Larry Kudlow

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Larry Kudlow
Larry Kudlow (25484250682) (cropped).jpg
12th Director of the National Economic Council
Assumed office
April 2, 2018
President Donald Trump
Preceded by Gary Cohn
Personal details
Born Lawrence Alan Kudlow
(1947-08-20) August 20, 1947 (age 70)
Englewood, New Jersey, U.S.
Political party Republican
Other political
Democratic (formerly)
Spouse(s) Nancy Gerstein (m. 1974–1975)
Susan Cullman Sicher (m. 1981; divorced)
Judith Pond (m. 1986)
Education University of Rochester (BA)
Princeton University
Known for The Kudlow Report
Kudlow & Cramer
Website Official website

Lawrence Alan Kudlow[1] (born August 20, 1947) is an American former investment banker, conservative economic analyst and television pundit who currently serves as Director of the National Economic Council under US President Donald Trump.

Kudlow began his career as a junior financial analyst at the New York Federal Reserve, he soon left government to work on Wall Street at Paine Webber and Bear Stearns as a financial analyst. In 1981, after previously volunteering and working for left-wing politicians and causes, Kudlow joined the administration of Ronald Reagan as associate director for economics and planning in the Office of Management and Budget.[2]

After leaving the Reagan administration during the second term, Kudlow returned to Wall Street and Bear Stearns, serving as the firm's chief economist from 1987 until 1994, during this time, he also advised the gubernatorial campaign of Christine Todd Whitman on economic issues. In the late 1990s, after a publicized battle with cocaine and alcohol addiction, Kudlow left Wall Street to become an economic media commentator, first with National Review and later hosting several shows on CNBC.

Kudlow returned to politics in 2018, serving as Gary Cohn's replacement at the National Economic Council.

Early life[edit]

Kudlow was born and raised in New Jersey, the son of Ruth (née Grodnick) and Irving Howard Kudlow,[3] his family is Jewish. Kudlow attended the private Elisabeth Morrow School in Englewood, New Jersey until 6th grade, he then attended the private Dwight-Englewood School from the second half of middle school to high school.[4]

Kudlow graduated from University of Rochester in Rochester, New York with a degree in history in 1969.[5] Known as "Kuddles" to friends, he was a star on the tennis team and a member of the left-wing Students for a Democratic Society at Rochester.

In 1971, Kudlow attended Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, where he studied politics and economics. He left before completing his master's degree.[6]

Private sector career[edit]

Financial industry[edit]

In 1987 Kudlow was hired by Bear Stearns as its chief economist and senior managing director. Kudlow also served as an economic counsel to A. B. Laffer & Associates, the San Diego, California, company owned by Arthur Laffer, a major supply-side economist and promoter of the "Laffer curve", an economic measure of the relationship between tax levels and government revenue. Kudlow was fired from Bear Sterns in the mid-1990s due to his cocaine addiction.[7][8]

He was a member of the board of directors of Empower America, a supply-side economics organization founded in 1993 and merged in 2004 with the Citizens for a Sound Economy to form FreedomWorks. Kudlow is also a founding member of the Board of Advisors for the Independent Institute and consulting chief economist for American Skandia Life Assurance, Inc., in Connecticut, a subsidiary of insurance giant Prudential Financial.


Kudlow became Economics Editor at National Review Online (NRO) in May 2001; in December 2007 NRO published a Kudlow article entitled Bush Boom Continues in which he asserted the economy would continue to expand for years to come.[9] The Great Recession, the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, began that month.[10]

Kudlow served as one of a rotating set of hosts on the CNBC show America Now, which began airing in November 2001; in May 2002, that show was renamed Kudlow & Cramer, and Kudlow and Jim Cramer became the permanent hosts. In January 2005, Cramer left to host his own show, Mad Money, and the program's name was changed the next month to Kudlow & Company. The program went on hiatus in October 2008, and returned in January 2009 as The Kudlow Report, which ended its run on CNBC in March 2014. Kudlow added co-anchor of CNBC's The Call to his responsibilities in late 2008. Kudlow's style is boldly assertive and his line of argument is always framed in expressions of optimism about the economy, the stock market, and the dollar.[citation needed]

Kudlow is also a regular guest on Squawk Box, he has contributed to on MSN. He also appears on The John Batchelor Show as a co-host on Tuesdays and as a substitute. In March 2006, Kudlow started to host a talk radio show on politics and economics on WABC (AM) as "The Larry Kudlow Show" aired on Saturday mornings from 10am to 1pm ET and via nationwide syndication starting June 5, 2010. The Larry Kudlow Show was syndicated by Westwood One. He started a blog named Kudlow's Money Politic$ in October 2004.

