tv Charlie Rose WHUT October 24, 2011 11:00pm-12:00am EDT
. >> rose: welcome to our program, tonight paul volcker former chairman of t federal reserve offers his assessment of regutory reform. >> we didn't deal with the banking crisis wall street would be lot worst off, no doubt about that case, you shoul should nota system that is so conducive to the failure of big institutions and so institutions that are so complicated and so interconnected they demand some kind of government bailout, to use the word, true in the united states, true in the uk, true in europe, true in japan. so we have got sething seriously the matter with the system that is not easy to
repair overnight. >> rose: we conclude th evening with amyoodman, host of democracy, and chri hedges author of the death of the liberal class and their assessment of the occupy wall street movement. >> this is why the democrats and the republicans are very concerned, you seehe republicans changing too, at first they were not accepting this movement. you know, gandhi sai it and i will paraphrase it, first they ignore you, then they ridicule you,hen they fight you, then you win. and we are moving forward in that process. >> there is no way to vote against the interest of goldman sachs, and so when you shut that safety valve off, you create movements that seek to tear down a monolithic and tone-deaf and callous power structure and that is what happened. >> paul volcker, chris hedges and amy goodman when we continue. >> funding for charlie rose was provided by the following.
captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> rose: volcker is here chairman of the federal reserve from 1979 to 1987, he remained influentiain the range of economic issues, in 2009 president oba pinted him chairman of the economic recovery board, regulation bill is called e vehicler rule, wall street banks lobbied heavily against it there is growing speculation the final product will include provisions to substantially dilute its intent. >> emerged with public comment, i am pleased to have paul volckeback at th table. welcome. >> thank you. >> rose: so just tel tell me wht you think has happened to what we knew of as the vehicler rule that you intended. >> oh, i think it is okay. there are a lot of commotion
about the lengths of the rule and the commentator and all the rest. a lot of lawyers spent a lot of time trying to put holes in this thing and of course the regulators respond by trying to close the holes that they bic in it and you end up with presumably pretty cumbersome piece of paper, i read it myself, the regulation itself is only 35 pages. >>ose: but it is like 300 -- >> 300,including commentator, rules for how you keep records, most of the banks will want to keep these records anyway, but the regulation itself is 35 pages. >> rose: so if anybo argues that banks lobbied and had it diluted, in the wds of the creator of th of the vehicler re they simply got it wrong. >> they got it wrong and that is why, i am happy to say, it is too complicated we can't do it, but this rule, it reminds me of the old story about the guy that
murdered his mother and then pleads innocent because he is an orphan. >> rose: yes. >> lawyers are there working away, heading to the complications without any doubts and say oh it is too complicated. what struck me, when you go back to tdeal, people say let's go back to -- the two operative provisions of seeingable were two sentences, one says .. you can not be principally engage in underwriting on anything. the other provision said you can't trade, you can't deal corporate instruments, and it is a tough thing, it says you have customers that come to you with a trade, you can do it, but for his account, you can't put it in your account. two sentences. no regulation, no nothing. lasted for 50 years. >> rose: would you like to see those two sentences back? well, i think this would take six or seven -- you can put those sentences back but that
goes much further, that says no trading account. >> rose: that goes much further than what we have now with dodd frank? >> because we have allowed for trading accounts. >> rose: would you have preferred to go further like seeing gehl did? >> i would prefer to go where we went, but if they are going to complain that that is too complicated and make it simpler, we can make it simpler, by prohibiting everything. >> rose: but by becoming more complex doesn't it become? how weighted down? >> i think you accommodate these things after long. they will get used to it and it will be okay a lot of this is definition, and they have got a lot of rules, for instance, a lot of proposals for recordkeeping, now, that is outside of the rules, recordkeeping, that's the thing you want comment on, is there a better way of doing this? a simpler way of doing this. >> but the idea you have to keep records of the tding you are doing, it can't be negated. >> rose: will consumers and
the economy be safer because of dodd prank? the financial reform enacted since barack obama became president. >> yes, my answ is unambiguously yes, now there are more important provisions, i like the so-called volcker rule, but, you know, the principal effort in this whole thing is to limit this too big to fail problem. >> rose: right. >> and this is part of the effort not to have failures, but if you are going to fail, what happens with a faire? dodd frank has a pretty clearly set out resolution process that says the government takes it over, the government will liquidate that organizion or it will merge it or sell it, that organization is gone, it will not -- the stockholders won't be bailed out, the management is gone, the creditors will be at risk, if there aren't enough assets in the organization to cover the liabily it is creditors will have to swallow it. and they keep this thing alive
long enough to implement the liquidation process without disturbing the whole thing. now, everybody is skeptical and when push comes to shove they won't do it. >> rose: right. >> but one big element is can you get internationalgreement because these big firms are obviously very international. and you are going to liqdate them, you have got to liquidating all over the world in some sense, and the biggest place you have got to get some comity is europe, and britain is quite aware of this problem, because we are going on, consultation is going on between, to try to get some consistency here, and i think, you want something complicated that is much more complicated than the vehicler rule, but there is a lot of iernational discussion going on and i think -- >> rose: what do you think about bozzl e-3. >> that becomes a political issue and some banks say, oh you are tougher on us than the banks over there, the kind of business
