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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 8, 2009 8:00am-8:30am EDT

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business here as well. it is global. every time the g-eight kids together, the top economic ministers get together, they will talk about these things. as part of a global regulatory landscape situation. the talk about it all the time. they want to harmonize regulation. this is something you will see other finance ministers talk about. . .
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you don't want to set limits. so i think there really is a fear of any country, and you see this across finance ministers. no one wants to really say, you can only make this much. i think there is widespread belief that the incentive structures for bonuses, when you cannot even get a bonus in -- it does not make sense. host: good morning. democrat. make sure you turn down your television. then go ahead. caller: sorry. has michael read the report that time magazine put out on the 25 worst people in this debacle? guest: no, i haven't. what a cut it is the best report i have never read -- caller: the best report i have ever read. it really cleared up a lot of
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things for me. it was the graham build but i think -- glass-steagall bill that was put in the late night and bill clinton signed it, open up this whole debacle, according to this "time" magazine. host: is it a recent report? caller: a neighbor -- neighbor gave me the report, so it was probably out two months. guest: actually former president clinton had said that signing the graham-leach-bliley bill was a major mistake. it repealed the glass-steagall bill, it allowed a merging of investment banking and commercial banking, which basically allow these firms to
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become high bridge and the hybrids and who knew what they were doing? it's sort of let the flood gates open. host: 8 comment about boards of directors. don't boards of directors set pay? who sits on boards of directors? broadening that, how will that impact their decisions on pay with mr. feinberg overseeing at least the ones who got a financial rescue. guest: one of the major criticisms is that the board, you have someone an executive of one company said on a board in another company with their friends. you have a bunch of executives and very wealthy people setting pay for other executives and very wealthy people. so you have this whole group. really it is not in the board's best interest to be tough on pay at most companies because, what do they gain? so i think one thing you have heard a lot of on capitol hill is criticism of the way boards
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have operated, one to put more pressure on them. restoring maybe some of the shareholder rights. really eroded over the last 1520 years, giving shareholders more of a say on pay. host: this is a broad question. but can you give us an idea of what a typical board of directors is paid? guest: directors don't really -- $50,000, probably a lot for the average everyday folks. but it depends aboard, often they need. but they get expenses paid and they do receive a flat salary for doing that. host: they obviously are major shareholders? guest: sometimes. other times independent shareholders. board members do have to be independent, under sarbanes oxley, more of a push of having independent boards of directors as well. they are not always major shareholders. host: bob in pennsylvania on the
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republican line. good morning. caller: i wanted to make a comment to michael and get feedback relative to fannie mae and freddie mac. i have been in the mortgage industry for 20 years. and the last year, both fannie mae and freddie mac implemented a policy whereby they charge excessive fees, very large fees, from one points all the way to three points on the long side. based directly and solely on credit scores. it has created a situation where people will really pay their bills and do the things that they are supposed to on time, will have minor difficulty in their credit -- say they missed a $35 annual premium on the credit card, the credit scored drop 100 points but just on the basis of something as small as that. fannie mae and freddie mac charged them thousands of dollars because credit scores, which they did not do only eight or nine short months ago. guest: well, the fannie and
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freddie situation is something -- i think it has sort of fallen by the wayside since the crisis began last september. that is one of the first tipping points we saw, is when the government had to take over fannie and freddie. for last fall. so that is one of the things i think congress is going to get back to in the next few months. as far as the broader regulatory look is, what exactly is happening with fannie mae and freddie mac? we focus so much on the big banks. preventing major financial institutions from collapsing, that they have fell out of the public consciousness. but they are still open for business. they are still billing -- in some ways, the only mortgage game in town. so there is a major policy question of what to do with these the two major firms. host: since they are sami- government agencies, are their executives' pay being overseen?
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guest: yes, that is one of the things when they were taking over, the government replaced executives. which is interesting because we did not see that in basically any of the other institutions that received help. you have seen some of that with auto companies, but the government really just replaced -- host: enemy and freddie mac. guest: and they brought in a new management team. and they are working to stabilize those companies, but they have become an afterthought. host: what are the downside of the administration appointing someone like this to oversee pay? one of the political risk? guest: if it comes out in six months that he was supposed to be overseeing it and yet these companies are still paying excessive compensation and extensive -- extensive is and i of the beholder, but people like an aig one sees something it does not like.
