GLENN: From Radio City in Midtown Manhattan, the third most listened to show in all of America. Hello, you sick twisted freak. Welcome to the program. Everybody talking about the economy today. As you know, I have been pounding since August that we were in for real trouble, that we were in for the 1970s, especially if we have a Democratic congress and presidency and if we put any more pressure on the table, anything like a bad terrorist attack that I believe we could see the 1930s all over again because there is just a lot of fear out there and there is some fundamental things that are happening with our banking system and just the fundamental system has some real problems with it. I want you to know that usually everybody is yelling at me because, oh, yeah, Mr. Doomsday. Well, let me tell you. Today I'm an optimist. This is not -- this is the beginning of a soft landing, I hope. You know, I've told you for a while the best scenario is to land this thing and put this economy down on the ground and land it softly. Hopefully it won't just fall out of the sky with some sort of downward pressure of some, you know, big incident that happens on the globe and I think this is just a sign of the soft landing and it's good news. And as of 11:07 a.m. Eastern time, the Dow is down 89 points. The guy who I'm running a warm tub for right now, Mr. Neil Cavuto. How are you, Neil?
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CAVUTO: Hi, Glenn, how are you?
GLENN: I'm fine. You know, it's better if you slice them not across but lengthwise.
CAVUTO: Got to be ice.
GLENN: No, it has to be warm. Has to be nice and warm and just kind of drift off to sleep, you know?
CAVUTO: I got you.
GLENN: So how are you feeling today?
CAVUTO: You know, like you I think that, you know, you hope that what the Federal Reserve did today by cutting interest rates dramatically, 3/4 of a point before the market even opened and what the President and congress want to come up with in terms of fiscal stimulus does the trick and so it's soft landing, I think either of the moves and particularly both of the moves is more a sign of panic than anything else. I don't know if -- I know you and I might differ on this. I don't know if either was warranted. I do believe, though, that they might have the short-term desired effect. I just worry about the precedent that's set, Glenn, when we do something this dramatic in the face of a still pretty good economy.
GLENN: Neil, you and I only disagree on one thing and that is I think that our fundamentals are in trouble but I'm not for a stimulus package and I'm not for the rate cut. I think the rate cut, I think you are exactly right and I think you saw it. When Bernanke came out at 8:00 you saw the futures. They actually went down.
CAVUTO: That's right.
GLENN: I mean, you know this stuff. I'm just a schlub, you know, that listens to people like you. But you've got to know people on Wall Street. I'll bet you that there are a lot of people on Wall Street like me that say, look, if you want to fix this thing long term, let it heal itself. Just leave it alone and let it come down and fix itself and it will come back up.
CAVUTO: Well, you know, it's the idea when they put these circuit breakers in on Wall Street after the big crash that it was supposed to let cooler heads prevail and mitigate the damage. I sometimes think it just extends the agony and -- but that's a whole other beef, Glenn. My beef here with this is that much of the damage that's been done in our economy has been really in financial bank mortgage-related, housing-related stock and that's a big part of the economy. But we've seen that it isn't in oil stocks. CSX came out with great earnings today. It's not in multinational. GE and DuPont coming out with great earnings. So my point is that for a sector of the economy that's having problems, we are applying this dramatic rescue package and I just worry. You know, we kind of shoot through the arsenal. It's like opening up the strategic petroleum reserve when gas prices pick up a little bit. I mean, at what point do you use the reserve? The government has a reserve but we're blowing it right now on conditions that might not warrant it.
GLENN: But isn't that the American thing? I mean, that is why -- why do we have flesh-eating bacteria? Because we overprescribe antibiotics.
CAVUTO: Right, right.
GLENN: It's exactly the same thing. Neil, you say that this is really just about the banking system. However, explain to me again, a guy who just really started looking at the economy over a year ago. The problem is not just in the banking system. The problem is if I'm a -- let's say I'm a farmer or, you know, I make widgets. The problem is in the short-term commercial paper. If the banks are screwed up and the banks are holding onto their money and I'm trying to make widgets, I need a quick loan to be able to make that widget and get it off to market. If the bank is holding onto their money, they are not going to give me a loan and so really who's hurt are not necessarily these giant, you know, General Motors but it's the banks and the small little widget guy.
