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tv   The Eighties  CNN  May 21, 2016 5:00pm-6:01pm PDT

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wall street, where it has investors running. >> is money the number one goal? >> yes. >> we've had 29-year-olds making a million dollars a year, expecting to make 2 million the year after that. >> if you've got plastic money, there's nothing holding you back. >> history will prove the honest people. >> insider trading could become investors' watergate. >> what did we used to call greed? >> i'm afraid before we called it success. ♪
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the u.s. economy, which used to be the envy of the world, is in somewhat of a great depression. >> there was inflation and not much growth. the country was not in a great depression in 1980, but the united states was in the dumps. >> on wall street it was cold, gray, wet and miserable.
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there was no comfort to be found outside. and for investors, there was not much inside, either. the tickers carried almost nothing but bad news. >> we would come off a terrible decade for investing. people were skeptical of the stock market. it was a very sleepy wall street back then. >> most economists expect a serious recession with at least 2 million more americans losing their jobs. >> i regret to say we're in the worst economic mess since the great depression. >> literally from the first moments of his presidency on, president reagan let it be known that his top priority is the nation's economy. >> i put a freeze on pending regulations and set up a task force under vice president bush to review regulations with an eye toward getting rid of as many as possible. >> the philosophy behind the regulation was that markets worked better than government controls. >> this bill represents the first step in our administration's comprehensive program of financial deregulation. >> introducing deregulation,
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financing got much more creative and more profitable, too. >> wall street which has investors jumping. >> the dow jones industrial average will stand at its highest level ever. >> the past two months have been among the wildest in wall street history. stock and bond prices soared in a frenzy of activity. optimists on wall street are talking about the beginnings of economic recovery. >> the supporters of deregulation point to the soaring stock market as evidence that a deregulated economy makes money for everyone. >> the stock market took off like a rocket. and the public saw this happening, and they would read about it. and so all sorts of people who used to have nothing to do with this world started pouring their own money into it. and that's in large part also what drove prices to go even higher. >> the ronald reagan motorcade rolled onto wall street today to the new york stock exchange. >> in the last five years, we've
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moved from malaise, hope, confidence and opportunity. with the volume of shares traded hitting record highs and more americans than ever before participating in the market. we're bullish on the american economy. [ cheers and applause ] >> reagan shows up at the stock exchange and they're yelling ronnie, ronnie. it was their way of saying america was back. >> no sitting president has ever visited the new york stock exchange before. but it's safe to say no reasonable president would have taken the honor without fellow traders. >> we're going to turn the bull loose. >> the whole world, from reagan's white house on, was basically saying wall street was the engine of our economy. it represents growth, it represents opportunity, it represents the american dream. and so these guys were basically saying, we're going to go do it. >> this is the big draw on wall
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street, the smell of money. this is where the action is. this is the over the counter trading floor at lehman. over 1,000 daily transactions made and lost here every day. and it's a game for young people. when you get home at the end of the week and you look back at what you've done sitting at this desk, what gives you a sense of satisfaction? >> i guess maybe a lot of money. >> for yourself or the firm? >> myself and the firm, yeah. >> when the economy started to recover and become more vibrant, i think there was a great sense of exhilaration, and we survived this period. let's celebrate, let's party, we have money to spend. >> today's people want to have fancy money, fancy cars and fancy clothes. these people are called yuppies.
