Return to Transcripts main page
QUEST MEANS BUSINESS
Donald Trump Mixes Oval Office with Corner Office; Business Leader Battle Trump Over Climate Change; Will.i.am Says Trump Showed Wrong Kind of Leadership; Trump Replaces Yellen with Powell at Fed; Bostic Says Americans Fear Automation's Effect on Jobs; CPJ Director Says Public Must Stand Up for Free Press;
Aired January 1, 2018 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN HOST: In the space of one year, markets have soared to records, trade deals have been torn to pieces and the economic world has
been turned on its head. I'm Richard Quest. This I the "World of Trumponomics."
Good evening. When Donald Trump became America's 45th President, so began a business experiment perhaps unlike any other. The man who made his name
in real estate promised to bring a billionaire's touch to governing. Over the course of the next hour, you and I will hear from some of the
executives and the politicians who have watched the world change before their eyes. Because from taxes to trade, there was a sense that things
would never be the same again.
QUEST: President Trump has brought the mentality of the corner office to the oval office. A series of executive orders to short circuit lengthy
legislative processes, long winded interagency negotiations. Negotiations carried out in public on NAFTA, TPP and the border wall. And board room
meetings to schmooze top leaders. Think of the way he is running the U.S. as America Inc. This time, or today it was executives from Harley-
Davidson, as well as union leaders who made it to the Oval Office. And put it into context, it follows meetings with automakers, drug executives and
tech bosses. And tomorrow he'll be having more meetings, this time with his strategy group on the economy, which is predominantly business leaders.
Never have we seen -- or at least in recent times -- have we seen a new U.S. president paying court and running things like a businessman or woman.
Trump is running America Inc. His position is the fixer in chief. And his ambitions don't stop at the water's edge.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The world is in trouble, but we're going to straighten it out. OK? That's what I do. I fix things.
We are going to straighten it out. Believe me, when you hear about the tough phone calls I'm having, don't worry about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: You just don't hear politicians and new presidents speaking like that. From trade to manufacturing to foreign relations, the theme remains
the same. Donald Trump and Donald Trump alone can take charge and fix America's ills. It's the core decree of the chief executive.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Well you need somebody. Because politicians are all talk, no action.
TRUMP: We need a leader that wrote the "Art of the Deal."
TRUMP: Our leaders have to get tougher. This is too tough to do it alone, but you know what, I think I'm going to be forced to.
TRUMP: Because I used to be part of the club, I'm the only one that can fix it.
[16:05:00] TRUMP: I alone can fix it.
TRUMP: I want to do things that haven't been done.
TRUMP: I will never ever let you down. America will start winning again. Winning like never before.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Strip away the hyperbole and you realize when you look at the last two weeks, he's doing exactly what he said. Carlos Gutierrez says that the
government must adapt to this President/CEO business mentality. Now, he should know - Mr. Gutierrez that is -- he served in government and
business. He was the commerce secretary and he was the chief executive of the cereal company Kellogg. I put it to him that Mr. Trump has come into
the White House like a CEO in a hurry to get things done.
CARLOS GUTIERREZ, FORMER US COMMERCE SECRETARY: If you look at the way he has placed people in positions, he has come in with the same strategic
themes that he had during the campaign. And he's gone out to find people who can execute his strategy. You know, and you look across his cabinet,
he has done a pretty good job of that. The point here is that he does set the strategy, but he will get involved in tactical areas. He will get
involved in the tactics, in the negotiating tactics. And that is where the COO needs to keep things on the rail.
QUEST: From what you've seen so far, I mean I think of people like Lee Iacocca who lead, follow or get out of the way. From what you've seen so
far, is he acting more like a president or more like a chief executive?
GUTIERREZ: Well, you know, I tend to believe that there are a lot of similarities between the two. But I would say President Trump is leaning
toward a CEO. He is behaving like a CEO. He has issues that he is interested in. He is not as concerned with process and not as concerned
with procedural matters. But getting his message out and getting results. So, yes, I would say that right now he is leaning toward CEO. Whether he
will adjust his style to the executive branch and the processes, the inter- agency processes that already exist, that is to be seen. But in the meantime, I think the solution needs to be that his organization needs to
be adapted to his style.
