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tv   Viewpoint With Eliot Spitzer  Current  April 27, 2012 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT

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>> i love that. that's exactly right. you go get them! you go get those bank executives. and i'll go get these guys. all right. "viewpoint" is next. ♪ [ theme music ] ♪ good evening. i'm eliot spitzer and this is "viewpoint." it's the economy stupid. but who's economy? spain's where the unemployment just stopped 24% as the spanish economy lurches into a depression. britain reese suffering a double-digit recession from a misguided austerity budget? or the usa. gross domestic product rose at
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abannual rate of just 2.2% in the last quarter. our performance is better than britain's or spains, but that is like comparing the happen less 62 new york mets to a lousy little league team. you don't want to be either one. so who's economy? it's a trick question, because the answer is all of the above, we're all one, trade, finance, and banking systems are linked to the point where national economies rise and fall together. this country is far from immune to europe's problems. unless you are a ceo of a large company. the lehman brothershanded out nearly $700 million in total annual compensation to just 50 of its managers and traders the year before it went bankrupt. that includes $51 million to the trader who ran the team that made investments for the firm
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and $40 million for ceo, dick fuld. goldman sachs also making news for fresh allegations of insider trading. and so is treasury secretary timothy timothy geeter in who tried to explain how it was for the little guy. >> we did it for the little guy who risked tremendous loss in their savings. >> with me now to drill down into the numbers and william cohan, former investment banker, "bloomberg view" columnist and author of "money and power how goldman sachs came to rule the world". and dan gross, economics editor and columnist and yahoo finance columnist, and the author of the um coming book "better, songer
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fatter, the myth of an american decline and the rise of a new economy." dan let me start with you. you interpret the numbers a little differently than most. where is your economy going now >> the 2.2% growth was just the first estimate. they will revise that. and it is usually upwards. i think basically the story is now the u.s. consumer is doing much better than it was a few years ago. there are more people working than there were a year ago. car sales retail sales generally moving in the right direction, but the pace of growth is slowing a bit. >> it's not only slowing -- and bill let me ask you this. it's better than nothing, but if you have an eight cylinder car, you are not getting the speed you need to catch up to the guys in front of you. not enough to get unemployment down and create the wealth that
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we think about. how do you see things structurally? >> i think we're the best horse in the glue factory. >> that's a great metaphor. >> we are the best horse in the glue factory. >> oh, my goodness. >> but i think we are really living on borrowed time here. quite literally, our debt is $15.6 trillion. we spent $250 billion a year in interest alone, basically all of the revenue coming in to the treasury is going out to pay for entitlements and interest rates on the debt. and we're getting away with that $250 billion because interest rates are so low -- >> we're the best horse in the glue factory, but nobody is guying glue anymore. >> yes. i think we are really on borrowed time. >> dan is there a less son to be learned from what is going on in europe.
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clearly they are going over a cliff. one headline a day about how bad things are over there. what is the lesson you take away? >> europeans, worse crisis managers ever. we should have learned that in the 20s and 30s. but it's lessons from the 30s they should have learned. austerity tends to make things worse, and if you have austerity without reform and growth and innovation, you are making people pay higher taxes and spend less on innovation. so they are going through this -- i call this aare austeratizeking themselves right into a second recession. >> they are smart, i assume they understand what happened in the 20s and 30s. why are they not picking up on this? >> i think it is really
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difficult for them now eliot. they are like a mountain climbing team roped up on the side of everest -- >> you are full of metaphors tonight. >> i know. i don't know what it is. but they are all on the side of the mountain roped up and if one goes in the crevasse they will all go into the crevasse. >> but they still -- there seems to be -- >> they can't agree, because they have so many different competing interests. if the germans don't bail out the rest of us -- >> and germany is saying we are not bailing anybody out now. but germany is still driving austerity through all of spain and italy and greece. so what is going to happen there and does that drag us out. >> just as they said greece won't need a bailout, they are