we do, you are being too tough on, you are being too easy with the other guy, and the other guy is saying the same thing about american banks and so -- >> ros they said it was anti-american. >> yes, you know, the french think it is anti-french. so-so the regulators, the regulators, this doesn't take a change in law for the most part but the regulators are very heavily lobbied, and the tendency in the past is to ease up in these requirements overtime, so they there are going to be problems. >> rose: you made a speech which gretchen took note of called three years later, and you pointed out three things, you mentioned too big to fail, you believe that too big to fail is no longer an issue because of dodd frank. >> oh, it will be an issue, but dodd frank attempts to deal wh it. >> rose: attempts to deal with it. >> well, and i hope successfully, particularly for nonbanks, there is no reason why we have to support those nonbanks under any kind of
reasonable resolution ocess. the big banks, boy we hope they don't get in trouble and that is therelevance of some of these others ruled, do you worry about shadow bank something. >> well, shadow banking -- >> rose: hedges funds and other financial powerhouses that are now engaging in some of the businesses that typically commercial banks did. >> because of to be frank, they come under the old rules, of something. >> rose: right. >> and if it provides authority for their capital requirements, to provide other authority to supervise those institutions which didn't exist before. so dodd frank provides the authority for all of ts kind of stuff, which everybody aost says is necessary. and it takes a lot of words to put it in law but it is there, you have the resolution authority, you have the nonbank, the shadow banking thing and the capital requirements, and those are major elements in dodd frank. >> rose: that would have preventethe kind of collapse we experienced.
>> i certainly hope so, but the other ingredient is you have to have strong, alert regulators. >> rose: do we have strong, alert regulators? we did not last time. >> i hope we have stronger and more alert regulators than we did ten years ago. i really couldn't pursue that experience without -- there was this geelg that the market could take care of itself, that, you know, markets were fresh and people had perfect foresht, get together, you don't haveo worry about this kind of thing the way we used to. >> rose: that was your successor alan greenspan. >> the view of a lot of people, i'm frayed and, afraid, and it is a rude awakening, we can't assume these things will be so correct. >> rose: market markets usually correct. >> usually they do but sometimes they don't. >> you pointed out money markets offer potential problem. >> yes. >> because they are not -- >> they were a big problem in the crisis. >> rose: right. >> major complications and the
question is whether they should be left unregulated. dodd frank again, provides authority to get in this area, they come under different, for historic reasons they are particular the sec rather than the banking regulators but they make with a, act like a bank, they promise to pay you par, they promise to pay you instantaneously, although their asset central may change. that is the only mutual fund that has that privilege. so they attract money which i remind you what properly should be in the banks. they have no insurance, they have no capital requirement. they hav no realfficial surveillce of their asset picture. and ironically, while they got in trouble in the midst of the crisis and took hundreds of billions of -- unusual assistance, to keep them not really upsetting the apple cart, this, we dcovered many of the big ones, half of their assets
were in european ban, well, you know, what people think about european banks. >>ose: they think they are in bad shapes, theyre exposed to the european vereign debt crisis. >> so they havbeen pulling back, so they complicate the sovereign debt crisisbut suppose there had been a failure in greece last winter as there could have been or last spring. >> rose: a failure meaning a default. >> a default for a default of a big european bank. >> rose: what would have happened? >> it would have been a r on the money. because of all of their exposure to european banks. and that would have been very disturbing. >> rose: the other thing you talked about, and which is crucial in terms of economic recovery, everybody is housing. unless we can figure out a way to deal with the over supply of housing stock and that is under water we will never fully have an economy recovery, do you agree with that? >> well i agree that the housing situation is a big drag, and you
can't say forever, but it is a big drag while we work through all of these foreclosus, and the administration as you know has announced. >> rose: right, today. >> new actions we will see how effeive that will be, but the housing situation is a big drag on the economy. >> rose: and what should be done about it? >> well, if i knew the answer to that question, and very simple i would disclose it to charlie rose. first of all. >> rose: well, i appreciate that. d i would tell everybody is all complicatedin disclosure rules and regulations and bankruptcy rules and glaigs, and part of it is, if you see the guys that are in worse shape the guys that are in good shape say why am i not getting any help and you have a moral hazard problem plus a very difficult technical problem. >> what would you do about frdie mae and fanny ma mac. >> they should be phased out. >> they should be phased out and