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>> 29-year-olds making a million dollars a year, expecting to make a million and a half next year and 2 million after that. >> for this generation, business is hip. capitalism is no sin, it's in. is money the number one goal? >> yes. ♪ >> in a world where mere millionaires are a dime a dozen, there is a newbi billionaire in town. he makes his money from manhattan real estate. >> he puts his monname on everything he builds. >> donald trump is the brand and the symbol of a new swashbuckling approach to commerce. >> we have people who are celebrities just because they're rich. i'll take the trumps as a good
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example. their celebrity is generally that they're rich. >> donald trump has also ventured into gambling, professional football and said he could negotiate a disarmement treaty with the soviet union. >> they say he's land hungry, money hungry, power hungry. >> the power is nonsense. i love the creative process. >> what about trump tower we're sitting in, trump plaza, trump castle? >> it sells, mike. all i know is -- >> that's all it is? >> it has nothing to do with the ego. all i know is it sells. >> what do you do? >> security. >> we don't need security here. let's go outside. we have people outside. >> leone a helmsley was the wife of harry helmsley, bigger than trump real estate developers in new york. >> i asked for something. i did not get it from you. i want it. >> leona helmsley, the queen of mean. the idea was that she was so mean because she wanted you to have a great experience in one of her hotels.
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really? it seems like she was just mean. >> oh, my. >> it's paradise. he stands here and he says, i'm taking inventory. i own this, i own this, i own this, and that one and that one and that one. >> he plays monopoly but with real buildings. >> they bought this connecticut estate a year ago, 26 acres, 28 rooms for just the two of them. and this building structure is just what? tell them. >> it's the enclosure of the swimming pool. >> and up top? >> on top we're going to have, of course, a dance floor. ♪ dance in an old fashioned way ♪ >> leona helmsley became a symbol of the excesses of the '80s. >> am i comfortable? i make a living. pet moments are beautiful,
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in the 1980s, you have 16,000 malls popping up like mushrooms and they become like temples in the world's new religion: shopping. >> they come to the mall every day. they call themselves mall rats. >> it's only $24.
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>> consumerism definitely took off in the '80s. people went out and went, wow. we can now spend. >> honey, that's what's going to set your eyes off. >> the economy started growing. this was largely a consumer-driven growth, but the consumer economy was funded by dad. >> the national bankruptcy growth is soaring. they had over $12,000 in unsecured debts when they bought a new home, then they bought a new washer, a dryer, a microwave oven and a betamax tv recorder. then they went bankrupt. >> i knew i didn't have money, but i had nothing holding me back. >> you have credit cards and you want to pull it out of your wallet and use it. >> it's the home shopping club.
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>> americans seemed utterly hooked on home shopping. >> the order has been completed for one of the ruby bracelets. i have you down for two of the plush musical bunnies. >> you don't have to leave your house and stuff will come to you. welcome to america. >> give us 300 more people to call on their credit card right now. >> if you and enough people will send me $100 immediately, i need some very quick money. >> go to the phone right now. now! quit saying you believe in god without ever acting on his word. now! hate is an act. >> all in all, there are 1600 television ministers. of the $1.5 billion grossed annually, just three of them, pat robertson, jimmy swaggert
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and jim baker took in $500 million. >> they need to stay on the air, and they need to stay on the air to raise money. a network that anyone would be proud to own. >> i believe god wants us, in the next 30 days, to have every one of these bills paid in full, and ptl can live if we pay our bills. >> it pays the bills if we all would just do something. >> as tele-tele-evangelism growm baker gets it. he understands that in the age of television the johnny carson approach to television. he's a brilliant entrepreneur and he's a brilliant salesman of himself. >> and now here are jim and tammy! >> their appeal is powerful. last year a million people responded to the bakers' constant request for money. >> how many do you have right now?