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host: chicago, the morning on our independent line. caller: when i look at these banking stocks, it seems like anywhere from 60 percent up to 90 percent of the stock is owned by mutual funds, and yet the mutual funds never have to report back to the people in the funds how they vote for these boards of directors. and so, is anybody looking to control that? my second question is, why can't i get my checks backed -- when i write a check i never seem to be altogether the original check back anymore? guest: on the check thing, most banks these days will have an electronic copy that you can access if you do it online banking. you can usually get an image of your check. i think they stopped in many cases -- it is a money saver
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just to have an electronic copy as opposed to just sending out all of these checks to all of these customers out there. so, that is one thing. as for institutional investors such as mutual funds, your mutual fund will usually -- there are ways. there are institutional shareholder websites where it says how they vote on a lot of these proxy decisions, boards of directors. so that information is available. if you call up your mutual-fund and ask them, they are going to tell you because you are a customer, they want your retirement savings. host: michael creighton with dow jones news wire, thank you for being with us -- michael crittenden. we have open phones on any issue. and we would take a look at some capitol hill news as the house gets set to come back in. "roll call) newspaper, he writes, democrats's shaky
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agenda. democrats have had heavy turbulence, he writes, as they enter a crucial period, with the part of their agenda in dallas. the first week after the memorial day recess of a major split between conservative and liberal democrats over health care, a war supplemental spending bill punted for another week amid internet seen sniping, and speaker nancy pelosi, cracking her what to get reluctant committee chairman to act swiftly on the climate change bill. further in this story he writes, the canyon-sized split over health care could prove the toughest issue for the democratic leaders in the weeks ahead. that is roll call this morning. here is a story from the politico, and they read about our inspector and his first trek out as a democrat. specter makes democratic debut in pennsylvania. a story from inside the politico today. arlen specter has been a republican for over 40 years but you hardly would have known it saturday when he made his debut
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in front of the pennsylvania democratic party. here at the annual state committee meeting, the senator had his unofficial coming out party and aimed to please. using a teleprompter -- "i wanted to express myself with precision," sporting a blue and red bunkie tie, he told an audience of democratic elected officials and activists that he felt what uncomfortable. maybe it is no consensus that i feel so comfortable if democrats because i've spent most of my life of democrats, specter said. also in the article they read that a paid home lodge to democratic icons such as franklin d. roosevelt and john f. kennedy and singled out gop bogeymen, too. without referring to the name of his likely republican opponent, former pennsylvania rep pat toomey, specter warned that his phone -- fell would be a senator who is far outside the mainstream, a senator who makes bricks santorum look like a liberal. that is from this morning's politico.
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joe, open phones. hi there, from -- on the democrats' line. caller: i would just like to talk a little bit about our mountain top removal issue here in west virginia. currently there has been approximately 1 million acres of mountain range removed in west virginia by the practice of mountaintop remover. they just basically go in and remove the entire mountain range, down approximately 1,000 feet on average, to read -- remove this -- remove the coal. what it does come it deforest our mountains, we have an undated -- we have been inundated with flooding. and those heavy metals are released during the mining process. more than 1,200 miles of streams have been buried. 62 percent of all the strains in
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west virginia are thought to be impaired or are in. . most of them contaminated with heavy metal which causes neurological problems. people really need to look at this coal situation. we don't have to do mountaintop removal. we can do underground mining, we can do different forms of what they call mountaintop mining by using condor or highwall mining. in this coal cleaning process that they do, they create these things that contain this toxic sludge similar to the thing that occurred in the tennessee area from the tv a still. some of them are now permitted to hold in excess of 10 billion gallons. buffalo creek in 1972 in logan county, west virginia, there was coal empowerment that failed and killed people and destroyed 4000
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homes and caused over $400 million worth of damage in 1972. and that only contained 135 million gallons. host: before we let you go, with the energy bill coming up before congress, quickly, what would you like congress to do about it? caller: i would like to see them change some regulations in the industry. we are not against coal mining. west virginia have of part of coal mining. the technology exists not to have these -- you can use this technology from around the world now. and the other thing is on the mountaintop removal -- the original lot in 1977 said if they remove the tops of these mountains and they cannot return it to the original contour, then they have to make a post-mining plan that benefits the community. host: didn't the interior secretary talk recently about revisiting some of those
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regulations? caller: he is looking at a buffer zone roll past in the bush administration in the final hour and that says basically you cannot do that with a 100 feet the stream. they eliminated that. these permits are granted by the corps of engineers -- how the court got involved, i don't know -- but they go and level these mountains. host: @ thank you for your thoughts. franklin, arkansas. randy on the independent's line. caller: i have watched c-span for a long time and is in the first time i have got to speak to you so i am a little nervous. just a couple of points on what your last discussion was. once upon a time i worked for the drc, and i remember ifdic, i remember, when you were going to form a bank, directors were
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personally liable if the bank went under. with everything that just happens, i don't know what happened -- they are all bank holding companies, that doesn't apply. and when you are talking about executive pay and how that cannot be regulated, i think if you are a wage earner and you are working side by side with someone and you have one person that does a really good job and someone who is a slacker, when it comes time for pay raises, there is some kind of role in place where they can only receive the same rate, 50 cents an hour or 25 cents an hour, so they can limit that, so why can't they limit executive pay? the third point, i remember when congress -- not congress, but they wanted to put social security into private funding.
