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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  May 16, 2010 10:00pm-11:00pm EDT

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>> host: you've written a terrific book here. we've got a little bit of time. is their anything you want to say as a sort of concluding set of observations? >> guest: i would like to see that my goal in writing this book was to show the american people they have a lot to be proud of that the cia. you have a group of thousands of dedicated men and women from across the ideological spectrum who only want to serve the country. and i think that some of the agency's success stories need to be told. i think the american people want to know the agency is succeeding and i think they have a right to know and i am pleased i was able to get this cleared by the cia and the story is out there. >> host: i hope he will enjoy it. it is a terrific story, john. thanks for talking about it with me today.g me. ..
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>> how has the book tour been going? you have really covered quite a bit on the keys to success. give us an idea what you were thinking when you decided to spend the time putting this book together. >> it's going well. it's been a busy couple of weeks since the book was launched. i wrote the book because in 2008, when we were all watching people lose their jobs and the recession really at its peak and the financial system under
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severe pressure with iconic firms failing, like lehman brothers and bear stearns, and i focused on these people coming out of this high-rise buildings, and they're holding their boxes of belongings. if thought to myself, this is unbelievable. these successful people who thought they were at the top of their game, only to find themselves at bottom of the hea. so how do you approach your career and life with the understanding that things are tear, and there are ways to get through, and how do you get through it? i thought i was in a good position to reach out to successful people, people like jack roush and warren buffet and bill gates, and i said, talk to me about your road? how did you achieve the discuss? and how due do it during really
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troubled teams? what happened during the recession that you endured, and what happened when you were worried or your neighbor was worried about losing their job? how do you get through it? how do you approach a career in -- for the long term, endurance? and so i think i came away with some great advice. it was definitely a departure for me. i typically write about business and the economy and markets and that's what focus on. in this book i focused on success, and i felt forced to include my own story, because when i was talking to people about success, i agreed with so many things, and i tried to bring my own perspective to it. i didn't want to bring another, bill gate's list of success. it had to be mine based on my own interactions and relationships. >> you did a really nice job. we'll go through the chapters. your our second speaker from bay
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ridge brook rein -- brooklyn. we had ted leones, and his dad was a waiter. you grew up in bay ridge. your dad owned a restaurant. you didn't go up with a silver spoon in your mouth, and you worked in the restaurant, the big caldron and all the rest. tell us about growing up in bay ridge and how that started to shape your career. you talked about family. >> it totally shaped my career. my story i'm very proud of because my upbringing really formed my work ethic, it formed certainly who i am in terms of the way i look at things, the humility. i tried to keep even when you're -- you know, at places like the board of trade was all new and going to the white house correspondent dinners is a lot.
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meeting heads of state and top ceos. recently a friend of mine, a genealogist. her hobby is to find family histories. and she found my grandfather's green card on the internet. she found the manifest of the ship that he came to this country on. she found a picture of she ship. i was so incredibly proud. it turns out -- i knew this but when you see your family member's name and the green card, it's astounding. so my grandfather came to america from italy. first he fought in world war i for italy, and then in 1919 he decided to word a -- board a ship called the rex, and we're the product of our ancestors, but we know how much courage
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that must have taken to leave a family and friends and get on a boat with the promise of prosperity and success. and that's exactly what he did. he comes to this country in 1919. in italy he was brick layer. so he builds a restaurant here. and he built a restaurant so he set it up in brooklyn after coming to ellis island. he names it the mex manor after the ship he came here on and that was my first job. a coat check girl at the rex manor. and that's really who i am. my whole life i have watched my parents work so hard and that work ethic is really -- it has been integral. >> your parents don't give you a break you talk about a tough day at the office. >> my mother would say, maria, please, you're not chopping wood. you're not chopping trees.
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i would say, mom, i'm this, and complaining. she says, marie, you're not chopping trees. come on. i was like, you're right. but it's great, and i would never, ever give that up for anything in the world. i'm so proud and so grateful to have had the upbringing had, the hard work ethic, and i think that's probably the luckiest part of my story, where i was born and the shoulders i stand on, my grandfather and my family. >> you have a variety of chapters. you all have the books in front of you. seeking a meaningful path, self-knowledge, vision, initiative, courage, we go on. you missed that chapter about the new york in you. so talk to us about your desire to be on camera and how you ended up being on camera. it was either going to be called new new york in my or chutzpa.
