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GLENN: You know, I was -- I want to do something really unconventional. May we -- could we have movie day? Do you remember, do you remember the day when the teacher would come in and say, "Okay." You'd see the movie projector in the hall or later, you know -- I didn't see this, but I -- kids tell me stories these days. They would see the television and the VCR and it would be pushed in and you think, "It's movie day." May I do movie day today? Let's kick back, you know. The teacher wants -- hey, the teacher wants a few minutes off. I want to play something for you and I want you to listen, and I want you to listen for the next few minutes and help me define who these people are and notice how accurate all of this is to our current situation. Go ahead. Start it.
GLENN: I think he's like, oh, George, we're in a pickle, we're in a pickle. In case you don't recognize it, It's a Wonderful Life. Oh, we're in a pickle. Who is in a pickle? I think that Uncle Billy is the average person. "How does anything like this start? I don't know. They just called in my loan. I don't know, everything's changed. The world is falling apart. I don't know how it happened. It just happened overnight." That's the average person. And uncle Billy, if you remember, was very absentminded. He could never pay attention. In one part of the movie he helped cause the problem because he was careless with his money. So I think Uncle Billy is the average American.
VOICE: And then I got scared and closed the doors. I --
GLENN: Got scared. He gave them everything and then he got scared.
VOICE: The whole town's gone crazy. Hello? George, it's Potter. Hello? George?
VOICE: There is a rumor around town that you closed your doors; is that true? Oh, well, I'm very glad to hear that.
VOICE: George, are you all right? Do you need any police?
VOICE: Police? What for?
VOICE: Well, mobs get pretty ugly sometimes, you know. George, I am going all out to help in this crisis.
VOICE: Stop for a second. Ask yourself who's Mr. Potter?
VOICE: I have just guaranteed the bank sufficient funds to meet their needs. They will close up for a week and then reopen.
VOICE: Just took over the bank.
VOICE: I may lose a fortune, but I am willing to guarantee your people, too. Just tell them to bring their shares over here and I will pay 50 cents on the dollar.
VOICE: Oh, you never miss a trick, do you, Potter? Well, you're going to miss this one.
VOICE: If you close your doors before 6:00 p.m., you will never reopen.
GLENN: Stop. Who's Mr. Potter? Mr. Potter really didn't care about money, did he? I mean, sure, money was the easy way to go, but Mr. Potter seemed to have enough. Mr. Potter was about control, about manipulation, getting his way, being right. Mr. Potter came and said, "I'm here to help. I'm here to help you. I'll bail out your people. Oh, I will help your people. Just have them come over here. I'll give them the money." Who's Mr. Potter? Mr. Potter, I believe, are politicians. Barney Frank, Christopher Dodd, Barack Obama, John McCain, George Bush. He is the politician in this story.
VOICE: Gosh, I wanted to be there.
VOICE: You can take this one off now.
GLENN: Now, if you remember at this scene, everybody in the town is standing there wanting their money.
VOICE: Just remember this thing isn't as black as it appeared.
GLENN: Stop. What do the sirens represent? I think the sirens represent the constant alarm now in the media. Without any perspective, without any definition of what's going on. I can't tell you how many people I have talked to in the media that haven't read the bailout bill, who can't tell you what the LIBOR is, who can't tell you -- look, I'm a recovering alcoholic. I just saw this one coming and I did my homework for the last two years. I'm a self-educated guy. I don't have the answers by any stretch of the imagination, but I care. I care about the country. And I know my responsibility. I'm not here to scare people. I'm here to do my job. I'm here to tell you so you don't freak out. But is that what the media is doing? The media thinks they are not freaking you out because, well, we don't have to have the show. We don't have to think about this long term. We don't have to look at the forest. We'll just show the tree. And look, the tree, the Dow is up. The Dow is up 65 points. Maybe it's working, it's okay. Should we investigate? Is now a time to buy? And then when anything goes wrong, there come the sirens. And what do the people do? They freak out.
VOICE: I have some news for you, folks. I just talked to old man Potter and he's guaranteed cash payments to the bank. The bank's going to reopen next week. But George, I've got my money here. If they guarantee this place.
VOICE: Well, no, Charlie, I didn't even ask them.
GLENN: Stop. Notice Mr. Potter guaranteed the money in the banks and so George tells the people that he's going to guarantee the money, so thing seems to be over. This is going to be over. But the guarantee doesn't mean anything. That's not enough. That's not enough. My money may not be safe here. Did he guarantee this one, too? Did he guarantee my business? Did he guarantee your business? How far does that guarantee stretch? Once the sirens pass, you can't talk people into, "Relax, it's been solved. Relax. Those who should fail will fail. He will take care of those people. But we're fine here."
