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tv   Viewpoint With Eliot Spitzer  Current  May 21, 2012 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT

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else to die for it. isn't that lovely. we execute the wrong people so stop executing them! it's pretty simple. this is "the young turks." "viewpoint" with eliot spitzer is next. ♪ >> eliot: good evening, i'm eliot spitzer. this is "viewpoint." snake bit by a surrogate. cory booker might have well been on the romney campaign. he attacked obama as he went through the issue. one might think he would attack romney, but instead he attacked obama.
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>> bain capital made off with a lot of money because they took all of the money. we deem mitt romney as a job destroyer. >> mitt romney's philosophy of doing business is to take over companies and then dump the business no matter what. if that that's his approach to american economy, i can't imagine it being very pretty for the workers. >> eliot: the attacks detracted from the substantive issues that he felt should be at the campaign's heart. >> if you look at the totality of bain capital, they have done a lot to support business. this kind of stuff is nauseating to me on both sides. it's nauseating to the american public. enough is enough. stop attacking private equity stop talking jeremiah wright. >> eliot: a super pac ad was canceled last week. hissing a firestorm of criticism, mayor booker amended his comments later sunday. >> mitt romney has made his
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business record the centerpiece of his campaign. therefore reasonable and i encourage it for the obama campaign to examine that record and discuss it. >> eliot: nice move, mayor booker. he received $500,000 from bain capital for his 2002 campaign. the national campaign is using him against the president asking support he is to sign a petition and stand with mayor booker. and then a campaign piled on with his own ad. >> even obama supporters have had enough. >> it's nauseating for the american public. >> eliot: but president obama insisted that the focus on romney's business record was not a distraction but what his campaign is all about doubling down on his argument. >> his main calling card for why he thinks he should be president
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is his business experience. so if your main argument about how to grow the economy is, i knew how to make a lot of money for investors, then you're missing what this job is about. it doesn't--it doesn't you weren't good at private equity. but that's not what my job is as president. my job is to take into account everybody, not just some. >> eliot: joining me now to run down both the economic and political sides of this debate robert reich author of "beyond outrage" who what has gone wrong with our economy and how to fix it. and the writer of "a-2 cory booker." thank you for joining us
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tonight. mr. secretary, let me begin with a simple question. who is right cory booker or president obama. >> i have the greatest respect for mayor cory booker, but president obama has the argument because this is the core of mitt romney's campaign. that he is a job createor. it is perfectly appropriate to go after that core to question his experience with regard to creating jobs, the creation of jobs, look, i mean, private equity is part and parcel of a wall street culture that we've seen in this country get a lot of people in a lot of trouble. i mean, you have people making--who are in private equity like the rest of wall street making huge bets with other people's money. and if the people who are making the bets get a lot of money, as is the case of private equity
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they get their money in financial gain. but they are not risking their own capital. and if the bets go wrong, you know what happens. i mean, we've seen it already. those bets going wrong not can effect the financial system but can cause an awful lot of people to lose their jobs. the point the president is making is that we don't want that type of mentality to be in charge of the economy. >> eliot: and is there not the argument that there are multiple forms of private equity. there are firms who invest in the long term who are there and create jobs over many again educations. and then there are those that is typified by some of the deals that bain did while romy was there where they leveraged so heavily that the incentive to extract and to destroy even though they profit is antithetical to the job creation and long-term growth that we
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desire? >> that's exactly right. if private equity were creating all sorts of efficiencies for the u.s. economy and generating benefits such as new jobs, it would not need the artificial stimulants of all the these tax preferences that go to debt-over-equity and go to capital gains over regular income. the way that bain capital and mitt romney and most of the private equity people around them make their money is because they load up these companies with debts and also they take their incomes in the form of capital gains. were it not for those tax preferences, you wouldn't see all this activity in private equity. >> eliot: elise, i want to come to you because you wrote this spectacular blog where you say one of the many flaws of what cory booker did was attacking the ad and affiliateing attacking reverend wright is the
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same as attacking mitt romney and bain capital. what is the flaw in that in what you wrote in your article. >> thank you. i think most voters are sophisticated enough to thinly veil jeremiah wright to president obama, and just because cory booker wants to appear objective and say two plus two equals five does not mean that voters will buy it. it's all over the media now that says oh, it's going to point out a flaw in the right wing, in the republican argument, that i have to do the same for the democrats. the democrats are wrong a lot but it does not make it the same. there is no parallel, and it is poisoning our political discourse and our ability to move forward in our country.