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>> just about 31. >> 7,000 clubs. >> that's $90,000. >> praise god. >> the bakers have been criticized for their own lavish lifestyle. >> just because i'm a christian doesn't mean i don't like nice things, either. i love nice things, and jim and i work very ver, very hard for things. >> toys like a string of homes from los angeles to south carolina. >> they think that by them living well, by them having rolls royces, people will think, god is shining their countenance upon them and thus upon us. ptl becomes the vehicle for their media empire, for their theme parks. >> if we are to be fissures of men, that's what the bible says, we are fissures of men, we used some pretty powerful bait. >> you can be a member of ptl
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with a one-time gift of $1,000. four days and three nights for the rest of your life. >> that ends up leading them to breaking the very rules they are preaching about. >> television evangelist jim baker has stepped down as head of the praise the lord or ptl ministry. >> the break-up became because of a sexual encounter seven years ago. jessica hahn will be paid handsomely if she keeps quiet. >> it turns out jim baker has been paying off this woman, and that shakes the evangelical world. >> if jim baker paid jessica hahn hush money, quote, unquote, what else has he been doing with the ptl money? >> do you worry about the investigations? >> not at all. >> history will prove the bakers were honest people. >> we interrupt this program for an nbc news special report. >> jim baker, the defrocked head
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of the ptl ministry, has been found guilty of all forms of fraud and conspiracy in north carolina. >> the heritage grand hotel could accommodate only 25,000 partnerships, but 65,000 were sold. and for the lower priced bunkhouse partnerships, about 7,000 were sold for a building that had only eight rooms. >> a woman gave jim and tammy baker $1,000 a year for 15 years. >> i made them millionaires when i don't have enough to live on. >> they were find $5 million. >> tammy said she could better describe her feelings in song. ♪ on christ the solid rocky
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today we travel to the lone star state and visit tycoon t.
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boone pickens, the high he had paid ceo in the country. even here wall street is in charge, wall street being a parrot over money. he lives in a foyer that runs the entire length of the house, and at the end of that foyer we find this morning boone pickens. good morning, sir. how are you? >> good morning, harry. >> why don't we head into the trophy room, if you don't mind. >> sure. >> t. boone pickens was a texas oil man who became the original corporate raider. he would buy a bunch of stock in the company, talk about how the executives needed to be tossed out and made a play to take over the company. >> pickens' company, only 1/20th the size of an oil company, wants to take over. now he wants to buy another 50% from the shareholders and thus gain a seat on the company board. >> there's one thing i want to put in place is the stockholders' own companies and manage the employees.
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>> the profit to pickens and his partners, $89 million. >> it is no secret that you've made about half a billion dollars through loz losing on your attempted takeovers. do you go into it anticipating the loss is still going to sustain you very well? >> you never like to lose, but when you lose and make money, it makes it a little easier. >> i remember someplace a guy got up and said, i have a question. he said, you're making a lot of money out of this. and i said, the shareholders are, too. he said, yes, but you're a fast buck artist. fast buck artist? who in the world would want to be known as a slow buck artist? >> i see it as a free enterprise system working at its best. >> pickens was the first major investor to realize how undervalued american companies were and what you could buy there. it was all these famous deals
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that brought this new reality to the attention of other investors who followed in his wake and sought to imitate what he did. >> i freely admit that i'm an investor and i want to make a profit. i freely admit i'm not robin hood. >> it is not wrong to want a profit in capitalist america. it is fair. >> ivan boesky made a fortune by buying stock in companies. he doesn't want to run those companies. >> boesky is one of the richest men in america, estimating his wealth at over $200 million. >> boesky made a commencement speech in 1986 at berkeley, and he really became famous for one line in that speech. >> i urge you, as part of your admission, seek wealth. [ cheers and applause ] >> it's all right. >> a new film, "wall street," used boesky's words as some of
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the dialogue. >> greed is good. greed is right. greed works. >> when michael douglas in the movie said "greed is good," it was a cartoon expression. but there was truth to it. there is a sense that it is okay to be greedy, it is okay to maximize your wealth. >> what i want to see above all is that this country remains a country where someone can always get rich. >> big companies gobbling up little companies, little companies gobbling up big companies. eight years ago, there were 1500 corporate takeovers. last year there were 4,000 involving $200 billion. >> this type of deal is called a leveraged buyout. the company borrows the money using its assets as collateral for the loan. in return, the company issues ious. because the deal is so risky, those ious carry very high interest rates and they're called junk bonds. >> you might not have heard of
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michael milken of dustin lambdin, incorporated. but this 40-year-old wall street whiz is said to be the best policymaker in america. he used low rate junk bonds and used the money to force corporate takeovers. t. boone pickens couldn't have rated gulf and phillips petroleum. >> the gulf deal is the first time i saw milken. he said, if you really want to take over gulf, it's going to cost you $13 billion. i get it. and he said, i can get the 13 billion. >> he's the guy t. boone pickens goes to and most people haven't heard of him. >> he doesn't care about publicity and he doesn't care about pride. all he cares about is making deals and having power. >> he was this shadowy figure that even those of us in the press never saw, you just heard. it's milken. it's milken's genius, and i think that is the correct word, that created an entire market and fueled this takeover
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phenomenona. >> we romanticize these characters. the fact of the matter is these are fat cats, first cousins to the financial manipulators, the robber barons of the late 19th century. >> they're out there doing nothing and they're putting people out of work. >> economists agree that some unemployment, some hardship is unavoidable in the process of making the united states lean and mean again. what the takeover specialists call corporate restructuring. >> corporate america needs a kick now and then to become a little more efficient, a little less entrenched, and that will probably do our economy very good. >> they fended off a hostile takeover bid, but victory didn't come cheap. >> it lost half its stock in taking on a huge debt. the plant was closed and workers laid off. the company pays a million dollars a day in interest to 17 banks worldwide.