QUEST: But here is the real problem with what I've just heard you say. If you have people like we believe Steve Bannon, the chief strategist, who
believed the system is so broken that it can only be rebuilt after it's been blown up, or at least been destroyed and then rebuilt from the bottom.
What do you do then?
GUTIERREZ: It appears that what's happening here is that there are two groups that perhaps are being developed. There is the institutional
traditional group, which is Preibus. And then there is Bannon. Who as you say, you know, he's coming to shake things up. There are different roles.
The chief of staff is the chief operating officer. He operates the day to day. And Bannon is the chief strategist. So, where's policy going? Where
are we going in the long term? You know, what direction are we headed? And that is where the coordination needs to exist. My concern here, and I
think the thing to watch, is are we going to see factions. And will there be a Reince Priebus faction, and will there be a Steve Bannon faction.
QUEST: In this case, we have a chief exec President who seems to foster the factional form of government believing it brings out the best in all.
Is he right?
GUTIERREZ: I think that if the President wants these factions, the President can have these factions. But from the standpoint of his people,
if there is one thing that his people owe him is to be on his team. So, the idea of playing politics below the president, I think they can create
problems beyond just what, you know, what the President would like to see or the fact that he likes debate. So, if there's going to be debate, let
the President drive the debate. But I think his people owe to him to be team players and to be on one team. And to, you know, look after the eater
good and not their own territory and not their own image. And that's going to be the issue to watch. Because the President surrounded himself with
some very large egos.
[16:10:00] QUEST: The President has not always relied on Congress to push through his agenda. Within days of taking office, he signed executive
orders that rolled back years of regulation. He approved giant pipelines. And he cut environmental red tape, often controversially. With a few
strokes of the presidential pen, he turned years of policy on its head. And for his allies in Congress like Senator Jim Inhofe, it was a breath of
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JIM INHOFE (R), OKLAHOMA: Look, Richard, this President has had a war on for fossil fuels since long before he was even in the White House. And
when I go back to Oklahoma and people ask questions. You know, right now, we are 89 percent dependent upon fossil fuels and nuclear to our ability to
provide the power to run this country. Now what happens if he is successful and takes that away? And that's just logic and I know you and I
don't agree. And a lot of people on the other side are very upset with this President winning. Because we've seen the last for a while anyway of
the Obama types of programs.
QUEST: Now, Senator, one area though which is not strictly speaking in your environmental area, but is coming up again and again and again, and it
is that question of returning American jobs and manufacturing to the United States. Time and again, we are told that it will create more jobs. But
the alternative argument of course is that those jobs at higher paying jobs will create higher cost of goods for American consumers. Now, whether it
is cars or shoes, if you are bringing it back from Mexico to the U.S., which is a higher cost production base, those costs will be passed on
INHOFE: Well, you know, I the higher paying job argument, you might have a point there. But we're talking about gross jobs. We're talking about
unemployment. We're talking about increasing the economic activity of this country. And that is what's going to bring us out of what I would refer to
as the Obama recession. And we're now in a position to actually, get that done.
You talk about how does it affect the environment. The Chinese, for example, right now they are putting out new coal fire plant every ten days.
Now they're not interested at all in any kind of an agreement whether it's Paris or anyplace else. But what's going to happen now when we are not
able to provide the jobs here and they go to some place like China, that doesn't have any restrictions, it's going to increase not decrease the
QUEST: By the summer, the historic nature of this presidency was now abundantly clear. Trade deals such as the TPP had been scrapped and
regulations just been torn up. Relationships with allies and enemies have been redefined. Richard Haass had called it "adhocracy." A leadership
style favored by Franklin D. Roosevelt. One where decisions are made on the fly and done so at a dizzying pace. Haass is the president of Council
on Foreign Relations, and was even mentioned as a possible Secretary of State of State early on in the Trump administration. For him, "adhocracy"
is a dangerous game to play.
RICHARD HAASS, PRESIDENT, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS: What I think they are doing is essentially doing a policy of some intimidation, some
coercion. There's focusing on trade deficits and imbalances. And they're hoping that they can get Mexico or China to do things, to essentially
compromise on certain positions unless they pay some kind of trade retaliation with the United States.
