This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," October 10, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Meanwhile, this is the scene in London, massive, massive protests today, these folks turning out to fight the bailout and scuffling with police. They are ticked off at the $86 billion the government there is spending to nationalize banks. And are they ever showing it. So, this is really like the capitalist Grey Poupon crowd.
Reaction now from Sir Richard Branson. The entrepreneur, founder of the Virgin Group joins me now. He has got a hot new book out. It's called "Business Stripped Bare."
Sir Richard, good to have you.
RICHARD BRANSON, CHAIRMAN & CEO, VIRGIN GROUP: Always good to be here.
• Video: Watch Neil's interview with Sir Richard Branson
CAVUTO: What is going on here? Can you envision a global panic on both sides because of all this?
BRANSON: I don't think so.
I don't think we're going to have sort of panic -- panics in the street. I certainly think people are going to be panicked in homes, and small businesses are going to be panicked, unless there is more action actually done by governments on a concerted effort to try to get some liquidity back into the system.
CAVUTO: All right.
What do they have to do this weekend, if you were advising them or looking for them to come up with something? And we should preface this, all the global financial ministers are coming to Washington this weekend. That's why we are live this weekend covering it. And they are trying to come up with a solution.
What should it be?
BRANSON: Well, I think that they have got to -- it sounds a bit boring, I think, to talk about it, but they have got to guarantee interbank lending, because what has happened is, when they have dropped the interest rates, none of that went to mortgage holders. None of that went to small businesses. It was really grabbed by banks. They just won't -- they won't let it go.
CAVUTO: But don't you find that, on the surface, just a tad scary?
BRANSON: I think, if they guarantee interbank lending, you will suddenly see a lot more liquidity in the system and...
CAVUTO: But you have got the bank in a supervisory role, so to say, between two institutions.
BRANSON: The alternative, I think, is -- is potentially a 1929...
CAVUTO: Do you really?
BRANSON: ... crash, yes.
CAVUTO: That people will just have a run on the banks and protests like this become even bigger?
I mean, there is a bank that people are talking about maybe going -- another bank, a big bank, going under over the next two or three days.
CAVUTO: In Europe, you're talking about? And you guys have had four such...
BRANSON: I'm talking about in America.
Now, I'm not going to name the name.
CAVUTO: Sure, I know what you're talking about.
BRANSON: But it...
CAVUTO: A lot of rumors.
BRANSON: A lot of major rumors. And once you have got -- you know, big bank and rumors, it's quite likely that that bank will disappear, because everybody will take their money out of it.
The other thing, I think, that the government should do is guarantee, like the Irish have done, all the deposited moneys in banks, because why would you leave your money in almost any bank at the moment?
CAVUTO: And keep it limitless, not only guarantee all the money; there is no limit on how much money...
I think, you know, why should charities, for instance, who might have a few million in the bank, have that money at risk at the moment? I mean, if I was a charity and I had a few million in the bank, I would move it to Ireland, where the government...
BRANSON: ... government guaranteed it.
CAVUTO: I have followed your career, from rags to riches. You became a billionaire without a single government program helping you.
And what I worry about -- you are the billionaire, but what I worry about is what impetus is there for future billionaires, if there is a backstop called the U.S. government, the British government, the Irish government, the German government, the European Union government? You know what I'm saying, that government now has a seat at the table, and a big seat, and we are paying for it.
I hate, absolutely loath the idea of bailing out anybody.
CAVUTO: Yes, but if you all loath it -- to a man, you all loath it, it's awful, but you all say, ah, you know?
BRANSON: But the trouble is, HBOS looked like it was going to go bankrupt in Europe.
So, Virgin Atlantic rings up HBOS. We have a billion pounds on deposit not really our money. It's our people who bought tickets, people who bought holiday. And we said, we want it out. We want to move it to another bank.
They said, well, we actually -- look at the small print. You can't have it out right now. And, now, fortunately, Lloyds bank made a bid for them, and we got our money out. But Virgin Atlantic may have disappeared if HBOS had gone.
CAVUTO: All right. But, horrible as that might have been, them there's the breaks.
BRANSON: With no fault of our own.
CAVUTO: No, I know. I know. And this happens all the time in unfettered capitalism. A lot of innocent people go down.
What I am wondering about is, to keep the others around, everyone else is paying for it. Yes, I know I'm not explaining this well, but we have become the world of big government. And that trend, A, it's expensive, right? And, B, who knows if it even works? We are spending a lot of money on a hunch.
BRANSON: Yes. I mean, the other alternative was just let the markets sort themselves out. And it would have been extremely painful.
CAVUTO: This has not exactly been a walk in the park.
BRANSON: No, I know, but I think that would have been a guaranteed 1929 crash. And we wouldn't have known where it would have ended up.
We could have seen 85 percent on the stock market written off, the same thing that happened in 1931, 1932, so, really something dramatic.
CAVUTO: So, they have to do something even more dramatic this weekend....
BRANSON: Well, we have a chance, I think, of saving a 1929, but I still think we are going to go back to like a Japanese situation, where people are going to be lucky to make 1 percent or 2 percent on their money, rather than this sort of 15 percent.
CAVUTO: Well, I guess it beats losing 30 to 40 percent.
BRANSON: Well, that is true.
CAVUTO: Richard Branson, "Business Stripped Bare" is the book, and a rags-to-riches story that now -- who knows -- look at this. Shameless. Shameless.
CAVUTO: We have standards on this show.
CAVUTO: Next time, I'm bringing my book.
CAVUTO: All right.
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