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Donald Evans

Excerpts from a Monitor breakfast on the economic and political outlook.

Donald Evans arrived in Midland, Texas in 1975 with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and an MBA, both from the University of Texas. He started as an oil-rig roughneck for Tom Brown Inc., a major oil field service company, and rose to be the firm's CEO.

Along the way, Don Evans became fast friends with another newly minted MBA who now lives in the White House, George Bush. Today Secretary Evans is the only remaining member of the original Bush economic team. As manager of the president's 2000 campaign he raised a record $100 million in contributions and is expected to play an influential role in the coming presidential election.

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On the outlook for the dollar:

"Our dollar policy has not changed and the focus needs to be on opening up markets around the world."

On whether the US economy is threatened by deflation:

"When you have the Fed (Federal Reserve) focused on it and you know you have a very strong banking system in this country which we do, that gives me comfort that [there is] a very, very, very, very low risk of it happening, as the Fed said."

On his role in the upcoming presidential campaign:

"No role. I am around. I'm in the area and if people want to ask advice or seek any counsel I am around but I don't have an official role at all.... To serve the president is why I am here, I am not confused about that."

On corporate executives' responsibilities:

"When you violate the system because of distrust, you hurt the whole system, you hurt America.... It hurts the whole character of the American system because people from outside begin to look in and say, 'What is this? What is going on here?'

"One of the most important signals they (corporate leaders) send to their organization or their shareholders is their compensation because that is the one place that is out there for everyone to look at. ...I think they have to be very, very careful as to the kind of signal and the kind of tone that that sends to the organization as well as the shareholders."

On how Mr. Bush's faith affects his job performance:

"It allows him the perspective of thinking about you and thinking about others and not about [himself]. He understands that his purpose is to serve other people and to help other people. So you make decisions through a simple screen of what is in the long-term best interest of the general well being of the American people."

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On the culture of Washington:

"I am more interested in policies right now than in politics. [Washington] spends too much time worrying about politics and not enough time about policies."