QUEST: Stay with me on this issue of adhocracy. Are we seeing a perfect example of which you write so elegantly, with this ad hoc meeting with
President Putin with a single translator from the other side, which to neophyte in politics would say, well you know, what is wrong with that, I'm
getting to know the man. But you say the political world is defined by relationships rather than transactions. And Donald Trump is comfortable
with an approach to running his presidency on what worked for him in the private sector. That sort of chat worked for him.
HAASS: Well, it won't work for him in foreign policy because governing is about relationships. And also governing is about tradeoffs. So, if he is
going to be speaking to a Russian leader, he's got to think about the full menu of U.S./Russia relations and also U.S./Russian relations don't take
place in a vacuum. It is against the backdrop of North Korea, of Syria, of Europe, U.S. relations with allies. So, I'm not terribly comfortable with
the President of the United States sitting down with Mr. Putin without an American official present.
[16:15:01] Without an interpreter, without a notetaker and without talking points. I just don't think that kind of improvisation is the way to
conduct foreign policy.
QUEST: So, the difficult question to try to finish with to you, sir, is we might just have to get used to it if that is the way he wishes to do it.
He is the President of the United States.
HAASS: Absolutely. And he decides what is the style of decision making and governing in hl administration. But also look at what happened with
health care. There are clear limits to this kind of adhocracy, improvisation, call it what you will. And it is not working for him. So
yes, he can stick with it for four years. There is no one who's going to force any decision-making system on it, but at some point, the results or
lack of results are going to speak for themselves.
QUEST: Some business leaders were skeptical about Donald Trump's strategy, others downright hostile. As we continue Trumponomics, you'll hear from
the billionaire who's trying to have the president impeached.
QUEST: Barely months into the Trump presidency, chief executives were beginning to break ranks with the administration. It was Donald Trump's
policy on climate change that caused them to find a voice. When the president pulled out of the Paris Climate Agreement it triggered a wave of
condemnation from the C suite of chief executives from Tesla, Disney, Microsoft were some of those who denounced the decision. The billionaire
Tom Steyer was so enraged he took out a pull page newspaper ad and even a campaign to have the President impeached. He then told me the President's
position made no sense.
TOM STEYER, PRESIDENT AND CEO, NEXGEN AMERICA: The President is not taking care of the health and the welfare and the homes of Americans and that is
his absolute responsibility. And he is shirking it.
QUEST: On this question of climate change, we heard the president have two views on this in recent days. I want you to listen to the sound of this.
First the President says the hurricane is the worst ever. Then he says it is not the result of climate change. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Well we've had bigger storms than this. If you go back to the 1930s and the 1940s and you take a look, we've had storms over the years
that have been bigger than this. If you go back in to the teens, you will see storms that were as big or bigger. So, we did have two horrific
storms, epic storms, but if you go back into the 30s and 40s, if you go back into the teens, you'll see some storms that were very similar and even
TRUMP: We had two massive hurricanes, the likes of which I guess our country has never seen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Which is it?
STEYER: Well I think what you're seeing there is a confuse and discombobulated president who is making no sense. The fact of the matter
is I don't turn to Mr. Trump to try to figure what's going on scientifically. And you can see that his policies, every appointment,
every decision is an absolute denial and abdication of his responsibilities to take care of American people. So, he can say as many confused in crazy
things that he wants, but his actions are consistent, and he consistently does not do his job which is to take care of the American people.
QUEST: He believe that climate change is not real. And there are others like the EPA administrator who also believe that the change in our weather
is not as the result of human action. Now, you know, you can disagree with him, but that's their belief. And they are the ones in power.
STEYER: You know, there is an old saying. You're welcome to your opinion, but you're not welcome to your own facts. I don't really care what Donald
Trump has to say about science because he doesn't know anything about science.
QUEST: But he is the President in the sense that he has the power. And that's maybe saying in your effort, that's perhaps from your point of view
the dangerous part. He's going to pull out of Paris.
STEYER: Look, I'm not saying the President doesn't have impact. I'm not saying what he does doesn't -- isn't important. I'm saying what he says
and thinks make no see. And as a result, what he does is contrary to the interests of the American people. I'm not saying he's not important. I'm
saying what he's doing is importantly stupid.