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>> i didn't have the goal of being on camera. i went to nyy and studied economics. and my mother said why don't you take journalism? you'll be good at it. you're a student, but econ came easy to me so i kept going with it. but when my mom said that, decided to try out journalism. i loved it. decided to switch my major, take more journalism, writing and tv classes and got an internship at cnn. so i was a little down about it. i didn't want to work for cnn. i wanted to work, in 1987, for the big guys, cbs, abc, or nbc, but i was accepted to cnn after taking tests and writing essays. so it ended up being, again, an amazingly lucky break, because i got to cnn, and the first gulf
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war is just about to begin, and of course, there was such momentum, and cnn was breaking new ground, and i was able to do everything. anything they needed, they just needed a lot of help in all areas. so rather than going to one of the union shops at the major networks where i just would have been a job, teleprompt, i was able to get my hand on a lot of things. so i was writing and producing and being a field reporter off camera and i was loving life. then after five years, after i had really climbed the ladder of cnn and become a senior person there, i had built a great rolodex, and i was definitely -- my m.o. was the wall street beat, and so i was -- i felt good about it. anyway -- >> off camera. >> i would write scripts and go interview people and then other people, like jan hopkins, would go on air with my script. i loved it.
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it was perfect. they re-assembled the assignment desk, and lou dons brought me the great news i was got toking a promotion, and i would be the main producer in their ear telling them when to wrap. i was taken out of what felt i had done well, which is interact with people, get outside in the field. and i was upset about it. >> hate it when they get promoted. >> it was more money, better title. but in myhart didn't want that. i was on such a great track. so it was a sort of moment of truth for me. so i wandered into the ladies room crying. 25 years old. and i saw kitty bill -- pilgrim one of the reporters. i said, kitty, i'm upset. love gave me this job, but i did this job already, even though i
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didn't have the title. the first time in my young career, a person who actually suggested i look long-term. she said to me, maria, you have to decide what you want to do in five years. where do you see yourself in five years? and that's what you need to start working towards right now. i thought, five years. well, okay. and then i thought about all the jobs i could take at cnn business news, and i realized many of the jobs i had done already, and even though i didn't have the title. the only thing left is to try to put myself on camera. so i thought, maybe i could do it. at least i could stay in the field. and so i reluctantly took the job, and i was done. it was the overnight shift. so i was on the overnight shift three times. i would end at 8:00 a.m. that was another reason i didn't want that job. so, i asked my boss if i could work extra, longer than the eight hours, and i would good out in the field --
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>> they usually hate that. >> right. go out in the field and interview people for the morning economic data that would be coming out. so he said, okay, if you want to stay after your 8:00 a.m. finish, that's fine. so it was my plan to get out in the field with the camera crews so i could ask them to shoot some shots of me on camera. and i spent the next two months putting a tape together, and the only place i wanted to work was cnbc because they were focused on business. >> you're assembling clips that are never going to be shown. >> right. just to put a tape together, and the editors and cameramen were great. they said, okay. so i edited a tape. i sent it to cnbc. they called me and i was sleeping in my house one day, because i was going to bed at 9:00 a.m., sleeping all day, getting up a and going to work at 11th. so 2:00 in the afternoon, i
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groglely answer the phone, and they said we want you to come in for an interview. so we set it up. i knew i had the job. we hit it off immediately. so right then i went to new york city and bought two new dresses even before i had the news. late that's right day in my sleep, they called me and offered me the job. i never went back to sleep that day. >> you have not slowed down since. >> i haven't, actually. >> it's just -- i think it's testament to what you have done in your career. you have burst through so many of the different closed doors. the floor of the stock exchange, that wasn't exactly the lady's favorite area. >> no. >> and i don't think you were particularly welcome, and you reflect that in the book. you were very candid in the book. i want to talk about the people you have interviewed and dealt with. and then you sheaf some strong comments to here. the move though stock exchange floor but you on radar screens,
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who is that? that wasn't an easy time, the smile on tv not withstanding. >> i was the first person to bring a camera down though floor and turn it on live. it was flu to me and definitely new to all the guys on the floor of the exchange. i had some allies and also some people who gave me pushback. luckily, the ceo o the nysc wanted to demystify the stock exchange. so we tried it. and one day i learned that job welch, my then bush bosses boss. if thought that's would be a great job for me. i would be the face of cnbc -- he was the ceo of ge, the parent of cnbc.
