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tv   Piers Morgan Tonight  CNN  June 12, 2011 2:00am-3:00am PDT

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so i hope it stops and i can walk back over to the buses. >> the college kids are waiting. >> all right. susan. thank you. i'll see you tomorrow. i'm don lemon live in new hampshire i'll see you back here at 6:00, 7:00 and 10:00 p.m. eastern tomorrow night. thanks for watching, everyone. >> jack welch ran one of the biggest corporations. what would he do to get america winning again? what does he think of president obama's attempts to stem the financial crisis? >> there are too many people still out of work, without a job that allows them to save a little money or create a life they want for their families. that's unacceptable to me and to you. >> jack welch, one of america's most successful ever bosses gives us his secrets to success
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in business. >> i hired great people. i was never the smartest guy in the room. >> who would he hire to run the country? what does he think of the republican field? and what's his advice for politicians who fall from grace? jack welch live for the hour. this is "piers morgan tonight." good evening. i can't think of a better person to ask about the economy, the financial crisis and about america plc. to many people for decades you per son fighted america, plc. what state do you think the economy is in? i have lots of people giving lots of views. yours is one i want to hear. >> my view is we are muddling along. we are not going to double dip, in my view. there is too much liquidity out there, but we don't really have a vision of where we're going. in order to lead a country or a
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company, you've got to get everybody on the same page and you've got to be able to have a vision of where you're going. america can't have a vision of health care for everybody, green economy, regulations, can't have a bunch of piecemeal activities. it's got to have a vision. the vision has to be, in my view, piers, the most innovative economy in the world growing at a healthy rate and then everything you do has to pass through that screen. >> what's fascinating about what you are saying is the last time america was in a similar kind of position, and there are differences but it's similar, was ironically when you took aefer at ge in 1980. then the new beast in town was japan. now it's china. >> right. >> america faced similar challenges. the jobless figures were higher then. >> much worse. >> interest rates were 13%, 14%. >> prime rate was 20.
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>> arguably a worse scenario than now. your response to this in turning ge into the biggest company in the world was to get in there, slash the deadwood and sell off any companies not first or second to have a new system where the bottom 10% of the work force was fired every year. it was brutal, ruthless and incredibly successful. would the formula you deployed for ge work for america if you viewed it as a corporation? >> yeah. if america had a strategy of being a highly competitive, successful, winning enterprise and you put everything through it, you wouldn't have this uncertainty. you would have every government action supporting this vision. for example, in ge, we got rid of a lot of businesses that weren't number one and number two. we were selling televisions -- we were making televisions in syracuse, new york, television sets and the japanese were
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selling them cheaper in downtown syracuse than we could make them. it didn't take a scientist to tell you that you couldn't keep doing that. >> when i had donald trump on here -- every time i have him here, it gets to china in about five seconds and he starts ranting about china. he says america has surrendered itself businesswise to china. there should be trade barriers now. he gets very, very animated. is there merit to that or do you think the answer with china is to be more competitive by giving them what they need? >> out innovating them is the way to beat china, and to do everything that we do in this country to support an innovative policy that drives innovation and new products and more jobs and creates jobs. you can't put a wall up around here. we tried that in the '30s. it didn't work. >> am i right in thinking when the japanese were rolling high in the '80s, actually what they wanted and what they got from
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america was when america did precisely what you are suggesting. they came up with innovative stuff the japanese needed and they bought it. >> absolutely. we had an enormous trade surplus with japan in general electric. we sold them turbines, nuclear plants, lots of things. in the end, piers, you cannot put a wall up to win this game. you've got to have policies that allow you to win. for example, we are the only country in the world that taxes foreign earnings. what does that do? keeps all the money over there because you don't want to bring it back to get tacked. people say why don't you bring it back? if you leave it there, you don't have to pay taxes on it. even japan and the uk have said, whatever you made, bring your money back, it's free. >> president obama according to a new cnn poll today, his personal approval rating is