the government role in mortgage should be ended. >> the role of these quasi governmental institutions should be ended, because they have a flaw which cannot be corrected. people think because they are governmental they will be bailed out, but they are profit-makg institution whose are trying to make as much profit as they can in the meantime. it is not -- it is not a reasonable approach for public policy. and i am not saying you shouldn't -- government might decide they want to support parts of theortgage market but they should do it by the government not hiding behind -- >> what do you think is going to happen in the european sovereign debt crisis. >> i hope they get together in the next few days. >> rose: days is what it has come down to. >> well, days, at least in setting out agreement on the principles, i suspect the detas ar going to ta more, but they have got to maken agreement of recapitalizing the banks that is essential and they have to marshall enough money,
there is a lot of money we are talking about, we are tking about a trillion or more. >> rose: yes, a trillion. >> i never thought i would talk about trillions. >> but here we are in a trillion, and get more than a trillion together so they can protect any tendency to have a run on the big companies in the countries that need financing, spain and italy, in particular. and if you have the money you may not have to spend it. but. >> rose: do something to create a firewall that doesn't jump over to spain and aly where you have big problems with binge banks. >> and none of this is going to work for long until they accept the idea you have to have further integration in the euro zone polic policy-making. you have got to have some kind of a collective treasure in some sense that can discipline countries that are borrowing too much, and they can get after them in terms of competitiveness and other, in my view, andother aspects of ecomic policy, when
you look back, how did they let the greeks go so portuguese or even the spanish? >> rose: spending at the levels they were spending without -- >> the levels they were spending until it came to the point of crisis and you can ask the question about the united states, and china. why did we let the situation ise and why did china let a situation arise when they own trillion, speaking of trillion, american dollars? while we over spend, over consumed, you know, it is like these stories. >> rose: because it was a huge export market for them. >> it was a huge export market for them and a huge consumption boon for us and mortgage boon for us financed by chinese money which originally came from us. we have had lapses in necessary discipline, in many parts of the world. >> rose: what should we learn from the japanese experience?
>> well, what we learned, the japanese experience was difficult, it got veryeavily criticized by everybody here about why they didn't do more. now we undstand how difficult the problem was. >> rose: they did too little too late. >> well, had the biggest, in a sense, economic crisis than we did. they had a real estate problem, real estate prices went down by something like 75 percent there. here, they are 30 percent. japan, they were down 70, 75 percent. they had a stock market goi down at th same time, i n't remember t exact figure but like 70 percent too, a tremendoushock to their banking system, it is a less complicated financial system, but basically their banks were busted. and the government supported t banks, we supported the banks, and they got, drove interest ranges down to zero and spent a lot of money and there wasn't as much response as people would
like to have seen. but i think, frankly, the criticism of jan was over done, and we now understand you get into these problems when you borrowed too much, and you have a collapse in values, as they did in japan, as we did in the united states, you know, it is no longer a matter of pushing the button on monetary policy or having a little stimulus program, iis tougher than that, it takes time, you have too much debt, we have to work our way out, they had to work their wear out. >> one thing that came out of the political campaign is this intense criticism of the federal reserve, especially from the republicans. >> i think to someegree that was inevitable, the federal reserve s departed from their usual remote approach. they supply money into the market or take money out of the market and in a most unobtrusive way, they buy treasury i didn't bills and the money supply goes
up and down and affects interest rates to some eent but truly they took extraordinary measures during the crisis, and the feedback, iay, well, what kind of precedent did you create, people that don't like the idea that banks were bailed out at all, what were you doing? you were using, you know, authorities that stretched your legal authorities, to say the least. alongside the government, and they only did it in cooperation with the administrion, that is clear. there is no any reasonable complaint that federal reserve went off on a while tangent. they were operating alongside the administration, but they were doing extraordinary things and it is going to be criticism to some extent, that tends to politicize. they got into areas that are, indeed politically charged, inevitably. >> rose: because they had to or because they chose to. >> oh, i think they, you know, i think they thought they had to
and there is a very strong case that they had to, things were falling apart back there in october of 2008, or in the beginning of 2008 when they first extraordinary measure they took was with bear stearns. and in the early part of 2008. >> rose: and j.p. morgan -- guaranteed it. >> facilitatin the j.p. morgan takeover, yes. >> rose: there is under way in this cntry, in this city, an around the world this developing protest, what do you make of it what do you -- >> what i make of it is that people are unhappy. the protest itself doesn't seem to be totally coherent, expressed more forcibly before, the distribution of income, which has changed very radically in the last ten or fifteen years, and you have a situation in the united states where there has been almost no growth in real income for the average
family for ten or fifteen years, but way at the upper end of the income distribution there has been an enormous increase, of the kind that didn't take place in myifetime or even in your lifetime. >> rose: it is unbelievable. >> yes. it seems almost unbelievable, the only thing that came close to it is 1928, 1929, because you look at what happened in 1930s. >> rose: yes. >> but -- >> rose: does that worry you in a sense if you look at income disparity in america today and in se cases around the world, in other cases around the world, and you look and you see parallels that led into the great depression? >> well, i think both of the -- both of those occasions were excesses in financial markets and a lo lot of that concentratd income came in financial market. >> rose: we said there has been an excess in financial markets. >> that's right, and 28, 29 there was an excess mostly in the stock market. there was a eat boom in the