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>> eliot: in the can calf phon any say that both sides are equally wrong or write. the fact that it's said loudly that it's correct, mr. secretary, there seems to be a risk in what president obama said at the nato summit in his press conference where he said, mitt romney was very good at what he did. he seems to be ceding to mitt romney that he's good. and if he's good in creating jobs then and he'll be good at creating jobs now. was he ceding that? >> i don't think so so. mitt romney was very good as making money and making money for investors, for shareholders for private equity partners. but the job of president is most
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specifically not to make money for shareholders. we're not shareholders. we're citizens. the job of president is not to build wall street up and make billionaires out of multimillionaires. we see wall street already doing that. the job of president is actually to provide wide-spread prosperity, and to make sure that that prosperity comes in many forms, and to make sure as john f. kennedy said the rising tide is lifting our boats. it's very different from mitt romney's concept of success. >> eliot: you and i, and i won't talk for anyone else i get the sense that the three of us view fairness should run through political campaign. however, fairness does not perform very well as an argument with those swing voters as compared to the issue of job creation. the president keeps coming back to fairness. while it resonates with the three of us and hopefully the viewers of this network might
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he not be better structurally to make the argument saying i am better creating jobs. look at what we did in the auto industry. compare my private equity career than mitt romney's private equity career. i'm better at it. >> i think we need to deconstruct fairness. what we see in poll after poll with the american voter they do believe in equal opportunity. fairness is different than equal opportunity. what the president is saying and what he has done is provide the opportunities for americans most americans the 99%, to get a footing for which they might succeed in an economy dominated by the 1% like the ones mitt romney has catered to. >> eliot: i agree with that, and he can make the argument based on opportunity but then again i wish he weren't using the affirmative argument of what he has done with george motors as a counterpoint with what mitt
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romney did with answer with many of his investments, like the gst. wouldn't that permit him to say, look at what i have done affirmatively? >> i think the president ought to do both democrats progressives, all people who are looking squarely at the economy not only has the president created jobs, the committee under the president created a lot of new jobs, but we got into this terrible hole in the first place because the people like mitt romney, wall streeters who didn't care about jobs, cared only about profits that huge amounts against the american economy in a sense. you can't separate fairness from job creation. we've been subjected to a wall street mentality that is fundamentally unfair and puts profits in front of people. the president is saying, no,
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we've already been through that. we don't wanting to through that once again. >> eliot: look, i certainly agree with you. i keep running through my mind different arguments that i wish were being made about mitt romney's business career because i think it is--he has made it front and center, and it should be front and center. let's deconstruct it. one of the other issues is the degree of leverage that is built in that mitt romney and bain capital has done. there is an intention that the folks on the republican party are saying leverage is bad. government can't borrow when it's for public services but they go deeply in debt when they structure their own deals. why are they permitted to get away with that? why don't we stand up and say you're the ones who have over-leverages and why don't we hold them accountable for that? >> i think you're exactly right. leverages in the private sector has gotten us into far more trouble so far than leverage in the public sector. the only reason why we're
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overleverages, that is in debt, is to get out of the bind that we're into because of the banks have overleveraged the private sector of the economy. we ought to be making that argument. from the president on down. everybody a ought to be looking at that. austerity economics is the first cousin of trickle-down economics. the idea that we can all do fine if the rich make a lot of money and if they leverage to the hilt, well that's not the way it works. we'll all do worse when the rich do very, very well when they leverage to the hilt, then we end up having to borrow either through the public sector or individuals have to borrow just to stay afloat. then we find ourselves in deep trouble. that's what is happening to homeowners all over the country. we ought to be making exactly that point. public leverage is one thing but the private leverage that bain capital and others have
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created greats much more mischief. >> eliot: real quick, how do you push back against this desire of false equivalent say that you criticize one then you have to cite size the other. other than to state what is fact and what is clear. you came up with a clever phrase. how do you push back. >> i think it's important that we call it out every time it happens. booker was an egregious example of comparing racist association with a jobs record, but it happens every single day. i think that you as the media are going to find people tuning out because that's what they find nauseating. not actually looking at the jobs record of a candidate running for president. >> eliot: i've been tarred with many things. please don't call me the media. >> fair enough, eliot. >> eliot: robert reicht, and
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elise hogue, great to have you on the program. >> thank you. >> eliot: n.a.t.o., too, has a plan coming up on "viewpoint." (vo) former two term governor, jennifer granholm, is politically direct on current tv >> what should women be doing? >> electing women to office.
