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第七章/科恩减税 恐惧:-武建义
这是我美帝好友剃刀先生今年翻译的一本新书、特此转载推荐阅读!
(原书作者鲍勃.武德华是披露水门事件的著名记者、先后获得两次普利策新闻奖。)

CHAPTER
7
Jared Kushner invited Gary Cohn, the president of Goldman Sachs, to come talk to
his father-in-law on November 30 about the economy. A meeting was arranged for
Cohn at Trump Tower. Cohn was a legendary risk taker at the premier investment
banking firm. He had an ego and sureness to match Trump’s. He was advised that
Trump routinely kept meetings to 10 minutes.
In Trump’s office were Bannon, Priebus, Kushner and Steve Mnuchin, also a
former Goldman banker and hedge fund manager who had been Trump’s chief
fundraiser during the last six months of the campaign. Mnuchin had been rewarded
with the cabinet post of treasury secretary though the appointment had not yet been
announced.
The American economy overall is in okay shape, Cohn told Trump, but it was
ready to experience a growth explosion if certain actions were taken. To achieve this,
the economy needed tax reform and the removal of the shackles of overregulation.
Cohn knew this was what Trump wanted to hear. Then the New York City
Democrat told the president-elect something he did not want to hear. We’re a tradebased
economy, he said. Free, fair and open trade was essential. Trump had
campaigned against international trade deals.
Second, the United States is an immigration center to the world. “We’ve got to
continue to have open borders,” Cohn said. The employment picture was so
favorable that the United States would run out of workers soon. So immigration had
to continue. “We have many jobs in this country that Americans won’t do.”
Next, Cohn repeated what everyone was saying: Interest rates were going to go up
over the foreseeable future.
I agree, Trump said. “We should just go borrow a lot of money right now, hold it,
and then sell it and make money.”
Cohn was astounded at Trump’s lack of basic understanding. He tried to explain.
If you as the federal government borrow money through issuing bonds, you are
increasing the U.S. deficit.
What do you mean? Trump asked. Just run the presses—print money.
You don’t get to do it that way, Cohn said. We have huge deficits and they matter.
The government doesn’t keep a balance sheet like that. “If you want to do something
that would be smart—and you actually do control this—I would add a 50-year and a
100-year bond from the U.S. Treasury.”
With interest rates going down in recent years, Treasury had brought the duration
of bonds down to 10 years as much as possible. That was the right thing to do, Cohn
said. With rates increasing, the insurance companies and the pensions will lend the
government money for 50 years or 100 years. And you could probably do it at 3?
percent. That would be really cheap money over the next 50 to 100 years.
“Wow!” Trump said. “That’s a great idea.” He turned to Mnuchin. “Can we do
that?”
“Oh, sure,” the designated treasury secretary said. “We can absolutely do that.”
“Do you agree with him?” Trump asked.
“Yeah屠嗷嗷 , I agree with him,” Mnuchin said.
“You’ve been working for me six months,” Trump said. “Why the hell have you
never talked to me about this? Why’s he the first person to ever tell me that?”
There was nothing in the world that was then yielding 3? percent risk-free, Cohn
said. There would be a run on these bonds and plenty of buyers. The 50-year
corporate bond was selling all over the place. Investors wanted high, risk-free yield.
Turning to the Federal Reserve, Cohn noted that the U.S. had had an effective
zero interest rate for years. There was only one way to go, interest rates would go up,
for two reasons. The economy was getting much stronger and higher rates would
tamp down inflation.
“So if I’m running the Fed, I’m going to raise rates,” he said.
Trump knew that presidents liked low rates to help the economy. He said, “Well,
I’m not going to choose you to run the Fed ever.”
“That’s fine,” Cohn said. “It’s the worst job in America.”
Turning to taxes, Cohn said, “The 35 percent corporate tax rate has been great for
my business for the last decade. We’ve been inverting companies to 10 percent tax
jurisdictions and they pay us enormous fees.” He was speaking as a Goldman
president. An inversion refers to relocating a corporation’s legal home to a low-tax
country such as Ireland or Bermuda in the form of a new parent company while
retaining operations and management as a subsidiary in the higher-tax country.
Goldman had facilitated dozens of companies’ moves abroad. The company’s
leaders and boards had a responsibility to shareholders to maximize profits and
moving, inverting, dramatically raised earnings. Nearly all the drugmakers and
insurance companies had moved.