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>> these fellows jump out of the closet, shout gotcha, and they buy out the company with its own assets, dismember it and erode the industrial base of this country. >> maybe we didn't understand how it all worked, but we saw a lot of people losing their jobs. and a few people getting super rich. and the vibe of the culture being, that's cool. >> how much is enough? >> enough what? >> enough money, enough power, enough insolence, enough takeovers? >> this is my work. this is what i do. let me do what i do. it's not a question of how much. strut past that aisle for the allergy relief that starts working in as little as 30 minutes and contains the best oral decongestant. live claritin clear, with claritin-d. (avo) how mu18%? 20?in does your dog food have? nutrient-dense purina one true instinct with real turkey and venison has 30% protein.
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it was a week to remember. bankers' hours posted on the doors didn't mean a thing. the doors were locked. >> the run-in on savings and loans began when home savings banks had depositors that started demanding their money. >> i'm 78 years old. i need that money. >> i made the decision after weighing several options that we had to close all 71 of the private savings and loan institutions. >> they are faced with the problem of solving the world's worst banking crisis in the u.s. since the depression.
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>> the deregulatory climate of the savings and loans in the 1980s were free to invest in pretty much anything they wanted. >> basically what happened is the entire s and l industry got taken over by a bunch of entrepreneurs who saw them as piggy banks. >> vernon savings was shut down by regulators, saddled with millions of dollars in bad loans. the owner had private jets, yachts and mansions. >> they took risks that should have been untenable for a banker, and when it all went blooey, entire industry ultimately went belly up. >> quiet down! >> i'm going to disperse the whole bunch of you. >> this was the third day of the run on the old court savings and loan association. >> the only thing i can do at this point, i have no choice. we have to close. >> i don't think that's right. it's our money. >> this year a record 260 banks will go bust. that's almost 800 in the past five years. bad loans to the third world. bad loans to the oil industry.
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bad loans to real estate developers. >> one of the reasons bankers made outrageous loans was because of federal deposit insurance. if the loan went well, you rake in the profit. if the loan went poorly, the federal government picks up the tab. >> with deregulation, the s and ls got into that commercial real estate market and lost their shirt. >> all over the united states, people were building projects for which there were no buyers. mile after mile after mile of these partially completed condos and they're all on the s and l's books. >> there is something wrong about the savings and loan industry today, and it isn't me. >> charles keating was a lawyer who got into banking and was able to buy a savings and loan. >> when keating bought lincoln savings and loan in irvine, california, he used it as a piggy bank for his investments, like the venetian hotel in
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scottsdale, arizona. >> the real problem is when our appraisers looked at it they said, it's not such a bad hotel, but it's worth 200 million, not 300 million. >> bill black was one of the chief regulators at the bank board who was really the guy who spearheaded going after keating. >> we discovered likely fraud. just really basic things that no honest bankers would do. >> the examiners looked at 52 real estate loans that lincoln had made. there were no credit reports on the borrowers in all 52. >> and on top of that, charles keating has lincoln savings sell uninsured junk bonds, and he targets the widows and the retirement community. >> there were 23,000 customers who would buy $250 million of these bonds. >> we had sold our home in sherman oaks. my husband had had a stroke. we moved down here, went to lincoln savings down here.