QUEST: What do you hope comes from what you're doing? Not only with this newspaper ad, but also the measures that you are taking? Because you and I
have spoken before when he pulled out of Paris, the night he pulled out of Paris, you and I spoke. And do you see any wavering in the
STEYER: No, they are absolutely consistent. They have -- I thought all this talk about Paris in the last few days was a smoke screen. I really
don't care what they say because I can see what they do every single day. The only real way this will change is when the American people say enough,
this is serious, there is a much better way to do this. We -- there is a better future for us. Let's go to the better future, not this dumb way of
QUEST: So, the American people to get to that position, you're going to have to have a few calamities on the way. Because until -- if you're
right, they see the evidence of that which you speak, they're not going to move.
STEYER: Well let me say this. People want to look at climate change as a siloed issue. And so, when we see hurricanes, when we see huge fires, when
we see these disasters, that to them is climate change. But from our standpoint, this is all a question about how who you think about people.
And in fact, you can see throughout his policies whether they're tax policies or health care policies, or education policies, or energy
policies, that he does not believe in the democracy of people. He does not care about the American people. He cares about the American dollar and the
people who have them.
QUEST: Are you at risk of - there's no sort of respectful way of saying this.
STEYER: Lay it on me.
QUEST: Are you at risk of being one of these people that is always shouting about this, always criticizing the President to the point where
they say, oh, Tom Steyer, he would say that, wouldn't he. You're devaluing your own currency of argument.
STEYER: Absolutely not. The fact of the matter is what we see alternatively is a normalization of an absolutely abnormal President. And
we see people start to accept behavior that is 100 percent unacceptable. So, what we're actually seeing, we see it in the press, we see it in terms
of elected officials, people accepting the absolutely false premises. This man knows nothing about science. He's wrong. So, to accept him as having
a shred of credibility, means all of a sudden you are tilting the game in his favor and I won't go there.
QUEST: The forthright views of Tom Steyer. Now, whatever they thought of his economic policies, business leaders would not stick with President
Trump through every controversy. His handling of the violence in Charlottesville saw his own business councils abandon him for fear of being
associated with the white supremacist responsible. Will.i.am has won awards as the world economic forum pays work helping America's poor
communities. After the violence he told me the president was showing the wrong kind of leadership at a moment of national tragedy.
WILL.I.AM, MUSICIAN AND ENTREPRENEUR: It is not a conversation about a statue, General Lee statue, it's a conversation about stature. And
statistics on how many people in inner cities end up in prisons. That is what frustrates me. And what frustrates me even more is that were not even
focused on what the core of the problem is.
QUEST: So, when the President today says that he is calling on all sides to help look at the cause. And indeed, the Dow Chemical chief executive
says that this must be a wide-ranging look at what causes this sort of violence. Do you have any hope that this ever happens or does your
experience suggest it is just talk?
[16:25:00] WILL.I.AM: The talkers are the talkers and we know the people that are just talking or responding to criticisms, so let me fix what I
said. There is a lot of that that is happening. True leadership is someone who brings people together. You know, let's let the past stay in
the past. Germany is afternoon in amazing country now. And we know at some point in time in history they did wicked stuff. And we also know that
they have contributed to society since then and we love Germany now. So, there is hope into every -- there is hope in every community that they
could come out of their ways of looking at the world that imposes wickedness on someone else. But I'm an optimist and at the same time we
are in desperate need of true leadership in this point of time right now.
QUEST: OK. You're in need -- you say you are in need of leadership. So, forgive me, will.i.am, but it really does beg the question if your view,
sir, in your view, can Donald Trump give that leadership the sort of leadership that is normally associated with being if you like the leader of
the nation, the head of state, the president?
WILL.I.AM: No. Not for this -- there are tools for different things, right? So, he is a different type of tool. We need a screwdriver, he is a
hammer. And hammers are for what you need a hammer for. But we need a screwdriver, something delicate, something that fits it and doesn't strip
the bolt. Right. So unfortunately, we need the community to lead itself because that is all we have. We need us. We need us right now.
QUEST: But this is fascinating because if you're right, you need more than just the community, don't you? You need those corporations, sort of chief
execs from Dow Chemicals and all the other companies that put out statements, from Unilever, because they create the jobs that the
communities can get that lift people out of poverty, don't you think?