VOICE: I didn't even ask them. We don't need Potter over here.
VOICE: I'll take mine now.
VOICE: No, but you're thinking this all wrong, as if I had the money back in the safe. The money's not here.
VOICE: Well, your money's in Joe's house. That's right next to yours. And Mrs. Maitland's house and 100 others. You are lending them to money to build and then they are going to pay it back to you as best they can. Now, what are you going to do? Foreclose on them?
VOICE: I've got $242 in here and $242 isn't going to break anybody.
GLENN: Stop just a second. Who is that? As much as Uncle Billy just is a sweet guy and just forgets and screwed up and wasn't paying attention, he's the average American. This guy I believe also is the average American, the one who is just looking out for himself, just as much as the politicians were. "I'm going to take my money. I don't care about anybody else. I have $242 and I want $242. That's just the way it is. I want my money." The one who doesn't understand how the system works and doesn't even care to listen how the system works. He doesn't care. He doesn't care if it does damage to others. His principle is me, me, me.
VOICE: Okay, Tom, all right. Here you are, you sign this. You'll get your money in 60 days.
VOICE: 60 days?
VOICE: That's what you agreed to when you bought your share.
VOICE: Did you get the money? I did. Old man patter will pay 50 cents on the share for every dollar you got. Cash.
VOICE: Well, what do you say?
VOICE: Well, Tom, you have to stick to your original agreement. Now, give us 60 days on this thing.
VOICE: Okay, Randall.
VOICE: Are you going to Potter --
GLENN: Stop. This again is the typical American. This is the other side. There's the stupid not paying attention, made honest mistakes and just screwed up, doesn't know what's going on, and panicking. There is the me, me, me. And then there's the American that is not going to play by rules. I'm sorry. All those -- I signed that? That was the agreement, 60 days? I don't give a flying crap what I signed. Sorry, times have changed. I want my money and I want it now. Again, it's about me, me, me. There is no honor here. There is no -- there is no attempt to do the right thing. It's all about me, I'm going to save me.
VOICE: Better to get half than nothing.
VOICE: Wait, wait. Now listen. Now listen to me. I beg of you not to do this thing. If Potter gets a hold of this building and loan, there will never be another decent house built in this town.
GLENN: Stop. Do you notice that the last thing before this speech is it's better to get half than nothing. Well, no, it's better to get all of it than nothing. It's better to get all of it than half. But because of panic, because in the moment he's willing to just give it away. I'm going to give away half of what I have instead of realizing, wait a minute, if I don't panic, if I don't do these things, I could have all of it. I could have all of it. And if you look back at history, that's what happened. The banks shut down, reset, and guaranteed your money. That's what happened. And then this speech:
VOICE: He's already got charge of the bank, he's got the bus line, he got the department stores and now he's after us. Why? Well, it's very simple. Because we're cutting in on his business. That's why.
GLENN: Stop. Who's Mr. Potter? Mr. Potter is the politician. Mr. Potter is the politician. He's already got the banks.
The next one was transportation. Have you noticed that we're not doing anything on energy? On transportation? Do you know why we're bailing out the big three? Do you know why all of a sudden I'm for that loan to the big three? I'm not for the big three, for their loans. Make it on your own. Stand up on your own two feet or don't do it at all. I'm for that. Do you know why? Because it's congress that is making them retool their plants for higher emission standards and higher miles per gallon because we need to save the globe. They are expecting private industry to put up with their laws, they are not going to cost anything, they are going to create jobs, new green jobs. Why are they doing that? So they can take transportation, they can take energy. They have already got the financial. Now they are coming for you, John McCain. I'm going to bail out every mortgage in America and now they are coming for you.
VOICE: Because they want you living in these slums and paying the kind of rent he decides. Joe, have you forgotten what he charged you for that broken down shack? Here, yeah, you know, you remember last year when things weren't going so well and you couldn't make your payments? Well, you didn't lose your house, did you? You think Potter would have let you keep it? Can't you understand what's happening here? Don't you see what's happening? Potter isn't selling. Potter's buying. And why? Because we're panicky and he's not. That's why. He is picking up some bargain. We can get through this thing all right. We've got to stick together, though. We've got to have faith in each other.
VOICE: But my husband hasn't worked in over a year and I need money.
GLENN: Stop. Again the average American. "I've lost my job. We'll make it if we stick together." Mr. Potter wants you to live in his slums. Have you forgotten what government housing is like? Anyone who's lived in a socialist country, tell me about your healthcare. Have you forgotten what that healthcare is like? Have you forgotten what it's like when you don't get your teeth fixed? Who is George Bailey? You are George Bailey. Remind everyone you know, it's a wonderful life.