Jansing and Co | November 15, 2012
>>> can president obama and wall street mend their strained relationship? leaders of major financial firms who largely backed the president in 2008 overwhelmingly backed mitt romney this time around. but the looming fiscal cliff is bringing both sides together. the president met with a dozen corporate leaders at the white house on wednesday. some ideas offered up by observers to smooth out differences? well, first, don't pretend the problem between washington and wall street does not exist. perhaps a weekend retreat with both sides, financial and policy gurus. and finally criminally prosecute those on wall street who caused the financial crisis . joining me now is the man behind those ideas. william cohen is also the author
of "money and power: how goldman sachs came to rule the world ." let's say he does bring those ideas to bear. will business accept them? will they like them?
>> look, i understand there's a lot of animosity out there towards wall street and justifiably so. if it weren't for wall street chances are pretty good we wouldn't have gotten into the financial problems of 2007 and 2008 . the time for the behavior and figuring out what they should have done is over. the market has been down nearly every day since the president was reelected. up a little bit today. the fiscal cliff or curve or whatever it is looms. it's time for wall street in washington .
>> will they like the ideas that you wrote out there?
>> no. of course they like the idea of working together. they won't like the idea of being prosecuted. i think they go hand in hand . they need to be prosecuted for wrong doing. that has not happened yet. after the savings and loan crisis in 1977 and '78, 3,500 wall streeters were put in jail. this time, zero. it's a matter of prosecution and getting these people held accountable. do that and also learn to work together. in the real world it's important for washington and wall street to work together.
>> the fiscal cliff as well as taxes, talked about by the president. what does business want on these two issues?
>> you know what, i think despite all of their backing of mitt romney who of course wanted to cut their taxes. i think in reality leaders of wall street as was poibtd nted out yesterday, are prepared to pay more in taxes. i hear that wherever i go. wealthy people are willing to pay more in taxes. they also want to see it combined with prudent spending cuts that show fiscal responsibility . you know, don't forget bill crystal said last week on fox that when taxes were raised in the reagan administration , he didn't say when taxes were raised in the clinton administration . the economy took off. so i think leaders --
>> it's possible. it's definitely possible.
>> talk about the spirit of compromise that he had mentioned. what does the president get here out of this in if he gets business leaders on board to get republicans to deal? if he gets them on board, will it force republicans to deal?
>> we've seen repeatedly the republicans are seen on their own planetary orbit . if you get wealthy americans to say to them that you have to cut a deal, i think what is really important here is you need to show fiscal responsibility . there's 1 trillion to $2 trillion of gas sitting on the sidelines. and they want to be invested in this country, in growing businesses, in building new equipment.
>> does this show us therefore we might be seeing what you just described? release some of the 1.2 trillion dlarz?
>> if we can show fiscal responsibility , yes. we still get to keep american businesseses competitive. can we have that together?
>> i bet we can. i bet the stock market will take off and the economy will improve rapidly if we get our act together.
>> a lot of people like your positive message. thank you so much.