Cohn bragged, “Where else can I take a company doing X in business that does X
tomorrow and has 20 percent more earnings just by changing their corporate
headquarters?”
Arguing against Goldman’s self-interest, Cohn added, “We can’t allow that to
happen. We’ve got to get our corporate tax in line with the average, which is about
21, 22 percent.”
Though there had been some restrictions imposed by Congress, there were ways
to skirt the new laws. “We can’t allow companies to just keep inverting out of the
United States. It’s just bad. It’s wrong for business. It’s wrong for jobs. I’m talking
against my business. We made a ton of money.”
Trump returned to printing money. “We’ll just borrow,” he said, enamored with
the idea of heading the federal government, which had the best credit rating in the
world, so they could borrow at the lowest interest rate.
Cohn didn’t mention a report that had come out during the campaign which said
the Trump Organization’s business credit score was a 19 out of 100, below the
national average by 30 points, and that it could have difficulty borrowing money.
You just can’t print money, Cohn said.
“Why not? Why not?”
Congress had a debt ceiling which set a cap on how much money the federal
government could borrow, and it was legally binding. It was clear that Trump did not
understand the way the U.S. government debt cycle balance sheet worked.
Inflation would probably be steady. Automation was coming, Cohn said—
artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics. We’ll manage the labor supply more
efficiently now than we ever did in the history of mankind. So look, you’re in the
most precarious time in terms of job losses. We now can create labor with machines.
“If you’re here eight years, you’re going to deal with the automation of the
automobile and truck. About 25 percent of the U.S. population makes a living
driving something. Think about that.”
“What are you talking about?” Trump asked.
With the self-driving, autonomous vehicle, millions of people are going to have to
reenter the workforce in different jobs. That would be a big change and possible large
disruption.
“I want you to come to work for me,” Trump said.
“Doing what?”
Trump mentioned deputy secretary of defense.
“First of all, I don’t want to be deputy secretary of anything,” Cohn said.
How about director of national intelligence?
Cohn indicated no. He was not sure what the job did. He later learned it entailed
overseeing the CIA and all the other intelligence agencies.
“You trade commodities,” Trump said. “Why don’t you think about being
secretary of energy?”
No interest.
Trump tried to convince Cohn to become director of the Office of Management
and Budget.
No. Cohn knew it was a horrible job.
“You know what喋血1947 ?” Trump said at the end of what had become an hour-long
meeting. “I hired the wrong guy for treasury secretary. You should be treasury
secretary. You would be the best treasury secretary.”
Mnuchin, right there, didn’t say a thing or show any reaction.
“Come back and tell me what you want,” Trump said. “You’d be great to have on
the team. It’d be fantastic.”
Five minutes later while Cohn was still in the building, he saw a television flash
breaking news: President-elect Trump has selected Steve Mnuchin as treasury
secretary.
“That’s crazy,” Jared said. “Mnuchin just put that out. You freaked him out so
badly in the meeting.”
Cohn did some homework, and spoke with other former Goldman executives who
had worked in government. Robert Rubin, who had been head of the White House
National Economic Council (NEC) for Clinton and later secretary of the treasury,
said that if Cohn could get the director of the National Economic Council job with a
pledge he would be the chief economic czar, then he should take it. Being there in the
West Wing was an enormous advantage if he had an agreement with the president.
Cohn’s wife, Lisa, said he should do it because he owed the country a great deal.
“You’re too slow, you’re too fat and too old to serve your country any other way.”
Cohn returned to see Trump and expressed his interest in the NEC job, as long as
any economic business ran through him. It was the equivalent portfolio in economic
matters to the national security adviser in foreign policy.
“Of course,” Trump said,王俪桥 “it’ll be however you want it to run. We’re going to do
such great things.”
Priebus, who was in the meeting, worried about the on-the-spot hires. He later
said to Trump, “We’re going to hire the guy, a Democrat who voted for Hillary
Clinton, to run our economic council? Why? Shouldn’t we talk about this? I’m sure
he’s really smart. Shouldn’t we have a conversation before we offer a job like this?”
“Oh,” Trump said, “we don’t need to talk about it.” Besides, the job had been
offered and accepted. “He’s going to be great.”
The day after Christmas 2016 I reached Michael Flynn, Trump’s newly designated
national security adviser, by telephone. He was on vacation in Florida visiting his
grandchildren. Flynn, a controversial retired three-star general and intelligence
specialist, had been by Trump’s side during the campaign as foreign policy adviser. At
the Republican National Convention, he enthusiastically led the crowds in “Lock
Her Up” chants about Hillary Clinton. He later apologized.