stock market, and, led to a lot of weah, temporily >> rose: here it has been much more complicated. and you have got a mixture, you have people, you have steve jobs, he is a genius, you know issues take microsoft and all of these other companies that have innovated, enormously successful, a lot of innovators have gone downhe chute some made enormous amounts of money that made a tremendous impact on the economy. >> rose: as was said in the book, changed five or six industries. >> yes. >> from music to movies, to computers, to -- >> i think it is hard to say anything about the financial market. >> rose: you say what. it is hardto say the same thing about this great expansion in the financial markets, brought about, you know, a real gain in income and prosperity or whatever for the average american. >> what is to e tobin thi about, tobin taxn financial
transactions? >> well, it is just kind of a reaction, let's slow things down, all of these complicated rapidly traded markets are not doing as much good let's slow us down a little bit, they are leading to a lot of excesses in one direction or another, so i guess tobin put political sand in the wheels. the original tobin suggestion was only on foreign exchange transactions. and none of this worked very well, even if it sounds good in theory, unless, particularly -- transactions one country can't do it you have to have all of the countries do it, there is kind of a fat chance to get all of the countries to get together and, on such an approach. andhey are serious about it in legislate something, even if if they legislate it, i guess, in the euro zone, even if the british hate it. >> rose: do you believe the bank lobbying on dodd frank has had a seris impact?
>> it has had a serious impact in complicating. >> what has it complicated? more complicated in the sense diluting? >> i think more complicated than diluting, yes. >> rose: so the core of it is there? >> the core oft is there. now, really, much more than all of this fuss about complicated laws is whether the overtime, the regulators areoing to stand there and effectively. >> rose: enforce. >> enforce it. that's the real key. and i like the pas thatthey have in this bill that put a lot of, emphasis on the stock, you have got to go to the chief executive, you have to go to the ard of directors and say do you undetand what a proprietary trade, is, is, don't you? yes. >> well you have rules in your bank and i want to see tho rules that make it clear that the bankers who are out there trading, that they know what a proprietary trade is and it is against the law. and you have to follow up on that. and you see a lot of activity
around -- pressing beyond any reasonable age you go back to the chief executive or you go back to the directors and say, you know, part of management is how well you are administering what is the law of the land and i think you have got a little deficiency here and i think we have a problem with management ofhis bank. now, are the regulators going to do tha that? that's what they should do. i hope it is not necessary. >> rose: well, the banks also argue, as you know, that it will reduce, it will restrict their economic growth. >> well, they have economic growth on a lot of raiding, they made a lot of money and lost it all in a cple of years, so i think that is a two-way street. i don't believe that. >> rose: capitalequirements -- >> i don't think it is supportive of economic growth, it is supportive of steady economic group. i am talking abo the vehicler rule. you can say the se thing about capital requirements. i don't think capital requirements -- there is always
a limit of capitalequirements, there should be catal requirements, but i think the kind of thing they are talking about is in that vein. >> rose: some say we will be deleveraging. >> we are. >> rose: and how long will it take? because the leveraging peod took a series of years, how long will it take to go through this deleveragg. >> well, i was looking at a chart the other day that shows a nice downturn in -- a little more pgress than i thought, but still compared to e leverage that went on in the last 15 years, before the crisis, we were down, i don't know, maybe a quairt or less, and we don't have to go all the way back to where we were, but unfortunately, this is the problem, and particularly it is the case in the mortgage market, where we are deleveraging by the process of foreclosure, it is a very painful process. and we are not through it yet. >> rose: but you finally support the things that the obama administration have done? >> oh, yes. >> and they have, i mean, there
was some debate as to whether they were using you, whether your voice was heard. >> well, i don't know whether my voice was heard or not, but some of the things that they did, the stimulus progr was, might be th came in as president would ve done that. president bush had done a little stimulus program even before the recession, just as the recession was started, a little temporary stimulus program which most economists think isn't very effective, i mean, it was not insignificant, but he did it, would he have done something about the automobile industry? i suect he did. , the bush administration that bailed out the banks, to use that expression. >> >> rose: by talk. >> and by talk and other actions. >> rose: and there ia fairness pple have and you have a sense of the american public, there is a sense of the bailout the banks, because they had to, whatever, but then the
banks, they didn't bail out people, they didn't bail out main street. >> i'm afraid not. you don't do that, you do the point of immediate pressure where obviously it would have hurt main street, you didn't deal with the banking crisis main street was going to be a lot worse off, there is no doubt about that being the case. we nowld not have a system tt is so conducive to the failure of big institutions and so institutions that are so complicate and so interconnected they demand some kind of government bail without, to use the word, true in the united states, true in uk, true in europe, true in japan, so we have got something seriously the matter with the system that is not easy to repair overnight, and i understand. i intenly dislike the fact that these banks g bailed out and inome cases nothing much