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etch-a-sketch candidate, an image where romney is anti gas. 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!"
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phhht! 50% more cash is good ri... what's that. ♪ ♪ you can spell. [ male announcer ] the capital one cash rewards card. the card for people who want 50% more cash. what's in your wallet? ha ha. ♪ ♪ if you have an opinion, you 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. ♪ >> eliot: i wish i could say that g-8 countries had the fasters growing economies in the world, and japan were the most exciting stories out there but they're not. the story of the day is 11. for the last ten years the g-11 grew three times faster than the old g-8.
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now i know what you're thinking. g-1 plus g-11 does not equal g 20. we know what a mess the european union is, and some how 30 years of tax cuts haven't changed. it's no better in germany and japan. but nations that useed to lag far behind us are now skunking. china pushed into double digits, and india and brazil keep going up and occupy. these rising g-11 powers will only get bigger. political power follows economic power. with special guest guy kawasaki and dylan ratigan. >>steve jobs was many things but he was not a politician.
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>>we're just getting started. (vo) the state of the 2012 campaign. >> eliot: after over 10 years the war in afghanistan appears to be winding down. earlier this month president obama flew to afghanistan to sign the strategic partnership agreement with afghan president hamid karzai assuring that american troops would be out of a of afghanistan in 2014. in the words of his predecessor mission accomplished. the n.a.t.o. transitioned out of afghanistan will begin in 2013 when security forces take the lead of combat situations with
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all drops removed from the country in 2014 leaving all provinces in the hands of the afghan troops. a move that some say is too soon. a fear that the president echoed and said enough is enough. >> i don't think there is ever going to be an optimal point where we say this is all done. this is perfect. this is just the way we wanted it and now we can you know, wrap up all of our equipment and go home. no matter how much good we're doing, and how outstanding our troops and our civilians and diplomats are doing on the ground. ten years in a country that is very different that's a strain. >> eliot: joining me now is the director of policy and government affairs joe reuben and a man who served two tours in the u.s. army in iraq john solts. thank you for your time.