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falling. it went up a little bit after the bin laden assassination or killing, whatever you want to call it. down six points since then. many people saying that the reason is the economy appears to be tanking again, and that this election, according to another poll there, one of the issues that you most care about, americans were asked, four of the five subjects were economic-based subjects. one was terrorism. it looks to me and to most observers here, this election will now be fought almost solely about the economy and almost solely on domestic economy. what does president obama do? i know you don't want him to succeed necessarily. but if you were him, what would you do right now to get your approval rating up because people think you know what you are doing with the economy. >> i would not just use rhetoric to move to the middle. i would use actions to move to the middle. i would put a real lid on regulations for a while. i would not allow my nlrb to
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tell the boeing company they can't move to a place after they have moved there, built a plant, spent $2 billion and hired 1,000 employees in south carolina and say, no, no, no, no, you have to go home, or you have to fight it in the court. i wouldn't do anything to hurt our competitiveness because the vision would be we want america to be the most competitive enterprise on earth. >> you cited steve jobs at apple repeatedly as a great example of what you are talking about -- an entrepreneur with creative geniuses around him, innovating and dominating the marketplace by doing so. if everyone behaved like he and apple did, america would be in great shape. >> absolutely. he has done a remarkable job. imagine a guy who started apple, they threw him out. he started pixar, creates another multi billion dollar company. comes back to a reeling, broken apple and gets it to number one again. think of it. that's what we need everywhere.
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>> why aren't there more steve jobses being created in america? >> that is a great question. there are many more than you think. america's management today is far superior to what it was when i was there. fat cats used to run companies, sit in offices with big briefing books. today we have short-sleeved managers. i run a course called two days with jack welch twice a year. i bring in a hundred executives. these guys run $500 million, $1 billion companies. not huge companies. they're on fire. they are doing all kinds of stuff. they're creating jobs. we just need more job creators. we don't need uncertainty in regulations. you can't pass a health care bill, piers, and then end up with 1,300 exemptions because your friends get it. who gets it? what does it mean? it's a real issue. we've got to get the uncertainty out of the game. what are the rules?
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>> i'm going to come back to ask you how to get the uncertainty out of the game. also, after the break i want to ask you how we got into the mess in the first place because it was a spectacular mess. which are one of a kind. the authentic, the rare, the hard to define. to those who'd climb mountains or sail across seas for the perfect vanilla or honey from bees. to the lovers of orchards where simple is grown, who treat every bite as a world of its own. to those always searching for what's pure and what's real from we who believe we know just how you feel. haagen-dazs.
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we are in a tough fight. we have been in the tough fight over the last two and a half years to get past a crippling recession. but also to deal with the problems that happened before the recession. the fact that manufacturing had weakened, the middle class was treading water. i don't think the answer is for us to turn back. i think the answer is to stand up for what this country is capable of achieving. >> president obama expressing faith that the american economy can turn around. do you share his faith, jack?
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>> with the right policies, i certainly do. i think the american spirit is alive and well. we just need a clear direction where everybody can get in line including the government and the private sector. >> when you retired, when you left ge, five, six, seven years ago. >> ten. >> ten years ago? >> yeah. >> so ten years ago. >> ten years. >> that's a long time, isn't it? feels like yesterday, jack. when you left ten years ago, everything was riding high. ge was fantastic. >> yeah. >> you'd gone from $14 billion to $400 billion. america was riding high. everything was looking great. what went so catastrophically wrong that meant we had this terrible financial crisis? >> so many things can be attributed to what caused the problem. certainly lots of money available too easy. when smart people have too much money floating around too
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easily, the risk premium is gone out of bets. >> is that because greed kicks in? >> no. i don't think it's so much greed. i think it's everybody sort of freewheeling it. for example, we had congress saying, everybody should own a house. we had fan indiana ni and freddie supporting that. we had mortgage bankers out giving it. we had wall street drumming up new instruments, sids and things we had never heard of before. everybody had a piece in this. everybody had a piece. >> who was most to blame? >> that's a hard one. well, you can blame the consumer for getting a house they didn't have with no responsibility. you can blame wall street for pushing it. i really can't pick one. >> if you were ceo of wall street, plc, doing the 10% rule, who would you have fired? who were the main culprits here?
