Skip to main content

tv   Amanpour Company  PBS  January 11, 2019 4:00pm-5:01pm PST

4:00 pm
welcome to amanpour and company. here's what's coming up. mike pompeo is in cairo talking up america's mideast leadership role 100 days after saudi arabia's brutal murder of jamal khashoggi. i speak to his friend, lawrence wright and the former fbi agent. plus -- a black police officer infiltrates the ku klux klan. it is award season and spike lee talks about "blackkklansman." could credit card companies stop mass shootings? walter isaacson drills down with
4:01 pm
columnist andrew ross sorkin. >> uniworld is a proud sponsor of amanpour and company. b tollman is synonymous with style. when she acquired uniworld, a boutique river cruise line, she brought a similar style to the rivers with a destination-inspired design for each ship. bookings available through your travel adviser. for more information visit >> additional support is provided by rosalin walter, bernard and irene schwartz. sue and edgar woken him. judy and josh west on.
4:02 pm
the jpb foundation and contributions to your pbs constitution from viewers like you. thank you. welcome to the program, i'm christiane amanpour in london. secretary of state mike pompeo chose cairo to set table for the trump administration's mideast peace policy and deliver a strong rebuke of president obama's policy for the region, also delivered in cairo nearly a decade okay. >> when america retreats, chaos follows. when wey in dplekt our friends and paper with our enemies, they advance. the good news is this. the age of self inflicted american shame is over and so are the policies that produce so much needless suffering. >> harsh words as he seeks to roll back the obama days, including encouraging iran on that nuclear deal. today's speech was overshadowed
4:03 pm
and perhaps undermined by america's own retreat from syria at the insistence of president trump which could leave iran and allies in a stronger position in that country and the region. while secretary pompeo laid out his detailed case against iran's deadly ambitions, he failed too call out serious human rights abuses by america's own allies. either his host country of egypt or saudi arabia. a critical american partner in the coalition against iran. the murder of jamal khashoggi 100 days ago focused global attention on the authoritarian rule of the saudi crown prince, mohammad bin salman. two perfectly placed guest, jamal khashoggi's friend and the author, lawrence wright, and the former fbi special agent and ceo of the group. the two go way back thanks to the pulitzer prize winning book
4:04 pm
that is the definitive accounts of the events that led up to 9/11. it's now a drama on hulu including the key role who made his name in real life investigating al qaeda plots and interrogating al qaeda suspects. they are both attending a bipartisan event in congress marking 100 days since jamal's murder. joining me from washington, gentlemen, welcome. >> thank you. >> so, we are going to get to the specifics of the event that is being hosted in congress behind you. a bipartisan event. to that end and given the unbelievable murder, the dismemberment and the savage treatment of a journalist working for an american newspaper by an allied government, what did you make of the focus of secretary pompeo's speech in cairo today? larry, you are a friend of jamal's. you first.
4:05 pm
>> what i was thinking when i was reading through pompeo's speech is how much faith jamal had in american policy, much more than i do sometimes. he believed that america needed a strong presence in the mideast. yet our presence has been so wavering. i don't think we have had a more volatile and uncertain policy than we do now. i don't think the secretary's speech has changed any of that. >> you have been right at the heart of the geopolitics inside the fbi and outside doing your security work. what do you make of secretary pompeo kind of departing with traditional american speech in foreign land, never once mentioning human rights and pluralism and tolerance and only mentioning democracy once and that's in relation to iraq's
4:06 pm
thriving democracy. >> it's a sad day and frankly, i agree with one thing the secretary said today when america retreats. that's very true. we are basically witness iing wn america tweets. that's unfortunately about syria that resulted with secretary mattis leaving. i think there was a lot of confusion in the region. this is why secretary pompeo went to the mideast to tell our allies and friends and partners who are anxious about our syria policy that the president of the united states does not speak for the united states, but he speaks for the president of the united states. amid this confusion for our strategy and our policy in the mideast. we see five of the countries that secretary pompeo is visiting do not have ambassadors. two years later of the trump
4:07 pm
administration and still, we don't have ambassadors in the supported countries. we have 40 vacant ambassadorships around the world. the number two most senior position that oversees the mideast and the near east are still vacant and we don't have secretaries for these positions. i think with all due respect to secretary pompeo before we start pointing the finger at president obama, we need to look at our own policy in the mideast. they support the atrocity with the un and the secretary general. declared the worth humanitarian disaster in the world today. support authoritarian regimes. he didn't mention anything about today is the 100-day anniversary of jamal khashoggi and not one word was mentioned about the murder of jamal khashoggi.
