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March 17th, 2009
10:32 AM ET

Morning Buzz: Anderson in NOLA

A house in New Orleans being rebuilt with help from the St. Bernard Project.
A house in New Orleans being rebuilt with help from the St. Bernard Project.

Penny Manis
AC360° Senior Producer

Anderson travels to 5 cities in 5 days to report on the money meltdown that’s changing your life. He’ll tell you what the numbers really mean, where the jobs are, and explain how the President’s proposals affect YOU.

Last night many of you caught him in LA, and tonight he reports from New Orleans. Anderson has a story cooking that we are titling ‘Return to Volunteerism.’ He profiles a woman who is working with the St. Bernard Project, which is tasked with rebuilding homes for Katrina victims. This woman, despite financial issues of her own, helps with this project multiple times a year. She believes that in times of hardship, it is more important than ever to give back.

Sean Callebs has a story on money that FEMA gave the state, $75 million to be exact, for cottages to be built and house folks, but the Louisiana Recovery Authority has failed to use this cash for intended purposes. Watchdog groups worry this is what happens when bulk money from the government lands in the hands of state officials. Do they have trouble funneling it to priority projects? Sean will break it down for us.

We’ll be taking questions from the folks who show up to mill behind Anderson himself. While they want their 15 minutes of fame on TV, they will also be asking our Money Panel questions about the state of the economy, and many of their Q’s could echo your own.

The backlash is building coast to coast as bailed out insurance giant AIG hands out more than $160 million in bonuses to the executives who drove the insurance giant into the ground. President Obama indicated he will crack down, and one of his peeps on the WH Council of Economic Advisers said, “It’s almost like these guys (AIG) should have gotten the Nobel Prize for Evil.” What happens next w/AIG? We’ll be watching.

We hope you like our coverage! Tomorrow Anderson is in Detroit, Thursday in NYC, and Friday in Miami. Let us know if you have stories you’d like to see on our show this week! We are always open to your ideas. Have a great St. Patty’s Day, and see you tonight at 10pet!


Filed under: Penny Manis • Road to Rescue • The Buzz
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Neo

    In times like this so much attention is on the negative. That's a media ploy to make people feel like situations are worse then they are. Support businesses that are successful at this time. Profile them. Find out (like you are) about what businesses are hiring. People don't create recessions. Poor management, greed and some imbeciles in gov't create recessions. Let them be your focus and the blame. I liked that the focus was on AIG b/c people need to know what's going on there. Poor managed companies should fail. That's why it's so important to work for companies that are sustainable. Read their earnings and losses statements, do your homework, get out before it gets this bad. The media should remind people that they have these options. Stop focusing on the negative.

    March 18, 2009 at 4:03 am |
  2. Pat Britt

    What time, and location will the CNN crew be at on Wednesday in Detroit. Thank you.

    March 18, 2009 at 1:33 am |
  3. Annie Kate

    Good to see NOLA again and hear about the work there. I hope someone touches base with the Gettridges.

    I remember when Enron happened and Arthur Andersen Accounting went down the tubes with it. We thought that was the height of evil. It turns out to have just been the foothills. AIG has outdone them all. That company should have never been allowed to become as big as it is to where if it failed it took out everyone else. I hope we learn that lesson this time and that the government and regulatory agencies make sure it doesn't happen again.

    March 18, 2009 at 12:56 am |
  4. darrie

    fema should have used the $75m to build row or town houses, two story, with a narrow back yard and 1 car grage behind on an alley. with a common front yard for kids to play, with trees (that would eventualy matue). can't they think outside the box? single homes with a surrounding yard, no wonder they only have built one

    March 17, 2009 at 11:23 pm |
  5. Lillian

    Where exactly in Miami will Anderson be on Friday? I really want to be there. Thanks.

    March 17, 2009 at 11:14 pm |
  6. s.

    Is Anderson wearing green today?

    March 17, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  7. Eric From BC

    I always appreciate Anderson's honest and straightforward approach to the problems of the day and how they are affecting the ordinary man and woman. The systemic problems with our North American society did not start with the economic meltdown and the problems with our societies will not be easily overcome with stimulus packages. Only when we realize that we are one with the homeless and those who would cheat us out of our homes do we have a place to begin the dialogue. The problem is not AIG or the Madoff's of the world but with the ordinary citizen who stands idle and does not support those who would make the world and better place for all.

    March 17, 2009 at 3:04 pm |
  8. Isabel, Brazil

    Please, I want to know more about the St. Bernard Project.
    I made a search the website and I found it amazing the project – 11,000 volunteers, 195 houses completed and 30 built homes under construction.