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>> i would have cleaned out anybody in the mortgage business who put faulty mortgages together. i would have put in people putting together faulty paper, i would have cleaned out every one of those people what were falsifying their applications as to their ability to pay. there's a whole series. >> should some of the people have gone to jail? >> i'm not qualified to pick that whether that's true or not. i don't know enough in the details of that. i honestly don't, i'd tell you. >> when you talk about falsifying paperwork, can it be -- >> consumers do it all the time. we just had this thing in this oil problem in the gulf. ken feinberg talks about all the false papers he got in with people that lived in maine claiming they had a problem with their fish in their restaurants. everybody put in a claim. that's just life. >> so you weren't saying people in wall street itself were falsifying stuff? >> oh, that's wrong.
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>> but that has been suggested. >> no, no. i'm not saying that. >> they were playing with paperwork. it wasn't really money. >> i'm not sure that's true. they were putting together instruments and selling them to a public that was buying them. was that right or wrong? i don't know. i don't know if it's illegal or not. i'm not capable of answering that correctly. >> if you had been running goldman sachs, would you have allowed the multi-million dollar bonuses to be paid out after the bailout for the next few years? >> look, there is a culture in wall street. i owned one that went down, one of the worst moments in my life. >> you got rid of it. >> i couldn't manage the system of bonuses. we had a trader who did something illegal. i had to go down there on friday night and work with weekend to find out what went wrong. i went to the men's room sunday night. i'm in the men's room next to a trader. he said to me -- we had a $400
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million fraudulent claim. he said, this won't hurt my bonus, will it? >> all he cared about. >> all he talked about. it's a culture. i wasn't able to manage it. >> let's take the culture for a moment. many say it was precisely this culture collectively across all the people you have talked about which led to the crisis. the culture nearly -- it brought down lehman brothers. it could have easily brought down goldman's and others. they were bailed out. the moment they got back on their feet, the first thing they did, from my perspective, was stick their noses straight back in the same trough. >> if they didn't, guess what those people would have done? they would have gone to the british banks and to the other banks, hong kong, shanghai bank, deutsche bank and everybody else waiting to steal their people. >> unless the global banking community -- >> took an oath and said -- >> unless governments all around the world when they orchestrated
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the bailouts said, we'll bail you out and you will all sign up to no bonuses for the next five years. why couldn't they have done that? >> why didn't the government do that? >> should they have done? >> i don't like the government doing it. i'm not going to get trapped into that one. >> interesting that you hesitate. you have always been a big supporter previously, i will grant you that, of allowing people to be paid what they should get in the marketplace. that includes bonuses. but this is different. this is where these companies have been bailed out by the taxpayer. it's a different scenario. >> i'm giving you that point. i'm giving you the point that they should have been more cautious, but they had a competitive playing field again. and you have seen it. >> they only had a playing field at all because they were bailed out. >> they still had to stay in business. they had to stay in business. >> you don't have to award yourselves multi-million dollar bonuses to stay in business. >> you better reward your best traders or someone will take
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them. that's part of the system down there. >> that's what i mean about had there been a global crackdown -- if they all got together, we are all in this together. it wasn't the country -- well, that's not true. >> nice job. >> there were countries that did it, but if they had gone in together and said, yes, we'll bail you out. no, you can't have bonuses for five years from anywhere. >> let's not make it five years. >> three years. something. what i hate is you've got millions and millions of americans who have lost their homes, their jobs, their security, can't feed their children and they have to read in the newspaper, one of the few things they can afford still, or they are seeing on television about the bankers and they are thinking, these guys got them in the mess, we bail them out. and now they're making millions again and i don't have a home or a job. >> i don't blame them for being mad as hell. >> it's wrong, isn't it? >> seems to be.
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you won't get me arguing the case. i don't buy that case. i do know that unless you've got everybody, that culture will move people to where the action is. >> we're going to come back after another break to talk about politics. i think you're on a roll now, jack. it's time we got stuck on the big political issues of the day. i want to know who you think should be running the country. >> okay. >> if you want to tweet me, @piers tonight and we'll put your questions to neutron jack. what do you got? restrained driver... sir, can you hear me? just hold the bag. we need a portable x-ray, please! [ nurse ] i'm a nurse. i believe in the power of science and medicine.