CAVUTO: Well, I do agree with that. There is a clear spillover effect with banks in trouble than there is, let's say with a chip bank or a cell phone maker in trouble. But I still step back from it, Glenn, and say I can understand the fear of being that banks tighten up on lending, in this environment they are getting very, very cautious, which they are. But, you know, customers are feeding this beast as well, Glenn. I mean, they are not only waiting for home prices to go down but the Fed has spoiled them into thinking that if they wait, foreign costs will go down. So ironically the Federal Reserve has set up this conundrum where, look, I mean, that house I want in that neighborhood I want, not only is that going down but if I stick to my guns and wait this out, maybe borrowing costs will go down. So that ironically could be compounding the situation. And that's all I worry about. I worry about doing this as well when we have a lot of signs of inflation.
GLENN: Hang on. Will you be honest with me? Are you really, are you really not sure? Because I've got to tell you. When you say I'm worried that the Fed is compounding that, to me there's no doubt that the Fed is.
CAVUTO: I'm not -- you know, believe it or not as much as I talk about the Fed, what really bothers me and I think why we're selling off, I think you touched on this at the outset is the federal prescription. You know, Glenn, you and I, you know, are old enough to remember how the Government made what could have been a shallow recession during Jimmy Carter something much worse and how Richard Nixon's price controls made what's a bad time for the economy much worse. So when the Government intervenes after most of the animals have left the barn to try to protect the barn, I worry about the barn, about us. And that's my concern.
GLENN: Who is the best -- when you look at all of the different stimulus packages from all of the, all of the candidates -- and let's just talk conservatives here because that's mainly who's listening to our program. They are going to vote for somebody from, I mean as far left as you're going to go is John McCain most likely. So talk to me about the Republican side. Who has the best handle on the long-term economy and what needs to be done? Rate them for me. Can you?
CAVUTO: I would say I'm a big believer, it's just my bias, Glenn, for something that doesn't have quick Band-Aid solutions. In other words, a rebate check, as soon as they get I it, by the way, March and April, it's for someone who mixes that or couples that with either sustainable tax rate cuts like the President offered in the beginning of his term with those rebate checks. That's why that --
GLENN: Do you really believe in the -- you believe in $800 --
CAVUTO: No, I don't.
GLENN: Oh, okay.
CAVUTO: I'm saying that I thought that was a waste of time than it is now. But -- and this is what I believe will help the President's work in 2001 and 2002. He coupled that with long-term rate cuts. But you are quite right. I think giving, you know, checks to people in their hot hands, I'm just going to go out and buy bakery products myself.
GLENN: You and I need to party, man. It will be a really sad. Oh, my gosh, it will just be éclairs like crazy.
CAVUTO: But, you know, that's what I worry about. But if you had to, say all the candidates in a proposal, Rudy Giuliani's at least mixed his long-term stable tax cut simplification. In other words, not keep six down to three. Mitt Romney, while he does provide a great deal of stimulus, he does want to keep the tax cuts permanent. There's got to be --
GLENN: Is there anybody besides Romney? Giuliani's got to be doing this. Is there anybody but Romney that is saying take the corporate tax rate significantly down?
CAVUTO: Well, they are all kind of preaching that now.
GLENN: That really means it.
CAVUTO: But it was a late conference at this. I really believe that the two, Romney and Giuliani, offer I think something that has more sustaining value. But again, both of their packages call for some quick fixes that I don't know if the Government's willing to provide.
GLENN: Who is the best on the Democratic side?
CAVUTO: They are all, at least as far as the Government's role, awful. They really are. And my fear is something Hillary Clinton said last night in the debate when she said, you know, I'm not budging on this universal healthcare for every American. Now, I commend her for being clear on it. I just don't know whether this is the environment to be forcing that on people, whatever your good intentions.
GLENN: You know, everybody says that the, you know, oh, the Clinton years, they were the best. And correct me if I'm wrong, Neil. You would probably be best suited to recall this. Not until the Republicans took over congress.
CAVUTO: Well, that's true.
GLENN: They were a nightmare.