happened to the management, in some case it is management walked off with enormous. >> rose: buyouts. >> buyouts or whatever,. >> rose: severance or whatever it is like hundreds of millions of dollars. >> yes. >> rose: i mean, you can understand the anger about this. that is what we are trying to deal with. i think we have to go back to what we said earlier, markets are not going to take care of themselves in all circumstances. et's rely on the market as much as we can and in normal circumstances, they do a wonderful job, a we want free rkets, and we want new -- a country that is innovation and venture a capital, there is nothing wrong with hedge funds out there or equity funds out there. >> rose: derivatives. >> deliver it was to a limited extent but when you have $60 trillion of credit default ms out of six to 10 trillion
at risk you wonder what is going on, the risk is protecd six timesover? we found out it wasn't protected, it wasn't protecd at all, it was part of the crisis. so if we can cut on that kind of stuff, obviously we are better off. all of this frenetic trading activity. >> rose: thanks for coming. always good to see you. okay. >> re: we continue tonight our coverage of the occupy wall street protests in september, a small group of activists started camping out in the park, they claim to draw the inspiration from the arab spring, since then protests have changed to other major dismiss the united states and around the world, so far protesters have declined to be specific about their demands, some say corporate greed, or change the democratic process itself, questions remain whether the movement can maintain movement momentum and what comes next. amy goodman are, host of democracy now, news news hours, contributory negligence hedges, columnist at truth dig, i am
pleased to have both of them at this table. welcome. welcome. great to be back. >> rose: thank you. tell me what you think this is about and where you think its going. >> i just came fro there because this broadcast, charlie, from zukoti park, occupy, near wall street, and one of th leading egyptian actists, founder of one of t people in the april 6 movement who put up the video in youtube before january 25th, before the egyptian uprising, the major protests in tahrir call on people to go down, ere she was head covered riski everything, a youngwoma she is 26 years old, saying come down to, this is when mubarek had a stronghold on his country. and here she is today, she is running for parliament ingypt, but she came to occupy wall street to address the people there. it is catching on like wildfire.
now a thousand sites all over the world, i was just in kentucky and louisville, occupy lieu rill is across from the jail, people have set up tents, the eloquence of the young people and old who are there, who are saying this is a defining moment, i think of one young man, an african-american soldier just back from iraq, he said he served in iraq from 2008 to 2010, and now he iserving his country by camping out at occupy louisville. we are seeing something like we haven't seen before except what decades ago, with the civil rights movement, the anti-war movement, and it is something that is in formation, i don't think it can be predicted wher it will go. but it is hot right now. >> rose: could it be in your judgment a new american revolution? >> oh, i think it is happening as we speak it is not just wha will it achieve, these general
assemblies that are being held every day in theseccupy everywheres, whether we are talking about austin or boston or san francisco or whether we are talking about louisville or new york, where people work by consensus, they consider issues, they decide what to do next, it is already changed so many people, given so many people hope when they don't have jobs, when they see the educational system goi down, and when they see their leaders leading us in the wrong direction. >> rose: chris, add to that. >> i think i agree with amy, that these people are very clear about what they want and what they want is to reverse the corporate coop d'etat that is carried out, this is a reaction, i think .. to the collapse of globization, which is ricocheting around the globe. rising commodity prices, the reconfiguration of the global economy into a form of neofeudalism where they are masters within managerial class, and serfs, when you look at the
conditions of workers, whether it is in china and chin kwan lee did a fine study of this in berkeley, you can't consider them as tegrated into the wage system because at the end of the month they don't get salaries, they will climb to the top of the buildings and ju off, horrific conditions, this is replicated throughout the world, whether it is in the philippines, whether in vietnam. and it is this kind of race to the bottom, whi is american workers e being told tha they? how have to be competitive on a global marketplace, well what it means is they have to be competitive with prison labor in china and that reconfiguration into an oligarchy state is already far advanced. so i think these people are very, very clear, that we cannot sustain ourselves both, not only as a society, but even as a species we don't confront the corporate state. i think it is a kind of return
to sanity, i think it is a confrontation with dead ideas. i think it is a demand for justice, and i think it has an important difference between both the civil rights movement and the anti-r movement in that it attracts labor and it attracts. >> rose: labor as in organized labor. >> yes. and, you know, labor, if you go back to the sixties, this was very antagonistic to the anti-war movement and the civil rights movement, you had kirkland, you know, supporting the -- >> rose: support the leaders. is it essential to reform capitalism or in a sense to find an alternative to capitalism? >> i think there are different forms of capitalism, there is the penny capitalism in the farm town where i grew up in upstate new york, where farmers brought in their products and sold it, there is a regional capitalism, where u ve a local business owner, remember small businesses are lacked by corporations and big banks, they won't give them credit now and corporate capitalism which is something else. corporate capitalism is supernatural, it has no loyalty to the nation state, and is, of