WILL.I.AM: Yes, so in being a part of the Davos community and going to teds and global citizen and seeing people come together for people, whether
you're the head of a company or a marketer at a company or you're one of the worker bees that make the company -- they're people. So, communities,
companies, we all need to center around and figure how we work in collaboration with one another. Right. So, and having tolerance by
allowing little subcultures to exist. We are not saying that -- I'm not saying that little clicks shouldn't come together for whatever they're
proud of. But at the same time, you cannot make people like you. You cannot expect that everyone is going to feel the way you feel about your
community. Just as long as there is not clashing. Just as long as, you know, the police in Virginia -- I applaud them because that's how police
should act all the time. When there is a coming together in Chicago, and a coming together in New Orleans, let's hope and pray that police act the way
that they acted in Virginia this weekend.
QUEST: So finally, on this point, because you've raised a very interesting important point there, about certain niche groups coming together, not
everybody agreeing with the community view. Then how do you -- how do you reconcile allowing alt-right and the fascists and white supremacists to
have their march under their first amendment rights counter balanced with those marches against them? Surely will.i.am this is a recipe, you've got
competing demands and it's a recipe for exactly the sort of disaster that we saw over the weekend.
WILL.I.AM: What kind of car do you drive?
QUEST: I don't have a car.
WILL.I.AM: But you like Mercedes and BMWs and Volkswagens, right?
QUEST: I have been known to --
WILL.I.AM: That stems from Germany. That's why I used Germany as an example. A country that did things in the past that are, you know, just
horrible to humanity, Berlin in Germany is an amazing place right now. So, I'm an optimist. I know that things will turn around given the right
circumstances, the right tolerance, and at the same time starting with love. So, Germany is my answer to your question.
QUEST: Fascinating discussion with will.i.am. Across the mile from the White House, a new boss will soon be running the U.S. Federal Reserve.
Coming up next, how the President's pick will handle the Trump economy.
[16:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
Donald Trump's desire to put his own stamp on Washington did not stop at the White House or indeed on Capitol Hill. Instead of keeping Janet Yellen
as chair of the Federal Reserve, the President decided to hire his own chairman. Enter Jay Powell. His job? To help steer the Trump economy
through 2018 and beyond. And as Clare Sebastian told us, the new chairman has a lot of juggling to do.
JANET YELLEN, FORMER CHAIR, FEDERAL RESERVE: We recognize that there is great uncertainty.
BEN BERNANKE, FORMER CHAIR, FEDERAL RESERVE: We have a very difficult balancing act.
ALAN GREENSPAN, FORMER CHAIR, FEDERAL RESERVE: We must as a consequence remain alert to risks.
SEBASTIAN: The juggler planning one move ahead, balancing complex competing forces. Now more than ever these are the skills the fed chair
HEATHER WOLF, JUGGLING TEACHER: Let's move on to two balls.
SEBASTIAN: First the jewel mandate, inflation and unemployment.
DIANE SWONK, FOUNDER, DS ECONOMICS: Right now. Biggest challenge is inflation. Mandate inflation and unemployment.
SEBASTIAN: Biggest challenge is inflation. Get it a little higher and keeping inflation stable may be about to get even harder.
WOLF: I think you're ready for three.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We will get that largest tax cut in the history of our country.
SWONK: Tax cuts could stimulate growth and add to inflationary pressures forcing the fed to be more aggressive on rate hikes.
WOLF: You notice it takes a lot of focus, right?
SEBASTIAN: Vigilance is crucial even if all the conditions are just right.
RANDALL KROSZNER, FORMER FEDERAL RESERVE GOVERNOR: For the near term, the overall growth picture is reasonable, but of course there are a lot of
shocks that can come whether they are geopolitical, economic.
SEBASTIAN: This really is the definition of multitasking.
The Fed chair must plan ahead.
WOLF: Perhaps you are ready for four?
SEBASTIAN: Another complicating factor, the Trump administration's push to deregulate.
TRUMP: The damaging Dodd/Frank regulations that failed to hold Wall Street firms accountable.
SWONK: How do we balance to make sure that we don't create another crisis while still pulling back, maybe regulations that have gone way too far.
SEBASTIAN: And the final factor that complicates all the others.
WOLF: The fifth ball, OK.
SEBASTIAN: Political pressure. A President that prefers keeping rates low.
[16:35:00] TRUMP: The only thing that looks goods is the stock market, but if you raise interest rates even a little bit, that will come crashing
SEBASTIAN: And a public that is watching every move.
KROSZNER: Since the financial crisis, the fed has gone from being on the first page of the business section to being front page of the newspaper.
