Kayla Tauche, CNBC reporter and co-host of “Squawk Alley”

It was evident at an early age that Kayla Tausche was a high achiever. Her idea of playtime was convincing her second-grade school chum to write short stories with her for hours at a time. One of Tausche’s favorites was her own tale about a mallard duck letter opener that came to life.

Years later while attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Tausche was on track for a career in international business or politics, but after experiencing the energy of a newsroom, she turned her focus to journalism. “Journalists can often wield much more influence than other professions,” she said.

Today, Tausche is seen on cable news network, CNBC, a leading source of global business news and real-time financial market coverage. In addition to her on-air reports, she is part of the ensemble cast of “Squawk Alley,” which airs each weekday from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). According to the network, the show covers “the intersection of Wall Street and technology.”

“My colleagues and the guests we have on our show help me learn something new every day. We have the unique ability to add our voices to the real-time conversation around markets, policy and innovation at a time when technology is front-and-center. In my opinion, it’s the best seat in the house,” said Tausche, referring to the prime location of their set. She also recalls the excitement of the biggest-ever IPO in history when Alibaba went pubic this past September.

In addition to technology, the banking industry is also something that Tausche watches closely.

“The most arresting trend I’ve witnessed in my three years at CNBC is the way the banks, almost in slow motion, have fallen out of favor. They used to be the profit centers of the US economy, but regulation after the Great Recession has placed very costly restrictions on them,” she said. “College students once clamored to get high-paying jobs on Wall Street, and now they are looking farther afield in finance, technology and media. Banks used to be at the forefront of innovation in how we store and spend money and now that title, too, has been ceded to Silicon Valley. It’s hard to see how the banking industry can regain its stature at this point.”

Tausche would also like to see the wallets of consumers less cluttered with currency and plastic.

“Credit card companies are really the powerhouses behind the emerging payments technologies. I’d love to speak to the heads of MasterCard, Visa and American Express about how they can aid the transition to a world that’s not only cashless, but also sans plastic.”

Who is at the top of Tausche’s list of tech innovators that she would like to snag for an in-depth interview?

“Facebook is a fascinating company, and Mark Zuckerberg is a fascinating executive,” said Tausche. “In a decade, he’s gone from being a precocious college student to a fearless first-mover in the technology sector at-large. He’s got the ear of world leaders and is the envy of his peers. I’d be lying if I said there was someone else at the top of my list.”

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