course, hollowing us out from the inside and i think karl polany failed it in the great transformation in 1944 where he talked about unregulated unfettered capitalism as essentially plunging any nation into a mafia economy and a mafia political system a i think that is with a what has happened. >> some people ask about leadership. is it necessary to have dene leaders? or is everybody a leader? >> the strength is that people feel empowered, that they are the their own leaders but the creavity down in occupy wall street here in new york, i mean, just look at the signs, you get the pizza boxes coming in from all over, so they take the boxes, they are very conservationist when it comes to being green down there, they take the boxes and they make signs, they say things like it is not a recession, it is a robbery. or as you are talking about corporations, they say, we will believe corporations are people when texas executes one. >> rose: a corporation? >> we believe corporations -- yes, are people when texas
executes one, d it is uniting many different movements, and although that has been talked about as its weakness i think thepposite, i think that is its strength. becae so many people are finding a place there you know, corporate america has a problem when so many people have been disempowered and left out of the system, the joblessness, the unemployment, when people don't have healthcare, then they have less invested in the system, so what is happening right now is you have people saying we must change this. they see all of these issues as linked, whether we are talking about the money that is going to the wars in iraq and afghanistan, whether we are talking about the lack of healthcare or the issue of glob warming and the corporations that are responsible for it, and whether we are talking about issues of racism, for example, when it comes to the death penalty, and that is its power, there is a place for everyone. >> rose: are these the same stories you would hear overseas,
is it about dignity, it is about a system that is about an income disparity, about the issues of globalization, the samstories around theorld. >> very much so. you know, when you have -- >> rose: those are the things that dignity, is the story or dignity was the question you constantly heard. >> i think that is right. and, you know, weive in a system that is no longer democratic for the majority of citizens and especially the underclass, it is probably best described as an inverted totalitarianism asilliams calls it where it is not classical totalitarianism it doesn't fine its demonstration through a leer but throh the anonymity of the capital state, you have a system whereby corporate forces purport to pay feel at this to electoral
politics, the constitution, the icon ography of american patriotism but corrupted the levers of power as to render the citizen impo ten, we see that just in one piece of legislation after another. whether it is the pfizer reform act, whether it is the obama healthcare bill, which ends up being 2000 pages written by the pharmaceutical and insurance industry, in essence the equivalent of the bank bailout bill for these corporations, i mean, look, just in moral terms, i mean, as a former seminarywe live in a nation where it is legally permissible for corporations to hold sick children hostage while their parents bankrupt themselves trying to save their sons or daughters, that is the sickness we have descended to. >> holding the children hostage because -- >> he because if you can't pay you have to sell your house and you go into personal bankruptcy because they can't pay their medical bills, 45 million people die a career because they can't get medical care in this country. >> rose: do you believe, both of you, that it has been
portrayed accurately. >> oh, no. >> rose: so what is wrong with the portrayal that you see and read? >> i think the mainstream media has been revealed through all of this, over these last five weeks, as nothing mainstream anymore. >> rose: y. >>ecause if you look at the polls now, most americans actually support these occupy wall street movements all over the country, most americans and yet the ridicul >> rose: they thought there was something unfair about -- >> because there is a since of injustice, it is not about, oh, just go get the rich, it is about the sense of inequality and a number of wealthy people agree with this, that they should pay their fair share, that they should have to pay proportiately as much as their secretary is paying in taxes. it really -- i think cuts across the political spectrum. and when you have a lot of the pundits you see on television, on the networks, you know, these people who know so little about
so much, explaining the world to us, and getting it so wrong, ridiculing the people in these encampments and saying, for example, siously? really? and yet the people who are down there, who are very serious grievances, i mean, even the young kids, a young kid came up to me, he was in high school at mount vernon high school, and it was about 11:00 o'clock and i said are you sleeping here at the encampment, no, no, i am going to take a bus back i have to go to school ery day but after school i taka bus and i come back. >> and i said why? he said, well, because there is inequality, and i am going to stand up against it. >> rose: should there be some responsibility in terms of to communicate, should there be, therefore, a list of demands or is that not, does that not serve the cause? >> i don't think so. i think think they should or should not be. >> i think they have done it right, first of all, i just want
to reiterate this point that nonhiring chal structure is part of its brilliance, it avoids the kind of cults of personalities that plagued all of the movements in the sixties, and it gives everybody, it is cumbersome the general assemblies can drag on and on and on but it gives everybody a sense of empowerment and makes it very difficult for the authorities to decapitate it. there are undercover cops down there, and aside from the fact that it is like a bad doonesbury cartn they all look like cops, the other the tip they are working around so who do you think the core leadership is? where are the leaders? wel first of all, it is completely transparent, you don't need to be an undercover cop you can wear your uniform and go to the general assembly as many uniformed cops around the park do and hear every word that is uttered and every decision that is made and i think that that the transparency and that nonhirg hierarchal structure is brilliant and gives it a kind
