Robert Rubin, former Secretary of the Treasury and co-chairman of Council on Foreign Relations, looks ahead to the next U.S. economy after the recession with interviewer David Wessel, economics editor and columnist for the Wall Street Journal.
When President William Jefferson Clinton swore in Robert E. Rubin (b. 1938) as the 70th Secretary of the Treasury, he was already one of the most knowledgeable and best prepared leaders of finance to assume the office. Before entering public service, Secretary Rubin worked for twenty-six years at Goldman Sachs & Company, one of Wall Street's venerable investment firms, where he rose to the position of Co-Chairman. He was originally appointed by President Clinton to be Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and to serve as the Nation's first director of the National Economic Council (1993 - 1995), which coordinated economic policy throughout the Clinton Administration. With his vast experience in financial markets and collegial temperament, he helped President Clinton and his economic team develop an economic policy based on vigorous deficit reduction, global open markets, and investments in education, training and the environment. This program helped to spark and sustain the longest economic expansion in the Nation's history to date, transforming the Nation's budgetary position from deficit to surplus, and producing the lowest national rates of unemployment in decades.
David Wessel is economics editor for The Wall Street Journal and writes the Capital column, a weekly look at the economy and forces shaping living standards around the world. He is responsible for overseeing coverage of the Fed and the Journal’s daily coverage of the macro economy, global trade and economic trends. He appears frequently on National Public Radio and WETA’s “Washington Week.”
David has written two New York Times best-sellers: “Red Ink: Inside the High Stakes Politics of the Federal Budget” (2012) and “In Fed We Trust: Ben Bernanke’s War on the Great Panic” (2009).
He was deputy bureau chief of The Wall Street Journal's Washington bureau. David joined The Wall Street Journal in 1984 in Boston, and moved to Washington in 1987. In 1999 and 2000, he served as the newspaper’s Berlin bureau chief.
A native of New Haven, Conn., and a product of its public schools, David previously worked for the Boston Globe, the Hartford (Conn.) Courant and Middletown (Conn.) Press. A 1975 graduate of Haverford College, he was Knight Bagehot Fellow in Business & Economics Journalism at Columbia University in 1980-81.
David has shared two Pulitzer Prizes, one for Boston Globe stories in 1983 on the persistence of racism in Boston and the other for stories in The Wall Street Journal in 2002 on corporate wrong-doing. He is also the co-author, with Wall Street Journal reporter Bob Davis, of Prosperity, a 1998 book on the American middle class.
David is a trustee of Temple Sinai in Washington, D.C. He and his wife, Naomi, have two children.
Robert Rubin, former Secretary of the Treasury and co-chairman of Council on Foreign Relations, offers a sound fiscal policy plan for jumpstarting hiring and investment. Rubin's plan would create a targeted mechanism to reduce debt responsibly in both the short and long term.