So, it is under much more scrutiny and much more pressure.
SEBASTIAN: It's clear this is no time for beginners. Clare Sebastian, CNN Money, New York.
QUEST: Now some fed members say they are worried about stock markets pushing higher as they did near the end of this year. That is next year,
isn't it? Sorry. My mistake. Some fed members say they are worried about stock markets pushing higher as they did near the end of 2017. It's fair
to say that President Trump did not sound too worried.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: The stock market is at an all-time high. And the stock market on Friday hit the all-time high. Highest it's ever been. Ever. In your
whole long life. A lot of confidence in our economy right now. There is a great confidence level. You've been seeing that in the stock market.
You've been seeing that in businesses.
Strongest stock market ever. On Friday we hit the highest in the history of the stock market.
Their values are going up every single day. We have a record, an all-time record for the biggest increase in the stock market. So, I'm very happy
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: The issue of course, booming markets don't always mean a booming economy. And some of the ordinary Americans that Donald Trump promised to
help might not be feeling the benefits. And that is the worry of Rafael Bostic who now runs the Atlanta Federal Reserve. It is a central banker's
job to tune out the politics.
RAFAEL BOSTIC, GOVERNOR, ATLANTA FEDERAL RESERVE: I let Washington be Washington. One of the things that I try to do in my job is really talk
clearly to the businesses in my district, to the consumers in my district, about what we're seeing on the ground and on how the economy appears to be
working. People don't -- when people ask me a lot about what do you think about this tweet or that tweet, I don't spend a lot of time going tweet to
tweet. I know the media does a lot of that.
To me that is somewhat of a distraction. Really where I'm trying to get to, is a place where we talk in a clear voice about how the economy is
evolving in real time and one of the things I'm trying do for us as an institution is help people see how they might have a role in this evolving
economy. There is has been a lot of change that has happened, and I think that there is a lot of fear in the marketplace that we all need to be
mindful of so that the American household and consumer is comfortable and starts to make productive investments in our economy.
QUEST: What is the fear?
BOSTIC: I think t fear is really that frankly that their job today may not be here in two years. We've seen a lot of disruption that occurred in
positions and sectors of the economy such as everyone goes to the grocery store now. You see automated checkout. We hear about driverless cars,
that is a threat to a significant portion of the driving economy, truck drivers and the like. You have Airbnb and Uber that have put at risk other
sectors of the economy. And I think people --
QUEST: And we haven't even started yet in terms of artificial intelligence and all the things that people say are coming down the road.
BOSTIC: And these are all things people know. So, the fear is that their position today, or my position today may not be there tomorrow. And I
don't know what to do about it. And I don't know what my options are. And I think frankly they are not hearing a lot of conversation in that space.
And I think that is where we need to get to. Much more take where we are today and be forward looking and give people guidance on how they might
position themselves best to take advantage of opportunities.
QUEST: I I'm glad you took me to this area because certainly I wanted to raise it. Are today's policymakers both on the central bank side and on
the administration side, and we can take any country, are you all prepared and equipped to deal with what we are told is going to be the biggest
tsunami and workplace changes since the industrial revolution? Are you even thinking grand thought at this point?
BOSTIC: All I can talk about is our bank and we definitely are. Just two weeks ago, we started a new initiative that we call the center on workforce
and economic opportunity. And the whole goal there is to try to get our institutions to orient themselves in a way that serves Americans so that
they can get the skills of tomorrow's economy. So, to answer your question, I think there is more that needs to be done. I think that the
scale that we're talking about is going to require a massive investment and tremendous focus and energy, and we're trying to start that in our bank now
to move forward and try to move forward as effectively as possible.
[16:40:00] QUEST: The stock market rises, continues to rise, and indeed the tweet du jour from the President talks about a $5.7 trillion increase
in value, and how this is good for economic growth. It does create a wealth effect. Economists will agree. Are you concerned that the stock
market has got out of kilter with the real economy now?
BOSTIC: So, let me go in two ways on this. So, one, it does create a wealth effect. And we also know though that for many Americans, they are
not in the stock market. So, it is a wealth effect that is really focused in a certain segment of the population and a lot of people feel left out.
There have been reports in the last couple of months about how many American families can't handle a $400 or $500 shock to their balance sheet.