of resiliency and they rotate, people will soon, assume positions to facilitate and they will cnge so that nobody accumulates too much power, you know, i think that it is more th this group recognizes that the formal structures of power are tone-deaf. and i spent a lot of time talking abou this in death of the liberal class, but the ability to carry out piecemeal and incremental reform which is what liberal institutions do. when conrad black wrote his biography of roosevelt, he said that roosevelt's greatest achievement was that he saved capitalism, and i think that is right. that when there is a breakdown, liberal institutions provide a kind of safety valve, well the corporate state and its myopia and idiocy thoug it would dispense with the liberal class and therefore is there is no way to appeal to the system, it doesn't matter what the citizens want, money, there was no popular support for the pfizer reform act which retroactively ma legal what under our
constitution is illegal, this wiretapping, monitoring and eaves dropping of tens of millions of american, there was no popular support for the bailout, constituent calls were 10 to one across the political spectrum but of course goldn sachs wantedtnd that is the boom line there is no way to vote against the interests of goldman sack so when you shut that safety valve off, you create movemen. that seek to tear down a monolithic and tone-deaf and callous power structure and that is precisely what happened. now, within that movement, i think it is appropriate for teachers and fire fighters and students to make demands. but i think that the ability of the movement to -- and of course, it has great symbolic value being where it is at the gates of wall street, has realized that if we don't take dour the structure of the corporate state it doesment. >> n't really matter what we do. >> does it have anything in common with the tea party? >> well, it is interesting you ask that, whenhe people
gathered on september 16th and 17th2000 people, rdly any coverage they got, if it was 2000 tea party activist whose gathered on wall street i would dare there would be 2000 reporters there if not more. i think probably number of people in the tea party are listening and watching, because there are a lot of the same concerns. >> rose:. >> about the power of corporate america? >> yes. >> rose: and the power- >> feeling disempowered. i think this is -- >> rose: the power of washington too? >> absolutely. and also there is a connecting with people all over the globe, this is a reaion to corporate globalization, not globalization overall, because will a kind of grass roots probabliation that is happening that we have never seen before, therotests are in the pill peebs, the protests are in egypt,hiser in england, they are in ireland, they are in iceland, it is truly remarkable, admission to latin america and right here in the united states. and i mean, the young people
that, what they are learning right now as they talk to each other and talk to people who come down to occupy wall street. the other night i was there, and john carr lowe's came. he was -- let's go back. >> rose: mexico city. >> mexico city and puts up his hand in the black power salute, he and tony smith they won the bronze and the gold medal, in the 200-meter dash, they put up their hands in fists. he also wore beaded necklace to protest lynching, and they didn't wear their shoes, and they rolled up their pants because they wanted to protest poverty in this country, he came to wall street, to the occupy encampment and saluted the people who were there, that there is a movement that continues. at the same time this is all going on, you the dedication of the monument of can dr. martin luther king, in washington, d.c. where would he be right now? would he have been standingith
president obama as dr. king was being honored or would dr. king have actually been with cornell west in front o the supreme court protesting the contamination of politics by money? would he be in the middle of the wall street encampment? with everyone else protesting war and protesting poverty? >> rose: he died in memphis where he was protesting poverty. >> that's right. standing up for unionized sanitation workers. >> rose: and you think clearly the answer to that he would be here. >> oh i think there is no question. >> rose: and president obama may that link as well. and there is some -- i mean, political groups are going to try to sort of ride, do you think, this understanding that it has power, and, therefore, want to associate with it? >> well, whatever people want to do, at this moment, i don't think these encampments can be used, because there is such a freshness, this there is such a decentralization of powe people can learn from them, and i think that the people who are gathered in wall street at the encampment as well as other places are reaching out to learn
from those who have organized before, but they are also moving forward, in this new e.r.a. >> rose: is there a sense that that finally there is attention that the mainstream media is finally payi attention? >> well, there is also gss roots media, and that is very important, there sayeed center, they are getting out their own images, all over the world, they are -- i mean, democracy now has been there from the beginning, en the orgazing meetings before, where people understand they have to define their own narrative,nd it is also very impoant to see how t police are dealing with this. i think there are a lot of lessons to be learned. >> rose: how are they dealing with it. >> well at the beginningt was at troash when you have police officers pepper spraying young women,lind siding them, no warning, no provocation. >> rose: and many said that gave momentum to the movement. >> absolutely, and more than 700 people were arrested on the brooklyn bridge, that was one of the largest mass arrests in u.s.
