Interview by Shelley DuBois, reporter
Valero 's (VLO) William Klesse is coming up on his fifth year as CEO, where he's worked for over 40 years. He offers some insight about how his company and the energy sector have navigated the recession, and why refining companies like Valero behave differently in the market than companies that also do exploring and refining, like BP. Klesse also talks about what energy sector investors might want to look for in 2011:
Fortune: You've been CEO of this company on either side of the recession. How do you lead during tough times?
Klesse: One thing you would probably ask me is did I see this big downturn coming, and the answer would be of course not. But we did always feel that even in the golden age of refining, it would not stay as high as it was in 2005-2007. What we didn't see was the complete collapse that we had in September 2008.
What did you do? More
Editor's note: This week FORTUNE is publishing excerpts from its favorite business books of 2010. This excerpt from Michael Lewis's The Big Short introduces Steve Eisman, one of the only money managers to predict the root cause of the financial crisis and profit from it, even as he was near-powerless to actually stop it.
By Michael Lewis, contributor
Eisman entered finance about the time I exited it. He'd grown up in New MOREDec 24, 2010 3:00 AM ET
The country's economic engine seems to be running in reverse as more expensive borrowing spurs home sales, and an uptick in borrowing sends mortgage rates back down.
The recent surge in mortgage rates, by all rational calculations, should have made America's already troubled housing market worse off. Instead, higher borrowing costs modestly boosted homes sales in November.
Before slipping down slightly this week, mortgage rates had risen for several weeks in a MORENin-Hai Tseng, Writer - Dec 23, 2010 3:18 PM ET
Financial pundits were for gridlock, until they were against it. Why? There's limited data, but historians think it might be the worst possible kind for the markets.
By Mina Kimes, writer
Gridlock has come to the Hill--but will it benefit stocks? Earlier in the summer, market pundits came out in favor of a split Congress, arguing that a disempowered government would leave business alone and eliminate regulatory uncertainty. In recent days, though, MORENov 3, 2010 1:12 PM ET
A former Yahoo exec gets a funding injection for his plans to take on LinkedIn with a social graph that's more Google than (old school) AOL.
7 Degrees, a developer of business applications based on the social graph, today announced that it has raised $6.8 million in new VC funding. Rho Ventures led the round, and was joined by return backers vSpring Capital and Parkview Ventures.
The company's flagship product is MOREDan Primack - Oct 13, 2010 7:00 AM ET
There are some big macroeconomic signs that a U.S. stock market crash could be coming, but it's important to keep an eye on how October surprises play out around the globe.
By Keith R. McCullough, contributor
Lately there seems to have been an almost perfect storm of economic and political warning signs -- both domestic and global -- that point me towards one conclusion: the stock market is due for a crash. MOREOct 4, 2010 12:56 PM ET
The Great Recession might have officially ended well over a year ago, but consumers sure haven't been acting like it.
Officials this week might have declared an end to the longest U.S. recession since the Great Depression, but consumer and retail trends indicate anything but an end of slumping sales in housing market-related industries. The recession, which the National Bureau of Economic Research says actually ended in June 2009, lasted 18 MORENin-Hai Tseng, Writer - Sep 21, 2010 1:55 PM ET
Why the new housing numbers likely aren't a fluke, but a sign of the start of a housing comeback
No doubt the housing market is still in turmoil, but signs today signal that it could be stabilizing.
Housing starts in August unexpectedly rose to their highest level in four months, the U.S. Commerce Department announced today. The 10.5% increase, reflecting a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 598,000 units, is the biggest rise in MORENin-Hai Tseng, Writer - Sep 21, 2010 11:03 AM ET
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