Next Economic Surprise From President Obama?

This is a rush transcript from "Glenn Beck," April 29, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GLENN BECK, HOST: We're going to look at the 100 days and I want to start with the economy. What can we expect from the next 3 1/2 years or so?

What about nationalization of G.M. and Chrysler, and expanded ownership of U.S. banks?

Walt Zimmerman, vice president of United I-CAP.

How are you, Walt?

WALT ZIMMERMAN, UNITED I-CAP: Great. Good to be here.

BECK: You know it's an emergency.

ZIMMERMAN: Yes, I've heard.


BECK: A really bad banking emergency and everything else.


BECK: Is it better or worse or about the same? Have we made in 100 days, have we made it better or worse or about the same?

ZIMMERMAN: Well, I think what the government is trying to do here is boost confidence. There may have been no substantial changes but I think there is a better feeling, a higher consumer confidence for now — a temporary vacation until things turn down again.

Video: Watch Beck's interview

BECK: So, what you're saying — so what you're saying is — do you know Chernobyl?


BECK: A town of Chernobyl?


BECK: Do you know that's one spooky place, it's like nobody is around?


BECK: It's a ghost town.


BECK: So, they play like really happy music. It's kind of like that.

ZIMMERMAN: Well, you know, it's funny. Warren Buffett has said this whole thing is a "financial Pearl Harbor." I think he's got the analogy wrong. This is the financial Chernobyl. The half-life of this problem is going to go on and on and on and on.

BECK: You're exactly right.

ZIMMERMAN: And these stress tests...

BECK: It's not an event — it's not just one event.

ZIMMERMAN: No. It's an unfolding, continuing debacle and deflation of housing prices that's driving the unemployment...

BECK: Walt, let me — let me translate: What he's saying here, folks, it's an emergency, just in case you didn't know!


BECK: OK. So, tell me about — because I haven't — I mean, I don't see anybody talking on television or anything. I don't see anybody going, "I don't think the car companies are going to make good cars if Barney Frank is in charge, along with the unions."

ZIMMERMAN: I think what they're deathly afraid about — of is another wave of unemployment to continue the deflationary spiral. So, they're not thinking — is this a good idea to keep G.M. alive? They're thinking — well, how do we prevent another tidal wave of unemployment?

BECK: OK. Walt, look, for you do for a living — if I'm not mistaken...


BECK: You do — you're an analytical guy, you just look at all the numbers.


BECK: And you look at trends in the numbers.


BECK: And you say, "OK, this is what's coming," right?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes. Right.

BECK: So, the stress test is...

ZIMMERMAN: Is a joke.

BECK: Thank you for saying that.

ZIMMERMAN: It's the most stress-free stress test I've ever seen. First of all, they're asking them to test for unemployment levels that have already been reached and they're asking them to test for the most mild- mannered of continuing housing decline. Their worst case-scenario for the stress test, a drop of 25 percent in housing values by 2010. Well, that's....


ZIMMERMAN: We're already to the unemployment levels they're testing for. And the 14 percent drop in housing prices, they're saying this year. Well, this is not going to end this year. This is going to go into 2010, 2011, 2012, before we get any kind of relief. They're not testing for...

BECK: You're bumming me out, bald man. You're really bumming me out.

ZIMMERMAN: Well, you know what? This is like...


ZIMMERMAN: This is — a teacher puts together a test to ensure that all her students pass, so she looks good. And then, even despite that...

BECK: But they don't pass.

ZIMMERMAN: Exactly. They don't pass. What do they do? Suddenly, the results are secret. Oh, we can't really release the results now. We're going to release on Friday. But now, you know what — we can't release them.

Why can't they release them? Why is this not public? Why do it if you're not going to release it? I think because they got worse results.

BECK: But what they're doing — what they're going to do now is, because the American people — maybe they don't, well, we're going to talk in the last part of the show about what the American people are doing and what we should do.

But I think anybody sane in this country go, "You know what, I think we should stop borrowing from the Chinese that we're never going to be able to pay back and give it to banks."


BECK: So, what they're going to do is they're going to take the stock that we have that we were promised was going to turn out into a good investment — where it's the kind of stock, it's preferred shares, so, it's the kind that if you — correct me if I'm wrong — if you — if they go bankrupt, we're the first in line to get paid, right? Or one of the first?

ZIMMERMAN: Assuming there's anything left to divvy up.

BECK: Just — don't harsh my mellow, Walt.


BECK: OK. Let's just say we live in a sunshine and lollipops world.


BECK: That there is something left.


BECK: OK? What do you do? It's like talking to a guy who wrote "The Road." Geez, man. OK, be a little happy.


BECK: All right. So, there's something like — what they're doing is they're taking those shares and saying, "You know what, we'll just convert these to common stock, which has no guarantees, nothing."


BECK: And gives us even more control — not us, meaning you and me.


BECK: Barney Frank and Chris Dodd.


BECK: It gives them more control.

ZIMMERMAN: Well, I don't know if the government even wants this. I just think they're reacting. They're struggling. They don't see — well, what can we do next? They're even not thinking ahead, I think, enough to have a conspiracy at work here. I think it's barely reactive.

BECK: Do you remember when you were young and naive?


BECK: And really...

ZIMMERMAN: Yes. And government was good and the skies were blue.

BECK: You don't — you don't think that they — you don't think that there's a progressive kind of attitude of nationalization. Walt, I said two years ago on my program, they are going to — they're going to nationalize our financial sector.


BECK: They're going to nationalize our manufacturing sector, and they are going to nationalize our transportation and energy.

Well, we're damn near there, man.

ZIMMERMAN: Yes, we are, but you know, I almost think nationalizing would be a little better, because right now you are propping up these banks. You got a zombie bank. It walks and talks but it doesn't lend, because they are so scared to death to do anything.

At least, if you nationalize, then maybe you'll break it up into pieces, you sell to successful banks, they start lending again.

This halfway solution doesn't seem to be any kind of solutions at all.

BECK: What do you think if — you know, because they were talking about good banks and bad banks, which I barely understand, but what do they think about taking the car companies and breaking them up into good car companies and bad car companies?

ZIMMERMAN: Well, you're going to end up one category basically; you're going to have three bad car companies out of Detroit. And I think the problem with the car companies here is the American public is so used to getting bad products out of the Detroit.

BECK: I don't think that's true.

ZIMMERMAN: I think there's a lingering kind of revenge here, like this is a get-even opportunity.

BECK: But who is paying for the — who's paying for the legacy payments now to the unions? Am I on the hook as a taxpayer for the union pension?

ZIMMERMAN: Well, I hope not. What I think would be the best way out here is either a pre-packaged bankruptcy or Chapter 11, where they're forced to deal with the fact that...

BECK: They said that we couldn't do that.

ZIMMERMAN: Well, they may have no option. The way things are going, if they don't start cutting deals, that may be the only way out here.

BECK: It's an emergency.


BECK: All right. Walt, it's always great to see you.

ZIMMERMAN: Hey, great to see you.

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