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we saw where paul revere hung out as a teenager which was something new to learn. and, you know, he warned the -- the british that they weren't going to be taking away our arms by reading those bills and making sure as he's riding his
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horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to be secure and we were going to be free. and we were going to be armed. >> that was sarah palin in boston last week giving her unique view of american history. when you hear sarah palin come out with stuff like that and she's so carefully controlled we don't hear many spontaneous utterances, but when she says something like that, does it worry you that she might have her finger on the nuclear trigger within a couple years? >> i wouldn't support her for president. >> do you think she'd be dangerous? >> i just wouldn't support her for president. >> why not? >> i don't think she has the gravitas or the international depth or a lot of things. >> she's getting a lot of support. >> she's a celebrity, not a politician. >> you think it's because of that that she's getting support? >> people follow her. she struck a vein along with the tea party in terms of government spending. i just wouldn't support her as
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president. nothing against her. i just wouldn't vote for her. >> do you see anybody emerging on the republican side who is the kind of leader that you're looking for? >> you know, this is a great question. because if you asked me that a month ago, i would have said, well, mitt romney might be the best guy, et cetera, the most obvious guy. but everything i see tim pawlenty say in the last month appeals to me. now, he's not the jazziest guy in town, and he's not the most exciting. if you look at what he says and his vision for america and the plan he put out in the last 48 hours, every time i see him on an interview, whether it's your show or somebody else, the guy makes sense. >> he definitely does. my only issue with him is he's not the most dynamic of characters. does that matter anymore? >> it makes a lot of difference to get elected.
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it doesn't do a hell of a lot for you once you're in the job. >> you're a republican. >> absolutely. >> you want someone to beat president obama. barack obama, whether you like him or not, is a very, very dynamic kind of character. >> terrific. >> he has a youthful exuberance, zest and all that kind of thing. you look at somebody like tim pawlenty, i think he's a smart guy. i have enjoyed having him on the show. he makes a lot of sense, like you say. i can see the temptation. in your heart do you think he can beat someone like obama? >> i'm going to find out over the next 15 months. hopefully the next 6 to 9 months. because they will pick somebody in the primary. you know, i was at the gym this week talking to some guys. never would have thought this. i said what i just told you that this guy is starting to intrigue the hell out of me. then i came out with this plan. i talked to guys saying, i'm having a fund-raiser for him and i almost dropped dead. he's a democrat. he's going to have a fundraiser for him.
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>> why? >> he likes what he says. he likes what he says. there's some buyers remorse in the wall street crowd over the obama selection, whether you want to buy it or not. there is some buyer's remorse. >> do you think everyone on the republican side is waiting for somebody to come through? i get the sense that it's in limbo. >> it is. >> the issue now seems pretty clear cut. forget foreign policy. it's about the economy, jobs. >> it's about a vision for america. it's about where are you going to take america? do you believe in america's greatness? do you have an economic plan to create jobs? are you going to create an exciting, innovative america where people are going to win? is that what you're going to do? are you going to grab people by the shirt and excite them about where you will take america where the pie gets bigger? we're not slicing a smaller and smaller bite. whether we do this for health care, this for the environment, we have a bigger pie. when you get a bigger pie,
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armies win. we want it so armies win. >> you took ge all around the world and did loads of business, thus depriving and removing the ability of american jobs in america. >> i would say, look, we grew ge from $25 billion to $130 billion. from 1985 to 2000 we didn't have any layoffs. all we did was build, build, build jobs. we became competitive. we had a vision of becoming the most competitive enterprise on earth and we became the most competitive enterprise on earth in every business we were in. and every employee rallied behind it. we had over 90% approval rating of the management and the strategy. you don't get that for a dental plan. you don't get it. people bought into where we were going. people would buy into a vision of america that wasn't piecemeal.
