affiliate KREX-TV in Grand Junction, Colorado.

23 Responses so far.

  1. avatar Baby Snooks says:

    The less taxes we impose not only on corporations but on individuals the more it encourages spending and in turn hiring.

    I think you meant to say “wealthy individuals” and they, like most corprorations, pay very little in taxes and as we have already seen via the Bush Tax Cuts for the Haves and Have-Mores tax cuts for the corporations and the wealthy do not “trickle down” nor do they create jobs.

    The actual unemployment rate is estimated to be somewhre between 25 and 35%. That includes the millions of Americans who never qualified for unemployment benefits and those who did but whose benefits ended and who are not included in the “official” figures. Some have found part-time jobs. Many have found none. The homeless populations in our major cities is visibly growing. And will grow even more as a result of cuts in social programs by Congress.

    None of this is being by Main Street. Only by K Street and Wall Street.  Neither of which cares about Main Street.

    • avatar phyllis Doyle Pepe says:

      Your quote from Rothman is the old canard of trickle down which amazes me that it apparently has legs albeit extremely shaky. John Kenneth Galbraith noted that supply-side economics was not a new theory, that S.S.E. was merely a cover for the trickle-down approach to economic policy during the Reagan era which David Stockman now attests to. It’s what an older and less elegant generation called the horse-and-sparrow theory: If you feed the horse enough oats, some will pass through to the road for the sparrows. And by the by, this theory was partly to blame for the Panic of 1896––way back then.

  2. avatar Bella Mia says:

    We have the second highest corporate income tax rate in the world, so businesses just move to other countries.
    California lost at least 69 businesses, since January 2011, many to Texas due to the high taxes in California. People and businesses are fleeing New Jersey, where I live because of the high taxes. Elderly people lose their homes every year because their taxes have gone up and they cannot afford to pay.

    “Why do these and the other companies move out of California? Vranich has updated his top 10 reasons that California companies call the moving van.

    “Number 10 is new: Energy costs soaring because of new laws and regulations. Commercial electrical rates are already 50% higher than the rest of the country, Vranich says, and Gov. Jerry Brown just signed a new law increasing the amount of power utilities must buy from renewable sources plus regulations for the California Global Warming Solutions Act will start soon.

    “The other reasons, Vranich says, are:
    9. High and unfair tax treatment 8. Regulatory burden 7. Unfriendly legal environment for business 6. Most expensive place to do business 5. Provable savings elsewhere 4. “Public policies and taxes create unfriendly business climate 3. Uncontrollable public spending 2. More adversarial toward business than any other state 1. Poor rankings for California on lists ranging from taxes to crime rates to school dropout rates.

    “There is little evidence that California’s business environment will improve considering that the legislature in 2011 has voted down litigation reform, tax-increase plans are underway, and a host of new regulations are to be implemented that will increase costs for literally every business,” Vranich says.”

    • avatar Baby Snooks says:

      There are quite a few companies that haven’t moved to Switzerland that somehow not only aren’t paying taxes but getting tax refunds. Please. It may be the second highest corporate tax rate in the but the reality is few of the Wall Street companies pay a dime while a growing number of companies on Main Street are simply going out of business. Does Congress care?  Of course not.

      But the Republicans in Congress would have us believe that while allowing these tax evaders, and that is what they are, to continue to evade paying a dime the solution to the debt as well as the deficit is to cut off funding to the disabled, the poor, and the elderly in our country.  One word, Evil.

      And Obama tried to cover up his complicity by suggesting that one way to increase the taxes on the wwalthy is to reduce the amount of charitable donations they make to charity. No doubt a suggestion during the little White House “pow wows” with his “bipartisan” committee from both parties. That will cut off fudning to the disable, the poor, and the elderly in our country as well. The wealthy write the big checks to the big charities that honor them and list them and name things for them. And then they write the smaller checks to the community organizations.  The wealthy will simply stop writing the smaller checks.  As most of the philanthropic organizations are already warning.

      You are obviously familiar with the Orange County Register. Google the name John Crean. Nicest man who ever walked the face of the earth.  What all Republicans should be. What most Republicans used to be. As his wealth grew so did his donations. Half his income every year. Finally most to his own foundation,. And may I assure you the checks he wrote were not small but they went to the community organizations.  To help the people who needed help the most. Not only an example for other Republicans but other Christians. An example ignored at this point by most. 

      This country is going straight to hell at the hands of those who believe oligarchy is the better system and that those who cannot fend for themselves are nothing more than a drain on society and should be cut off and left to fend for themselves under freeway underpasses. Appalling.