He has also contributed to the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Times, the Cato Journal of the Cato Institute, and the City Journal of the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, as well as the television show The McLaughlin Group, and has appeared as a guest on The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer and on Wall Street Week.[citation needed]

Government and political career[edit]

In 1970, while he was still a Democrat, Kudlow joined Joseph Duffey's "New Politics" senatorial campaign in Connecticut. Duffey was a leading anti-war politician during the Vietnam war era. Kudlow, working with Yale University law student Bill Clinton as well as many other rising young Democratic students, was known as a "brilliant" district coordinator.[6] Kudlow worked on the U.S. Senate campaign of Joseph Duffey, along with Bill Clinton, John Podesta, and Michael Medved, another future conservative, and in 1976, he worked on the U.S. Senate campaign of Daniel Patrick Moynihan, along with Tim Russert, against Conservative Party incumbent James L. Buckley, brother of William F. Buckley, Jr.[11]

Kudlow began his career as a staff economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, taking a position "as a junior economist in a job where a master's degree wasn't required."[6] He worked in the division of the Fed that handled open market operations.

During the first term of the Reagan administration (1981–1985), Kudlow was associate director for economics and planning in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), a part of the Executive Office of the President. While he worked at the OMB, Kudlow was also an advisory committee member of the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, more commonly known as Freddie Mac.[citation needed] In April 2005, New York Governor George Pataki included Kudlow in a six-member state tax commission.

Kudlow's name was floated by Republicans as a potential Senate candidate in either Connecticut or New York in 2016.[12] In October 2015, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, in an email to supporters, attacked Kudlow as "a champion of big corporations and big money" despite Kudlow's not announcing a run;[13] in early December 2015, Jack Fowler of National Review created a 527 organization that encouraged Kudlow to run.[14][15]

Director of the National Economic Council[edit]

In March 2018, President Trump appointed Kudlow to be Director of the National Economic Council, succeeding Gary Cohn,[16] he assumed office on April 2, 2018.[17]

In April 2018, Kudlow said that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office was untrustworthy,[18] he dismissed CBO's estimate that the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act would increase the deficit by $1.3 trillion, saying "Never believe the CBO. Very important: Never believe them. They're always wrong, especially with regard to tax cuts, which they never score properly."[18] All credible studies of the tax plan, whether by nonpartisan organizations, Wall Street analysts or right-leaning research organizations, showed that the tax plan would increase the deficit.[18]

Also in April, Kudlow alleged that U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley had announced that the U.S. would soon sanction Russia due to "momentary confusion." After Haley contradicted Kudlow's claim, Kudlow called Haley to apologize.[19]

Political views[edit]

Kudlow in 1981


A self-described "Reagan supply-sider", Kudlow is known for his support for tax cuts and deregulation.[20] According to The Economist, Kudlow is "the quintessential member of the Republican Party's business wing."[20] Kudlow has no formal economics qualifications.[20]

He supported free trade prior to his White House appointment, but upon his appointment said that he supported President Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs.[20] Kudlow is not known as a deficit hawk.[20]

In 1993, Kudlow predicted that Bill Clinton's tax increases would dampen economic growth.[20] When the economy boomed in the late-1990s, Kudlow credited it to tax cuts enacted during the Reagan administration (1981-1989).[20]

He has also advocated that employees be compelled to make greater contributions to their pension and medical costs, suggesting that these expenses are an undue burden on businesses and defends high executive compensation as a manifestation of market forces and opposes most forms of government regulation.[citation needed] In general, he has described himself as a supply-side economist, arguing that reducing tax rates will encourage economic growth and ultimately increase tax revenue,[21] he has often argued that economic growth will clear deficits, while acknowledging the limits of growth.[21] He has also advocated wide ownership of stocks and has frequently spoken of a broad "investor class" that includes most Americans.[citation needed]

