Green Room

NBC’s Brian Williams: “The world has no money and the emperor has no clothes.”

posted at 1:30 pm on May 7, 2010 by

Last night, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams talked to Dave Letterman about yesterday’s mini-plunge on Wall Street:

Williams noted the reports that attributed the afternoon free-fall to trader error and program trading, but correctly added that these were only the sparks to a larger pile of dry tinder. Traders were glued to the televised rioting in Greece over that country’s debt crisis, which may be followed by similar crises in countries like Spain and Portugal.

The establishment press, including USA Today and even the Los Angeles Times, are waking up to the fact that America’s unsustainable entitlement programs and bloated public employee pensions put us on the path to the sort of fiscal crisis we see in Europe today. Indeed, we are far closer to Greece’s spending levels than many think, though our demographics are less disastrous.

As Williams ultimately put it (quoting Neil Cavuto), “the dirty little secret is: the world has no money and the emperor has no clothes.” To paraphrase Margaret Thatcher, “the problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.” If European street riots — and their impact on our markets — bring this point home to someone like Williams (who left college to work for Pres. Jimmy Carter), it’s a good sign for the Republic. Sadly, Williams has yet to identify the Naked Emperor, but HOPE springs eternal.

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I’m sure that went right over Letterman’s head.

rockmom on May 7, 2010 at 1:36 PM

Doesn’t matter what Williams is saying right now — come 2012, Obama could be touting fixing the economy by heavy government investment in Powerball and MeagaMillions tickets, and the big media types will still consider that a more viable alternative to whatever the Republican nominee is proposing.

jon1979 on May 7, 2010 at 2:09 PM

Williams noted the reports that attributed the afternoon free-fall to trader error and program trading, but correctly added that these were only the sparks to a larger pile of dry tinder.

And that pile ain’t getting any smaller.

Dark-Star on May 7, 2010 at 3:43 PM

I would think, by the sheer fact he said this at all, we should just glean, and assume who “the emperor” is he’s speaking of.

Let’s face hard facts here. What good is pandering to a president via the news, when eventually even they will be without jobs. If there’s no money, there’s no money, and if the economy goes, so goes the press with it.

I pray every day, that they wake up, and see the light. If they want to be liberal…fine. But not at the expense of truth, integrity, honesty, and their country.

capejasmine on May 7, 2010 at 3:43 PM

If they want to be liberal…fine. But not at the expense of truth, integrity, honesty, and their country.

capejasmine on May 7, 2010 at 3:43 PM

You can’t square that circle, sorry. To be liberal, you *must* sacrifice some amount of truth, integrity, honesty and country.

Midas on May 7, 2010 at 4:16 PM

Fun fact: Italy, one of the PIIGS, owes France $511 billion ~20% of France’s annual GDP.

agmartin on May 7, 2010 at 5:09 PM

NBC??????

Did GE finally figure out that backing the anti-capitalists was a poor strategic move?

Duh….

percysunshine on May 7, 2010 at 10:52 PM

Sadly, Williams has yet to identify the Naked Emperor, but HOPE springs eternal.

clevah! George Bush?

Buy Danish on May 8, 2010 at 8:23 AM

Are the Lame Stream media waking up to what Tea Party people and Sarah Palin have been screaming about for the past 2 or 3 years(at least)? …..Naw they will find a way out and go back to cheer leading for Obummer.

Herb on May 8, 2010 at 9:18 AM

These creatures must be realizing that they themselves are going to HURT in a big way along with the rest of us, that their own lil rescue boat is not waiting for them. I wonder how these tools-fools are going to feel when they realize that the rest of us are going to hold them accountable when they can’t get off the island cause the elitist ship set sail without them.

Keemo on May 8, 2010 at 9:28 AM

Of Course we have to raise taxes. Otherwise we will be just like Greece, there will be riots in the streets when all those public employees unions start breaking windows.

So we have to raise taxes on the rich. That’s why the rest of us are so poor, the rich have stolen all the money.

/clue

Skandia Recluse on May 8, 2010 at 9:35 AM

Video doesn’t work. I just get a black box when clicking on it.

Thought it might be ABP blocking something, so I turned it off. Nope, still a black box.

Anyone else getting this?

wearyman on May 8, 2010 at 9:39 AM

Disabled NoScript too. No change.

Looks busted to me.