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saying the exact same thing about spain. it's very difficult to make the numbers add up. italy can probably get through this, be it's very hard to see how spain meets his deficit targets, gets people back to work and save itself banks, without massive help or defaulting on its debt or getting people to take some sort of writedown. >> i want to put this into context. the unemployment in spain is 24%. this is depression era stuff. spain you think about going there drinking sangria and having a siesta. but 24%? >> that's like us in the great depression. it's not going to be a pleasant society. and it is spreading. look at the uk. a double-dip recession. even if they revised the
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numbers. >> the only thing that will get rupert murdoch off of the front page is a double dip recession. look is canes back? has he been proven right through all of this? >> i think so. he never left the building. starting here in the u.s. -- forget about obama stimulus those stimulus under bush were tax rebates and spending started to go up. we shouldn't president ourselves on the back too much. one of the things in the gdp report they tell you how every sector contributed or detracked from growth. our states and cities have been cutting budgets year-over-year. the federal government has not been raising taxes, but it has been cutting spending so the
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government sector subtracted 0.6 percentage points from growth. so the growth would have been 2.8%, instead of 2.6%. >> dan -- tell me if i'm right about this. i love seeing this. forget exports and imports. this is our economics lesson for the night. when government spends less it is not good for us. am i right? >> absolutely. >> all right. bill let me pivot to goldman for a second. every day they are back in the headlines for doing something criminal. what is going on here? >> i think the firm has had a crisis of confidence now going on for four or five years. if it's not the delaware chancellory judge it's their own
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board of directors gentlemen, who has insider trading, and now the managing director but you just don't know. you are an expert in this field but his lawyer says they have been searching for two years and can't come off with anything. so you don't want to go off half cocked here because it's a serious charge. >> i agree. nothing has been filed against this guy, but the one thing that is clear is the issue of ethics and business behavior are oozing out of goldman every week. a judge just scathing opinion basically said you guys would fail ethics 101. >> yeah, that was last year. >> right after they supposedly learned everything -- >> yes. >> you know me i don't believe these guys will ever learn as long as there are so many dollars involved. dan, give me as an economist the one number you look at so our
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audience can say if i want to read the financial pages, what one number is the best leading indicator of where our economy is going? >> it's hard to pick one -- >> you are already playing economist not giving me a straight number. >> i would look at auto sales. that's the biggest retail sector of this country, it is a very big investment so when people are willing to buy it tells you about some level of confidence, it needs credit card so we'll get the numbers for april auto sales later this month. they have been going gang busters this year. >> yeah. >> we're running at 14 million, 14.5. the car industry is upping production. good things happen in this country when we manufacture things. >> all right. interesting. bill? >> i'm not an economist, 7 trillion, eliot. that's the problem. >> i like the number what is
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it? >> that's the number that will be sucked out of the economy between the election and the first of the year if congress doesn't act -- >> in terms of the tax cuts. >> you got it. >> sequestration. talk about double dip, maybe triple dip. >> congress is going to have to do its job, and the president after the election. >> they are do it before, but that isn't going to happen. >> dan you talk about auto sales if people bought that you would think president obama would be in the position to say look, it worked. william cohan, and dan gross thank you both foryour time tonight. >> thank you eliot. >> thank you. >> coming up 6.1 million
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additional reasons why many folks will hate citizens united. number of the day coming up next. better back it up. >>eliot spitzer takes on politics. >>science and republicans do not mix. >>now it's your turn at the only online forum with a direct line to eliot spitzer. >>join the debate now.