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we have a health care plan to get 45 billion people on health care that won't cost anything? how do you do that? >> when you look at countries like china, india, brazil and so on, the emerging superpowers, economic powerhouses, how should america deal with the threat they have never had to face before? >> talk about them. how successful they are, what they are doing. i had a meeting on friday. i'm part of a group that runs this hundred ceo forum. we had brazilians and chinese there. guess what? they both want to be exceptional. they are both excited about their growth. the theme of the meeting was why are brazilian managers so good? brazilian managers are so good, they said, because they have been dealing with uncertainty for so long. we can't even predict the past, was the line.
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yet we are ready to move on a dime for anything. all the developed nations, the brits, your home country, the europeans, the americans, we've had pretty steady trajectories. uncertainty hasn't been the way. now here in an uncertain climate. we need more certainty. people are scared about their jobs every day. when people know they have job security and have a future and somebody tells them where we are going and doesn't leave them in limbo all the time you will get people so excited about the vision. >> when we were in britain, for example, looking at the whole big picture, obviously britain lost a lot of power over the years. but you say, right, you have america which was always the number one superpower. now you have china, india, brazil and the others. actually, america is clearly not going to be the only superpower in town. it may not even be economically number one in ten years' time. china may well --
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>> well, if we fall asleep we won't be. >> donald trump, to come back to him, his argument is that china is stealing jobs from america, stealing money from america, buying up the debt to try to own and control america. what is the right way to deal with china? >> out innovate them, which we can do, which we do all the time. get government policies that every time a government official, a bureaucrat sitting in some damn office in washington thinks of a new reg, he thinks about is this going to make america the most competitive country on earth? or if i do this, is that the right time to do this? when we're broke, or should we put more money into here and here? when they think through this problem and think of it through a prism of, does this make us more competitive, can we beat brazil, china, it's okay to be exceptional. it's okay to be the best. it's okay to want to be the best. >> do they scare you or excite
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you, the chinese? >> excite me. >> because it's a new opportunity. >> they're huge. all i see are consumers. all i see is opportunity. when i went to india, i twobt india initially for low cost. when i got to india i thought it wasn't about low cost. it was all about that damn intellect they had there. >> jack, hold this excitement for one second. have a cup of water. we're going to come back. i'm going to get some facebook and twitter questions for you precisely on this kind of thing. [ male announcer ] to the seekers of things which are one of a kind. the authentic, the rare, the hard to define. to those who'd climb mountains or sail across seas
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i'm susan hendricks. here is what's in the headlines tonight. a 13-year manhunt is over for the alleged al qaeda mastermind of two u.s. bombings in africa. fazul abdullah mohammed is believe to have been the architect of 1998 bombings of the american embassies in kenya and tanzania that killed 225 people. kenyan and u.s. officials say he was gunned down at a somali checkpoint in mogadishu. the white house is harshly condemning the brutal crackdown of dissidents in syria. in a statement, the obama
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administration says syria has no excuse for denying humanitarian assistance by a group like the red cross. state media reported more unrest saturday with syrian soldiers working to retake a rebellious northern town. human rights activists say at least 25 demonstrators were killed friday across syria. the wallow fire in northeast arizona has now burned an area the size of houston, that big. some 430,000 acres. that makes it the second largest blaze in state history. already there are signs that it's spreading into neighboring new mexico. new york congressman anthony weiner is seeking professional treatment after the strongest calls yet for his resignation. nancy pelosi is one of the members of his own party who want him gone. this week he admitted to graphic online communications with women after initially denying it. those are the headline this is hour. i'm susan hendricks with cnn, the most trusted name in news.
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i must say twitter, jack, and facebook have been exploding since you have been getting overheated here. i love this one just in. jack welch is the cutest little old dude ever. he's so smart, i could watch him all night. how do you feel about being a cute old dude, jack? >> i don't like the old part of it. >> we have some more here. this is from tam on facebook. how do you fix detroit? is it on its way to being fixed? >> i think it's on its way to being fixed, and i think you see that every day in the car figures where they're competing very effectively with the japanese and korean imparts, although the koreans are getting very strong. >> i wasn't aware of this as we have been doing the interview.