4:08 pm
a journalist was dismembered and it seems that the secretary of state and the president are not willing to take accountability for what happened. we are a force of good as the secretary said, but i think we really need to basically show it with action, not with words. >> let me ask you, what do you expect to be showing with action and maybe some words in this event that is going to happen on capitol hill? what is the actual bigger point to marking this 100 days? >> jamal khashoggi was just one of 53 journalists around the world who was murdered last year. a sharp spike from what has been previously. these are forces of repression that we are seeing around the globe that are trying to create an intimidation of freedom of speech. jamal was one person who was not afraid to speak. that's what got him killed.
4:09 pm
what he have done is assembled a coalition in both chambers of congress and we are proud of the fact that our lawmakers from both parties have stepped up and raised their voices and also we have journalistic groups that represent human rights activists and a number of friends of jamal's. i was one of many. almost every reporter who wanted to write about the mideast had to spend time with jamal at some point in his career. >> you worked hard in the new yorker today. one of the lines you write is he, jamal, embodied the qualities of truth and justice that america at its best represents and we will thank him for reminding us. again, secretary pompeo and this administration, have they stepped up to the plate to the extent required by an american
4:10 pm
administration that stands for human rights and democracy and the first amendment and free press? what more needs to be said about saudi arabia or about the murder of jamal and the dismemberment. let's not forget what happened to him. >> right. these 53 murders we are referencing, so few of them had anyone held accountable for the murder. jamal is one of many. if his murder is not held accountable, who is safe and what other freedoms will be compromised. he's a symbol and a martyr, but let's hold somebody accountable for the murder. >> i want to get back to you on the issue of isis and terrorists and insurgence. the administration seems to kind of say it both ways. one, that we defeated isis, but the pentagon said yes, it's on
4:11 pm
the back foot and routed from raqqa and mosul, but it's still there. what do you know about the presence of isis still and i want to play something that the secretary said about that fight. >> you know, the areas of isis control diminishes, but isis as a threat still exists. two or three years ago before the syrian war, what became isis, al qaeda and iraq were just jihadis in the western deserts of iraq. they were able to survive and able to create isis later on. the threat of extremism and jihadi extremism is all over the mideast. you see it from yemen and somalia. we see it in iraq and syria. this battle is at the beginning. i'm afraid that al qaeda after 9-11 was not as strong as al
4:12 pm
qaeda today and the ability to control areas and recruit and rebuild the network. i fear the same will happen with isis. many are still alive. some of them went to different locations. some of them are still in the mountains and deserts of iraq and syria. we need to focus on the battle and keep our eyes on the prize here. unfortunately declaring a victory and unpacking and leaving is endangering the region and the world and our own future. >> let me ask you, what message do you think this little bit of pompeo's speech sent? it's quite confusing about what the u.s. is doing and why. let's just play it. >> let me be clear. america will not retreat until the terror fight is over. we will labor tirelessly to defeat isis, al qaeda and others
4:13 pm
that threaten our security and yours. president trump has made the decision to bring our troops home from syria. we always do. now is the time. >> i don't know whether you see and hear a contradiction. we will not give up until it's over, but we are coming home. >> this is another indication of what's happening with this administration. there is a big confusion about what the pentagon or the cia wants or the professionals and what the president tweets about. the president wanted the troops to leave syria and he can order that, but there is a lot of strategic implications for this. this is why the secretary is visiting the mideast to tell people, look, even though we are pulling out, we are really not pulling out. this is just going to create
4:14 pm
more confusion which will lead to less leadership in the region. we are not leading in europe. we are not leading in asia. unfortunately we are confusing our enemies and allies and partners and our enemies are all happy. >> larry, the trial of about 11 suspects has started and the suspect who is the government said were responsible for the murder and dismemberment of jamal khashoggi and potentially a handful could face the death penalty. they said or at least the senior official said that the united states does not believe the saudi version of jamal khashoggi's killing has hit the threshold of credibility. what do you think? the state department said that secretary pompeo will very, very robustly demand accountability when he meets in ri add this
4:15 pm
week. what do you think is the flavor of the talks? >> i'm not optimistic. the people tend to personify saudi arabia with mohammad bin salman. we don't want to offend the saudis. the saudis are weakened by this crown prince. he is culpable not just for the murder of jamal khashoggi, but the abduction of a lebanese prime minister and the shake down of business men and one person tortured and killed. these are actions that are far outside the boundary even before jamal was murdered. we were accommodating this irrational actor.
