U.S. President Barack Obama reached out to Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) chief executive Tim Cook to discuss the approaching fiscal cliff, a set of tax increases and spending cuts scheduled to take effect at the start of 2013. A White House official told CNN that the discussion was part of the president’s “outreach on the need to find a balanced deficit-reduction solution that protects the middle class and continues to move our economy forward.”
The so-called fiscal cliff is a set of law changes set to take effect at the end of December 31, 2012, and introduce temporary payroll cuts and the beginning of new taxes related to Obama’s health care law. While the fiscal cliff will cut the federal budget deficit, it is also forecast to drag the economy back into recession. The U.S. Congress and administrators are looking for ways to prevent the country from heading into the changes and tension is growing in Washington, D.C. as the deadline comes closer.
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Obama began negotiations with political leaders last week to avoid the changes and the approach to include business and civic representatives may help him push his plan through Congress. While the details of the discussion between Obama and Cook are unclear, the Apple chief may have brought up the possibility of a tax holiday that will help the company bring back more than $80 billion of its cash reserves from overseas.
The U.S. government appears to have a close relationship with Apple when it comes to economic issues vis-à-vis the private sector. Earlier this year, Cook met with John Boehner, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. And in October 2011, President Obama famously met late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs over dinner.
In addition to Cook, Obama also spoke last week with Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK) chairman Warren Buffett, JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) chief executive Jamie Dimon, Boeing’s (NYSE:BA) Jim McNerney, and Costco (NASDAQ:COST) head Craig Jelinek.
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