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so i had met george, the specialist, bringing buyer together with sellers. i thought is this, is perfect. i will introduce jack welch to george, and george will explain what happens and i will be a hero. i was down there a month when this occurred. so i was still getting my feet wet. i walked over one day. it was a quiet day. only 25 or 30 within hereshot, and didn't look like george was particularly busy. i wanted to ask him if it was okay that i brought jack welch over. and this guy who was double or triple my age, writing down orders on his pad, screamed at me and he said, run along, little girl. get away from here. this will not 0 -- go on your little tv show. i don't want to see you again. so i know that all 25 or 30
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people around me are waiting for a response, maybe waiting for a fight, and i have the knot in my stomach going, and i just tried to get some dignity and i said, don't speak to me that way, and i ran along. but i came back and i kept coming back. but this one guy, don't know if it was female or reporter, but he hated me. literally, for five -- maybe seven years, he gave me such a hard time. and then i later learned he was on the board of the new york stock exchange. so i thought, great, real thorn in my side. and i used to go around the building to go to where i needed to go because i didn't want to pass him because he would say things like, save your money. you know, in other words you're not going amount to anything. so save you money in the dot-com years, the market started falling and people were upset and getting angry, and at that
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point i had been there a good seven or eight years, and he is still giving me a hard time. i finally toughened up. so once i walked by him and he said, save you money, and i said, no, no, no, you save your money, and i kept walking. and i just thought, victory. >> you write that story and you tell that story just as you wrote it, and the passion comes through on it. i won't tell you how it ends. not the book. that story. that's just part of it. but you can flip to the page later on. i want to talk about banking good will for the long haul and that's your phrase, bank good will for the long-term on page 110. one of the secreted of my success is i'm always fine finds ways to bank good will, building relationships. journalism is all about that. sure i want the interview today, the pressure is on, but i force myself to be patient. this is the chapter on
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initiative. you provide a variety of different specific examples, not just yours bucket a lot of prominent people in the political setting, and you use these types of snippets to bring life to different chapters. >> i think banking good will is important. i think people need to know who you are, and the kind of person you are, and the way you operate. in order to trust you. the media is a funny thing. half the people are afraid of the media because they don't want to be questioned on camera. the other half get it wrong all the time. so, i was very aware of this, having been a priors, -- been a producer, and i'm very careful to speak to the person if i can beforehand to ensure i understand the story and understand their agenda. everybody has an agent and i recognize that. i have an agenda, too.
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my agenda is to merrick sure i get investors access though people they want access to and get the information out there and then answer it in a calm way and hopefully in a timely way. they have an agenda, too. they're not speaking to me because the love me. they have a message. it's okay. you know what you're trying to do, and then you know you're going to ask the questions you need to ask. the questions viewers want answered. and in a gotcha kind of way. but it's the way i do it. in a way that says, here's the issue. what are you doing about it? so i do try to ensure that the people i'm interviewing and having on the show understand that i've done the work, and i have put the time in to understand the story, and i've spoken with people who like the company, don't like the company, investors, whatever it is to educate myself as much as possible. i give examples about banking
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good will for the future because i know that getting the get during a tough time, getting the interview that everyone wants to hear when that person really doesn't want to speak is a queue, coupe, so if that person understands i'm going to be fair and at the same time going to give you an opportunity to lay your case out, then i've done the job. >> you do your job very well. i want to hit on two pieces here in the chapter on courage, and then one on humility. you're very candid about not fears really but let's talk about yankee stadium. invited to throw out the opening pitch to yankee stadium. not exactly a little league field. and for anybody, that's a long stretch. that's quite a throw. >> it's 60 feet. [laughter]
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>> so, lady with numbers. >> i'm a numbers girl. >> yes. and then -- well, talk to us about dan's words, your friend dan, because the butterflies really got going. >> well, when they offered me to throw the first pitch, i was elated. i was like, wow. and after getting over that i realized, i'm not a pitcher. i'm not a baseball player. i have no idea what i'm doing, and i don't want to get booed out of my home town with 60,000 fans in yankee stadium. so i said to myself, i'm going to practice. so i spent the next four months pitching and practicing and learning baseball with my friend dan, and he was -- he could not have been greater. he was -- took the time every weekend, and at night we would go to the spark throw the ball around. and after a while i thought i got it. i thought, wow, i can actually pitch. this is going to be good. so the day of the game dan comes
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to my house with my husband, and the three of us get in the car, we go to yankee stadium, and i actually had my producer with me because i actually had to have my own camera crew rolling that i was so amazed i was actually doing this. so i turned to my producer, and i said, lou, how are you doing some she said, i'm having a freak out. i said, me, too. i can't believe we're here. so we're in the dugout, and i'm throwing the ball with one of the players, and it wasn't going well at all. even though i practiced for four months. and so maguire turns to me and says you're going to bounce it. you don't know how to pitch. i said, okay, i'm going do this. so i turned to dan and i say, dan, what am i doing sneer i'm not a pitcher. i can't believe i put myself in this position. he looked at me and he said to me marks reya, remember one thing. you are exactly where you're supposed to be. and i said, you're right, i am. i am exactly where i'm supposed