4:16 pm
if we are a true friend of saudi arabia, we have to hold the country accountable and they have to hold the person that made these decisions accounta e accountable. >> the saudis deny all of those issues and have taken the responsibility and those are the people who are on trial. of course many people believe this could never happen without mbs's direct order. you have been in the room with the terrorist suspects. you were in the room with the saudis who committed 9/11. some of them. some of saudis involved in al qaeda. what should the policy be? the u.s. has a key relationship with saudi arabia, yet this awful thing happened when many of the other things. what should the policy be at this particular time? >> i think at this particular time, we need to hold the saudi
4:17 pm
government and those responsible cou accountable. and so forth. saudi arabia is an important partner and ally to the united states, but they are an important partner to the west and the u.s. if they play a productive role in the region, unfortunately the role they play is not productive in any way, shape, or form. >> king sal man had the ability to choose, but he chose his son. a weak saudi arabia does not help our policy in the region. a weak saudi arabia does not help us to contain iran or follow-up with the peace between the arab and israelis. a weak saudi arabia creates more in the region. the gulf states are divided among each other with the embargo with qatar, for example. we need to lead in the mideast and when we lead, people will follow. the leadership has to begin by
4:18 pm
standing up for our values and our principals and our constitutional issues that we believe in and work with our allies on a productive policy in the mideast that can unify the good and modern people in the region against the forces of evil and tyranny. we cannot do that when saudi arabia and the leader of saudi arabia kind of implicated to be part of the forces of tyranny evil. >> well, it's not what the secretary of state said. he hoped and this is a big part of his trip and the alignment to push back on obama's engagement with iran. they pulled out of the nuclear deal. this is what he said about getting saudi arabia and others on board to continue pushing back against iran and containing iran. this is what he said.
4:19 pm
>> we fostered a common understanding with our allies of the need to counteact the regime of the revolutionary agenda. countries increasingly understand we must confront the ayatollah, not coddle them. egy egypt, kuwait and others are thwarting sanctions. >> what do you make of that? do you see delaying and setting the table for potentially another military adventure this time against iran? >> it could easily be. the flaw in this logic that the secretary is laying out is that there is only one country in that region that is the violator of human rights. it's a problem across the region. always has been. we have to have a standard that is required of all countries.