Kudlow was a strong advocate of George W. Bush's substantial tax cuts, and argued that the tax cuts would lead to an economic boom of equal magnitude.[21] After the implementation of the Bush tax cuts, Kudlow insisted year after year that the economy was in the middle of a "Bush boom", and chastised other commentators for failing to realize it.[21] Kudlow firmly denied that the United States would enter a recession in 2007, or that it was in the midst of a recession in early to mid-2008; in December 2007, he wrote: "The recession debate is over. It's not gonna happen. Time to move on, at a bare minimum, we are looking at Goldilocks 2.0. (And that's a minimum). The Bush boom is alive and well. It's finishing up its sixth splendid year with many more years to come";[22] in a May 2008 column entitled "'R' is for 'Right'", Kudlow wrote: "President George W. Bush may turn out to be the top economic forecaster in the country".[23] By July 2008, Kudlow continued to deny that the economy was looking poor, insisting that "We are in a mental recession, not an actual recession."[21][24] Lehman Brothers collapsed in September 2008, creating a full-blown international banking crisis.[21]

In their 2015 book Superforecasting, University of Pennsylvania political scientist Philip E. Tetlock and Dan Gardner refer to Kudlow as a "consistently wrong" pundit, and use Kudlow's long record of failed predictions to clarify common mistakes that poor forecasters make.[21][25]


On June 26, 2002, in a commentary in NRO titled "Taking Back the Market – By Force",[26] Kudlow called for the United States to attack Iraq, stating that Saddam Hussein had "weapons of mass destruction at his disposal" and that "a lack of decisive follow-through in the global war on terrorism is the single biggest problem facing the stock market and the nation today." In an open letter dated February 12, 2003, he endorsed George W. Bush's policies on economic growth and jobs.[27]

In 2016, Kudlow endorsed Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump, he later defended Trump's plan to rebuild the existing wall along the Mexico–United States barrier, declaring it was necessary to prevent terrorists from entering the United States, the United States was at war with ISIS and Trump was going to do what was necessary to protect the country. He also penned an article for RealClearPolitics advocating for conservative unity in the election and asking his conservative peers to stop criticizing Trump and instead help him become a stronger candidate.[28]

Personal life[edit]

Kudlow has been married three times:[29] In 1974, he married Nancy Ellen Gerstein, an editor in The New Yorker magazine's fiction department; the marriage lasted about a year. In 1981, he married Susan (Cullman) Sicher, whose grandfather was businessman Joseph Cullman and whose great-grandfather was businessman Lyman G. Bloomingdale.[30] The Washington wedding was presided over by Federal judge John Sirica; in 1986, he married Judith "Judy" Pond, a painter and Montana native.[31]

In the mid-1990s, Kudlow left Bear Stearns and entered a twelve-step program in order to deal with his addictions to cocaine and alcohol, he subsequently converted to Catholicism under the guidance of Father C. John McCloskey III.[29][32][33]

Kudlow is a member of the Catholic Advisory Board of the Ave Maria Mutual Funds,[34] he was born Jewish.[35] He served as a member of the Fordham University Board of Trustees and is on the advisory committee of the Kemp Institute at the Pepperdine University School of Public Policy.[36]


  • American Abundance: The New Economic & Moral Prosperity, 1997-12-01, HarperCollins, ISBN 0-8281-1117-0
  • Bullish On Bush: How George Bush's Ownership Society Will Make America Stronger, 2004–10, Rowman & Littlefield, ISBN 1-56833-261-0, authored by Stephen Moore and with comments by Kudlow
  • Tide: Why Tax Cuts Are the Key to Prosperity and Freedom, 2005-09-30, HarperCollins, ISBN 0-06-072345-9 (audio CD)
  • JFK and the Reagan Revolution: A Secret History of American Prosperity, 2016-09-06, Portfolio, ISBN 1595231145, by Lawrence Kudlow (Author) and Brian Domitrovic (Author)