Obama had removed Flynn from head of the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014
for management failures. And after the campaign Trump had ignored advice from
Obama not to take Flynn as his national security adviser.
I called Flynn to get his take on Russia. Several intelligence and Pentagon officials
had told me that Russia had moved in recent years to modernize and improve their
nuclear capability with a new Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile and two new
ICBMs.
“Yes, exactly,” Flynn said on the record. Under Putin’s direction in the last seven
or eight years, he said, Russia had not “outmatched the United States but had
outsmarted us.”
He said he had begun talking to Trump about the Russian buildup 18 months
before in 2015 when they had first met. He said that they agreed that the United
States had given up too much of its capability, training, readiness and modernization.
Putin, he said, had “in a systematic way” upgraded not only his nuclear forces but
his tactical, conventional and Special Forces. “If Russia became an adversary and we
went toe-to-toe with them, we’d face the reality of Putin using innovation,
technology and sheer effort.”
Flynn then spoke openly about the possibility the United States might have to
begin testing nuclear weapons. The last U.S. test had been in 1992. “We are going to
have to decide if we test again,” he said. The computer tests might not be sufficient
and it was important to see if the weapons worked.
“My counsel to the boss, I said we are going to have to devote time, energy and
resources to this.” He said Trump’s plan was to talk and act tough—send “a shot
across the bow” of Putin. He added, “We will be leaning on the Reagan playbook.”
Be aggressive and then negotiate. “We have to make it clear at the same time that we’ll
deal with Russia. You can’t just have one view of Russia.”
Flynn was being widely criticized for going to Russia to speak for $33,750 from
the Russian state–owned television network in 2015. He said it was an opportunity
and he got to meet Putin. “Anyone would go,” he said.
Flynn did a question-and-answer session in Moscow. He made a standard plea for