CAVUTO: Well, the first two years was a disaster as you know and when congress flipped in '94, remember he was going around the country saying it's still relevant. I've been telling my wife that for years, I'm still relevant.
GLENN: She doesn't believe you.
CAVUTO: You can't deny that, but things really picked up steam and Washington, you know, reined in spending. I think it's good to have opposing parties going at it.
GLENN: I do, too.
CAVUTO: But that's history now.
GLENN: So what's your prediction for the end of the day?
CAVUTO: Well, you know, we're down 75 points now with volatile trading. I think we'll kind of contain this by day's end but I don't think we're out of the woods. I only say that because we set up false expectations to the market that if they whine and they bitch enough, someone's going to give them the present and the present will be maybe even more stimulus, maybe even more rate cuts. But if they don't provide it, they stomp their feet, they sell off more and they demand more and now they know that people will respond. So we might dodge the bullet today but I think there are more.
GLENN: If we only drop 100 points or something today, does that surprise you, seeing that they closed? Didn't they close France or was it India? I mean, there were a few markets around the world that actually --
CAVUTO: Right, they stopped trading.
GLENN: They stopped trading. Are you surprised that we haven't had -- if -- you know, we assume that it closes around 100 points down.
GLENN: Are you surprised at that?
CAVUTO: Well, I'm not as surprised how liquid and resilient our markets are in that we don't have sort of like the panic sessions, I'm not saying panic in terms of point drops but we seem to be better able to respond to that. In India they got so overwhelmed with sell orders, at the point they were selling nearly 9% which reminds me of my Uncle Louie, he just closed shop, couldn't deal with it. That's what India did, they couldn't deal with it and they shut it down. We saw that in Europe as well yesterday when they just couldn't keep up with the sell orders. Say the markets and the problems and the economy and our fights and our bickering, we do have markets that are transparent and able to deal with this sort of thing. It ain't easy but when everything hits the fan, I would much rather be here than there.
GLENN: On a personal note, Neil, in I think two weeks from now, I've decided that I -- and I haven't even announced this to the audience yet. I swore off all charities after 9/11. I said I would never endorse a charity. The only one that I would endorse is the USO of New York because I actually physically go there and have, you know, packed boxes for the troops. But I have not endorsed a charity. I'm going to endorse a charity here and help them raise funds because I so believe the demand behind it and that's the Huntsman Cancer Center.
CAVUTO: Oh, man, yeah. Good thing to do.
GLENN: I know you are a friend of Jon Huntsman. One of the most amazing --
CAVUTO: Believe me, my friend, they are big friends of yours. I mean, your one-hour show you did with him on CNN, phenomenal. I mean, very few people have the guts to devote an hour to a single guest who on paper doesn't seem riveting.
GLENN: Can I tell you something, Neil?
CAVUTO: That was gripping.
GLENN: They fought me on that. Nobody wanted to air that. They were like, oh, this is going to die. It was a highly rated show.
CAVUTO: It was a phenomenal show. I'm not blowing smoke but I think I e-mailed you to that effect because that was gripping. It was gripping, it was tear-jerking. It made you sit back and think, what are we here for. That was great.
GLENN: He's one of the most amazing businessmen I've ever met, one of the most full -- I really, truly believe the guy who I have met in my life who I think has more integrity than anyone I've ever met.
CAVUTO: Oh, I agree with you. What I love about him is, you know, I've been to the Huntsman Foundation as you have there and I'm always amazed by a billionaire who says we've got to cure cancer, we've got to cure cancer.
GLENN: Oh, he didn't tell me we've got to cure it. He said he's going to cure it.
CAVUTO: Yeah, that's high to say that and I'm always just so amazed by a guy who has now said I want to give all my money away. And like you, I mean, I had said that did you check this out with the kids? But God bless him. I mean, you don't find people like that. And -- but you get to give your time, commitment and money.
GLENN: Neil, love you more than life itself and I put you in the same category as Jon Huntsman.
CAVUTO: Well, there is this Neil Cavuto foundation.
GLENN: Oh, phone's breaking up, got to run.
GLENN: Neil Cavuto, got to run. Appreciate it, bye-bye.