Carol Roth, former investment banker and author of ‘The War On Small Business,’ joins Glenn to answer his latest questions regarding the economy: Are we in a recession, despite what the White House claims? At what point do the Fed’s interest rate hikes become dangerous? And how are we expected to bring down inflation when interest rates continue to climb? Plus, Roth explains why she believes Democrats' desire to spend millions more to fight climate change shows they don't care about our current economy: 'They're doing this on PURPOSE.'
Below is a rush transcript that may contain errors
GLENN: Oh, man. There have been so many things that have been going on this week. I wanted to bring Carol Roth on. She was the author of the war on small business. She is a former investment banker. And she speaks the language of the common man. And she cares more about Main Street than Wall Street. She's here to try to help me make sense of what happened this week. Hi, Carol. How are you?
CAROL: Hey, Glenn. Great to be with you. Happy Friday.
GLENN: Thank you. Happy Friday to you. Okay. So I have several things to ask you. Let's see if we can tick these out for a minute. And if you can add things beyond this, I would love to hear it. We're two quarters now. Two quarters of contraction. They're trying to say, that that's -- that's not a recession. That is a recession. Correct?
CAROL: Glenn, I told you and your listeners about this months ago, I predicted this is what's going to happen. Because the group that is charged with officially declaring recessions. The National Bureau of Economic Research, or NBER, gives themselves latitude intentionally, of course, they're going to. They can't have political spin. They can't extract a fee, if we can just all look at the data, and go, oh, obviously, this is a recession. Despite all of that, we all in the financial media, in the economic predicting realm. Everybody colloquially agrees, that two quarters of economic contraction is recession. Because if you have something that doesn't have a definition, people can't understand it. There's no way to create any policy around it. You can't just have something that completely has no definition.
GLENN: Correct, correct.
CAROL: So, yes. There is latitude. And that is why I predicted, given that latitude that they would do exactly what they're doing now.
GLENN: So the other thing that happened this week. So we had the announcement, we're in a recession. Increased the rate 75 basis points. So we're up to 22.5, or 2.5, right?
CAROL: Yeah. And --
GLENN: At what point, does this become a stall of the engine?
Do we have any idea at what point it starts to get dangerous, or are we already there?
CAROL: So if you believe the sort of economic theory that, you know, 2 percentish is the neutral rate that -- if everything expands, that 2 percent, and the fed fund rate. 2 percent is their target neutral rate, then we're just around neutral right now. And it shouldn't be that much of a concern. Frankly, we had an artificially depressed set of fed funds rates for a variety of reasons. And so bringing that to a normalized level isn't that bad. To get down the inflation, that they have caused, they probably need to bring it up, a little bit more.
GLENN: Yeah. But I do think, that if we start seeing something that has, what we fancy people call a four handle on it. Where it's 4 percent or higher. Get out of the three range. Then that's why you're going to start seeing people freaking out. And having a major impact on the economy.
GLENN: But is -- I'm old enough to remember Volcker. And we had 18, 19 percent interest rates. And that was just from the inflation that we -- that we had Jimmy Carter. That was nothing like this inflation. How are we expected to bring inflation down, with two, four, five, 10 percent inflation? Or, I mean, 10 percent interest rates.
CAROL: Well, here's the reality, that the fed's tools aren't going to fix some of the issues. I mean, we have a supply and demand imbalance. So unless the fed can stop printing money. And printing oil, and printing food. They're not going to fix those areas. The only thing they can do is completely jam up the economy so bad, that we're in a massive recession, and everybody is reporting their money. And that's how those supply and demand metrics are coming together. And they're really focused on the demand side, not the supply side. What we need to be focused on is how do we get more supply in these areas, so that we balance that out from the supply side, not the demand side.
GLENN: It's a Rudyard world. A poem that came a few years ago. And the line that came to mind, we had plenty of money, but nothing our money could buy. So help me out. We're fighting inflation. We can't do it really effectively, like Volcker did. Because it would just choke us to death. And then Manchin comes in. And we change Build Back Better, into something called the Inflation Reduction Act. How can you spend an additional $700 billion and reduce inflation?
GLENN: I -- yeah. This is like -- I might get a little agro here. This is making me so angry. Because western going to throw a parade for Joe Manchin. He was the one that stopped build back broke. He was the one that saved us from even more inflation. Taking inflation to hyperinflation. Now, when we're all really happy about them keeping praise upon him. He is backtracking. And so they're like, we're going to go spend a bunch of money, to spend inflation. But the reality, Chuck Schumer came out and he said it, this is green new deal-lite. This is about spending new money on their climate hopes. Instead of fighting inflation. He put it out there, in a tweet on Twitter that I responded to. They're saying the quiet part out loud. They don't care. This is what they're trying to do.
And this is why we have, Glenn, I'm calling it, The Great Resettion. So a Recession -- the Great Recession was from the financial crisis. This is from your wonderful book. The Great Reset. This is The Great Resettion. This is intentional, they're doing this to us, on purpose.
GLENN: Yeah. Yeah. It is incredible, that even John Kerry came out and said, we have to do this. We're going to have to spend billions. If not trillions of dollars on this. And that in the end, will be anti-inflationary. And it's like, that doesn't make any sense. That's worse than common correspond math.
CAROL: And they've been wrong on everything.