If an emergency came up, they would be in a really difficult place. So, I think that we need to first be mindful that the stock market is reflective
of an experience for some parts, but many folks don't enjoy and benefit in that.
QUEST: Do you worry about politicization of the Fed?
BOSTIC: It is vital that our institution be viewed as an independent arbitrator of policy in the monetary space. Look, the long run in this
country operates most beneficially when policymakers don't worry about the headlines from day to day. Because that kind of approach policy Will
delete policy to sling in pretty dramatic ways and that doesn't serve our economy or the businesses that rely on making long term investments.
So, to me, I worry about the appointments aside anything that we do that we make sure that it is couched in terms of our view and I will tell you from
my perspective, I was an Obama appointee, but right now I'm in the federal reserve, and even if I had been a Trump appointee, I would be approaching
this in exactly the same way.
(END OF VIDEOTAPE)
QUEST: For 30 years, Republicans and Democrats have tried and failed. But Donald Trump's tax reform became the holy grail.
[16:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
QUEST: Donald Trump was determined by the time his first year was out, he wanted congress to have passed major tax reform. And that would involve
lowering the corporate rate, new tax brackets for Americans, and sweeping changes to other deductions and loopholes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: This is our once in a generation opportunity to deliver real tax reform for everyday hard-working Americans.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Steven Moore helped draft Donald Trump's tax plan during a presidential campaign, he says it will be a boon to the American economy.
STEVEN MOORE, CNN SENIOR ECONOMIC ANALYST: I think the big story here is that this is pro-growth. You mentioned the stock market. It's really been
on a boon now for the last couple months as investors have become more and more confident that this tax bill is going to happen. Whether it is
running a little bit ahead of itself, I can't say. There is a lot of exuberance out here. But the question is this going to translate into real
games for the economy next year and I am on the side that says that it will. That we are going to see a good 2018 as a result of these reduced
QUEST: But the issue of the longer-term deficit, when you have the senate scoring says that the deficit goes up by over a trillion, the people that
come up with that score are as familiar with the economic argument of trickle down as anybody else. I know they don't include that directly and
they don't account for the actual economic increase, do you honestly believe that the increased economic taxation will make up the deficit of a
MOORE: Well, that is a great question. First of all, the number one job that Donald Trump has is to get the economy moving again. We've been in a
ten-year ditch in the American economy. We haven't grown by more than 2 percent for ten years. The reason the debt grew so rapidly under Bush and
under Obama was the economy underperformed. And you can't -- I've looked at these numbers sideways, upside down, anyway you look at time, and you
won't make any progress in terms of reducing our debt burden until you get the economy moving.
Trump has done that big time. We're growing at 3 percent to 3.5 percent already, and that is up from 1.5 percent in Obama's last year. That is a
big increase. And I think that we can keep that growth going. And I would make the case if you get the economy moving faster at a sustained level,
that debt burden is going to fall. I'm not saying the tax cuts will pay for themselves. I'm saying our ability to absorb the debt is much easier
to pay off if you have a growing and prosperous economy.
QUEST: I'm confused in my weekend reading, because --
MOORE: I thought he said weakened reading. Weekend reading.
QUEST: On the one hand, I read the growth cannot be attributed to the President, it is the hangover legacy of eight years of Yellen and Obama and
the way in which they constructed the recovery. On the other hand, I have the President telling us it's all about him. He's only been in office for
six months -- or nine months, ten months. This can't really be his recovery.
MOORE: Sure, it is. There is -- I think it is irrefutable that it is. And the evidence from that is look at what happened to the stock market the
day after the election where the stocks went up by 700 points. That wasn't a coincidence. We have a pro-business president right now. There is no
question about it, Obama was anti-business. This is a business who is pro- business.
Some people think he is too pro-business, but no question the reduction in the regulation, the anticipation of the tax cut has had a big effect.
You're a smart guy. You're a smart economic analyst. There is no way that you can look at an economy that was slowing down in 2016, we only had 1.5
percent growth, and then you see the curve go straight up after the Trump election. There is a Trump effect here. It is not just a Trump bounce. I
think it is a Trump moon bounce and I anticipate it to continue in 2018 and `19.
(END OF VIDEOTAPE)
QUEST: Whether tax cuts, market records or corporate controversies, the media has tracked Donald Trump every step of the way. Of course. And no
other industry has taken as much heat from the President himself.
