Scott Pelley: If you were President of the United States tonight and you were going to make an address to the nation regarding this economic emergency, what would you say?
John McCain: I would tell the American people that we're in tough times. This certainly isn't a Great Depression, don't get me wrong - lay out the problem and the cause of the problem they're badly frightened right now. And we've gotta get their trust and confidence back.
Pelley: Should they be badly frightened?
McCain: I think they should be deeply concerned about the fact that innocent Americans that don't work on Wall Street and don't work in Washington are the victims of the greed, the excess, and, yes, in some cases, corruption. There's a social contract that Adam Smith talked about between capitalism and the people. That contract has been broken. It's been broken by greed and access, aided and abetted by a government in Washington that's dominated by special interests and corruption.
Pelley: Are we in a recession?
McCain: Sure. Technically I don't know. Unemployment is up. Wages are down. Home foreclosures are incredibly high. Those people, they don't care whether technically we're in a recession or not. The fact is they're hurtin'. And they are hurting very, very badly.
Pelley: In 1999 you were one of the senators who helped pass deregulation of Wall Street. Do you regret that now?
McCain: No, I think the deregulation was probably helpful to the growth of our economy.
McCain has been an advocate of deregulation most of his career, but Thursday he endorsed the biggest bailout in history - a plan for the government to take on the bad debts of financial institutions.
"We're gonna take over these bad loans. We're gonna take over these bad - these bonds and we're gonna keep you alive. And we're gonna have the taxpayer help you out. But when the time comes and the economy recovers then anything that's gained back is gonna go to the taxpayers first. I'm not saying this isn't gonna be messy. And I'm not saying it isn't gonna be expensive. But we have to stop the bleeding," the senator said.
Pelley: But why would you let the Wall Street executives…
McCain: I'm not.
Pelley: …sail away on their yachts and leave this on the American taxpayer?
McCain: Well, it's not the greedy Wall Street people that I worry about, although I am, like most Americans, frankly, enraged. It's basically a Ponzi scheme, as you know, that sooner or later was gonna collapse. And I'd like to get that money back from them. But we've gotta fix the average citizen who's the innocent bystander that is in danger of losing their pensions, their 401(k)'s, their IRAs. Their very life savings are at risk here.
Pelley: You have called for the firing of the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the federal government organization that oversees the markets.
McCain: Yes. You know, and by the way, that technically he can't be, quote, fired. But I'll tell you, when I'm president, if I want somebody to resign, they resign.
Pelley: I'm curious. If you wanna fire Chris Cox, the chairman of the SEC, who would you replace him with?
McCain: This may sound a little unusual, but I've admired Andrew Cuomo. I think he is somebody who could restore some credibility, lend some bipartisanship to this effort.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
at 4:37 PM |
Read the transcript.
WALLACE: If you hear some Democrats talk about a stimulus package — infrastructure, you know, a variety — unemployment relief, a variety — even a bailout to the auto companies. Are you going to "Christmas tree" this bill?
SCHUMER: No, we will not "Christmas tree" this bill. The times are too urgent. Everyone has their own desires and needs. It's going to have to wait.
Now, as for a stimulus package, I think that is — the economy is sinking. Unemployment, 6.1 percent. Many of us believe we need a stimulus package. Many of us believe this is the appropriate time to do it before Congress adjourns. We can't wait three months.
WALLACE: As part of the bailout?
SCHUMER: But it doesn't necessarily have to be part of the bailout. That's something that's being decided right now.
And I think our leaders both in the House and Senate are coming to the conclusion it should be alongside the bailout, but not part of it.
WALLACE: Senator Kyle, can you live with the kind of add-ons that Senator Schumer is talking about?
KYL: Well, first of all, I think that he is correct to say that these things should not be added on to this particular bill.
at 4:12 PM |
Read the full transcript:
MR. BROKAW: Well, let's talk first of all about how this happened. Is it as a result of speed and the complexity of these instruments now, and the fact that no one really has their hand on the instruments that they're selling, they just pass them along?
SEC'Y PAULSON: Tom, that is one of the reasons. There have been excesses, I said, for a long time. We have overcomplexity. Mortgages are now securitized, sliced and diced, put into tranches, sold all over the world. There is a great deal of risk into this--in, in the system. That is one of the reasons. As I said, there's just been irresponsible practices. Borrowers have done things that were irresponsible also. But there's a lot of, a lot of mistakes made.
[...]SEC'Y PAULSON: Tom, there are a lot of questions, and I can understand there are a lot of questions. This is an urgent matter, and we need to move very quickly. But let me get to the first question. Yes, the cost. You know, I don't like the fact the taxpayer's being put in this position, but the numbers that are being used, which are--you know, we're talking about hundreds of billions of dollars--remember, this is not an expenditure, this is money that is being used to purchase these assets, as you said, these illiquid mortgage assets, which are very difficult to value. They will be held, and then they will be resold at some time. And so we can't determine what the cost is today. That's going to be based upon how quickly the economy recovers, what happens in the mortgage market. But I can assure you the cost won't be anything like what is put out to buy these investments and these assets. And when the assets are sold, the money will come back into the treasury.
But, again, this in not a position where I like to see the taxpayer. But it is far better than the alternative. The situation we had last week, where credit markets were frozen--you know, the stock market, the average American watches the stock market. They watched the stock market drop about 1,000 points and then recover on the news of this plan. But what they don't see is what's going on in the credit markets. And when companies can't borrow money and--this has a big impact on everyone. It's difficult to get jobs, it hurts people's budgets, retirement savings. This is a serious situation, and we need to avoid this.
at 3:50 PM |