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no, we can't do that because if the stock market fails then everybody would lose their savings, but they did it anyway. so, maybe congress should be responsible because they passed that law -- take it out of their own pocket. host cut open phones until 8:00 -- host: open phones. the republican line. caller: i have been a real- estate agent for 23 years and i have a tough time getting my properties appraised even though they are actually selling wholesale. it is like, you can't win there. i have a tough time with these people on their credit scores because they are just going down the tubes per seconds. host: it is tougher to get a mortgage because the credit qualifications are tougher? caller: new spirit and a big question is, who owns these credit scoring companies? and we know that that's
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steagall-glass caused the collapse, why didn't change that? and the $15,000 tax credit for all home buyers would get the economy moving, why didn't they vote that in? there are two big things we do just to get our country moving. host: grand rapids, mich., on our democrats's line. this is sue. caller: you have some great callers. really smart people out there in america. maybe congress needs to set up and listen and pay attention to c-span in the morning. that coal mining is horrifying that she was talking about in west virginia. the fact that we are steel -- still dealing with greed and corruption, as the other caller alluded to, is also horrifying.
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now i am going to call and tell you that the fact that some representative in congress that would not allow us to have service without profits is also horrifying. i just want to encourage -- i think max baucus needs to be stripped of his personal insurance there in congress. anybody who would set against the public for their best interest to cover and to give the people of america what we deserve with our own money, our own taxpayer money, to supplement, and with our own choice, needs to be booted right out of congress. thank you very much. host: spring lake, north carolina. dennis on independent line. caller: i just wanted to make an opinion and voice my concerns
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about this the two-party system. the way it looks to me, it doesn't seem like republican party or the democratic party really have america's best interest at heart. it is all about self interest, and it just seems that if i can make a buck, that is what i will do, and if i have to step on your neck to do it, or cut programs here or spend money on defense of their, it is all self interest and nobody seems to have america's best interests at heart. host: how long have you been an independent? caller: it has been about 85 years -- i was a republican, not a democrat, and not independent. it seems like both parties, they talked a good game but when you get and there to find out what they are actually doing, they are not doing anything for america, it is all self interest. they even got to the point where ralph nader, some of the things
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he was saying pretty good to me, and as far back as when ross perot -- my brother supported him, and at the time i was coming out of college. my brother, he might have had a little more insight than most people. host: did you vote for ralph nader less time around? caller: no, i didn't. i voted for barack obama. he had a chance to win -- i thought he was a better candidate. host: about 10 minutes and open funds. the front page of "usa today," as the often do on monday morning, and investigative story. this is about lobbyists and lawmakers. lobbyists and limited in honoring lawmakers, special interest money follows. on a mild evening last september citigroup lobbyist's mangled with south carolina representative james cliburn at every stop recession -- reception as the company hosted a party to honor the third most
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powerful democrat in the house and raise money for one of his favorite charities. health insurers and hospitals, meanwhile, are donating millions to help build an institute in boston to celebrate the career of senator edward kennedy, who is attempting to overhaul the nation's health-care system. despite a ban on gifts to lawmakers and limits on campaign contributions, lobbyists and groups that employ them to spend unlimited money to honor members of congress or donate to nonprofits connected to them or their relatives. the public until now had little insight into the scope of this largely hidden world of special interest influence. under ethics rules passed in 2007, lobbyist for the first time last year had to report any payment made for an event or to a group connected to a lawmaker and other top federal officials. "usa today" undertook the first comprehensive analysis of the lobbying reports and found 2007 budget 59 payments totaling $35.8 million were made in 2008.