Oh well.

wearyman on May 8, 2010 at 9:41 AM

Working here on my machine…

Keemo on May 8, 2010 at 10:00 AM

The establishment press, including USA Today and even the Los Angeles Times, are waking up to the fact that America’s unsustainable entitlement programs and bloated public employee pensions put us on the path to the sort of fiscal crisis we see in Europe today.

My Gosh, haven’t they ever read a history book about the failures of socialism? Are these the types that have to get bit playing with a rattler to know that it isn’t a good thing to do?

Don L on May 8, 2010 at 10:05 AM

NBC’s Brian Williams: “The world has no money and the emperor has no clothes.”

If only the MFM would take off their rose colored blinders and report what the rest of us know. Obama is an empty suit.

redridinghood on May 8, 2010 at 10:12 AM

It’s hard to have a great deal of optimism when even a large segment of the commentary here at HA seem not to get it. It’s amazing to me that those who see the reality of the coming collapse here are often (not always) labeled as survival/food storage/run-for-the-hills nuts.

melachiro on May 8, 2010 at 10:33 AM

My Gosh, haven’t they ever read a history book about the failures of socialism? Are these the types that have to get bit playing with a rattler to know that it isn’t a good thing to do?

Don L on May 8, 2010 at 10:05 AM

The first lesson of history is that we always forget the lessons of history.

ZenDraken on May 8, 2010 at 10:47 AM

Two moles in my backyard stopped digging and it appeared that they were chatting with one another. I think they had the same conversation as Dave and Brian had.

ericdijon on May 8, 2010 at 10:51 AM

This Nigel Farage (MEP/UKIP) video from 2009 on the Euro-zone and Greece deserves very wide attention:

he predicted Greece would bring the whole euro sham down.

reliapundit on May 8, 2010 at 10:57 AM

Williams is an idiot. He just mouths the last thing someone put into his head.

chris999 on May 8, 2010 at 11:14 AM

Well its not Barry’s fault. He inherited the huge deficit from the previous regime. We are assured Healthcare Reform will reduce spending. The Stimulus is a temporary measure to deal with the deep problems in the economy that were hidden from candidate Barry. It really is an investment in our children and future, so the dividends it will surely pay will offset an transient costs.

Oh, and a VAT will fix all of our funding issues for all time. It won’t be such a big deal because the infrastructure will already be in place thanks to Healthcare Reform – see the strange 1099 requirement on businesses.

deadman on May 8, 2010 at 11:47 AM

No nation has ever been taxed into prosperity. The world is out of peters to rob. Paul isn’t going to be paid and it isn’t going to be pretty.

Inanemergencydial on May 8, 2010 at 11:58 AM

Here is the crux of the problem: people have forgotten that money is merely a medium of exchange. If you have no money it means that you have nothing to exchange. America will be mired in this eonomic mess until it starts to produce something to exchange. Cut the EPA to a tenth of its size, do away with environmental impact statements, severely reduce land-use regulations and put draconian limitations on environment lawsuits. Let’s build. Let’s produce.

lonesomecharlie on May 8, 2010 at 12:43 PM

Disabled NoScript too. No change.

Looks busted to me.

Oh well.

wearyman on May 8, 2010 at 9:41 AM

Shift + refresh

Chaz706 on May 8, 2010 at 12:52 PM

Here is the crux of the problem: people have forgotten that money is merely a medium of exchange. If you have no money it means that you have nothing to exchange. America will be mired in this eonomic mess until it starts to produce something to exchange. Cut the EPA to a tenth of its size, do away with environmental impact statements, severely reduce land-use regulations and put draconian limitations on environment lawsuits. Let’s build. Let’s produce.

lonesomecharlie on May 8, 2010 at 12:43 PM

Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes.

There’s only two things in this world worth a damn:

Goods that we can use on a productive basis: I’m being incredibly loose with this term. Anything you can eat or use falls in this category.

OR

The technology and tools required to create these goods: this would be what fancy pants economists would call ‘capital goods’.

Everything else is secondary to those two purposes.

We have built this nation on being the financial capital of the world… but the only thing we’re producing is many different ways of moneychanging. Nothing of value in and of itself, just ways of moving money.

Now financial services in any economy is well good and necessary. You need to have some way to invest in the next big thing that will drive either goods or capital goods. BUT this sector of the economy prior to the 50’s was never more than 5-10 percent of the total economy. Now it’s 30-40 percent of the US economy….

…and when it went down the tubes, it just about destroyed everything else.