      Even more appalling are the  fools who support it believing again that it “trickles down.” It never did before. So why would still think it will? 

    • avatar phyllis Doyle Pepe says:

      Despite all the noise that America has the world’s second-highest corporate tax rate, the actual taxes paid by corporations are falling because of the growing number of loopholes and companies shifting profits to tax havens like the Cayman Islands.

      And right now America’s corporations are sitting on close to $2 trillion in cash that is not being used to build factories, create jobs or anything else, but acts as an insurance policy for managers unwilling to take the risk of actually building the businesses they are paid so well to run. That cash hoard, by the way, works out to nearly $13,000 per taxpaying household.

      A corporate tax rate that is too low actually destroys jobs. That’s because a higher tax rate encourages businesses (who don’t want to pay taxes) to keep the profits in the business and reinvest, rather than pull them out as profits and have to pay high taxes.

      The 2004 American Jobs Creation Act, which passed with bipartisan support, allowed more than 800 companies to bring profits that were untaxed but overseas back to the United States. Instead of paying the usual 35 percent tax, the companies paid just 5.25 percent.

      The companies said bringing the money home—“repatriating” it, they called it—would mean lots of jobs. Sen. John Ensign, the Nevada Republican, put the figure at 660,000 new jobs.

      Pfizer, the drug company, was the biggest beneficiary. It brought home $37 billion, saving $11 billion in taxes. Almost immediately it started firing people. Since the law took effect, Pfizer has let 40,000 workers go. In all, it appears that at least 100,000 jobs were destroyed.

      Now Congressional Republicans and some Democrats are gearing up again to pass another tax holiday, promoting a new Jobs Creation Act. It would affect 10 times as much money as the 2004 law.

      • avatar Baby Snooks says:

        Until Congress gets back to “of the people, by the people, for the people” nothing will change until the middle class has diasppeared and there is no one left to suppor the rich and the poor. The very wealthy in this country, who own the majority of the stock in the corporations and in that sense they own the “corporation of “of the corporation, by the corporation, for the corporation,”  did quite well for a long time paying as much as 91% income tax, give or take some hefty deductions, and now most probably don’t even pay 9%, give or take some hety deductions, and yet are constantly crying about taxes.  While those who pay a proportionately higher percentage of their income in tasxes when it is “adjusted for cost of living” are losing their jobs and their  homes. Being told in essence to “eat cake” by quite a few Marie Antonionettes.   Here’s to the guillotine of higher taxes for the wealthy. Wihtout the hefty deductions. Let them “them eat the cake” for a change.  

        Every time I read one of these “from the conservative side” articles ribble on wowOwow I am of course curious about the price of asparagus in Paris.

        Someone needs to explain to the “Women of WOW” that while these articles may seem interesting and informative the vast majority of readers simply do not have the millions of dollars in assets that they do and have accepted that they never will. They know wealth does not “trickle down.”  And some in fact are very angry about what has “trickled down” the past 30 years. It has begun to finally smell as they say.

        • avatar Baby Snooks says:

          They need an edit function – The “ribble” following the “from the ‘conservative side’ articles” was the word “dribble” which I thought I had deleted. Thinking I would be polite. But, well, the word dribble applies.  Telling people that keeping the taxes on the rich low creates prosperity for all is dribble.   And even that is polite.

          As for the matter of more women entering the workplace, well, of course they are. Corporations can lay off several men who were making $75,000 and hire a woman for $50,000 and then hire other men for $50,000. The way it works. The not only can but are.  Trust me. And then of course when it comes time to lay someone off again, you think the men will be laid off? Of course not. 

          Life for some is good. Life for most is not. And it is getting worse. And reading dribble makes it all the more worse .

  3. avatar crystalclear says:

    Excellent posts Bella Mia and Baby Snooks.   You both hit the nail on the head…seems our country is out of balance and until we can rebalance our taxes and regulations we are doomed to spiral downward.

    Often, I think of Ron Paul and his son, Rand.    I think of the Libertarian way of addressing our Nation with a  much smaller government and a return to the  writing of our Constitution written by extremely wise men.   Americans are disgusted with the republican and democratic ruination of the core of our country.   I don’t recognize the country I see today as being the United States of America.  I sadly view it as a country who has lost its way at our hands….the voters.

    As I read about California chasing companies away to foreign countries and understand that it is happening throughout our country the question is “how do we reverse this action?”   How do we bring our jobs back to home to Americans?

    This article is chock full of excellent debate points.   Thank you, Lori, for providing it for serious  discussion. 

  4. avatar Baby Snooks says:

    The left is partially right. The right is partially wrong. But good luck in getting anyone to really “come together” to focus on what’s right and wrong for everyone.