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we're nearly 200 days away from the presidential election. but that hasn't stopped the groups born out of citizens united from spending impunity. which brings us to the number of the day. $6.1 million. that's the amount persons for pos parity has set to spend in an advertising campaign. they want you to believe the president squanders billions in
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overseas projects. in reality that $1.2 billion loan guarantee supported a first of its kind solar energy project in california. and half a billion dollars, quote went to a auto company that in finland. perhaps legitimate criticisms of the president were out of their price range. ♪
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it's go time. >>every weeknight cenk uygur calls out the mainstream media. >>the guys in the middle class the guys in the lower end got screwed again. >>i think you know which one we're talking about. the overwhelming majority of the country says"tax the rich, don't go to war." >>just wanted to clarify that. president obama won 66% of the youth vote in 2008. but the passion has clearly gone away. the best thing for president obama when it comes to the youth vote is that he's running against mitt romney. >> we have always encouraged
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young people. take a shot, go for it. take a risk. get the education borrow money from your parents. start a business. concern cross roads released its latest ad and paints the president as the one thing young people hate at least according to karl rove a cool guy. ♪ oh, yeah ♪ ♪ i am so in love with you ♪ [ cheers ] >> ♪ oh, yeah ♪ >> how is that ad supposed to hurt president obama i have absolutely no idea? if i were president obama i would call karl rove and say thank you, run it again. joining me now is jim saltman,
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and basal michael. what aim missing? that looked to me like an ad created by the dnc. explain this to me? >> definitely don't think he is a double agent, but i think the point is president obama is cool, and if he was running for high school class president he would have this election hands down, but we have some tough times with the economy, and i think the point of this ad was saying if you are graduating from college it will be tough to find a job. and i just don't think president obama is going to have that same enthusiasm for the younger folks. jimmy fallon is fun. >> i agree the enthuse asm isn't
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there now, but the way to get enthusiasm is to say you are cool. >> i remember when bill clinton went on the arsenio hall show with shades and playing the sack phone. and it got the youth vote out. that ad is a little weird, almost bordering on a colt 45 ad, but having said that, i think the president's cool point, something he has had since the beginning of his campaign, and i still think he has it going into this season. >> you said something that is certainly correct, which is the enthusiasm isn't there the margin by which the president will win it, but i don't see how that ad will do anything other than say, you like the guy. it does in fact make them likable to younger voters. am i right about that premise of
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the ad. >> yeah but if i have a choice between a cool president or a job, i'm going to pick a job. and as you get older you are not looking at who is the coolest you are looking at who is best on jobs and economy. and i think the point is barack obama is not it. >> this past week i think could be dubbed how do you buy the student vote right? pretty soon there is going to be negative interest on student loans. let me start with you, isn't there something only unseamly about it? >> to me the republicans have lost a lot of credibility on this, because when you are talking about going after youth voters, wasn't it rick santorum that said the president was an elitist for encouraging young people to go to college. and quite frankly you know at
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times in the last segment you talked about tough economic times, in tough economic times a lot of students go back to school, so we need to give them the opportunity, and i think the president is clearly aware of this, give them the opportunity to continue their education and get those jobs. >> don't have the republicans have a real issue on this problem. there is a chasm between governor romney and his comment just borrow the money from your parents, it does -- sort of distance him. if you think president obama is a little too cool mitt romney may have a little bit of a bubble problem. not everybody's parents were not the ceo of a large company that you could borrow from. >> look, student loan issue is one that cuts really deep. as i talked to a lot of folks
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today who are still paying student loans and they are mad about this. and i think that's why you saw the republicans and house rush to see there is not an increase. and this will play out over the next week or two. >> the question is how do you pay for the differential, but the reality is the president got out ahead of the curve, the republicans have been playing catchup on the issue. and the public sensibility is the republicans didn't want to keep the rates low. >> i do think you are right. at the very beginning you were saying there is maybe a loss of enthusiasm it's there, and palpable, but the president is a
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lot more credit on this issue than romney and the republicans. and he has articulated the best strategy for it, and i think the youth vote will come out for him in november. >> but the turnout will not be as high as it was. i teach in ccny just using the 20 kids in my classroom, i can tell you there is nothing close to the sensibility of excitement that there was years ago. so how you gin that up is the real issue? >> it is the real issue. and i'm involved in obviously a lot of political campaigns, and that's one of the hardest things to do to keep young people engaged from cycle to cycle, but if the president starts talking to youth again like he did before, we can gain some of that back. >> both of the candidates had been on a college tour this weekend. it was almost embarrassing how they are both following the same lock step to end up in front of
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kids with the same backdrop. but let me pivot away from the youth vote, the dnc, democratic funners put an ad up which stars bill clinton. and it makes you think maybe barack obama is cool and tough, but it seems to me the message is that mitt romney wouldn't have had enough backbone to go after bin laden. what is going on here? will this have traction? >> well, first of all, i hate to give credit card to anything the democratic national committee does, but it is a good ad. and using president clinton is a very effective ad. mitt romney is tough. he has made some tough decisions over his life. but this is the democrats being smart, which again, i don't like to admit, but they got a foreign policy advantage here because president obama at the end of
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the day is the president. >> chip, we don't have enough time to get into the foreign policy debate tonight. i'm not sure how much space there is between barack obama and what mitt romney would be doing, i think that's why mitt romney has a hard time doing anything more than throw bricks at the white house. and this ad is powerful because there is a substantive accomplishment. osama bin laden is dead. and i think the president can say look at what we did. and he is a cool guy who gets it done. >> i still think mitt romney will talk about jobs and the economy and president obama's record. and the fact is the deficit up gas prices are double. romney's campaign is going to focus, are you better off now than you were four years ago. >> certainly agree with that.