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the money went to honor five runs of 34 current and former lawmakers, almost 250 other federal officials and more than 100 groups, many of which can't lawmakers among the members. in a moment, we will open and up. the organizations that are affiliated with. studio city, calif., next on the republican line. rachel. caller: thank you for taking my call. my thing today is a this socialized medicine. i hear all these people, they want single payer health care. they don't really understand -- first of all, you are getting congress' approval, putting a stamp on socializing this country. i think they are very bad. if you need a heart transplant -- and we are paying for all the stuff, it is not free. if you need a heart transplant, let's say, and you have to wait
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six weeks to six months like they do in canada, you are going to go in there, and is up to the government whether you are eligible to get one or not. it is bad enough now. there are cures for a lot of diseases -- there are cures for cancer out there, all you have to do is go through the internet. gabrielle lowe plant, that as a cure, nobody knows about but congress has known about it since 1971. host: rachel, if that is known, why is it not being reported by the national stage of health? caller: the fda and the pharmaceutical companies are covering it up. if you want universal cult -- health care, go to a socialist country. host: we will talk to health care in a letter from segment. charlottesville, virginia, good morning to tom. thank you caller: for taking my call. a brief comment to all of the
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listeners. kind of employer everybody to consider the issues in front of congress and in front of the country, from a more legal perspective and not consider what is best for the country but consider what our constitution enabled our lawmakers to do and give us. there are certain things which our constitution was set up -- and i think we have been breaking, going against a lot of those traditions and beliefs and my belief to the detriment of the country and what we were found upon. thank you. host: thank you. pasadena, california. of the democrats' line. caller: just a comment about the executives' pay. i think that if you limit the executive pay to -- and tell them to invest their money just like they invest people's money. this would be an incentive for them to do more because i can tell you what has happened to my
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investments over the past 30 years, these people have no conscience, seemingly. they just get your money and what a big bonus when they lose it. maybe if they invest their own money and aren't like they want me to burn -- burn up like they want me to earn. host: "usa today" live from iraq, comedian steve at colbert delivers less. apparently all it took for victory in iraq was a late night for any man steven colbert. "i officially declare we have won the iraq war." before a cheering crowd of about 300 u.s. service members who gathered here on sunday for a taping of the tv show. it will air tonight on comedy central -- it did have real life historic implications, but
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first non-news television show to be produced, tape, and transmitted to the u.s. from a combat zone, according to the senior vice president of the u.s. open looking at him before and after he got his budget cut from a general, as we go to homestead, florida. one more call on open phones. good morning, rep. caller: i think we are headed for a worst depression, war with iran and north korea, and possible famine and a fuel shortage. that is all have to say. host: coming up we will talk about the state of the u.s. auto industry on the wake of general motors and chrysler bankruptcy. we will talk to dave mccurdy, president and ceo of the alliance of automobile manufacturers. right back with your thoughts as well. [captioning performed by
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national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] >> how c-span funded? >> private donations? >> taxpayers? >> i don't really know. >> public television? >> i don't know where the money comes from. >> contributions from donors. >> how c-span funded?
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30 years ago america's cable companies greeted c-span as a public service, a private business initiative, no government mandate, no government money. >> with the federally mandated transition to digital television coming next week, we'll get a status report on how the fcc has prepared viewers for the change. the commission's william blake, congressman joe barton, station manager kevin harris, and erica swanson, activist group portrait appeared tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern, a "of the communicators" on c-span2. >> still time to get your copy of c-span pocket 2009 congressional director, with affirmation on house and senate members, cabinet, supreme court justices, and the nation's governors, plus district maps and how to contact committees and caucuses. it is $16.95, on line at c- span.org/products, or call

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