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>> how much did you deventure? >> do you really want to know? it was $30,000, and for us that's quite a bit. >> capitalize on this, the bond salesmen were told. the weak, meek and ignorant are always good targets. >> the regulators were looking at this and saying, this guy is a disaster, man. we have got to stop this. but by that time, keating had a construction company in arizona, he had thrifts in california. his tentacles spread out to several states. so he was able to call on congressmen and senators like that and say, hey, get these dogs off my back. >> this morning the s and l crisis goes to capitol hill. the senate ethics committee is looking into charges against five senators accused of intervening with federal bank officials on behalf of s and l owner charles keating.
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keating, republican john mccain, donald regal. former bank chairman edwin gray said the senate tried to subvert the regulatory process. >> i was told to come along. i did. >> did you find that unusual? >> absolutely. never happened before. the whole time i was in washington, i never saw that. >> no witnesses? >> no, no witnesses. deniability perfectly built into the meeting. >> they said they wanted us not to take the enforcement action against lincoln savings. the only thing that got them to back off is when we finally said, we're making criminal referrals! you're going to bat for criminals! >> now waiting on trial for charges of criminal fraud, keating refused to testify to the senate. >> was there something wrong with five senators meeting? yes, it's a bad appearance. but the real question is, did
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john mccain abuse his office? the evidence indicates clearly, no. >> the keating five became a symbol of the '80s because it's a group of distinguished u.s. senators that are accused of taking bribe money. they get off the hook eventually, but it really rocked the country, because it showed that not only was corporate america being questioned for corruption, but the u.s. senate seemed to be a beehive of bribery. >> one question. among the many raised in recent weeks had to do with weather, my financial support in any way influenced several political figures who took up my cause. i want to say in the most forceful way that i can, i certainly hope so. they're also kosher. only certain cuts of kosher beef meet their strict standards. they're all ruined. help yourself! oh no, we couldn...okay thanks,
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better taste. better nutrition. better eggs. the financial scandal causing increasing concern involves investors that make killings on wall street not because of luck or skill, but because of inside information not available to anyone else. >> this coded document might be a secret earnings report showing disastrous losses or a
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confidential assessment of future profits. if you are one of the 32 million americans who own stock, such information can either cost you money or earn you money, perhaps millions of dollars if you find it out first. in either case, it is illegal. >> the single biggest currency on wall street has always been information. and in the '80s, that information was trading back and forth. and investors were talking to their buddies they went to business school and law school with who were actually working on these deals to find out. it was pervasive. >> the security and exchange commission, which monitors potential abuses, says currently penalties aren't strict enough. >> this is a serious course of misconduct, and at present the sanction is simply akin to asking someone to put the cookies back in the cookie jar. >> in tonight's "money matters," the insiders' biggest case ever. >> they collected $12.5 million in illegal profits. he did it by getting advance
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knowledge of pending takeovers and then he would have contacts in the bahamas who would take over what he set up in panama. >> someone with a million dollar a year salary which apparently wasn't enough. >> insider trading could become wall street's watergate. >> plea bargaining is now under way with dennis levine. authorities might be able to develop a list of new suspects. >> once his lawyer advised him it was in his interest to cooperate, he would give him the information. it was just another deal. >> i think the judge made it clear he would have given mr. levine a heavier sentence except for the cooperation. >> dennis levine was one guy doing insider trading. that's not something that was new. but what dennis levine did was lead to ivan boesky. >> they stunned wall street when it was announced that ivan boesky has been fined the