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>> absolutely. and americans are better off now than they were four years ago. the president gets his highest marks on foreign policy, unfortunately most voters don't go out and vote foreign policy, but are they better off now than four years ago, i think the overwhelming answer is yes. >> and are you more optimistic now? i think the answer there is also overwhelmingly yes. because four years ago a cataclysm was confronting us, and there was a sense of dread every day when we woke up. chip i'll give you ten seconds to rebut what i just said. do you disagree with the optimism we have now? >> yeah, i do. i don't think the economy is doing that great. we all hope the economy does better, but at the end of the day, president obama he has put
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impediments in the way to grow the economy. >> all right. i don't know why i gave you the last word. [ laughter ] >> all right. thank you both for some of your time. appreciate it. >> thank you. >> rush limbaugh wants to be a proctologist. viewfinder next. and who doesn't want 50% more cash? ugh, the baby. huh! and then the baby bear said "i want 50% more cash in my bed!" phhht! 50% more cash is good ri... what's
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attack on women that perhaps the majority of the population woke up? >> idaho is not known as approaching act i.v. you had hundreds of women show up, thousands signed petitions. they made their voices heard. what happens is that now, the legislators are running scared. very similar laws have passed quietly in other states for the past 10 years, really in the past two years have intensified. pennsylvania a similar law was shelved, idaho this proved to be political poison. women are paying attention and having their voices heard. >> thanks for coming in. >> the aclu considers a demand that to get a job you have to let an employer open your private mail, the senate wants to make it illegal to hand over
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a password to your facebook account. still to come last time tico almedah came on our show he upset some senior democratic officials. now he's back. but first obama is cool neil cavuto believes he is too, and john bolton definitely not. when it doesn't fit anywhere else, we put it in the viewfinder. >> i have to tell you what she said, but let me say i support what she said. >> lady's i think he's kind of cute. [ cheers ] >> this is the thing about trying to be cool, you either are, or you are not.
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>> vanilla is the new black. boring is good. >> i think if obama loses the huge edge he has among the youth it is going to be a very, very close election. >> count c hocula is right. >> i would assume with more weight in this situation more speed would be needed. >> i'm getting a new car after the program. eight miles to the gallon. i can't wait to get in the thing and find a prius and give them an anal example with my front bumper. >> why can't police officers look into a car and say god these people don't look like they belong her. >> now we're going to have a fight over women's health. give me a break. >> like the australian mr. mcgu. >> that was pretty close. >> hey buddy. the texas rangers are going to give you a ball signed by every
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texas ranger. is that cool? [ laughter ] >> i discovered a band called the black trees, and the favorite that i like is called wiley boy. ♪ >> and then he said i promise you, president obama has a big stick and the audience broke out laughing which is some measure of their belief of how assertive obama is on behalf of conservative international. >> tico almedah is next on "viewpoint." >>science and republicans do not mix. >>now it's your turn at the only online forum with a direct line to eliot spitzer. >>join the debate now.
