Joe Petrowski is the founder and chairman of Mercantor Partners. Petrowski graduated Cum Laude from Harvard University in 1976 where his thesis on the gas station business was published in the Harvard Review. His thesis accurately predicted the evolution of retailing in gas stations as we know them today. From Harvard, Joe went to work his way up at Louis Dreyfus, where he became CEO and developed his influence, and then the CEO of Gulf Oil. He affected Gulf Oil’s growth and their bottom line exponentially, which grew from 0 to 700 retail stores, and from 400 to 3500 gas station nationwide–the geographical expansion went from 13 states to 35 states. Today, Joe Petrowski sits on many boards, championing on many causes related to education and growth, and has a new show called “Overlooking the Business Battlefield” which he shares his vast experience and expertise on today’s hot issues.
Today’s hot issue: The US Economy
Our economy, he says, is strong. It will continue to be strong because we are reducing the deficit and the US dollar is stronger than ever. His two reasons as to why the stock market will continue to rise are low energy prices and low interest rates–energy prices are half of what they were a decade ago, he says. With a better economy, Joe sees a rise in Household formation; American manufacturing (attached with strong property laws benefiting manufacturers versus Brazil and Russia); and a change in political leadership in 2016, which he says will be more friendlier to businesses.
What he hopes for is a unified tax reform, which cash overseas comes back to the US economy. And his only worry, that could stop America’s great progress, is a terrorist attack specifically ISIS. If stock markets and earnings are to continue to grow, then there must not be a 9/11 attack. The Obama administration needs to form a coalition with our Arab friends, and overseas allies, and have aggressive approach towards dismantling ISIS permanently–even if it means US boots on the grounds.
Joe also talks about the internet and how it will give us the power to leverage wonderful teachers and classroom experiences. However he is skeptical of internet regulation because incumbents would in fact write laws that will favor themselves.