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how did you overcome what was a crippling stutter? >> my mother told me, god bless my irish mother, she made me feel 6'4" with hair, too, but she told me every day, jack, your mind just works too fast for your tongue, you're too smart, and i believed her. >> she made it a positive. >> she made it positive. i was speaking at m.i.t. is week ago and a young man in the audience took the mike. there were 1200 people in the auditorium and he couldn't speak. he couldn't speak. and he is just -- i said, look at me, come on, look at me stuttering down here. i was sitting at the bottom of the well, and finally i said i'm not even 6'4" with hair, and the guy yelled out, i am! and he came running up. it was a moment -- they had a film of it. a moment you would never see again.
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and that's what you have to have. you have to have some guts and be told it's okay. >> and is the power of positive thought, it may be an old cliche, but is that key? it seems to me america collectively was so shaken by the financial crisis, it's sort of lost its confidence, and america has always been supremely confident. that's been the beauty of the place. >> love that comment because self-confidence is the key to everything you do with all your people. from your mother's knee to good grades in school to playing sports, whatever it is, every notch of self-confidence -- you, wherever you grew up and what you did, you did the talent show and -- >> i'm short like you. i have often had moments of self-doubt. the trick is to not let anybody see them. >> hide them. >> everybody has them. >> we all have them. >> exuding an air of confidence. >> try getting a job with 425,000 employees and $25 million in business and you get
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the job the next day. and then you just go. >> another question here, i love this one from mark bradshaw via facebook. how much money does jack welch have on him right now? >> i don't know, but i'd probably be about -- i'd say somewhere between $100 and 120 bucks so knocking me off wouldn't get you too much. >> i read a quote recently that you have made $720 million yourself. is that true? >> something like that. >> it's not bad, is it? >> for a kid from salem that went through a $50 a semester college, a hell of a country, huh? >> does money make you happy? >> no, i had my pile pretty early. making -- seeing other people get money is the biggest turn on in the world. we used to give the stock options sheets on friday night in our company and we'd see a guy making $80,000, an engineer, cashing in stock for $275,000 or
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$400,000 and we'd say what a hell of a weekend they're going to have. and that is the turn on. to get everybody to grow, and that's what we've got to do in america. that's what we did for 100 and some years. >> why isn't america manufacturing more stuff now? why isn't it recognizing that this is probably the big problem? >> we're manufacturing lots of goods. we don't want to manufacture t-shirts. we don't want to manufacture -- >> what about, for example, very heavy big plant machinery and ship it to china where they really need it? >> we are. look at caterpillar. >> are we doing enough? >> we're doing tons of it. ge turbines, jet engines. >> isn't that where you can see real growth. >> look at caterpillar. earth moving equipment it's all over chinese. >> would you like to see more companies like that? >> of course we do. >> is that one -- >> one of the solutions is that. >> build more and ship it to where they need it. >> have it there, and bring parts back and forth. you have to be part of a global economy.
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another short break. when we come back, your philosophy for business success based on the fact that you were described as the manager of the century. so no pressure. these sweet honey clustery things have fiber? fiber one. almost tastes like one of jack's cereals. uh, forgot jack's cereal. [ jack ] what's for breakfast? uh, try the number one! i've never heard of that. [ wife ] it's great. it's a sweet honey cereal, you'll love it. yeah, this is pretty good. are you guys alright? yeah. [ male announcer ] half a days worth of fiber. not that anyone has to know.
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i hired great people. i was never the smartest guy in the room. from the first person i hired i was never the smartest guy in the room. and that's a big deal. ft. you're going to be a leader, if you're a leader and you're the smartest guy in the room you've got real problems.
