Larry Mizel is founder, chairman, and CEO of M.D.C. Holdings, ranked ninth in 2005 closings on the BUILDER 100 list. Operating as Richmond American Homes, M.D.C. serves buyers in nearly a dozen states. Mizel has a bachelor's degree in business from the University of Oklahoma and a law degree from the University of Denver. Mizel is board chairman of the Simon Weisenthal Center in Los Angeles. He and wife, Carol, live in Denver. They have two grown children, one grandchild, and another on the way. Mizel spoke with BIG BUILDER in June.

BB: What do you think of Henry Paulson as President Bush's choice for Treasury secretary?

LM: He really represents today's financial world. The prior heads of the Department of the Treasury, [Paul] O'Neill and [John] Snow, really came out of a different era. This is like getting the No. 1 trader in the world and putting him at a position of influence. I think the Treasury secretary would be an important influence to the president of what the real world is like.

BB: Any early assessment of Ben Bernanke as Fed chairman?

LM: He advocates fighting inflation as a keynote. However, I believe that view is constricted as to reality. We have a stagnated and slowed-down economy, and I consider that a greater risk in reality, versus being known as an inflation fighter when that war is substantially behind us.

BB: What are the prospects for an economy that sees an end to the housing boom?

LM: I think it will have a 1-percent or 2-percent effect on the economy. It won't be massive. I believe that the financial engine of the country will pull us through this current slowdown.

BB: Do you have a standout market these days?

LM: I would say that we are enjoying a very good market in Salt Lake City, as one of the larger builders there.