Sunday, June 7, 2009.
UPDATE: The transcript is pretty close to how I remembered it. Truly the sharpest minds and the hardest talk.
The U.S. report card: Household savings up; consumer confidence up; consumer spending up; new unemployment claims down; home sales up, April; income up; stocks up -- this week, a seven-month high.
But the coast is still not clear. GM, Chrysler both declare bankruptcy; the U.S. current accounts deficit and national debt both shockingly high; U.S. AAA credit rating now at risk, possibly, some say; dollar weak.
This week Geithner tried to assure a student audience at Peking University that Chinese dollar assets were safe. But there was a problem. The students openly laughed at him.
This was an encouraging report on the economy, but it ignored the turd in the punch bowl -- (laughter) -- which the Bureau of Labor Statistics pointed to on Friday when it announced that the unemployment rate vaulted from 8.9 percent to 9.4 percent.
That laughter was unseemly, Buchanan.
MR. BUCHANAN: (Laughs.)
DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Question: On the U.S. economy, is the arrow pointing up? Mort Zuckerman.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: John, it's hard to follow a line like "There's turd in the punch bowl," but I'll try. (Laughter.)
DR. MCLAUGHLIN: A turd.
MR. ZUCKERMAN: A turd, okay.
(I'll try to put the transcript of John McLaughlin's intro to the financial section once it comes out. Until then, enjoy!)
John McLaughlin: Pat, your laughter was unseemly; Mort, what's your analysis of the global fiscal markets?
Mort Zuckerman: John, it's hard to follow a line like, "There are turds in the punchbowl."
John McLaughlin: It was, there's A turd in the punchbowl.