  5. avatar crystalclear says:

    That’s the sad truth!

  6. avatar crystalclear says:

    Baby Snooks, while all you say is true, unfortunately, the small businesses are considered the “wealthy” and will be hit with higher taxes further preventing growth in their companies and the inability to hire more people and perhaps more “down sizing” will push the unemployment figures higher.

    We are in a mess  and we have no leadership in Washington.   The only way to bring our businesses home is to elect Donald Trump LOL who will stand up to China and other imports we are receiving by taxing them appropriately.    The only possible way we can get our businesses to return is to “pay” their way back.    If we aren’t willing to do that we can opine, grumble and walk away.   We need a shake up and we need it now.   Our businesses have lost confidence in Washington’s ability to recognize who provides the jobs for Americans.

    We need a miracle someone like Chris Christie who can make the hard decisions and isn’t afraid of going up against the unions and corporations.  

    I find all of this depressing knowing full well there IS a solution to every problem.  President Obama doesn’t care as he is in campaign mode full of smiles and lies with visions of  2012 re-election sugar plums dancing in his head.   Our Vice President sleeps through speeches listening to non-leadership garbage he has heard one hundred times before OR he was practicing for a new career as an Air Traffic Controller!!    I laugh to keep from crying!

    It’s a damn train wreck.  

    • avatar Baby Snooks says:

      When you get into the tax codes, which most don’t, the codes are different for the small businesses on Main Street than they are for the large corporations on Wall Street. Those who do get into them know that small businesses were “targeted” the past ten years. Who needs Mom & Pop when you can have Wal-Mart?

      People who support Donald Trump need to realize that most of those imports are actually just shipments. Most of the manufacturers in China are in fact American. That alone tells you how much support he will have on Wall Street. China also controls the banks in Hong Kong. Including those “overnight” exchanges. You do not want to mess with China. And you do not want anyone threatening to in the White House.  Some wanted a world order. It has become a world disorder because in the end despite it all they were and are totally out to lunch.

  7. avatar crystalclear says:

    I believe it is important to have bipartisan articles on wowOwow.   In so doing, those of us who are disgusted with both parties can participate in an overview of what is wrong in our country.   We should do due diligence in researching and documenting how we, the voters went wrong in casting our votes over the past several decades.   All of our Presidents have had a hand in regulation, deregulation and just plain bad policy making.   We should step up to the plate and think logically and decide for ourselves how we can be more than instrumental in correcting all that is wrong today in 2011 and be courageous in 2012, hopefully united as, “We, The People, instead of Me, the Republican and Me, The Democrat” voting a pure party ticket even when we know it to be wrong for our country.   We have the power and our well thought out vote is the only weapon we have to rebalance our country.   I like the idea of The Tea Party.   What we need now is a united Party for Economic Reform to get back to our Constitution.   Both republican and democratic Presidents have mastered the art of circumventing our Constitution.   That needs to end.

    It takes courage to do the right thing for all of us not just a few.   What we do know is that a majority of our fixed expenses are in medicare, medicaid and social security.   Instead of cutting medicare care we need a President who will not only insist in getting rid of the fraud and abuse but who will actually do it.   The cost savings in that area alone will render  healthier and more economically stable benefits at a much lower cost to the taxpayers.   So far, not one President has been strong enough to tackle this huge cancer in our social programs due to blatant fraud and abuse of the systems.   Why aren’t we hearing about this approach to cutting spending?   $60 billion a year!

    • avatar Baby Snooks says:

      This latest “just a joke guys” fiasco developing in Orange County has convinced me that the Tea Party is the biggest threat this county has ever faced.   Everyone claims the Tea Party is not based in racism. That email by Marilyn Davenport, a county Republican Pparty chair who represents the Tea Party Party, and her “response” to the outrage along with the “response” by the Republican party iitself has convinced me that the Tea Party is based solely on racism and on xenophobia.  The latter evidenced by the curiuous effort to “criminalize” illegal immigrants while attempting to “decriminalize” those who hire them. Who in the overhwleming number of cases are Republicans who have paid the politicians through the years to ignore the existing immigration laws which of course if they were enforced would mean they, not  the illegal immigrants, would be prosecuted and sent to prison. As Ronald Reagan intended.

      The Tea Party apparently wants to repeal the Civil Rights Act and believes the best way to repeal it is to simply cut off funding for programs that benefit minorities. And if some “white folks” end up under the freeway underpasses and cannot afford health care, well, you know, they should have just worked harder and planned better.  In reality in their hatred of minorities they are simply willing to throw out the bath tub along with the baby and the bath water. 