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to be. he says, go out there and know it. i said, you're right. i got out there, and the first thing i did -- they announce my name and my family is in the stands, i run out to, the first thing do is go, yay! now you're really going to buns bounce it. i got the confidence, i threw the ball right in the pitcher's mitt. didn't even muff it. over the plate. i was so happy about it. but that was so powerful that dan said to me -- even to this day when i'm interviewing heads of state or if i get butterflies in any situation, i think to myself, maria, you're exactly where you're supposed to be. and it just reminds me i should have the confidence. there's nothing to be afraid of. i know i have prepared. and when you are prepared and you know what you've done, lose
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the butterflies because you're exactly where you're supposed to be. so that line is so powerful for me, and i thank dan so much. >> a great story. it's interesting in the chapter on humility where you talk about relax, you're a human, it would surprise many in the room, and certainly surprised me, that as much face time as you have on tv, you weren't comfortable standing at a podium giving a speech, and the part that nobody likes to fail and everybody does it at some opinion and it's a fact of life. i struggled with this idea of being on camera. the business was competitive, and you go through that. then it says, since i was young and lacked full confidence in myself, the idea of not being good at something was terrifying. i was offer asked to speak in front of groups and it didn't come naturally. didn't matter i appeared on television in frond of millions of viewers. standing in front of a podium was different. i was really terrible at public speaking. then one of your bosses, pamela
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thomas graham, confronted me about my performance, she was blunt. maria, in your position, people expect that you can stand at a microphone and deliver. but you look like a deer in the headlights. you let your audience down. you have to fix this. >> yes. >> now just sort of let me interject. i'm not sure anybody that has that fear would have written it down in a book to share with the world, but it speaks to what you have done in this book. you really did present yourself with a human face. the distance on tv is something but when you go through this book to address it, those are the things you shared. in addition to things, a number of the interviews and the comments you have about the people you have talked to. not gossip, really, just good observations. but talk to me about when you hired this coach, how you changed the approach? i think it's very telling about your approach to presentations,
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just like this one. >> it's true. that's what i meant when i said it was a departure for me. this is not something i have ever done before, written about my own experience. it's true, i was nervous speaking in front of people. it's funny because people get a surprised about that because i am on camera so much and it's always live. but when you're in front of a group, like this, or even in larger groups, it's scary. you look at people and, do they like me or not a million things going through your head about live audiences. so i would always clam up. as soon as i got to the podium, i was a nervous wreck. so pamela set me straight and said, you need to fix this. get a coach. so i met with this lovely woman, and she said to me, what are you trying to say? and i said -- i look at my script. she said, what are you trying to say? i said it. she said that's all you have to
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do. people invited you to speak. they just want to hear what you have to say and they want to hear it from your heart. nobody wants a cardboard cutout reading the same script and you just change the top line. so, it was so thought-provoking for me that today so many years later, i never write scripts when i speak to groups. i write a couple of themes, maybe i will talk about financial reform, talk about the economy, the global story. i just write three or four notes down, and that's it. then i get to the podium and i say, did not write a script today because i want to talk from my heart, and here's how i see things. and it's amazing because right off the bat your connecting with people. they know you're not reading something you have read a hundred times and you're talking from your heart. it changed everything for me. i put it in the book because
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it's so important when achieving success and when trying to achieve success to be authentic. people do not want to look at someone who is all bottled up. they would like to know who you really are, what you're thinking about. so authenticity is so critical in terms of getting ahead, and it helped me a lot. >> you did a very nice job, and it really comes through the book. you go into the chapter on integrity, and you didn't pull any punches there. this was a surprising comment from you. says, one positive outcome of the crisis in the financial sector is we have opened up a national conversation about what i means to have integrity in business. that conversation has taken hold in the schools where are future leaders of business and industry are trained, and some cases lured to lucrative jobs. now they're motivations are changing. just a quarter mile from the u.s. capitol, some of the issues earlier this week on the
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hearings and more, it has been sobering for the students coming out of school, for those choosing to go into school, for a lot of people, and we can talk about executive pay as well. but talk to us a little bit about your thoughts on integrity and the people you have dealt with who have and it don't. >> first off, we all know what integrity feels like and looks like. it's just doing the right thing. we all know what is the right thing. and i think that at the end of the day, people want to be around integrity. they want to be near you. they want to follow you. they trust you. and it inspires confidence. you can have all the money in the world and all the supposed success in the world and not have integrity, and i do not think that's success. i think you cannot be successful without integrity, and that inspires groups. it enables people to talk groups to places they did not know they could go, and i think that integrities critical.
