• This is a rush transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," January 17, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

    NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Meanwhile, some very choice words today from Donald Trump about the economy and how the Fed chief is handling it.

    I caught up with the Donald just a short time ago.

    Take a look.


    CAVUTO: Ben Bernanke today saying that there is a slowdown in the economy. He seems to be poised to cut rates. He sounded a tad more alarmed than he did when he spoke to Congress a few months ago.

    What do you think of the state of the economy?

    DONALD TRUMP, CHAIRMAN & CEO, TRUMP HOTELS & CASINO RESORTS: Well, I think the economy is terrible. I think we are absolutely in a recession.


    CAVUTO: In a recession now?

    TRUMP: Oh, I think we're absolutely — how can people say we are not in a recession? It's incredible.

    And the problem with Ben Bernanke is that he is way behind the curve. He should be ahead of the curve. And now he is coming out and saying, well, maybe I will this, and maybe I will that, and maybe the economy is not as good as we thought.

    The economy is terrible. If you look at the economy, other than oil, nothing is going up. What is going up? Now, food is going up a little bit because they are making oil out of our — what used to be our wheat and our other products, which is a whole crazy thing in itself.

    But, essentially, unless it is oil-related, what's going up? So, we don't have to worry about — in terms of what we're doing, we don't have to worry about inflation. We have to worry about a recession and maybe worse. We're absolutely in a recession. And the problem is...

    CAVUTO: We have got 5 percent unemployment. We still have corporate profits. They're off from where they were. We still have the highest productivity on Earth.

    And you have been through many recessions.

    TRUMP: That's right.


    CAVUTO: ... certainly worse than this period, right?

    TRUMP: But, Neil, I know when I am in a recession.

    You know, I think 1990...

    CAVUTO: What makes you know it? What do you feel and see?

    TRUMP: Because I am in the real estate business. And I'm lucky that I'm in Manhattan. And I am just saying, I wonder when it hits Manhattan, to be honest with you, because how can it be that Manhattan is stronger than ever, and everything else is dead?

    CAVUTO: So, you just think it is a matter of time for Manhattan?

    TRUMP: Personally, I think it is a matter of time.

    CAVUTO: Really?

    TRUMP: I mean, when Merrill Lynch lays off four million people, and when Citibank lays off a trillion people, I mean, look at the numbers. I mean, they're talking — certainly — and I am speaking against myself, but it doesn't make any difference to me, because it gives you buying opportunities.

    The fact is, I think Manhattan certainly will be affected at some point. But, outside of Manhattan, it is — it's a depression in real estate. Now, I am talking real estate. But I see other things also. And I see a lot of weak signs.

    The problem with Ben is that he should have been ahead of curve. He should have been cutting interest rates six months ago more than he did, not now, after he sees what is happening.

    CAVUTO: So, if you were Ben Bernanke now, regardless of what you cut, it isn't enough, and it's too late?

    TRUMP: Well, I would say that — well, there's nothing you can do. He missed a great opportunity. He could have been a leader. Instead, he's a follower. And I would cut it a point.

    CAVUTO: A point?

    TRUMP: Yes, I would cut it 100 basis points.

    CAVUTO: in one meeting?

    TRUMP: In one meeting. I would cut it 100 basis points. I think it's going to end being...

    CAVUTO: Do you ever want to take a pay cut and be Fed chairman?

    TRUMP: I would be great.

    But I think it would be — in my opinion, he's going to go down 175 basis points. I think that's what it's going to be. I think that is what it should be.

    CAVUTO: Over the course of, what, like a year or so?

    TRUMP: In fact, I watched somebody from Goldman Sachs being interviewed, and they were saying 175 basis points. I happen to agree with that.