      • avatar Baby Snooks says:

        And the Tea Party has made it clear that it does not believe in compromise or “bipartisan”: efforts and in fact in some areas around the country has “targeted” Republicans who don’t agree to abide by its “manifesto.” The attitude is “Our way or the highway.” Hopefully there are  still enough sane voters in this country that the voters will toss the Tea Party out on the highway. Preferably under a Mac truck

  8. avatar crystalclear says:

    Not so, Baby Snooks.   You can’t pin racism on The Tea Party because of the actions of a few.   There are racists in every political party,  in every part of our country and in every country in the world.   Was Joe Biden a racist because he fell asleep while our African American President was making another meaningless speech?   One could say so based on your logic. 

    We have unsustainable debt and cuts must be made across the board.   When a program that is being cut benefits some African Americans it doesn’t equate to “racism.”   We need to stop with the racism comments which fall on deaf ears.   No one is buying it anymore. 

    The truth is that we spend far too much on our social programs.  Look where we are today and if you can project to 2025.   Changes must be made if we are to enjoy true fiscal responsibility and supply equal benefits to all at retirement.

    Back to Biden, I never laughed so hard to see him snoozing away!   It’s like no one wants to listen to another one of Obama’s empty speeches.   Priceless.  


  9. avatar crystalclear says:

    The Tea Party is doing fine.   They want smaller government and fiscal responsibility.   Sane people find nothing  wrong with that.   They will rally around a leader who has the same vision.

    There’s no way to determine how effective The Tea Party will be as we move closer to 2012.  So much is still unknown about who the presidential candidates will be.   President Obama deserves to lose IMO.   He’s the poster boy for insanity among the voters.    Count me among the insane in 2008.   I don’t plan to be fooled again and I’m hoping millions of other Americans are feeling the pain who cast that same vote in 2008.      Does that make me racist?   I regret  voting for him…yep…I must be racist now because I won’t be voting for him again.  Because I find nothing wrong with The Tea Party (I don’t care one way or the other) does that brand me a racist because  I believe they have a right to support their vision for the country?    Citing racism is boring these days. 


  10. avatar Baby Snooks says:

    According to a story just now hitting the “internet wire services” the top 400 “wage earners” reported an average adjusted gross income of $345 million in 2007 according to the IRS. And paid an average of 17% in taxes. And I doubt the the “adjustment” was due to charitable contributions. Something wrong with the picture. Something terribly wrong with the picture.

  11. avatar Baby Snooks says:

    And of course Ayn Rand is enjoying a “renaissance” along with her “Objectivism” which is intertwined in all the “conservative” economic policies of the past 30 years. It certainly is intertwined in the “vulture capitalism” that has destroyed our economy.

    Kruschev said they would destroy us from within. And of course he may have been thinking of  Ayn Rand when he said it.  

  12. avatar KayeM says:

    At some point everyone needs to acknowledge that we have spent the last 30 years operating under the assumption that “The less taxes we impose not only on corporations but also on individuals the more it encourages spending and in turn hiring.”  This statement has been proven to be absolutely and entirely false.  Handing tax breaks to the wealthy and to corporations has merely resulted in the greatest wealth gap in the history of our nation.  Currently a small fraction of American households hold a greater share of wealth than 80% of the bottom households.  This is the type of economic situation that is prevalent in third world nations!  We cannot continue to push the same set of failed circumstances.  Wages for the majority of working and middle class Americans have been falling for 30 years, while cost of living has been rising, the result has been sky-rocketing consumer debt.  One needs to ponder the question who benefits from an impoverished populace?  We sit and watch Cisco, GE, Bank of America, et al, collect tax benefits, and taxpayer handouts, and then we turn to the middle class and say…you must pay more.  We need to get serious about what type of future we want for our children. 

    • avatar Baby Snooks says:

      Some in this country still want to believe that it “trickles down” and after 30 years of watching it “trickle up” I am convinced that PT Barnum was right. There’s a sucker born every minute. Although at this point, it’s probably two.

  13. avatar crystalclear says:

    I believe we are getting serious about the future of our children and grandchildren.   I say that because we are very much aware of the lack of leadership we continue to place in the White House.   

    What we know to be true is that we can talk about enticing businesses to return to the US to provide jobs and that we will never get them back.    What we know is that we will lose more jobs to China and other countries.   Now, what does that leave us?    Our small businesses.   So what are we doing to our small businesses?    We are forcing them to down size, not move forward and shed jobs.   See what happens when you tax the rich?   Those earning over $250,000 a year?   Many in that wage category are business owners!  

    I believe we need a flat tax across the board…10%.