4:20 pm
our enemies and allies. because we have been hypocritical about it in the past, people don't believe we have those values. that's one of the reasons we want to honor jamal khashoggi. he reminds us of the values that we do enshrine and freedom of expression and freedom of press at the peak of it. you don't find that in either country that the secretary is referencing. >> interestingly and you point out and many of us pointed out that jamal never called himself a dissident. he was a patriot, but called out when he thought that the civil rights and human rights and all those things were under dire attack. i guess finally to both of you, briefly, what do you think the lasting impact of his murder will be? will it continue to be held up as a marker beyond which civilized people cannot go and
4:21 pm
hold nations there including saudi arabia to account? >> i would hope that would be true, but when jamal came to the united states and began writing for "the washington post," he said i am raising my voice because so many cannot speak. now he cannot speak either. repression is the force that tries to silence voices like his. we would like to think that the murder of jamal khashoggi will embolden other reporters and other writers to speak out more freely, but the truth is, one critical voice has been lost. will it be replaced? that's yet to be shown. >> on the 100th day of his murder, many people in congress from across the aisle, many human rights organizations and journalists getting on capitol hill get amazing support for the event at 5:00 on the hill.
4:22 pm
i'm telling you, this is only the beginning. 500 days, 1,000 days. jamal khashoggi became a symbol against injustice. a symbol of what's happening to journalists everywhere around the world. this is a very important fight to take on. freedom of press is extremely important. it's essential for who we are as people. if it goes, all freedoms will follow. this is a battle that so many people in congress and so many people in the u.s. government and so many people in the press and human rights organizations are willing to take. this is not a memorial. we don't even have a body to do a memorial. this is just a remembrance. we will continue to the fight. >> thank you very much for joining us. thank you for being with us this evening. >> thank you.
4:23 pm
>> so while secretary pompeo focussed on terror abroad, a major new american movie focuses on terror at home as personified by the radical white supremac t supremacists of the ku klux klan. a as we roll on, the movie "blackkklansman" is at the top of just about every serious list of contenders. the movie tells the story of an african-american policeman who manages to infiltrate the upper most reaches of the klan. take a look at this clip. >> how do you propose to make the investigation. >> i established contact and created familiarity over the phone. i will continue in that role, but we will need a white officer to play myself. black ron stallworth over the
4:24 pm
phone and white face-to-face. it becomes a combines. i believe we can do that. >> spike lee made waves with she's gotta have it. he is still an irresistible creative force. welcome back to the program. >> how are you doing? always a pleasure to be on your show. >> it's a great pleasure to have you. this is a remarkable story. you would think you had to made it up, but your film is based on what really happened. >> a true story. the great filmmaker jordan peel and his new film, call me up, it gave me the greatest six-word pitch. black man infiltrates ku klux klan. at first i thought the david chappelle skit. i had not heard of ron
4:25 pm
stallworth or his story, but it's true. >> what did you think when you started to make it. just that clip shows incredibly funny moments obviously. the white man and trying to figure out how to make it logistically happen. there are massive laugh out loud moments, but it's desperately serious. here you are creating this serious message out of comedy. >> well, this is not the first film in history cinema has done that. stanley cooper did that with dr. strange love. what can be more serious than the annihilation of the human race and the planet going kaput. the hard thing to do is get the balance between the serious subject matter and the humor. i have a great editor's name. barry alexander brown. we have been working a long time. we had to do an editing and work
4:26 pm
on the balance of those two things. >> look, you have been dealing with the -- i know you just said put me to shame. i know that this is not the first time that humor is being used, but what i want to know from you, you have been working on the dark side of american life for a long, long time. you are an african-american, a black man in a society where racism is still very strong. how do you keep that sense of humor and keep telling stories that are accessible and not just angry? >> well, i guess that old saying. you have to smile to keep from crying. i know i'm getting it wrong, but here's the thing. first of all, i'm a story teller. that's what i do. not all my stories are really based on race. but the thing i feel why people connected with the film on the
4:27 pm
world is that we skillfully made a contemporary film that takes place in the past. we have connected the past with the tumultuous world we live in today. i would like to add, it's not just this film. not just talking about the united states of america. the rise of the right is happening all over the world. not just the united states of america. >> your film was made during the charlottesville protest and you make a powerful tribute to the young woman who was killed during the protest, heather heyer. >> yes. >> that was a wallop in the solar plex us to see that after the credits rolled and after the somewhat humorous and interestinfilm. to see that was a real reality
4:28 pm