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joel, let me begin with you. it seems as though we've basically crossed the spectrum. we've gone from nation building to training the afghan army to make sure they're secure, and then just throwing in the towel peace with dignity, am i reading this right? >> the strategy that the president is laying out has something in it for everybody. military force which we have primary relied upon only is good if it helps to achieve a political deal. we have terrors to fight. there are nuclear weapons in pakistan. we have alliances with russia, india, and other countries who really care what happens in afghanistan. so we're going to need to get this military strategy right. it's coming out. it's about coming out soon but not too soon and making sure now we should really lean in on our
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diplomacy and engage with the taliban, engage with iran, engage with the region to make sure we can leave a stable of a afghanistan in the near term. >> eliot: it has struck me watching this throughout the many years the definition of purpose has shifted been ambiguous and difficult to nail down. was it the al-qaida, taliban building a civil society. as we morphed from one objective to another, none of them was feasible, we have now said we're simply taking a date and leaving. which is i think it's the right thing to do. but why, to ask the hardest question, why would the taliban negotiate with us at this point if they know our combat troops are gone one year from now. >> that's right. this is a policy that has been seen in free fall for many years. during the bush administration
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after we succeedly took out the taliban and for years we're not investing the kinds of resources we needed to secure afghanistan. when the president took over he surged troops, twice. the taliban for all they could take, they were on their heels a bit but clearly there is no military solution to this. the concept is staying in afghanistan in the near term, continuing to work with the military, with the government of afghanistan, and bringing the taliban to the table. but it's not going to be a magic bullet. the military will not do this alone, and talking won't do this alone. we're ultimately going to have to really ensure that we engage all the parties inside of afghanistan and around afghanistan to bring the taliban at heel. >> eliot: john, in my conversations with you, i get the sense that if we can get out soon and protect our troops, that's what you want us to do. was it heartening to hear the president say we're not on path
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to do that today. >> the important part about today we did not learn anything new about afghanistan. you talk about the mission creep, we went in there looking for bin laden. this is on president obama. president obama turned this mission into a counter insurgent insurgency mission in order to prop up president karzai. what we found out today is nothing new. i feel the president missed a huge opportunity. in 2013 we're going to switch in counter insurgencies where we're out with afghan units and we're going to go to an advise-train mission which is the similar position we were in iraq where we were not on a mission and we were not the land owners. the president is talking about the calendar and mill are looking at their watch. are we going to go on a defensive this summer. in 2009, we were to control the
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roads that connect kandahar kabul, control that terrain with 70% of the population. the battle plan this summer called for the projection of force outside of the initial population centers at a time when the afghan army is shrinking in size, at a time when other countries are pulling out. i don't see to seize terrain closer to the pakistanan border and leave the afghan army out there in a bridge too far mission. you're exactly right. the taliban will not speak to us in any meaningful way until the they do what they have done in iraq. >> eliot: the plans in prior years about the military successes that we would expect to hear about that would lead to the creation of civil society once we established control and
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once after we were there the afghan army would establish it's own control. that's out the window. i don't think anybody would believe that for a moment if they were told tomorrow that we anticipate we would project power that way. jon, i gather you think all those claims have shown to be completely pointless and wrong. >> it's been a mixed bag. when you look at what we've done,al article in "huffington post," they're talking about going into key terrain areas that's a mixed bag. we control it. the taliban is not stronger than the afghan army. we control that terrain. the question is what happens after you leave. there are parts of that terrain those key districts that had hasn't gone well, but it hasn't gone bad either. the larger question is do we hold that terrain and now transfer authority over at an expedited pace. there are a lot of people on the ground in afghanistan who want
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to do it. evaluate the afghan army while we're there in key terrain areas. unfortunately, in the next 12 months we don't know what will happen. this is the last season to fight. there is a lot of pressure and the president didn't say this with a happen, going past those key terrain areas and push the afghan army out further. the decisive point is what happens when we leave? the taliban has not been able to push us often the terrain. when they blow up a car bomb, they do not now control the city. what will happen if we project them out further. that's my concern, in the next 12 months because we have not switched over to an advised mission, which is still a combat mission, will we make them more vulnerable to defeat. i argue under the current plan, it might not work. >> eliot: joel, let me come back to you quickly. we have not said anything yet about pakistan. if there was a disaster that we saw playing out in slow motion
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at the nato conference, there was not summit between the president and the leadership of the pakistangy government who had flown over here just for at a summit, one that would give them credibility back home. what do you make about our relationship with pakistan. is that the crisis we'll be reading about in six months? >> pakistan is really the most dangerous country on earth. we need to get this straight. the pakistanis have asked us to pay $5,000 per truck to send shipments into afghanistan. this is not acceptable. this relationship is essential for our broader national security for the nuclear issue as well as in the region in the fight against terrorism. it will be difficult. i agree with jon's point. we need to ensure that the strategy going forward is one that takes advantage of this final window on the military operations inside of afghanistan.