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a president refuses to sign an executive rights order on a
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civil rights issue supported by over 70% of the population. you might have expected this headline during the bush administration, but not during the obama administration. which is why it was so shocking that president obama would not sign an order banning anti-gay discrimination by contractors. two weeks, tico almedah appeared on this show, and described a meeting at the white house where they were informed that the president would not be signed at that time. since then tico almedah attended another meeting with white house staff, here to give us an update the founder and president of freedom to work tico almedah. tico thanks for coming back. first of all what happened in the aftermath of you coming on the show? >> so apparently eliot there is a protocol here in washington, d.c. that when you get invited
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to the white house to get an excuse or two about why they will delay civil rights, i guess you are not supposed to talk about that. but i hadn't seen the memo and the national gay and lesbian task force -- all three of the leaders in those groups sent out press releases slamming the white house staff. and i actually didn't. >> then they blasted you after talking to me? >> yeah they were not happy with my appearance on your show. i think they were concerned that i pulled back the curtain and allowed people to see the excuses that are too common here in washington to deny civil rights. >> i just want to make sure i
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understand what the washington protocol is all about. when you believe you are supposed to leave and parrot exactly what they want you to say or they won't invite you back? >> the good news was i was invited back, and we're still in communication, and i had a really positive meeting with the white house staff. we bet at a starbucks on k street -- >> so in other words if you talk out of school you don't get invited back inside the tent but you have to go to starbucks where they will still talk to you. >> i think it's appropriate that we met at far stucks because they a long time ago banned discrimination. and that's what we're trying to push white house staffers in the second meeting. >> what is the sense maybe they will sign the order before
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november, or a wink wink, nod, nod, that we'll do it next term? >> this meeting went a lot better than the first one, and i maintain a sliver of optimism that this will get done soon and the biggest take away is that it is clear to me that these white house staffers and the president of the united states share with me and the whole gay rights movement and transgender rights movement the american value, that you should be judged on your skills and talent and performance and not who you love or what you gender may be. and we're going to get there. the question is when. >> i think tico that's exactly why there was so much upset and surprise that the president wasn't willing to sign it. had this be president bush who is wrong buddies agreed with it
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you would understand. here is a president who is the definition of civil rights and success, and that's why it is shocking. have you yet gotten comfortable with this? >> i am absolutely convinced that barack obama has done more for lgbt rights than any other president in history. so like i said last time to you this is still surprising and i still don't get it but i'm convinced question work together with the white house staff in the next few weeks and months and there will be more meetings and i'm holding out a sliver of hope that we'll get to yes sooner rather than later. >> you said something a few moments ago that was critically important to me, you said starbucks has already signed on to this, but you have also been discussing and using another way to get companies big companies
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to change their views on this through shareholder activism tell us about that and what are the next steps? >> as you said the vast majority of heards in corporation america understand workplace discrimination is morally wrong and bad for a company's bottom line. workplace harassment against gay people drops productivity and hurts the company. but there are a few stand outs who are stuck in the past and they are not living by current american values and leadership. so we'll target a few of those companies. one in particular. in may there will be a shareholder meeting down in dallas, texas. and the state comp controller of the state of new york who is doing really fantastic work on
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this is going to bring a shareholder movement to bring about policies that ban discrimination. >> i want folks to understand that you can accomplish this by executive order by the president and that would relate to companies doing work being paid for by the federal government or do it through one's ownership of the company. the new york state controller represents us in new york, we own shares in the company, he is saying because i own shares in exxon mobil, as a shareholder i'm going to the leadership and say you will do what is right for the company. a whole different approach and perhaps a more successful one. >> i think they are both successful. and exxon mobil is a federal contractor. they take millions of dollars per year from the taxpayers to provide our government services so they ought to fallow american values and ban discrimination,
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but we'll push for the executive order and also join this effort with the comptroller of the state of new york with a wonderful down in dallas texas called the dallas resource center who has been pushing really hard onyx son, and i i will there will be protests in balance and outside of the convention center and people will really push and tell exxon mobil you can't profit from american taxpayer money if you are going to discriminate based on a sexual preference. >> the founder and president of freedom to work tico almedah thanks so much for your time tonight. >> thank you. >> turns out our tarp profits weren't just a myth. they were a lie. my view coming up.
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homeowners fight back. the leader of the charge steven lerner will join us next. but first our final trip of the week into "the war room" with jennifer grandholm. what is on top tonight jennifer? >> we're in a new location. it's really the war roof tonight. can you see where we are. one guess. >> it looks great. >> it is the white house, it is so fantastic, but we'll talk about how progressives are mobilizing behind a lot of election issues this year and united against the war on women rally tomorrow. and we'll be joined by the american enterprise institute on reforming campaign finance, it will be a great show and starts at the top of the hour.
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>> it sounds spectacular. and you will be hanging out with all of the people at the white house course dinner. >> thank you very much. very, very excited about that and very proud of that. >>beltway politics from inside the loop. >>we tackle the big issues here in our nation's capital, around the country and around the globe. >>dc columnist and four time emmy winner bill press opens current's morning news block. >>we'll do our best to carry the flag from 6 to 9 every morning.