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and i think over the last couple of years were operating a financial system that was operating with a lack of integrity, because when you have leverage and you have $5 in the bank and you borrow 200, that's not integrity. so i think when you look at certain situations, whether it's the lack of integrity like that, or where you have integrity and you see people making the right decisions for the good of the people and constituents, i think that it ends up a very different scenario than what we have seen. i think what happened over the last ten years is we were so worried about compensation, and student -- i spent time at stanford recently and had ha chance to talk to students about what they're doing, and nyu, and university heads and speaking to students. and i love the energy of university. but what happens over the last ten years is we have such an
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enormous part of the economy being financial services, because of this lure of compensation. and people coming out of school, talented students, rather than going into careers that truly represented the underpinnings of our economy, whether it's health care or biotech or infrastructure, energy, they chose financial services because financial services offered them a large compensation. so, not only was financial services sucking up a large part of the s&p 500 but it was also taking up a lot of our talented students who were instead of going to industries that they loved and industries that would have been really a backbone for the economy, the went to services. and i think now we're seeing a change. people are re-assessing what they would like to do because the jobs are not there for starters. >> you didn't mince words on executive compensation but it
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was also balanced. you go back to the restaurant, said as a kid growing up around my father's restaurant i received a basic understanding of earnings and worth. my dad cooked his heart out to serve the best food. you start being raised with a fundamental understanding of what we earn is connected to how we firm. a reader says you don't get compensated for running your company into a ground. talk about the balance of the two, the people who work hard to achieve it but now are getting ripped apart all over the place, and those that didn't deserve it. >> this is why we have such anger from the people. because we are looking at a portion of our great country losing their jobs, losing their homes, and watching the value of their investments move lower while you have some fat cats on wall street and in business earning a lot of money and unfortunately taking the economy
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to the ground. i'm a proproponent of pay for performance. i feel it's not the government's role to set compensation levels. i feel that firmly. i think we have a structure in place, boards, management teams, that should do this. and they should be taking responsibility for it. i think we should have performance as the dictator of how much someone makes. so, i would like to see boards and management teams take up this responsibility more aggressively because i think it's important. andrew cuomo said to me, people do not go into the water again until they know the shark is dead. i think there's some truth to that because i think people want to feel like whoever's fault i it is paying the price and is' held accountable, and that
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doesn't mean walking away from a firm that has dropped to the lows with the $200 million severance package. the numbers are mind-boggling. so i understand the anger. it's unfortunate we are all looking at moving -- something of a class warfare, but i don't think the anger is misplaced. >> in the chapter on integrity, because i want to focus on this area -- a variety of different telling stories. here's the subtitle of one of the pieces for the chapter, tell the truth. it's bothersome you have to put that in a book for people in the business community, but you talk about being taken aback when alan greenspan admitted something to you. >> alan greenspan, who i'm a big fan of, said to me, i obfuscate. i often times when asked questions about where interest rates are going and where the economy is going, and instead of
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answering the question, i will talk a lot -- a long time and very complicated sentences so that by the end of all of those complicated sentences the questioner has no idea if i answered the question or not, and i actually didn't say anything at all. and now for alan greenspan, let's put him at a different level than others because i understand. >> going through the book, i knew it! >> i put it in there. it was funny to me and to learn he actually had a plan, it's be design. he has done it to me a hundred times. and i said, okay, got it. are you going to answer my question? the throughout is -- he was arguably the most important financial figure in the world, and so his words really moved markets. and so when you are talking about someone who is actually
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moving markets to that extent, i think you really do have to be sensitive about answer thing questions directly. so i -- answering the questions directly. so i believe alan greenspan has great integrity but the certainly did confuse the questioner many times and he admits it. >> let's talk about greenspan, spitzer, madoff, and the russian president, and jack welch. madoff, the tight of the chapter, how do you sleep at night? >> i have no idea. this is just a fraud that was going on for so long, i guess he just started to believe his own lies. but it's extraordinary. >> didn't put it all with him, too. >> no, i didn't. >> they ignored the tiny voices of doubt that told them there was no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, talking about the investors. >> that was one of madoff's
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brilliances. he made it just a little hard to get into his so-called club that you actually thought, getting into the club and allowing him to take your money to invest it for you, was really fortunate, and you one of the few lucky ones out there, and then if you questioned how he was -- there was speculation he was having an edge because he was shady because he knew where the flow was and knew what stock was going up so he would be first in line and use his clients' money. so there was a feeling about -- how is he actual hi doing this? this is a great area but i want in anyway. so some of the investors knew it wasn't all on the level bought they wanted to be in there anyway because they wanted to by part of his club that he said was so exclusive.