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to really lever it and utilize it to get some deals on the ground so that when we move out we don't leave an afghanistan that implodes which clearly decides pakistan would be dangerous for all of us. >> eliot: of course, it's our final window, the other side knows exactly when we're leaving. it's hard to negotiate in that context. thank you both for your time. >> thank you. >> eliot: no illusions about obama's drug policy. the viewfinder is next.
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>> eliot: occupy the front lawns. protested the homes of tim geithner and jp morgans peter shurer, but first, joe the plumber is still alive. when it doesn't fit anywhere else, we put it in the viewfinder. >> facebook went public, maybe be the company worth
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$400 billion i don't know if you can put a price tag on watching your high school friends slowly get fatter. >> we're not going to have music today. >> he's a liberal. i'm aconservative. >> you're up early. >> i'm going to the rally. we're going to protest the establishment. it will be great. are you going to go? >> i got things to do, go to work, feed my family. >> the bible is against it. if you had any sense, you would be against it. little weather a big large fence, and put all the lesbians in there. >> let us talk about what is going on on wall street. ♪ what's new pussycat ♪ whoa, whoa, whoa ♪ what's new pussycat ♪ ♪ in west philadelphia ♪ born and raised ♪
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>> i went to use the restroom a few moments ago. in the restroom a total mud pile, one sock and one shoe. >> lifts him up and he makes his way. >> one in six people in prison are in there for weed that jimmy fallon and the united states of america laugh about. ha, ha ha. ♪ >> new york mayor mike bloom gave the commencement speech at the university of north carolina, and criticized the state's same-sex marriage ban. nothing makes a governor rethink his ways than criticism from a jewish new yorker. ♪ he's a ♪ a hard working man ♪ and he always says ♪ prayers
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♪ yeah, the thing about him ♪ don't ever let him ♪ touch your hair ♪ >> eliot: mick jagger with more energy than most 18-year-olds i know, and amazing performer. anyway dimon meet rough. pressure builds for the head of jp morgan to step down. next on "viewpoint." >>scores of the most talented filmmakers in the world gather in new york city every year for the tribeca film festival. the eclectic slate of films draws an estimated 3 million people a year. cat coira's film, "while we were here," is about how travel can change the way we look at our lives and loves. >>you never know someone until you travel with them, because it takes people out of their element. >>(narrator) director morgan spurlock's films have taken him all around the world. his latest, "mansome," is about
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grooming in the modern man. the project brought him to germany to a professional beard building championship. >>just as there are beauty pageants for women, there are, you know, now these beard growing competitions and mustache competitions for men. >>i'm wayne rosenfeld at the tribeca film festival. really? no. it comes with a hat. see, airline credit cards promise flights for 25,000 miles, but... [ man ] there's never any seats for 25,000 miles. frustrating, isn't it? but that won't happen with the capital one venture card. you can book any airline, anytime. hey, i just said that. after all, isn't traveling hard enough? ow! [ male announcer ] to get the flights you want, sign up for a venture card at what's in your wallet? uh, it's ok. i've played a pilot before. i have the most common type of atrial fibrillation, or afib. it's not caused by a heart valve problem.