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>>liberal and proud of it. ♪ still to come revenge of the homeowners, but first here is my view. when it comes to wall street it is already déjà vu all over again. a report from the inspector general says despite claims to the contrary, tarp will cost us $60 billion. it is not turning a profit as the treasury department had claimed, but so much worse, tarp could be doing reel harm and here is why. it is creating the same dangerous incentives that caused the crisis in the first place. here is one more sal from the report, a significant legacy of
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tarp has potentially disastrous consequences associated with institutions deemed too big to fail. the big banks are getting bigger, and the federal guarantees to make any same crazy bets that got them in trouble before. meanwhile the smaller banks, the ones that actually lend and help the economy recover are being squeezed because they can't compete. and it stheems big banks are also up to their old illegal tricks. a day doesn't go by that goldman sachs isn't on the wrong end of another criminal investigation. which is why it is so odd when tim geithner says you legislate away stupidity no but you can prosecute criminality.
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pretty soon you begin to think we haven't learned anything. the bad guys are still playing games, and we're going to get stuck with the tab. those who don't learn from history are bound to repeat it. get ready. that's my view. ♪
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[ male announcer ] cookies with smooth caramel and chocolate. ♪ ♪ hmm twix. also available in peanut butter. the banks got bailed out. ceos got their bonuses. who got left out? homeowners. yet the sad truth is the economy won't come back until the housing market does. housing prices fell 4% nationwide last year alone, and continues to move in the wrong
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direction. movement to organize the estimated 11 million underwater homeowners to make them a potent voting bloc. steven, explain to me what your objective is, and how you are going to get there. >> thanks for having me. well, our objective is there's 11 million people underwater meaning their homes are worthless than they paid for them. and our goal is to force the banks to writedown the principal for the current market value so people can stay in their homes so they won't get foreclosed on and we think this isn't just fair for homeowners but also how we get the economy going, we literally -- if we create a million jobs and people are able to spend in their communities, and we think the 11 million homeowners around the country are going to be maybe the soccer moms in this direction. >> let me push you a little bit.
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you know i agree 100% with everything you just said and the fundamental inequity is that home owners have been left out. but as matter of politics, the obama administration tim geithner who i think has been egregiously wrong on this have not settled with the banks. so how do you get the banks to the table to do what they want to do, what the administration has not forced them to do? >> yeah, i think there is a couple of pieces on this one is the direct pressure on the banks. there was a shareholders meeting for wells fargo on tuesday. and something interesting happened in addition to a -- huge demonstration, which is hundreds of shareholders showed up at that meeting and wells fargo denied them entry. they wouldn't let the hundreds of people who came in who disagreed with wells fargo into the meeting, and the few that
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made it in, they had them arrested. so we'll start to build on the outrage people feel at the banks, and build a broader movement at the banc of america meeting on may 9th you'll see people engaging in the street. and there is a growing movement called occupy our homes. where the homes are sitting empty. people are moving back in. and surrounding the house and refusing to leave. and that is part of how we build excitement about what is going on, and i think puts real pressure on the bank. and a third part is political pressure on fannie and freddie. if you look at nevada arizona, florida, these are states with 60% of the people underwater it matters if underwater home owners get active in those states, and it matters to who will get elected and win in the
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upcoming election. >> you mentioned fannie and freddie, and about 60% of the mortgages outstanding underwater are owned or guaranteed by them. so what they say about this is critically important will fannie and freddie changes their perspective. if that happens that would seem to be to a fundamental shift. >> absolutely you need fannie and freddy instead of interfering to support it. and it will save taxpayers more money and be better for the economy to keep people in their homes than kick them out. a big part of what we have to do is put pressure on fannie and freddie and put pressure on politicians who deal with them. so say instead of being an obstacle they should be helping to solve this problem. >> you know i agree with you. but fannie and freddie have been
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problematic. you have fannie and freddie still taking the side that is contrary to our longer-term interests, and supportive of the banks. can the white house pick up the phone and direct them to change that. >> i think they can put a lot of pressure on them. but i think what will make it change is public outrage. a growing sense that the economy won't get fixed if they don't do it. and we're going to go into the congressional districts and do the math. fixing the mortgage crisis would add this many tens of millions of dollars into your neighborhoods. it's about people staying in their homes, jobs, fixing the economy, fannie and freddie need to fix it and not get in the way, and we're going to see this becoming more and more popular and more pressure to do the right thing, not the wrong thing. >> steven i
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