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largest penalty ever for insider trading and has been barred from the security industry. >> ivan boesky did something he said he would never do, use insider information to buy huge stock in other companies secretly involved in takeover deals. >> he was a crook. handing bags of money to people who would give him insider information. >> if we had a prison for people for white collar crimes, i would say he would be a candidate. >> there is no doubt that the man has become a symbol of what's wrong with wall street. >> the news of the boesky indictment was like the bombshell of the decade on wall street. >> what do we call greed the day before an indictment is filed, if you get my meaning? >> i believe recently we called it success, that some of the people who have turned out who have been involved in criminal activity were hailed as heroes in the peak of their careers. >> millions of america's small
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investors have been a pawn in the boesky affair. >> insider trading brought by new york's trading rudolph giuliani. >> rudy had the aura of being the best man without a cape. >> if you do get caught, you're going to lose your liberty. you're going to prison. >> today as the prospect of a much wider scandal seemed certain, the market was off by 40 points. this after it was learned that ivan boesky was talking. and then some. >> this was like arresting the madam of a brothel and finding her private book of clients. >> this guy boesky takes a fall, and all over wall street they're practically jumping out windows. it comes out he's been taping his phone calls and maybe his private talks for three months. and wall street big shots begin wetting their -- well, you get the idea.
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>> of course ivan boesky would be found guilty. all he had was bargaining power. who could he deliver? >> well, let me ask you this. levine was a fish, boesky was a shark. whofls the -- who was the whale they're going to catch? >> i don't know. >> rexall burnham? >> that's possible. >> in the middle of all this is rexall, burnham, lambert, a little known wall street firm. they specialized in so-called junk bonds. high interest but also high risk. >> milken made a secret deal with swindler ivan boesky to make millions of dollars illegally. >> they came to milken's firm and told him they were planning a takeover. he then whispered that secret to boesky in new york. boesky bought the stock before it went up, made millions, shared the profits with milken's firm. the bottom line is milken
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betrayed his client, and secretly made 6.5 million more at the client's expense. >> further disclosures from the boesky affair may weaken finances in public markets and weaken the markets themselves. >> i just came from inside and it looks like a madhouse. >> i guess the bull market is over. >> it's a bloodbath down there. >> they're calling it the monday massacre. the worst drop in wall street history. >> i would call it the nearest thing to a meltdown i ever want to see. >> by the closing bell, the dow jones industrial average was down over 500 points. >> this is a crash that people hadn't seen, frankly, since the great depression. no one had seen the stock market fall that quickly that fast. >> paper losses, more than $500 billion, october 19, 1987. wall street's black monday. >> that crash was one of the first signs of how dangerous this new era could be, that what the market had given the market could take away, and it could take it away really, really
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quickly. >> there are only two emotions on wall street. one is fear and one is greed. usually we have the excess of one or the other. >> we have now, i think, the excess of fear. hmmmmm... the turbocharged dream machine. the volkswagen golf gti. part of the award-winning golf family. ...that made you look what paint differently...... ...what if it's built with better ingredients... ...and even given super powers? since benjamin moore reinvented paint... ...is it still paint? benjamin moore. paint like no other.
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wrely on the us postal service? because when they ship with us, their business becomes our business. that's why we make more e-commerce deliveries to homes than anyone else in the country.
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here, there, everywhere. united states postal service priority: you i am a first responder tor and i'emergencies 24 hours a day, everyday of the year. my children and my family are on my mind when i'm working all the time. my neighbors are here, my friends and family live here, so it's important for me to respond as quickly as possible and get the power back on. it's an amazing feeling turning those lights back on.
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be informed about outages in your area. sign up for outage alerts at pge.com/outagealerts. together, we're building a better california. we always have a recession. it's just a question of when.