[16:50:00] QUEST: You have seen throughout our program that Donald Trump inspires some strong opinions on both sides. Here at CNN, we always strive
to bring you the facts first. The President has strong opinions himself on the press to say the very least, often denouncing work like our own as fake
news before he had even taken office. Powerful voices were urging the President not to give up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MERYL STREEP, ACTRESS: We need the principled press to hold power to account, to call him on the carpet for every outrage, that is why our
founders enshrined the press and its freedoms in our Constitution. So, I only ask the famously well healed Hollywood Foreign Press and all of us in
our community to join me in supporting the Committee to Protect Journalists. Because we'll need them going forward. And they will need us
to safe guard the truth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: The woman who thanked him is Joel Simon from the Committee to Protect Journalists, he joins me now. Good to see you. Did you get
warning of that?
JOEL SIMON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, COMMITTEE TO PROTECT JOURNALISTS: We didn't know that she was going to give us that shout out. We did get a
very generous contribution through her family foundation last week, so we were
very appreciative but we didn't know that she would mention this A: others to support us.
QUEST: We think of the committee as being involved in the issues of democracy, violence, physical threats against the press and the media. But
you're asking me to think about it differently now.
I'm not asking. We've always being involved in the issues of democracy, violence, physical threats against the press and the media. But you are
asking me to think about it differently.
SIMON: I don't think I'm asking you, we have always been a frontline organization. We defended journalists for 35 years when they are
confronting violence and repression in the most dangerous and difficult environments around the world. But the reality is that there are enormous
challenges that journalists are facing in this country and we have to stand up and defend them.
QUEST: What are the challenges? Because a berating by the President does not really class as a threat in the same way as -- it's up to editors to do
SIMON: Right. I think journalists know that they're going to get criticized and you confront powerful people, they are going to lash out.
But I think what is alarming is the President-elect Trump every time he is criticized, lashes out. We saw that would Meryl Streep. The role of the
press in his administration will be to criticize him, to hold him accountable. How is he going to react? Are these outbursts going to be
transformed into policies? It is intimated that will be the case, so journalists should be concerned. We are concerning we intend to defend the
rights of journalists and ensure that they are able to do their job.
QUEST: What is your big fear here, exclusion of press from press conferences, not holding press conferences? I mean he continually finishes
every tweet with dishonest media. He believes, and let's put myself into this, I'm a journalist, he believes that we do not reflect the truth of his
[16:55:00] SIMON: Yes, he expects the media to amplify his perspective. And to the extent they do that, he is quite happy. But when they criticize
him, he has a very different response. So, he said what he's going to do. He has excluded journalists. He has mocked journalists. He's incited
attacks on journalists, online trolling. The environment for criticizing as a journalist or anyone else is a very intimidating on, so how will that
affect the work of the President in the coming years.
QUEST: You have an uphill struggle in one very important respect. Many of the public are not with you. It may be the chattering classes as they
became known on the upper east side, upper west side of Manhattan and in L.A. might be, but middle America is likely to say a plague on the press's
SIMON: Look, what is the press, what is the media? It is everyone. It's Fox News, CNN, the whole constellation of information. We need that
information. And the public might be critical of certain segments of the media, but as an amalgam, they want information and I think that the
information will stand up for that.
QUEST: The press was not in favor in Nixon's time. He had his list. His witch hunt against the press. Ronald Reagan liked the press. But wasn't
hugely in favor then either. During the Iraq war, both Bushes were if not downright hostile to the press at least they didn't facilitate it. Why is
SIMON: I think because we are not hearing from the President-elect a basic articulation of the role of media. What is the role? That sense that we
have a first amendment. There is accountability. The U.S. has to set a standard for the world. We're not hearing that instead what we are hearing
is constant disparagement, harassment, mocking, exclusion of journalists. Threats to make it easier to sue journalists. It is creating a hostile
environment and the question is are these just empty words, is this angry expression, or will we see an administration that will turn this rhetoric
into policies. That's what we need to be vigilant about
QUEST: And we can ask the same question when we look at any aspect of Trumponomics in 2018. That is our look so far. Now of course let's see
what the 12 months ahead brings. I'm Richard Quest in New York. Whatever you're up to in the year ahead, I hope it's profitable.