CAROL: These are the people that told us, there's no inflation. They told us the way to fix crime was defund the police. They were wrong on covid. They've been wrong on everything, including the energy transition, that's affecting us not only here. But in Europe. And now all of a sudden, we're saying, oh, you're going to do this by spending more money? I mean, it is just -- basically, Congress is just theater and money laundering at this point.
GLENN: So correct me if I'm wrong, historically speaking. Volcker, when he made the tough decision. He made the tough decision, to hurt the American economy, to save the dollar. And to save the world's reserve currency. And so he had some credibility. I have been worried, ever since TARP, that the world is going to despise us. Because we have -- we have destroyed the currency. Which is destroying the economies of everyone in the world. So we can not suffer. That's what we've been doing. When I heard Joe Biden say yesterday, well, inflation, but, you know, there's inflation all over the world. I thought, yes. Because they hold our dollar.
Are we not causing the inflation in Germany and every place else? Are we not the root of that problem?
CAROL: I think the central bankers in Europe and Japan and some other areas, can share some of the credit. But here's the amazing thing. And you're so spot-on about Volcker. You know, back when we really were this world reserve currency, and we had somebody like Volcker who was trying to do the right thing. We had a dilemma. We talked about this before. Where you have to make a decision. Do you make decisions based on keeping the world currency stable for the -- the world, or do you make decisions based on what's right for the United States? Incredibly, we have done neither. We have destroyed the value of the dollar.
CAROL: And the purchasing power here in the US. And we also created a horrible situation for everybody around the world. So nobody is happy. And so, yes. We're having an inflationary issue across the world. And now, because of all these other central banks and the strong dollar, we also have a potential debt issue, in the emerging markets. Because all of not only their commodities, but their debt is dollar denominated.
GLENN: Last -- last thing I have on my list, is we had some inflation numbers today.
But it's not the CPI. The Consumer Price Index, which is at 9.1, I think. It's something else. And I think it is -- shoot. I had it written down.
CAROL: The PC?
STU: The employer cost.
GLENN: Yeah. Employer cost index is what that was. What is that one?
CAROL: So this is a subcomponent, that's not really one of the core ways that they look at inflation. It's more of an indicator that's stuck in the middle of other indicators.
But the ones that we're most focused on are the CPI, which is sort of the one that the headline. The consumers focused on. The one that the fed is most focused on is the PCE. Which is the personal consumption expenditures. And that's a different read. And, no surprise, that's much lower.
GLENN: And hang on. Hang on just a second.
That's the one that they're raising the interest rates, and doing all these things, to discourage us from buying things. Right? They need us to slow down the velocity of money. Correct?
CAROL: I don't know what they're doing. Because they're trying to get us to, quote, unquote, like you said, slow down the velocity of money. Slow down spending. Cool demands. But the government is out spending money to everybody in the world, and spending more. So I honestly have no idea what they're doing. But, yes. Theoretically, that's what they're doing. But the PCE number is what the fed is going to be focused on. It is many percentage points lower than the CPI. So as that comes down, you know, in tandem, you're not going to need to see the CPI at three or four, for them to feel like what they're going to do. And this is the crazy thing. The Wall Street Journal. Every month, they go out and they interview economists. More than half the economists think that by the end of next year, that the fed is going to be cutting rates again.
GLENN: I know. I read that --
CAROL: So this is --
GLENN: I thought that's insane.
CAROL: It is. This is all a game. And they think that they know what they're doing. But the reality of what they're doing, is they're creating these boom and bust cycles, that benefit the wealthy and well-connected. That wash out the average connector. And transfer wealth from Main Street to Wall Street. This is all they're doing. And we have to stop them.
GLENN: Right. It is amazing. I look at this chip thing, that they spent what, another $250 billion on it. That is corporate welfare. So that is taking our tax dollars and giving it to these giant corporations. I saw that, and I thought, all they're right now, is impoverishing the little person. The person on Main Street. Paying the taxes. They're making it so we don't have any purchasing power. We can't -- we can't go anywhere. Because of the gas. We can't do anything. We'll start to lose our houses. We'll start to default on our loans and our cars. They'll be fine with it. And the government is now saying, I'm your consumer. So you businesses, you do what I say. Because I'm going to be buying. Isn't that what's happening?
CAROL: Absolutely. It's the barbelling of the classes. You're going to have the complete hollowing out of the middle class and the working class. And we've seen this throughout history before. You know, at the late stages of empires, this is what happens. Where you get that wealth, that's concentrated. In fewer and fewer hands. And then you have everybody else is poor. And nobody else is in the middle. And that's exactly with my reaction. When I saw this. Not to see, that we don't need to compete with China. But these are very wealthy companies.
GLENN: But you lessen the red tape. You just lessen the red tape.
CAROL: Thank you. Thank you. Yes. Because they're just giving more corporate welfare. And, by the way, the Elizabeth Warrens in the world, who stand up, and say, bad corporations, they're all going along with this. It's bizarro world.
GLENN: Carol, thank you so much. I really appreciate all your work on this. And keeping us informed. You can follow her on Twitter. Carol J. -- Carol J.S. Roth. Or you can go to CarolRoth.com, and she's a writer, and working on a new book, that I'm very excited about. You should announce that at some point. But she's also -- she also writes for TheBlaze.com. And is a frequent guest on this program. Thank you so much, Carol. I appreciate it.
CAROL: Have a wonderful week, Glenn.