better U.S. relations to defeat ISIS, the importance of defining the enemy韦勒斯拉纳, and not
trying just to contain ISIS as Obama had done. Overall on foreign policy Flynn told
me, “The president-elect is taking on this plate of shit throughout the world. The
world is a mess. There’s lots of cleaning up to do.”
Jared Kushner邀请高盛(Goldman Sachs)总裁加里?科恩(Gary Cohn)于11月30日与他的岳父谈论经济问题。在特朗普大厦为科恩安排了一次会议。科恩是这家顶级投资银行公司的传奇风险承担者。他的自负和淡定可与特朗普媲美。他被告知特朗普经常将会议时间保持在10分钟之内。在特朗普的办公室里,有Bannon,Priebus,Kushner和Steve Mnuchin,他还是前高盛银行家和对冲基金经理,在竞选活动的最后六个月里,他一直是特朗普的首席筹款人。虽然任命尚未公布,但Mnuchin已获得财政部长的内阁职位奖励。科恩告诉特朗普,美国整体经济形势良好,但如果采取某些行动,它已准备好经历一次爆炸性增长。为实现这一目标,经济需要进行税制改革豹王爱奴,消除过度监管的束缚。科恩知道这是特朗普想要听到的。然后,这位纽约市民主党人告诉当选总统他不想听到的事情。他说,我们是一个以贸易为基础的经济体。自由,公平和开放的贸易至关重要。特朗普在竞选时反对国际贸易协议。其次,美国是世界移民中心。 “我们必须继续保持开放的边界,”科恩说。就业情况如此有利远坂葵,以至于美国很快就会耗尽工人。所以移民必须继续下去。 “我们在这个国家有许多美国人不会干的工作。”接下来,科恩重复了所有人的观点:在可预见的未来,利率将会上升。我同意,特朗普说。 “我们现在应该去借很多钱,持有它,然后卖掉它并赚钱。”科恩对特朗普缺乏对经济学的基本理解感到震惊。他试图解释。如果你作为联邦政府通过发行债券借钱,你就会增加美国的赤字。Gary Cohn 科恩
你什么意思?特朗普问道。只需开动印刷机打印钱就是了。科恩说,你不能这样做。我们有巨大的赤字,它们很要命。政府不能有这样的资产负债表田瑞生 。 “如果你想做一些聪明的事情 - 你实际上能控制这点 - 我会从美国财政部增加一份50年期和100年期债券。”随着近年来利率的下降,财政部已尽可能将债券的期限降至10年。科恩说,这是正确的做法朱琦郁 。随着利率上升,保险公司和养老金将向政府提供50年或100年的贷款。你可能会以3.75%的利息借到这些钱。在接下来的50到100年里流浪歌简谱 ,这将是非常便宜的钱。“哇金灿宇 !”特朗普说。 “那是个好主意。”他转向Mnuchin。 “我们能这样做吗?”“哦,当然,”指定的财政部长说。 “我们绝对可以这样做天鹅索套 。”“你同意他的意见吗?”特朗普问道。 “是的,我同意他的意见,”Mnuchin说。 “你已经为我工作了六个月,”特朗普说。 “为什么你从来没有和我谈过这件事?为什么他是第一个告诉我的人呢?“科恩说,世界上没有任何东西可以无风险地获得3.75%利息。这些债券和大量买家都会受到冲击。 50年的公司债券在各地都有销售。投资者希望获得高回报,无风险的收益。谈到美联储,科恩指出,美国多年来一直实行有效的零利率。只有一条路可走,利率会上升,原因有两个。经济正在变得更加强劲,更高的利率将抑制通胀。“因此,如果我当美联储主席,我将加息,”他说。 特朗普知道总统喜欢低利率来帮助经济。 他说,“好吧,我不会选你去管理美联储。”“那没关系,”科恩说。 “那是美国最糟糕的工作。”谈到税收,科恩说,“在过去的十年里,35%的公司税率对我的业务来说非常好。我们一直在将公司转变为10%的税收管辖区,他们向我们支付了巨额费用。“他是高盛总裁。倒置是指将公司的法人总部以新的母公司的形式迁移到爱尔兰或百慕大等低税国家,同时保留高税国家子公司的运营和管理。高盛为数十家公司的转移海外业务提供了便利。公司的领导者和董事会对股东负有最大化利润的责任。 转移和反转大幅提高了公司的收益。几乎所有的制药商和保险公司都搬家了。科恩吹嘘说:“只需改变公司总部的所在国家就能获得20%的收益, 这样的好事除了搬家是不可能的啊?”考恩反对高盛的自身利益,并补充道,“我们不能允许这种情况发生。我们的公司税必须与平均水平相当,约为21%,22%。“尽管国会已经施加了一些限制,但仍有办法绕过新的法律。 “我们不能允许公司总部继续离开美国。这很糟糕。这对企业来说是错误的。这对工作来说是错误的。我在反对我在做的生意。我们赚了很多钱。“特朗普回归印钞票。 “我们只是借钱,”他说,痴迷于领导美国联邦政府,这个拥有世界上最好信用评级的地方,他们可以以最低的利率借款。科恩没有提到在竞选期间提出的一份报告,该报告称特朗普组织的商业信用评分为19分(满分100分),低于全国平均水平30分,并且可能难以借钱。科恩说,你只是不能印钱。 “为什么不? 为什么不呢?“国会有债务上限设定了联邦政府可以借多少钱的上限,而且具有法律约束力。 很显然,特朗普并不了解美国政府债务周期资产负债表的运作方式。通货膨胀可能会稳定。 自动化即将到来,科恩说 - 人工智能,机器学习,机器人技术。 我们现在比以往人类历史上更有效地管理劳动力供应。 所以看,你在失业方面处于最不稳定的时期。 我们现在可以用机器创造劳动力。“如果你能这里待八年,那么你将要处理汽车和卡车的自动化问题。约有25%的美国人以开车为生。想想自动化会多么恐怖吧。”