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and so it was greed. and -- >> you say in here you don't think the ripple effect of madoff is finished. >> no, i don't. i think there will be more heads to roll and the investigations continue, and i think as we peel back the onion on trying to figure out how this individual master minded this proud -- fraud we will learn more. >> there's the don't be a white knight with dirty hands. eliot spitzer. you did a nice job on that one. what i liked is that all of the strong comments aren't yours. you're just quoting other people. i tell you, they didn't mince their words. >> ken long didn't mince word. eliot spitzer did a great service when he was trying to uncover wall street fraud, and i think part of the reason that
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people were so afraid of him, and walked on eggshells around him, is because of that. he was notorious and a fraud fighter and going to get the bad guys on wall street. unfortunately, some people thought the was the judge, jury and executor. and he went on a sunday morning show and said hank greenburg committed fraud. you can like or that it he -- it has the guy but you don't go on a sunday morning tv show and broadcast that somebody committed fraud unless you actually have the evidence. the evidence never showed up. but of course the public's mine was made up by that time. and then let spitzer's career blew up with his own indiscretions, and when nobody -- when very few people came to his defense during that time, i wondered if it was
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because people felt that he was the judge, the jury, and the execute 'er in some cases and that hurt him to the extent that it was almost bully tactics. >> a corollary to the chapter on bank the good will. he didn't have any. >> that's right. >> here's the quote from ken: we all have our own private hells. i hope his is hotter than anybody else's. [laughter] >> okay. we'll be back -- so then you're in russia. this is the chapter on adaptability. i wondered where you were going. personal or business adaptability? you start off with russia, the evil empire, but long ago, and there you are meeting or planning to meet with the president. talk to us about the
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adaptability mind set. >> i think it's critical, particularly at this moment in time. as it relates to russia, i was meeting president medvedev, and is a was approaching the interview, i was thinking about the history of russia and the evil empire and the russia that -- russians versus the united states, and i thought, wow, amazing, here we are, looking at an economy that is trying to integrate itself into the world system, and yet people question whether or not there's the rule of law here. and when i interviewed the president, he was talking about how the country was trying to adapt to different energy sources and they didn't want to be so reliant on oil, which of course is so rich in their country. but oil had plummeted to $32 a barrel down from $147 a barrel, putting a scare into officials in russia.
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so they were planning to create new revenue sources and trying to rely on technology and now they're actually creating a whole city next to moscow that they want to -- they want it to be like sell sell -- silicon vay and they're trying to encourage innovation. the point i was making, we need to department to the situations, and everything is changing. the media business has changed drama -- dramatically. financial services has changed dramatically and will continue to change with regulatory reform coming down the pike. healthcare has changed. so it's very important to always look within us, always look at your own skillsets and assess, what do i do well? where are my skillsets? where are the holes in my skill sets? because we need to adapt.