check. >> yes. what that was was an example of homegrown american terrorism. that car was a murder weapon. this terrorist drove down the crowded street and murdered heather heyer. that happened the weekend of august 10th or 11th. we didn't start shooting until a couple of weeks into september. when i saw that, i knew that had to be the ending. first had to get permission from heather's mother. she blessed me and let me use that for the end. another thing i would like to add, the president of the united states had a chance to denounce hate. he had a chance to denounce the klan and a chance to denounce
4:29 pm
the altright and a chance to denounce neonazis. he did not. history will go to that statement when everything is said and done. that's going to be written that he was on the wrong side of history. i feel. >> let me ask you a little bit about the history of the washingtons who you worked for. the star of your film is john david washington, the son of denzel washington. no? >> you can't leave out moms? denzel and pauletta. >> exactly. we can't leave out moms. i promise you i believe that. thank you for that. >> i know you do. it's all good. >> i want to ask you what it's like to work with the father and
4:30 pm
the son. it's not the first time. you made malcolm x with denzel in 1992. his son was there 8 years old at the time. working with two generations of washingtons, does it make you feel old? >> it's a blessing. >> the momentum blues and malcolm x. he got game and inside man. john david washington was at the end of malcolm x. 6 years old at the time. he had one line. my name is malcolm x. i'm kidding about that all the time, but it's proud parents. denzel and pauletta, they are proud of all their children, but to see what he's done and be the face of this movie is amazing. >> let me ask you, i will broaden this out a little bit. we have gone through several
4:31 pm
years of critics and protagonists pointing out the flaws in a lot of our culture. we had me too and time's up. i want to ask you what you think given the 20 years you have been making films that the major african-american director in the united states, now there are more of you. you skoerped a new generation and they are make think incredible films, award winning films. it's not just in movies, but also in big magazines whose editors in chief were people of color and vogue and "vanity fair." the stories are so much more diverse. it's almost normal to see so many diverse stories. does this give you hope or are you cynical about it being just a moment? >> i'm not doing somersaults and here's the reason why i say
4:32 pm
that. right now this might be just a trend. we don't know what's going to happen next year. the way to ensure that is not a trend, people of color have to get those gate keeping positions where they sit around a room and decide what we are doing and what we are not doing. that ensures this will not be a trend in my opinion. >> let me ask you. there have been a lot of colors written about these trends. hopefully they will establish themselves as real turning points and game changing points. we read in articles that for instance there are quite a few hollywood executives who are quite worried about all of that and don't know what to make about the trends and how to deal with the me too and the whole diversity question. whether it's women or blacks or
4:33 pm
asians. whoever it is. having to sort of widen the tent now. do you feel that? are you coming across any resistance or backlash to the backlash, so to speak? >> well, here's the thing. power has never given up power without a fight. so when you have been in power for who knows how many years and people are saying hold up, wait a minute. include us. it's not embraced automatically. this thing is not going to happen overnight, but the struggle continues. i think that all of these things on the right side of history. we need diversity and we need truth and justice. we have to really make it clear what side we are going to be on. love or hate. i'm on love's side.
4:34 pm
>> i'm glad to hear it. i want to ask you about the me too movement. regina king who won for the barry jenkins. she was making a call to produce the gender parody. you have been strong in portraying strong women. any number of them. you just called me out on there was a mother involved. >> i was not calling you out. that was for the audience, not for you. >> i'm happy about it. i agree with you. would you take up that 50-50 challenge? >> here's the thing though. i have been fighting. i'm in my fourth decade. i respect my sister, but i had to fight for unions, against the
4:35 pm
unions from the get go who historically were set up not to invite women and people of color to the union. this is a fight i have been fighting from way back in the day. i have always had diverse crews from the get go. >> i want to pick up on the q&a and people expect me to have all the answers. do the right thing came out in 1989 and one of the biggest criticisms, spike lee did not have the answers. carrying the standard. >> i don't think of myself like that. i never ever put myself in position or thought that i represent all 45 million african-americans in this country. a lot of black folks don't like
4:36 pm
my films and agree with what i have to say and that's cool. i'm a story teller and i tell what i want to tell. sometimes even black folks don't like it. that's just what it is. we are not one monolithic group. >> i want to end with hopefully a funny response from the director. "blackkklansman" as we know won the grand prix at the cannes film festival. we talk to the jury president when do the right thing didn't win, causing you two to fallout and he sort of apologized when we talked about it. just listen. >> spike, i was the president of the jury, but i didn't decide anything on my own. that was the year with amazing movies and great directors didn't get rewarded and you are one of them.