  1. ^ "June 16 Bridal Set By Nancy Gerstein". The New York Times. May 26, 1974. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Europa Publications Limited; International Publications Service (1983). International Who's Who, 1983–84. Europa Publications Limited. ISBN 9780905118864. 
  4. ^ "The Interview: Lawrence Kudlow", from The American Spectator, March 2001. "I remember that in this little prep school that I went to, the Dwight Englewood School in New Jersey, we had to say the Lord's Prayer in homeroom."
  5. ^ "Rochester Review: The Optimist Reigns Again". Retrieved July 26, 2011. 
  6. ^ a b c Andrews, Suzanna (Nov 6, 1995). "The Hollow Man". New York Magazine (28(44)). pp. 34–40. 
  7. ^ "The '90s were 'a crazy time': John Kelly suggests Larry Kudlow's past cocaine addiction won't bar him from obtaining security clearance". Business Insider. Retrieved 2018-03-17. 
  8. ^ LLC, New York Media (November 6, 1995). "New York Magazine". New York Media, LLC. Retrieved May 9, 2018 – via Google Books. 
  9. ^ "Bush Boom Continues - National Review". December 10, 2007. Retrieved May 9, 2018. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ Medved, Michael (2004). Right Turns: Unconventional Lessons from a Controversial Life. New York: Crown Forum. p. 131. ISBN 1-4000-5187-8. 
  12. ^ Johnson, Eliana (June 24, 2015). "Larry Kudlow and NRSC Renew Discussions on Senate Run". National Review. Retrieved June 25, 2015. 
  13. ^ "Blumenthal campaign targets potential rival Kudlow over actual candidate Wolf". Retrieved October 20, 2017. 
  14. ^ "Redding Resident Being Lobbied to Run for U.S. Senate Against Blumenthal". December 6, 2015. Retrieved October 20, 2017. 
  15. ^ "Jobs for Connecticut". Archived from the original on December 11, 2015. Retrieved March 15, 2018. 
  16. ^ Javers, Eamon; Pramuk, Jacob (March 14, 2018). "Larry Kudlow to replace Gary Cohn as Trump's top economic advisor". CNBC. Retrieved March 14, 2018. 
  17. ^ Jagoda, Naomi (April 2, 2018). "Trump meets with new top economic adviser". The Hill. Retrieved April 4, 2018. 
  18. ^ a b c Stein, Jeff (2018-04-17). "Analysis | Trump's top economic adviser: 'Never believe the CBO … never believe them'". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2018-04-17. 
  19. ^ Associated Press (2018-04-18). "Larry Kudlow apologizes to Nikki Haley over Russia sanctions remark". NBC News. Retrieved 2018-04-18. 
  20. ^ a b c d e f g "President Trump appoints a new economic adviser". The Economist. Retrieved 2018-03-17. 
  21. ^ a b c d e f g Tetlock, Philip; Gardner, Dan (2015-09-24). Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction. Random House. ISBN 9781448166596. 
  22. ^ "The Recession Debate Is Over". National Review Online. December 5, 2007. Retrieved December 15, 2016. 
  23. ^ Kudlow, Larry (May 2, 2008). "Bush's 'R' Is for 'Right'". National Review. Retrieved July 26, 2011. 
  24. ^ "If Things Are So Bad . . . | National Review". National Review. 2008-07-25. Retrieved 2018-03-15. 
  25. ^ "Cancelling NAFTA would be a 'calamitously bad decision', says Trump's new economic adviser". CBC News. Retrieved 2018-03-15. 
  26. ^ Kudlow, Larry (June 26, 2002). "Taking Back the Market – By Force". National Review Online. Retrieved December 15, 2016. 
  27. ^ "Letter to the President on economic growth". February 12, 2003. Retrieved July 26, 2011. 
  28. ^ "A Plea to My Conservative Brethren". Real Clear Politics. March 25, 2016. 
  29. ^ a b Cowan, Sylvia Nasar with Alison Leigh (April 3, 1994). "A Wall St. Star's Agonizing Confession". Nytimes.cvom. Retrieved October 20, 2017 – via 
  30. ^ "Susan Sicher Married to Lawrence Kudlow". The New York Times. March 23, 1981. 
  31. ^ "Judith Pond Kudlow". Retrieved October 20, 2017. 
  32. ^ "Johnson, Richard, et al. "Robert Novak's 'Da Vinci Code' Link."". New York Post. September 2, 2009. Archived from the original on August 27, 2009. Retrieved July 26, 2011. 
  33. ^ "Ted Forstmann, RIP". Retrieved October 20, 2017. 
  34. ^ "Catholic Advisory Board Members of the Ave Maria Mutual Funds". March 15, 2007. Archived from the original on July 17, 2011. Retrieved July 26, 2011. 
  35. ^ "Larry Kudlow: 5 things to know about the bar mitzvah boy turned Zionist Catholic". Retrieved May 9, 2018. 
  36. ^ "Jack Kemp Institute at Pepperdine University's School of Public Policy". Archived from the original on July 20, 2011. Retrieved July 26, 2011. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Gary Cohn
Director of the National Economic Council