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someone i interviewed said, i work in a steel mill for 30 years, a family of five, and my mill was just closed down. now i'm out of a job. what die -- do i know about making solar panels? he doesn't know anything, but that's the point. we need to ensure that we are best positioned for how this economy is changing. going forward no changes are waiting for us, it might be new training, mentor, a class to take to ensure you have the goods to empower yourself with the right skillset to actually survive in the changes in economy, because the changes aren't waiting and adaptability is so critical to our environment right now, and i wanted to make sure i highlighted that. >> you go after the focus on the strengths. you say build your own credentials, and you talk about
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your husband john -- but about his approach, about his humility, with his dad and the challenges in the industry for his dad. he does take care of a lot of other people. you take care of a lot of other people. it's focusing on strength, build your own credentials, build a big case for yourself. >> you have to be comfortable with who you are, which is why the first law of enduring success is self-knowledge. now need to know who you and are your skill set and know you have the confident feeling you actually do operate with integrity. i mentioned to my husband because i do -- he always does the right thing. it was amazing to me because we grew up differently. his family -- he grew up wealthy and his flame -- family had all the luxuries in life. i love my upbringing but it was
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very different growing up in brooklyn than my husband. he is so down to earth, and humble, and i admire that about him because he could have been very different. >> on adaptability, you're in st. petersberg, at the economic for -- forum, and you talk about the government's knoll business. -- role in business. the con ken sunday was that government would have a stick in business for the foreseeable future. it wasn't exactly a get over it moment but it was on the adaptability, this is the new reality. share with us your thoughts of the government role in business. >> it's in the new role now. and government is going to have much more oversight of industries, in particular financial services, and i think that it's not a question of, you know, will this change? it's happening and this is the
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reality. and it's very important to look at a situation and recognize the reality and deal with it. and not try to hem and how, how can i change it, how can i get around it? maybe it won't happen. i think that after what we have been through the terms of the financial upset, the financial system coming so close to collapse, and the reception, and so much unemployment, i think people are looking at where we are and trying to figure out how it plays out for them. and i do believe that we will see much more oversight. it could be that we go too much in one direction. perhaps we did that with sore sore -- -- but we need to trust the system and trust and confidence in the system is the most important thing. >> on this section on adaptable, under darwinian, you say we can get suckered by the news just as easily as we can get trapped by the old.
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talk about that. the latest new shiny object, you can get persuaded pretty quickly. >> it's like we have been persuaded quickly over the booms and the busts. i remember when we were in the dot-com era. we had a segment called annoying little comparisons, where my cog legal david would get up on camera and say, here's my annoying little comparison for the day. late look at the market value of joe schmo's pizza place and ford moto. and joe snow had no earnings and ford was a big company. so we were in this mentality, anything with a dot-com was going to be the future. and i think that what i tried to say was, let's get back to basics, because if it looks to good to be true, it probably is. the same thing with oil. oil was rallying to $147 a barreling, and when it was at
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147. goldman had a report saying it's going 200. and the next stop was 32. i think it's very important to look for that integrity in any market, and look for that fundamental strength, and the funmental backdrop of the story. if taste too -- if it's too good to be true, it probably is and we all need to take individual responsibility to look at something realistically. >> in the book there are probably 100 different people you have covered. but jack welch. the quote, sounds like jack. when you talked to him about mentors and you asked him about finding a mentor. he said, looking for a mentor is the dumbest idea in the world. what you want is 100 mentors. we talk to us about your approach on mentors? and then i want to open it up
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for questions with the audience before we get you to your next appointment. >> okay. i think that it was a great point, and i had never looked at it that way. i always thought, who is my mentor? and i would think of one or two people. he is saying don't attach your star to one person who comes with baggage and necessarily do everything they way that person did it. you want to talk the best qualities of a lot of people that you meet and recognize that you don't want to be someone else. you want to be yourself. but it's okay to look around you and try and gain the best things from some of the mentors around them. >> jack said any one mentor already has a history in the country. enemies. maybe he has been a jerk. why take on that baggage? what's fun is you share so much from everybody and how you have disstilled it and made it very approachable and bite-size pieces that res resonate with
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good stories. >> one story i like is gary, the chess champion. said, gary what lessons did you learn beating all these chess champons? he said i always scrutinize my victories, and all of us, when we have failure, we always scrutinize the failure. gosh, should have done that. we never scrutinize the victories. we just win and walk, and gary said i look at the board and i say, ah, followed them again. how could i have done that better next time. which i thought was a great insight. >> thank you for sharing that. let's open it up for questions from the audience, and if you would wait on the microphone thanks. >> any time frame on others? >> bernie efforts. >> taxes your memory. >> it does. i think bernie had such hubris.