We need to produce or die.

Chaz706 on May 8, 2010 at 12:56 PM

But we have a printing press……..

Yakko77 on May 8, 2010 at 1:30 PM

I blame Bush.

rogersnowden on May 8, 2010 at 4:19 PM

My Gosh, haven’t they ever read a history book about the failures of socialism? Are these the types that have to get bit playing with a rattler to know that it isn’t a good thing to do?

Don L on May 8, 2010 at 10:05 AM

Liberalism is a psychological disorder and most of it’s adherents are insane.

They are proof that Einstein was right when he said “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. Socialism in its myriad of forms (Communism/Marxism/Maoism/Fascism, etc.) has always failed and has destroyed everything it touches. Keynesian economics has always failed, too, leaving destroyed economies and impoverishes everyone but the oligarchs who push it onto a country.

The Corruptocrat party is dominated by Marxist totalitarians who think the Keynesian economic model works. By Einstein’s definition they are all insane.

Nahanni on May 8, 2010 at 4:21 PM

Sadly, Williams has yet to identify the Naked Emperor, but HOPE springs eternal.

Don’t get your hopes up, Karl. Unless he can pin it on Bush/Cheney, teabaggers, and obstructionist Republican’s in congress who do not see the genius of B.H. Obama, the emperor name shall not be spoken.

simkeith on May 8, 2010 at 5:38 PM

Just a silly aside, but what is it with those purple ties that so many in the O-administration (and now even Williams) are wearing? Is it some dog whistle that I am not getting?

Bernanke is always touted as an “expert” on the Great Depression, but I wonder if the policies that he pushes are those that create or prolong a monetary depression.

Anyone with even minimal powers of observation could see the sorry state of the EU’s and GB’s economy for years. All of the goodies provided by socialist policies have led to double-digit unemployment, multiple generations of handout dependency, and totally absent national security.

The fact that O-care was even on the agenda in our legislature with all of the object lessons of other countries’ bankrupty and shabby health delivery and the financial difficulties in those states in our own country that tried to deliver guaranteed care is an indication that the leadership in America has its head in the sand. Nationalized healthcare-insurance legislation should be rescinded not only because the mandate is unconstitutional but because it is unsustainable.

If our state and federal government did nothing more than address cutting personnel and duplication of services, we would be ahead of the game.

The unspent remainder of the “stimulous” fund should go back into the treasury. And we should wean the government away from its takeover of Fannie, Freddie, AIG, and the automotive industry.

I agree with lonesomecharlie and Chaz706. We need to encourage and unhamper the producers. Government produces nothing, and it needs to be trimmed deeply. The public sector, especially that which is protected via unions, needs deep cuts.

onlineanalyst on May 8, 2010 at 5:38 PM

When a committee (yet another in the O-admin) is formed to address the deficit and seek solutions and when the sham committee includes former SEIU president Andy Stern as a member, I have no HOPE that any answer to an imminent collapse is on the way. We have elected representatives in Congress who should be answerable for developing coherent and responsible budgets.

onlineanalyst on May 8, 2010 at 5:45 PM

It’s hard to have a great deal of optimism when even a large segment of the commentary here at HA seem not to get it. It’s amazing to me that those who see the reality of the coming collapse here are often (not always) labeled as survival/food storage/run-for-the-hills nuts.

melachiro on May 8, 2010 at 10:33 AM

Not speaking of anyonehere, but the leftists I know are very Pollyanna about the whole thing. They are constantly going on about how things are getting better.

They really think things will get back to the way they used to be. What’s more, they think this is because of Obama!

Even those who are unemployed and can’t find jobs are sure the whole thing is turning around.

I will be very surprised if things turn out the way they confidently expect them to.

Alana on May 8, 2010 at 7:57 PM

Sadly, Williams has yet to identify the Naked Emperor, but HOPE springs eternal.

Himself and the rest of the leftist elites? Obama is just the culmination of empty-headed leftist politics… he is more a symbol than a man at this point.

A symbol of everything wrong with our society who thinks appearances matter more than substance.

But hey opinion polls show that Europeans think we are great now we have a naked man running the country.

petunia on May 10, 2010 at 2:28 AM

Eventually we’ll envy the Greeks – because, even though our economy will be in just as much trouble, at least in Greece you can get a decent gyro just about anywhere.

Ward Cleaver on May 10, 2010 at 2:34 PM