4:37 pm
i hope we can make peace. he said we should meet in brooklyn. i hope it's not in a dark alley, but maybe we both bring our baseball bats and cross them peacefully. i think it's about time to end this. >> what did he say? >> that are happened in 1989. i heard vin was in new york. we couldn't get together, but that stuff was long forgotten. he is a great, great filmmaker. peace and love. >> peace and love. i agree. do you think you are going to get the award, the oscar for "blackkklansman"? >> who knows. you have to be in it to win it. >> you are absolutely right. spike lee, thank you for joining us. >> thank you for having me and next time let's do it in london.
4:38 pm
>> let's. i'd love to. spike lee, a visionary director whose work challenged issues with race as well as obsession with guns. we focus on the latter with our next guest. he's the best selling author and columnist. he discovered how credit cards are effectively being used to finance mass shootings and said monitoring that financial activity should become a law enforcement priority. >> andrew, welcome to the show. >> thank you for having me. you did an amazing series on guns and credit cards. >> after the parkland shooting, i really started to think hard about what -- if you follow the money and start to think about the role of business, business has been talking up their role in society over the past year or two. you keep hearing this narrative. we want to benefit society and
4:39 pm
have a purpose. i started to think to myself, how does business work in the context of guns and the gun problem in our society and our culture. one of the things you realize quickly is that one of the fascinating choke points in the whole system is the credit card business. given all the information that is collected about us on a daily basis whether from facebook or google or this or that, what do they know and given that the banking system for many years since 1970 and more so after 9/11 has been involved in trying to protect people in terms of anti-terrorism, money laundering and we used the system to protect us. i'm not sure most americans realize that. i started to think okay, is there a way to use the credit card system to help end this
4:40 pm
problem? one of the things you find out when you look at every mass shooting in america since 2007, credit cards are how these murderers are buying these guns. >> it's not just credit cards, but they need to stockpile a lot of guns. they need a large amount of credit. >> you need credit, money. each gun, an ar 15 is 1500 to 30,000. they are buying body armor and all of this stuff. they are effectively getting the loan from the bank. that's what's happening. i'm not sure the banks ever realize they were loaning money to people pursuing these types of mass shootings. that was really the focal point of the stories ta to ty ies to t that and say there is a way potentially to fix this. right after i started writing
4:41 pm
about this after parkland, the good news was a number of banks took a step back. the citigroup said we are no longer going to finance gun manufacturers. the next question is do you want to finance the shooters? >> you had 8 of the 13 of the mass killers had gotten guns and stockpiled them by taking large amounts of credit. give me an example? >> one of the most remarkable was the orlando pulse shooting. the murderer spent $26,000 on six credit cards within a very short period of time. had the banks been looking and the systems been in receipts. if you could have lookeda the that in realtime and they wanted
4:42 pm
to. that's a question, whether they want to. it is very possible that that fellow would have had a knock at his door by the police to say this is a little strange. you taking out six credit cards and spending all of this money. what are you doing? that's what prosecutors, law enforcement wish they had. >> we have it for anti-terrorism. >> that's the idea. you decide you are going to accepted them anywhere. that gets report to the government instantly. already does. >> we can instantly have this and this person stockpiled $40,000 worth of weapons. >> absolutely. the credit card industry decided there are certain things we don't want to finance. bit coin, you can't. marijuana is legal in many states. you can't. mastercard recently went to a website that had hate speech on
4:43 pm
it and said we are no longer going to allow you to use credit card transactions because of this hate speech. there are companies that are taking positions, if you will, on some of these things. the question is how that works in relation to guns. these are all payment systems. they have policies that say we are not going to transact on guns. i'm not suggesting no transactions at all, but if the credit cards and the banks they can make decisions and say you are under 21. we want to look at this in a different way. how many times have you stopped at a gas station somewhere and your card doesn't work because they want to make sure it's you. nobody is doing anything like that when it comes to the sale of guns. >> you can have a system with people stockpiling huge amounts. >> nobody would know. >> we have laws that are old that say if you buy more than