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unwrap your paradise. soft, sweet coconut covered in rich, creamy chocolate. almond joy and mounds. unwrap paradise. ♪ >> eliot: from elizabeth warren and simon johnson to senator bernie saunders, the number of voices calling for jamie dimon to step down from the new york fed continues to grow. in washington hundreds of protesters made an impromptu visit to tim geithner's before heading to jpmorgan chase executive demanding that jamie dimon step down from the new york reserve. they asked for jpmorgan to reduce the principle of home
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mortgages. joining me now the author of " "13 bankers and author of "white house burning." professor, thank you for joining us. what is wrong with tim geithner with bees on the board of the new york fed? >> well, i think you mean jamie dimon. >> eliot: yes, correct. >> there is a conflict of interest there eliot. jamie dimon is head one jpmorgan, ones largest banks in the world they've had big losses, those need to be investigated properly and the new york fed is a responsible supervisor of jpmorgan. there is conflict of interest for someone who will be subject of investigation also sit in the
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supervisory position. >> eliot: now i don't think most people appreciate the fact if you look back at the board of the new york fed over the last ten years, you will see that it has been dominated by bankers. why is that, and how can that have been permitted to continue? >> well, there is a long-standing arrangement for all the regional feds that comprise the federal reserve system. it gives the local bankers a large voice. and giving local bankers a voice in kansas or minnesota that's one thing, but in new york you're giving giving that voice to some of the most powerful people on wall street. citigroup was build up with a board member there. and lehman brothers as it ran into the ground with a board member of the new york fed, and jamie dimon is one of the most effective opponents of financial reform, yet sits on the board of the new york fed. >> eliot: what do you see when the lou capital gains the roster of the board members is
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virtually every bank that has run into trouble, every bank that has been bailed out has been represented on the board of the fed. they have given themselves in essence the money they needed, tax pair money to survive, this is a structural problem. why has not anything happened about this? why has there been not a real demand, human cry that jamie dimon be forced off the board? >> that's a good question. i think when the attention comes on as it's now coming, it will across the political spectrum, people, when you explain the situation, they say, oh, that's a bizarre thing to have a banker play that role in the new york fed and in the economy, giving themselves emergency or apparently giving themselves emergency loans. >> eliot: now, our treasury secretary tim geithner mate comments the other day. he was asked about this on a pbs show and he put this in and a
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context of there being an appearance issue and what he did was down play the role the board plays, i was critical and i said, no, it's not an appearance issue because the board does the most important thing imaginable, pick the president of the new york fed, and jamie dimon sits on the committee that sets the salaries and oversees the salaries of fed officials. how are they going to possibly regulate him? does tim geithner appreciate this fundamental tension, and what do you think he'll do about it? >> tim geithner, as you mentioned before was president of the new york fed. he knows these bankers very well, and is good friends with many of them, and i'm sure there is a real conflict of interest here. he said it is a perception problem. that is typical treasury department code saying the time has come to fix this.
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fix this. tim geithner cannot force out jamie dimon. that has to be done within the federal reserve system, but the pressure is on jamie dimon to resign from the board of the new york fed. >> eliot: both of us are confusing the two. the two morph into one person, and that may be the problem. is that what we've been talking about with respect to the new york fed board, similarric of the larger regulatory crisis we face in this nation where there has been touch influence to bear that they have not done their job. >> yes, it is symptomatic of a broader problem. it could be that this is the tip of the iceberg or the relatively visible part of the problem. the intellectual and other forms capture are much more pervasive.
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>> eliot: very, very quickly. you are actually beginning a petition campaign to show public support for this. when will that start and how will that work? >> we hope to get it started tomorrow. we hope that a lot of people are going to sign on. it's actually a very reasonable and modest to moderate ask and i would be shocked if we don't pick up a lot of support. >> eliot: you're absolutely right. it should happen, and this would be the least of the reforms we need to begin to bring genuine regulatory pressure to bear on the banks. simon johnson, previews at mit coauthor of "white house burning." thank you for everything you've done to shed light on the financial crisis over the years. >> thank you. >> eliot: credit to the courts in due process is defended. my view coming up. brought to you by spiriva.
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>> eliot: another week, another giant endorsement for same-sex marriage. this time from the naacp, but first, let's take our daily trip out west and visit with jennifer granholm in "the war room"." jennifer, who do you have on tap tonight. >> as you noted the president doubled down saying mitt romney's record at bain capital is at heart of the campaign despite what cory booker has said. i'm joined in the studio with paul krugman to discuss bain and what experience is relevant to the campaign. we're all about the politics of the economy tonight. >> eliot: could not be better. you know what my answer would be to put paul krugman in charge of the economy, and congress and everything for 24 hours and it would turn out just fine. >> that would be awesome. >> eliot: tell him i said so. he's got my vote. we'll be watching the show. more vow point coming up next.
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