www.nytimes.com/2010/04/25/business/25goldman.htmlBill Maher’s HBO show happened to be taped after Oscar Weekend
Bill’s Panel – Sean Penn, Andrew Sorkin and Arianna Huffington
Sean Penn talked about the earthquake in Haiti and the relief. He told the audience, ‘When aid is sent it doesn’t get to the people. The Red Cross is having difficulty getting the aid to the people. The government has little infrastructure and the government was virtually wiped out since the earthquake.
A lot of people gave money to Haiti and there’s nothing left.
Sean Penn says since the media stopped covering it, the story has gotten worse. Corruption is rampant and even though our American troops have done a stellar job at taking control and doing their best in a bad situation; unfortunately they are being pulled out. Sean said rains bring floods and sanitation problems including disease which may cause more strife. Since the Earthquake, they had 5,000,000 deaths. This has been the greatest tragedy since WWII but it also has been an incredible humanitarian effort.”
Sean said worldwide the US character is thin. Helping Haiting, a country just 90 miles away is a seed for the great things that America can do. We shouldn’t stop.
Andrew Sorkin, who wrote “Too big To Fail” has been lobbying in Washington. He feels the consumer protection against the banks that are too big to fail is using the community banks. He said, “I would love to see it through regulation but if not, then through moving the public.”
Huffington Post’s, Arianna Huffington agreed. She said, “Move your money from the big fat cats to the local community banks.”
Arianna is author of Pigs at the Trough, a book about political corruption and greed. She says that 90% of the country has or is in the process of moving their money away from big banks to community banks because they invest in their communities. If the government isn’t going to regulate these big banks, the people should move their money.”
Michael Moore is a film maker and economics critique. He joined the panel via a Satellite in New York, NY, and recently released the movie: Capitalism: A love Story
Bill Maher kidded with Moore and said, “You pissed off the Oscars in 2003, and I’m wondering why your Capitalism film didn’t get a nomination this year. Why did Hollywood not nominate you this year?
Then Bill Maher showed a Jimmy Carter 1978 clip in which Jimmy said, “We are at a turning point in our history. Too many of us worship self indulgence and consumption. Human identity is no longer defined by one what one does, by what one owns.”
Michael Moore agreed. He was standing in front of Goldman Sachs in NY, and said, “The criminals are in this building. Where are the tanks? Where is the US army to get our money back and to take these criminals and bring them to justice? Six months ago people believed in the public option, and now less than ½ do.”
Bill Maher said, “We know that capitalism is a cut throat system but we want to be big winners. I think most Americans are frightened, they know the other shoe hasn’t dropped, the market could easily drop again.”
Moore replied, “Not one single regulation has been put into action. Nobody has done anything about it. They are not going to understand how we allowed a hand full of people take and make millions and millions of dollars. When they dig us up – they aren’t going to believe it.”
Bill countered, “The thieves want to keep stealing our money. They are paying our congressmen off so they don’t do what we sent them there to do.”
Mike Moore ended with, “If Rham Emmanuel is going, I’m willing to do the job. I’ll get Obama up every morning and say, “Let’s go get ’em!”. Michael went off the video and Bill went and sat with his panel.
The panelists then began talking about the new show, ‘Undercover boss’. Bill shared that there were 38 million people who watched the first show.
Arianna Huffington said, “We are about to become Venezuela. Thirty years ago, CEO’s made about 30 times the amount of their workers, now it is 300 times the amount of their workers. And why did that woman have to pee in a cup? Do we have to work our people so hard that they can’t schedule a pee break?”
Bill Maher said, “Even with the recession, productivity went up 5%. What is the breaking point? We can’t keep pushing the people that are left harder and harder.”
Eric then said,” People are voting with their wallets and telling Obama he is driving in the wrong direction.” Nobody on the panel agreed.
When Bill asked the question, “Why didn’t Obama just start fixing America right away and not try and be partisan? He wasted a lot of political capital. “
Ariana said, “He tried to play the game.”
Bill closed the panel down by saying, “You don’t win politics by being positive, you do it by being negative. And the banks still own Washington.
Since this show aired, Goldman Sachs has been in the news. On April 24th, the New York Times reported that “Goldman cites Serious Profit on Mortgages, where it appears that the money men at Goldman decided to hedge against the housing market, and bet against the negative. Something that is called hedging or calling a “short”. (New York Times).
Is it possible the negative will bring the positive? One can only hope so.
HBO Televlsion, Bill Maher, #175
NY Times, “Goldman cites Serious Profit on Mortgages