Transcript: Replacing a Legend

This is a partial transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," October 24, 2005, that was edited for clarity.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Fed head Alan Greenspan — don't let the door hit you in the Bernanke. The markets seemingly love your successor. But how do the folks in corner offices feel? We thought we would gather some of the most prominent in the world, really.

In San Francisco, we have Richard Kovacevich. He is Wells Fargo (WFC) chairman and CEO. In New York, managing partner of InterMedia Partners and author of "It Takes a CEO," Leo Hindery. From the American Stock Exchange, Neal Wolkoff. Neal is its chairman and CEO. And, in Washington, the man who heads up the National Association of Manufacturers, former Michigan Governor John Engler.

Governor, to you first. The working class is feeling a whole lot of hurt — does this appointment make any difference to them?


I think Chairman Greenspan is a hard act to follow. That's been said all day long. But, I think, in Ben Bernanke, we have got someone who is going to, I think, continue on a very solid path. He is a growth-oriented economist.

I like that. Some of the things he has said in the past have shown a sensitivity to prices that are impacting consumers, that have an impact on manufacturing. He is pro-trade, which I think is good for the American economy. So, I think he is not only academically superbly talented, but I think, in the practice of his craft as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, all the work he has done on the Fed and as an adviser to the Fed, I think he is well-suited for the job.

CAVUTO: You have concerns, Leo.

LEO HINDERY, MANAGING PARTNER, INTERMEDIA PARTNERS: You know, I do have some concerns, Neil. And I want to give a man of this stature all the benefit of the doubt.

I would simply remind everybody that this is, legislatively, a nonpartisan position and that it's very important that this new chair not be the next Harriet Miers that comes out of a friendship born with the president.

CAVUTO: Well, Alan Greenspan was sort of partisan. He was a former CEA for Gerald Ford when Reagan chose him, right?

HINDERY: Yes. But I think that was a different era. That was when politics weren't worn so obviously on one's sleeve.

I'm a little concerned by his comments just a couple of weeks ago, Neil, that he is not concerned about the deficit. I'm mightily concerned. He seems to profess a non-concern about the trade imbalance. And I'm very concerned about that.

We do have to reform health care. It's the greatest tax on American workers possible. And so I want a chair that's going to go into this thing with a very open mind, a nonpartisan mind — and would just ask everybody to remember, this man is supposed to work for the country, not the administration.

CAVUTO: Richard, could I ask you, the idea of being stable to the markets: Is this guy stable to the markets for you?


I think he is a brilliant economist. He is highly regarded in academic circles. And he's had some good experience recently as a member of the Board of Governors and as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. I think the market is demonstrating that today.

CAVUTO: OK. That's exactly what we saw today. How long do you think it lasts? Or will they miss out?

KOVACEVICH: Well, I think it depends upon his policies going forward. But I don't think you are going to see a big change in policy from the Greenspan era. I mean, Chairman Greenspan has given us two decades of unprecedented growth, with record lows unemployment and inflation. And I think Bernanke will continue that policy.

CAVUTO: Neal, at the American Stock Exchange, do you think that the stock market continues to like this pick?

NEAL WOLKOFF, CHAIRMAN & CEO, AMERICAN STOCK EXCHANGE: Well, they sure liked it today. It's very hard to tell what the stock market will like tomorrow or the day after.

But, today, to me, it appeared that this was what moved the market. We saw all of the indices broadly higher. And all of that really followed the announcement.

CAVUTO: Indeed, we did.

WOLKOFF: So, I think the stock market is saying, this is a very obviously qualified person. He seems to bring stability. He brings ability. It's not Harriet Miers.

CAVUTO: Do you think he will be confirmed, Leo, your doubts notwithstanding?

HINDERY: I think he should be confirmed.


HINDERY: I think he has the academic standing to be confirmed. There is no ambiguity about his intellect. I think that the confirmation process should be a very open and broad one. I want to hear from him much more than inflation fighting.

CAVUTO: All right. Gentlemen, I want to thank you all.

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