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those parties and the riches and everyone's faces. it reminds you of the humility story, and how -- i firmly believe that you really have to always recognize that, sure, you're smart, and yes you probably have great talent to achieve your success, burt you also had a lot of luck, and i think it's so important for people to recognize and admit the luck they have had in terms of getting there. and not believe your own press releases and keep the humility. there was obviously fraud in that situation. i think i interviewed bernhard evers once and it was during -- it's after the charges, so i didn't really know him very well, but he got caught up in
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thinking that, obviously, his story and he was better and bigger than everybody else. and pushed the envelope, and i think at the end of the day everything comes out in the wash. somehow i don't really have -- i don't really know his -- >> were you surprised by the audacity of the gentleman from goldman saying to congress, we didn't do this? or is that part of the game underway? >> you know, the goldman sachs story is really a fascinating one, and could end up being a great case study for what is going on right now. i don't know. i think those four guys that were first testifying last week -- what struck me is when senator collins said, do you feel you have a responsibility to do the best thing for your clients? and they could not say it. they could not say, yes, feel a duty to do the right thing for
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my clients. i think it's because they were so scared about saying the wrong thing because they had been lawyered up and they were afraid anything they say -- it's true anything they say can be used against them. to miss such an obvious thing, of course you have a duty to your clients. >> did they miss the memo that says don't send out e-mails that say you're fabulous. >> always the e-mails. we will see about how this plays out. i think fraud charges are often times hard to prove. i think what you saw last week in goldman sachs was the fact it was 11 hours shows that they kept going, trying to get through as men things as they can. don't think there were any major body blows for goldman sachs, and i don't think they
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convictioned america that they are on the level here. so i think there's a big challenge ahead. it's going be a long battle. >> another question. >> over here. >> talking about steve jobs and how -- should shareholders be concerned about his health? the ceo and chief technology and i guess full disclosure -- but in they're case. [inaudible] >> i was a little unnerved when the company was not more forthcoming about how sick steve jobs was, and i don't know where that stands today. but before he went for the transplant operation, i actually do think that when you're
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talking about someone as integral to the company's success, and its growth, steve jobs -- the company has a duty to be more forthcoming. i was disappoint edna that and i think they handled it poorly. i agree with you. >> one more question right here. >> what is the best story -- >> i have to say it's not the best because it's not a good story. but the most educational and the most compelling story was the story of the house 0ing -- the housing bust and the story of lehman brothers declaring bankruptcy, and merrill lynch. if you think about 2008, if only lehman brothers went bankrupt, that would have been an extraordinary story. yet you have firms that came close to collapsing or -- not collapsing -- including lehman
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brothers, bear stearns, fannie mae, freddie mac, washington mutual. city -- citigroup, and i think that was ununbelievable story to cover because it truly was the story of our country coming close to collapse in the financial system, and i don't say that lightly because i'm usually not a dramaist. i try very lard to keep things in check and that weekend -- i was at home. the first weekend when learned that bear stearns was going to drop to $2 a share i was afoundded. and when merrill was sold to bank of america and then aig, a couple days later, the government delayering 8 -- declaring 80% of aig. i thought that was an
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unbelievable story because for the first time you realized that we are living in such a vulnerable system, and you recognize that too big to fail is seriously dangerous. and i don't know that it's too big to fail as much as it's too connected to fail. i don't want to misspeak. i don't necessarily think that all big companies are bad, because often times -- often in cases they actually -- a large company can offset weaknesses in some parts of the business. when you're too connected to fail, we all learned a great lesson about how vulnerable things were. so that was by far -- also, of course, was on wall street during september 11th and that was an extraordinary moment for our country, and a moment where we all assessed what was important, and i talk about that in the book as well when i talk about purpose. but certainly, look, i feel so
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fortunate to have been able to cover so many really era are changing events, from my seat on wall street and having -- being broadcast from the new york extol exchange. beginning with the individual investor revolution, beginning when investors felt empowered to make their on decisions, and then globalization, how one thing said in one corner of the world ripples around the world. and then the dot-com boom and the technology boom and how technology is changing so many of our industries. really an extraordinary story there. then, of course, the housing boom and bust. but technology is also a huge and interesting story for me. in health care alone, went to the cleveland clinic recently and i was so impressed what they're doing with technology. in one corner of the clinic, they have very sophisticated
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technologically advanced readology machine. so i went into an operating room i wasn't near the table. and they were operating on this woman's heart a and it's this machine with several arms you know, in her body, and then there's always these screens. so they see everything that's going on in every corner of the woman's body. and then we good to another place in the clinic and they have robots programmed walking around. and the robots -- it's extraordinary what they're doing. they are robots that look like laundry baskets, and then on the bottom of it, it's on wheels with two lights that look like eyes, and they travel to one corner of the clinic and they pick up medical equipment from the docs, put it in the basket and then they're programmed to bring it to different places. and it was extraordinary. another technology change i just heard about, which it what ge is doing, they looked at where the need was


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