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my guess is it's 1989 rather than 1987. >> a little present for the new president. >> presidents always seem to manage to get that as their gift after the inaugurals. >> i promise you if congress tries to raise the taxes when i'm president, and you know they will, i'll say no. they'll try one more time and i'll say no. and if they try a third time, i'll stare them right in the eye, and i'm going to say to them, "read my lips. no new taxes"! >> in 1988, george h.w. bush is running to take on the reagan mantel. read my lips, no new taxes. >> when ronald reagan left in january, he also left george bush holding the bag with a number of stifling problems. >> all agree the savings and loan crisis is an urgent problem. >> could the s and ls be bailed out without a tax increase? is there any other way to do it? >> i don't think there is, and i think that's becoming the
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conclusion of most people. >> bush had to fill the smoky hole left by reagan for him, and the only way to do that was past due legislation because now we had to start dipping into taxpayer money. >> senators say the only bailout will be for depositors, not for bad bankers. >> no one needs to worry about one nickel of their money in these institutions. >> this legislation says to tens of millions of s and l depositors, you will not be the victim of others' mistakes. thank you all very much, and now i'm proud to sign this monster. >> essentially, george bush is covering the biggest overdraft in history. >> bush caves. he raises taxes. that kills him politically but saves america economically. >> listen carefully to this number. $500 billion. that's the latest estimate of what the failure of hundreds of
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federally insured savings and loans will eventually cost american taxpayers. >> how soon can you make bail? >> no questions. >> the once rapid growth of keating's now failed savings and loan in california had been filled with hundreds of billions of dollars worth of worthless bonds, many brought by seniors, many losing their life savings. >> charles keating was convicted in two trials, but both of those verdicts were overturned and then he pled guilty to avoid a retrial and was allowed out for time served. >> the climate had gone from celebrating the excesses of wall street to condemning them pretty quickly. >> tonight's headline, milken pleads guilty in what may be the largest individual case of fraud ever to rock wall street. the case which ended in a plea bargain with the government. >> judge kimball wood said
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milken's crimes merited his removal from society. she sentenced the one-time wall street to jail. >> i'm sure he was at one time a millionaire, and at one time a multi-millionaire. >> monopoly is a tricky game. when you borrow $2 billion and the economy goes into a tailspin and you can't pay the interest on your loans, the bankers move in. donald's hundred million dollar yacht goes to the boston savings deposit trust company. his hotel goes to bankers trust. his trump shuttle goes to northwest airlines. the man who was the darling of the '80s is seen as a man in trouble, and he knows it. >> insofar as we could say the '80s was a period of hedonism in
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excess, the end of the decade was the hangover. >> leona and harry helmsley, one of the richest couples in the world, were treated as common criminals booked on 100 counts of fraud, tax evasion and extortion. they renovated their $11 million estate and wrote the tax off as a business expense on their taxes. >> leona said, we don't pay taxes. only little people pay taxes. helmsley was given four years in prison and had to serve 400 hours of community service. for some the sentence was too light. >> the only crime i committed is that i'm leona helmsley. >> how white collar crimes get
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away with this even after their locked up. >> we put that question to a fair number of people, and 95% of them said simply it was the decade of greed. >> well, we learned that greed may be good, but too much greed is bad. and sometimes people on wall street get a little too greedy, but they learn their lesson and they would never do it again. >> some argue that today's bright spotlight on unethical behavior has exaggerated the problem. but there's no denying the problem is real. and if we excuse unethical conduct by saying, but everyone does it, or, it's really okay unless you get caught, or it's not against the law, we miss the point of why it's important we not do it, period. the point may be no less than national survival as a people who can live together honorably. if we let lying, cheating and stealing become an accepted way of life, it's not just a few
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dollars that will be lost, it's the spirit of the country that will be lost. the decision is ours. on this episode of "the united shades of america", we're talking about the police. >> woo. >> one person, everybody else is nervous. [ applause ] >> it's weird, i think it's a weird thing to say out loud, but i've never been arrested. i think it's a weird, humble thing, but if i say it out loud, i'm suddenly running for the gop nomination as a black guy. i've never been arrested, not like those other ones, yay, herman cain, yay! i've never had sweet potato pie. ve

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