“你在说什么?”特朗普问道。通过自动驾驶的自动驾驶汽车,数百万人将不得不重新进入不同工作岗位。这将是一个很大的变化,可能会造成很大的破坏。“我希望你来为我工作,”特朗普说。 “做什么j20最新消息 ?”特朗普提到了国防部副部长。 “首先,我不想成为任何副部长,”科恩说。国家情报局局长怎么样?科恩表示没兴趣。他不确定这项工作是做什么的。他后来了解到这个局长监督中央情报局和所有其他情报机构。
“你交易商品,”特朗普说。 “你为什么不考虑成为能源部长?”不感兴趣。特朗普试图说服科恩成为管理和预算办公室主任。不,科恩知道这是一项糟糕的工作。“你知道吗?”特朗普在一场长达一小时的会议结束时说道。 “我为财政部长雇了一个错误的人。你应该是财政部长。你将成为最好的财政部长。“
Mnuchin,就在那里曹三公子 ,没有说什么或表现出任何反应。 “回来告诉我你想要什么,”特朗普说。 “你能加入内阁会非常棒。简直太棒了。“五分钟后,当科恩还在大楼时,他看到一则电视剧突发新闻:当选总统特朗普选择了史蒂夫·姆努辛担任财政部长荆棘后冠 。“这太疯狂了,”贾里德说。 “Mnuchin刚刚放风出去的。你在会议上吓坏了他。“科恩做了一些功课,并与在政府工作的其他前高盛高管交谈过。曾担任克林顿白宫国家经济委员会(NEC)负责人和后来的财政部长罗伯特鲁宾说,如果科恩能够获得国民经济委员会主任的工作,并成为经济方面的一把手,那么他应该接受这个职位。如果他与总统达成协议,那么在白宫西翼那里会是一个巨大的优势。科恩的妻子丽莎说他应该这样做,因为他欠了这个国家很多。 “你太慢了,你太胖了染指皇叔,太老了,无法用其他方式为你的国家服务。”科恩就会回来看特朗普并表达他对NEC工作的兴趣。这个位置对任何经济业务都有权管,这类事于外交政策中国家安全顾问的权柄。“当然,”特朗普说,“但是你想怎么干就怎么干。我们要做那么棒的事情。“参加会议的Priebus担心这么在现场就口头答应效果不好。他后来对特朗普说:“我们将聘请这位投票支持希拉里克林顿的民主党人来经营我们的经济委员会?为什么?我们不应该私下讨论一下吗?我相信他真的很聪明。在我们提供这样的工作之前,我们不应该先谈谈吗?““哦,”特朗普说,“我们不需要谈论它。”此外,这份工作已被提供和接受。 “他会很棒。”Michael Flynn 迈克尔弗林
2016年圣诞节后的第二天,我通过电话联系了特朗普新指定的国家安全顾问迈克尔弗林。他正在佛罗里达度假,看看他的孙子孙女。 Flynn是一位备受争议的退役三星级将军和情报专家,在竞选期间一直是特朗普的外交政策顾问。在共和党全国代表大会上,他热情地领头高喊“把希拉里关起来”的口号。他后来为此道了歉。由于失职,奥巴马于2014年将弗林从国防情报局局长中开除了达式常近况。在竞选活动结束后,特朗普忽视了奥巴马的不要让弗林担任国家安全顾问的建议。我打电话给弗林询问他对俄罗斯的看法。一些情报和五角大楼官员告诉我,俄罗斯近年来已经采取行动,通过新的潜艇发射弹道导弹和两种新的洲际弹道导弹来实现核能力的现代化和进步。“是的,很准确,”弗林在记录中说道。他说,在普京过去七八年的指导下,俄罗斯没有“超越美国,但却欺骗了我们。”18个月前的2015, 他说就已经开始与特朗普谈论俄罗斯的崛起。他说,他们同意美国放弃了太多的战力,培训能力,动员能力和现代化。
他说,普京“有系统地”不仅升级了他的核力量,还升级了他的战术,常规和特种部队。 “如果俄罗斯成为对手,我们与他们面对面,我们将面对普京利用创新,技术和纯粹努力的现实。”弗林随后公开谈论美国可能不得不开始测试核武器的可能性。最后一次美国测试是在1992年。“我们将不得不决定我们是否要再次做核武测试,”他说。计算机测试可能还不够,重要的是看武器是否有效。“我对老板的忠告是,我说我们将不得不投入时间,精力和资源。”他说,特朗普的计划是语言有力, 行动强硬 - 给普京一次好好的警告。他补充道,“我们将依靠里根的剧本。”积极进取,然后进行谈判。 “我们必须明确表示我们将与俄罗斯打交道。你不能只看到单方面的俄罗斯观点。“弗林因为2015年在俄罗斯国有电视网发言而拿了33,750美元,而受到广泛批评。 他说这是一个认识普京的机会, 谁都会去的。弗林在莫斯科参加了一个问答会议。他提出了一个标准的请求,要求美国和俄国建立更好的关系,以击败伊斯兰国,以及认清谁是敌人的重要性,而不是像奥巴马那样仅仅遏制伊斯兰国。总的来说,关于外交政策,弗林告诉我,“当选总统接过去的是一团乱麻的世界。这个世界变得一团糟。有很多清洁工作要做。“
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翻译作者简介:
剃刀, 夜郎国人, 混迹番邦多年。 好读书, 不求甚解;偶尔翻译, 错漏颇多!