4:44 pm
two guns from one store, it gets reported to the atf. that never took into account that if you buy 20 guns on line from 20 different stores or go from this wal-mart 10 miles to this wal-mart, it doesn't get reported. the only people who have the data are the credit card companies. the question is, how you can mobilize them. having said that, there has been a lot of great feedback from the series of articles. the number of states are looking into this to see what they can do. lots of push back. if you are going start pushing on guns, what about alcohol and a young person under 21 years old. they should know they are at a bar and maybe they shouldn't allow that transaction. my view is at this point in the ball game, adding friction to the system is valuable. so i would do it.
4:45 pm
>> it's a slippery slope and all slopes are slippery. the question is where do you draw the line. wouldn't it be an invasion of privacy? >> there are libertarians who make that argument and the aclu who make that argument and the people who are the nra and others who say this is an invasion of privacy. i would suggest that your privacy has been invaded a long time ago. for certain products and things in this country, we decided we wanted to keep track of that. the question is do we want to keep track of that. obviously there is a movement to keep track of guns and this would do that to some degree. i don't think this is about a master list. this is about looking at trends using machine learning and olga go riolga
4:46 pm
-- algo rhythms to say this person bought 10 guns. if you are a hobbyist and enthuse yift, you won't mind getting a phone call. there will be clever murderers who will talk their way out of a conversation with the fbi or something, but i think at least you want to have the information up front if you could. >> this gets into a larger thing thaw write about. the social responsibility of corporations and business. in the age of trump in particular. larry fink has been righting about it and there is a lot of talk about corporations that have a mission more than just serving their shareholders and should help society and communities and stakeholders. where do you come down on that?
4:47 pm
this is about profits and what the goal is supposed to be. what's happened to our culture and our society over the last three or four or five decades now and what happened to the american dream and the role of the company in the community whether it be charity or your retirement and a pension thaw thought you were going to get. all the anxiety that we have today is in large part from a break down in all of those things. what are their responsibilities and in an environment where washington appears i hate to say leaderless whether it's stepping back and a lot of them had to make that decision on their own, it used to be in the old days, the president or government would say we have a problem and we don't want our business leaders there. we are at a moment now where they are having to step out.
4:48 pm
you saw ken frazier get off the president's counsel and also speak out. you are sort of getting to the point where how did they interrelate with the political world, but also this other issue which is whether it's retirement or whether it's -- how they deal with their employees and the power of employees. somehow even though we don't have unions, they don't have the same power they used to. in silicon valley, they run the companies. the google employees pressed the company to no long er do busines with the pentagon. that's fascinating. how companies and leaders are trying to map that out. lots of hard decisions. >> you mentioned milton friedman. he started the shift in what a
4:49 pm
corporation should be. he wrote that they shouldn't be involved in worrying about communities and corporate responsibilities or even employee employees and the stakeholders. that is to do a return on investment and that sort of got incorporated. >> what you are seeing is the backlash. the reason why they run the largest investor in the world, $6 trillion who oversees through the plans and everything else, and he is seeing it in these investments. you haven't been spending enough time thinking about the other stakeholders. customers being one of them and being privacy issues and washington and regulators. if you don't think of those things, that's going to come back and impact your stock price and earnings. whether advertisers.