history, as a journalist myself, who was arrested covering protests at the republican convention in 2008 and brought suit against the cities of the police in minneapolis and st. paul and the sret service r ripping off our pre credentials we just won a landmark settlement and we held our news conferee announcing this in support of it as training of the st. paul police officers, and how they deal with the media. we held our news conference. >> rose: they hato train their officers to do better. >> yes and that is happening right now. we held a news conference in occupy wall street because we see what is happening, whe police tell peop to turn off their video cameras that's when they have to turn their video cameras on, accompanying this movement, we need media in this country that allows people to speak for themselves, ultimately, i think the media can be the greatest force for peace on earth. >> rose: all right. this also, mentioned the book death of the liberal class which you mentioned earlier, i wt to mention this also forward by ll moyer breaking the sound barrier by i amy.
so there is terms in one of the programs we did here a sense that people ask this question, we have been waiting for this to ppen, do you have a feeling that is an accurate assessment? people were looking for somebody to start in the same way that there was, what started in the arab spring in tunisia. >> yes, i think, in fact, it has been something that has been happening for some time, b it has been off the radar screen. it didn't just begin in zukoti park, it is ongoing .. and it has been on going but now it finally erupted and what is fascinating out the media is i think there is a parallel with the 1960s where they just were asleep at the switch, they weren't doing their job. the new york times, which is, i mean it is a subway ride away, would send a reporter dow there and take one look around and the
walk back and these snarky condescending articles which they never do to t tea party becausthe political cost is too high, butecause there is no left in essence, organized left, one can ridicule movements like this. >> rose: replacement of the organized left in a sense by -- >> i think. >> rose: isit a different? >> it is a populist movement, clearly and i think it is very different from the tea party. i think the tea party has very disturbing elements that i would call fascists, it first of all, targets government, and corporations and of course bank rolled by the most retrograde capitalists in the country, the pope brothers and others and targets governments because corporations want government to be more anemic and speaks in te language of violence and gun culture and rage, legitimate rage, this stress a right to be raged but toward the vulnerable and muslims and undocumented workers, towards homosexuals, towards dell elect chuls, all of this sort of classic rubric one
finds in a kind of fascist movement, so while i think that the ground swell of anger that one sees in the tea party is genuine, i think the way it is direed i radically kifer from this movement, and the challenging of that kind of anger, especially toward escape ats is something that frightens me. >> rose: there is no question now that it has enough momentum, enough support to be sustainable, and the protests continue through the winter? >> i mean, it is going to be hard, but peop dedicated, and i think that the organized parties, the democratic and replican party are running scared. i mean, you have president obama who elected by a mass vements in this country, the anti-war movement, made a major different between obama and clinton is he was opposed to the iraq war, now he is responsible for the surge in afghanistan and the continuation of that war. immigrants, immigrants right movements had great hope for
president obama he now presided in his tenure as president over the largest mats deportations in history, more than a million people have been deported in his presidency, he promised t close guantanamo, guantanamo remains open. and he has surrounded himself by those w represent wall street, from larry summers to tim geithner and people all see this and that's how it is president oba who himself whohas united, like president obama did, people in many movements against him, and this is why the democrats and the republicans are very concerned, you see the republicans changing too, at first they were not accepting this movement. you know, gandhi said it and i will paraphrase it, first they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. and we are ming rward in that process. >> rose: and what do you expect of president obama?
>> what do i expect? how do i respond to this? for me, looking at this as a journalist, i am much more interested in movements, and how movements respond. i don't think anof this is about one person. you know, i think the world heaved a sh of relief when he was elected, so many years people felt they were hiing their head against a brick wall and would the door be old or slammed shut, but that kicking open is the responsibility of movemes, not one person, you know, if you are sitting in the oval office an those who are used to having the ear of the most powerful person on earth are whispering in his ear if he can't point ou the oice window of the oval office and say, if i do that, they will storm the bastille, if there is no one out there he is in big trouble and sometimes he may not want anyone out there but it sure looks like the crowds are gathering. her informed, they are concerned, and they are