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>> one of the examples of business advice jack welch has come out with, from the jack welch business management institute. you say you aren't the smartest guy in the room. a lot of the time you probably were, jack. what i liked about you was the simple philosophy you brought to the business. having read your books, i will read some of the things you came out with. creating great people makes a great company. shareholder value is the dumbest idea in the world. i want people who dream and i want people who sweat. are we getting enough of this ideology at the moment in america? >> i think we are getting a lot of the latter. we are getting a lot of dreamers now in small companies starting out. the recession, in many ways, piers, created a lot of entrepreneurs. they couldn't go -- when i was teaching at m.i.t., i had a class of 40 people. 23 of them had already started companies. that's something. now we have immigration policy
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that's ridiculous. we throw people out. we educate them. we kick them out. we ought to give them a green card and a big check if they are here for a certain period of time, for example. >> you mentioned education. what's frightening to me if i was an american the survey this week that said china is about to overtake america in the field of scientific research production. that's a worrying moment. that means that the education system is getting better and better and more and more competitive. >> of course they are getting more and more competitive. that's why we need to step up our game. there's a great article in the journal today on the lack of productivity in american universities. the cost of higher education keeps going up for poor parents who can't afford to send their kid to a school because too many of these guys are teaching one class a week. the productivity now at universities is terrible. tenure is a terrible idea. keeps them around forever and they don't have to work hard. >> one of the arguments against
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the chinese doing business is they don't have all the bureaucracy because they don't have the normal rules. they cut corners, they are ruthless, and they will do anything to win but they don't play by the rules. what's your experience of doing business with the chinese? >> well, they do it their way. and you've got to be flexible enough to move with them and know what they are doing but you still can play by the right rules. but you're going to see when you -- we started a lightbulb factory there and then we built three lightbulb factories and we thought we had a real growing concern. then we found out every mayor in a town in china could buy a lightbulb factory to hungary and they did it. before you knew it there were 500 companies spewing out light bulbs. >> isn't that their great trump card, what they do is brilliantly, the chinese. they take a great idea and they
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do it faster, cheaper, and often better. >> no question. that's why you have always got to have something they need. to go to china with a me too product is a joke. i have to be in china because i have they have a billion 300 million people. with a me too product? they love you when you come with something special. they yawn when you come with something -- >> how important. you said once here, integrity is just a ticket to the game. if you don't have it in your bones you shouldn't be allowed on the field. >> absolutely. integrity is the whole thing. and when you go to countries initially, in the '90s, the europeans allowed briberies as a tax deduction. in the '80s particularly and they started to change. when we went over there we would lose orders to bribes. >> were you surprised by the warren buffett affair recently when his top guy had to leave in what were pretty unethical circumstances. >> warren will never understand that nor will others.
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we don't know what's behind it all. it's tough to comment. i was with warren recently and he said i was the most surprised guy in the world that this happened. >> were you surprised that he allowed it to happen? >> warren runs a very decentralized company. he lets people do their thing. he's been very successful doing that. but it puts a lot of trust in every manager he has, and he's got to bet on them doing it all right themselves. do you think if you had been in his shoes and a top, top executive running the show for you comes to you and says what that guy said to warren buffett, wouldn't alarm bells go off? >> they did for warren. >> too late. >> we don't know what happened. >> take a final break. when we come back, i want to talk to you about your flourishing second career as an actor. ♪ ooh baby, looks like you need a little help there ♪
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look, i know how much don meant to you and if you need a pass i'll be happy to go out and get you some weakness tissues. >> no you, i'm not crying in front of neutron jack and i'm not giving up. don wanted this company kept. these people are from philadelphia! >> let it go, john. it's over. i mean, jack welch, jack nicholson, hard to tell the difference. >> no, it isn't. >> you enjoy your acting. >> it was my big moment in the sun, i'll tell you. >> tell me about your new online venture. >> we got a school called the jack welch management school. it's at chancellor university which is a small school in cleveland and we have an mba program and certificates where we're teaching people how to lead, how to manage. we have four certificates. the first one which we just started is how to be a new leader.
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i wrote the course myself with another person. >> that's quite interesting. someone was just tweeting. i liked this question. neutron jack, if you were running a fortune 500 today, what current ceo, remove steve jobs from this, would you hire to run a business? >> you got to say that sam at ibm has done an incredible job. >> best businessman in the world right now? >> one of them. there's so many. >> who to you has been the most inspirational over the years of all the business people you've met? >> not one. and i think anybody who looks at one person as a leader is wrong. everyone has something special. somebody can teach you how to do this better. everyone, you can learn from everybody. finding a better way every day is what every person has to wake up doing. i'm learning something from you