4:50 pm
it is and all of the stakeholders do matter and matter to profits. if you go down the line, at some point you run up against the wall against these other constituents and if you haven't figured that piece of it out, it's going to impact the profit piece. >> that's a fail. to what extent do you think that crash and american people's view of corporations has led to this populist backlash? >> i think there is a straight line between the 2008 crisis and the election of president trump. to me it's obvious. the financial crisis was a moment at which all of a sudden we questioned as a society, institutions, companies, government, the idea of experts
4:51 pm
and idea of people who are supposed to be experts and all of them by default led us down a path that didn't work. because of that, there was a huge rise in populism and divisiveness. a cleaving of america. a lot of people look at whether it's the tea party or occupy wall street as part of that. but after every financial crisis at the university of chicago who did a great study on this, the electorate get radicalized. that's where we are. the overlay is what it is effectively. not about the financial crisis itself. that's a symbol of what's happened. the debt and leverage that led to the financial crisis for so long papered over the much larger problems that we haven't dealt with at all.
4:52 pm
that's about wage stagflation and the lack of mobility and is about the true under lying american dream and whether it's challenged. >> what can you do about stagflation? >> i wish i had a great answer for you. is that really about the minimum wage and about trying to somehow drive additional growth from companies or unions? >> is it about offshoring jobs? >> i have a view and it's fatalistic. >> i have a view that the american dream we all talk about is the leave it to beaver american dream of the 1956 and 60s. that was a very white dream that did not incorporate minorities. that might have been an aberration.
4:53 pm
if you think about what happened to our economy after world war ii, we were the only game in town. we had a monopoly on the world for years. it wasn't until 1980 that the rest of the world was competing against us. during this period, we were able to charge monopoly rates great for the labor movement and we did all sorts of fabulous things. if you graduated from school, you get a spouse, a house, a dog and a picket fence and a pension plan. it all made sense. the way stagflation began in 1980, that's the same period when the rest of the world started competing against us. now we are competing in india and china and germany and everywhere else. that competition, i think has created a real challenge for us. >> part of that competition came from people like you and me who believed in globalization.
4:54 pm
we believed that trade was great and the free flow of people and immigration was great. now there is a huge backlash from beaut pest to britain. were we wrong about free trade? >> i don't think that globalization in the whole is a bad idea. we misunderstand the benefits and misunderstand the allocation of how the benefits would get allocated and therefore then you have to rethink a little bit of the system and that goes to taxes and there is lots of ways to get at this to fix it. the scary part is i don't think there is a fix, a true fix that gets you back to this 1950s and 60s american dream, leave it to beaver idea.
4:55 pm
>> before we go, a bill passed through the house of representatives today calling on the united states to use all diplomatic means to halt the brutality in syria. it is named for caesar, a pseudohim in for the brave syrian defector who helped expose assad's a trotities to the world. i was proud to interview caesar himself, heavily disguised for his protection on this program. you can see that online. thank you for watching amanpour and company. >> uniworld is a proud sponsor of amanpour and company.
4:56 pm
b tollman is synonymous with style. when she acquired uniworld inspired by her ashford castle, she brought a similar style to the rivers with a destination-inspired design for each ship. bookings available through your travel adviser. for more information, visit >> additional support provided by rosalin p walter, berred in an and irene schwartz, sue and edgar walken him iii. cheryl and eric millstein, seton melvin, judy and josh westin, the jpb foundation and contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.
4:57 pm
4:58 pm
4:59 pm
5:00 pm
this is "nightly business report" with bill griffeth and sue herera washington worried. the weeks-long partial government shutdown is starting to create anxiety on wall street and nervousness among investors. business at risk. it's not just wall street. main street business owners that rely on the government are now getting creative to stay afloat. not so happy returns. the high cost of bringing all of that unwanted holiday merchandise back to stores. those stories and much more tonight on "nightly business report" for this friday, january good evening, everyone, and welcome. the partial government shutdown is on trackbe


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on