Tim Cook’s DC charm offensive may be working

On Monday, Mr. Cook went to Washington. On Friday, Washington came to him.

My take: If we get into a trade war with China, Apple is going needs all the help it can get. I wish I had more faith in Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, a Goldman Sachs legacy (his father was a general partner) and home-mortgage foreclosure millionaire, who shared his views with Axios‘ Mike Allen last year on a range of topics:

  • On AI supplanting human jobs: “it’s not even on our radar screen…. 50-100 more years” away. “I’m not worried at all” about robots displacing humans in the near future, Mnuchin said, adding: “In fact I’m optimistic.”
  • The dollar bill: “I think we should look at putting President Trump on the thousand dollar bill.”
  • The focus of tax cuts: Mnuchin said the Trump administration’s focus is on tax cuts for the middle class, not upper.
  • On Silicon Valley tech: “I don’t understand these valuations.”

Okay. On that last point, I can’t disagree.


  1. Ken Cheng said:
    Mnuchin was CTO, at GS for a year or so, so he might have a passing interest in tech, though I doubt they had too many Macs at GS. Also his dad, Bob, though a general partner, was probably the fifth most powerful out of about 100. I think 3 of the 4 more powerful partners all went into public service eventually, John Whitehead, Rubin and Corzine.

    March 17, 2018
    • Ken Cheng said:
      Also Mnuchin was a film producer prior to serving as Treasury Secretary, so maybe he was trying to interest Tim in buying a show or two from his production company? /s

      March 17, 2018
      • Michael Thompson said:
        More likely they were discussing the impact on Apple of future trade tariffs against China, the stealing of American intellectual property by the Chinese and the European theft of tax monies that it wasn’t owed and ultimately the American taxpayer will foot the bill, not Apple after all appeals have been exhausted.

        Behind the scenes, Apple and the current administration are working closely together.

        March 17, 2018
        • Ken Cheng said:
          Okay, I hope you’re right, though I’m not optimistic since those talks would generally be held in DC, when Tim visited. Or maybe, it was more convenient for Mnuchin to drop in, on his way home to LA for the weekend.

          March 17, 2018
  2. Neil Shapiro said:
    That would qualify the $1,000 bill for cryptocurrency status?

    March 17, 2018

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