    When I saw the photos of people who managed to have a home again, I was very exciting (with my eyes full of water).

    March 17, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  9. Robert S.

    Mexico putting tariffs on U. S. goods? How would Mexico survive if we close the border to all southbound traffic including mail and money transfers. Stop transfers with a Mexican address. The illegals would have to hand carry thier Illegally gotten gains back to Mexico.. That should improve the jobs market . If we stop illegals and drugs at the border the states would save billions in health care, education, and criminal prosicutions.

    March 17, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  10. Joanne Pacicca, Solvay, NY

    The only charity I can give is the offer to help someone that's fallen, give a shoulder to cry on...but I'm financially not capable of the kind of charity that involves giving away money.

    March 17, 2009 at 2:50 pm |
  11. Diane N.

    Pretty pathetic that all these billions are going to crooks and New Orleans is still struggling to be rebuilt, with hurricane season coming up those levees should have been on the top priority list for bailout. bar none.

    March 17, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  12. c,ca

    Will you have any info on Gov. Jindal's ploy to refuse some of the Stimulus money, and how that will affect the residents of New Orleans? Thanks.

    March 17, 2009 at 1:42 pm |
  13. KIm

    If you pass the bridge to know where,turn right on heart street !

    March 17, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  14. KIm

    The gifts we all recieve to give ! This story brings about awareness and touches your heart. We're looking for this road to recovery ,do you know where it is ? If you pass the bridge to know where, you've gone to far.

    March 17, 2009 at 12:36 pm |
  15. Sydney

    I watched "the road to recovery" last night and I found it to be very interesting. I am elated that CNN would take the time to become involved and have indepth reporting in several different cities. I hope that there will be more focus on each of the cities that Anderson visits and more job information for the people in those cities. It is always easier to be negative and find the faults. But, lets all provide some positive suggestions and help "the road to recovery" help all Americans! Keep up the good work CNN and thank you once again.

    March 17, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  16. Carless CARIN in crooked CANADA

    Maybe by the TIME I ever GOT to NOLA it will be rebuilt!!!!

    :)))))

    March 17, 2009 at 11:38 am |
  17. Kevin Donahoe

    Welcome back to New Orleans, Anderson, Penny and staff!!! We're always extremely appreciative of all of the publicity you can provide to the continuing struggles of the recovery of the region.

    The country has no ideas as to the massive scope of volunteerism which America has provided in the rebuilding of New Orleans. I'm guessing it is now in the hundreds of thousands of persons who have spent spring break, vacations and holidays giving of themselves to those of us affected by Katrina. There are thousands of others who have not been able to physically rebuild the city, but have sent money, clothing, building supplies and other items for our recovery.

    The United States spends billions of dollars annually on its military. I believe it would be a great idea as part of the military training young men and women receive is training on helping communities rebuild after disasters similar to Katrina. Servicepersons can be trained in construction, plumbing, electrical and other trades, then would be deployed to areas after disasters to assist in rebuilding. If this training had been in place prior to Katrina, then maybe all of the money spent on the Road Home, FEMA trailers, and other programs would have been significantly less for the tax payers of America.

    As far as volunteerism in rebuilding New Orlans, I'd be interested in learning how many persons obtained MRSA – the superbug. I volunteered to clean out some homes, then had my finger swollen. Doctors at several hospitals and clinics said the finger was sprained. After 1.5 years, I was diagnosed with MRSA. Several medical professionals in the area later said MRSA was rampant after the storm.

    Thank you all again for coming down to New Orleans! I'd be open to meeting you all at Domileses' for poorboys. :-)

    Kevin in Metairie

    March 17, 2009 at 11:08 am |
  18. earle,florida

    I'll try to be as brief as posible regarding AIG,and the $165ml bonuses to the,Exotic Derivatives[ (CDO's) Collatoralized Debt Obligation's] Unit" that all but underwrote the $40.5bn losses last (2008) year, nearly toppling AIG into bankruptcy. The treasury lawyers are well versed,and educated in the laws inacted to ward-off this on going debacle (preventive underwriting penalties) that seems undoable regarding the [ie.claw-backs] compensation congress is now talking about. In 2008 bonuses of $453.5ml were handed out with no public outrage,and now in 2009 bonuses of $165.5ml will also be doled out to 6,400 employees compared to a grand total of 116,000 employees worldwide. What's confusing is that 4,200 of the 6,400 bonused employees got the maximum (lion's share) share that AIG's $619ml. paid out in bonuses which equates to approx. $1.0ml each? I'm sorry to say but that's not alot of compensation for these people(I sense/feel the outrage) because we are dealing in Billions,and Trillions of dollars! It is important to realize that AIG's, "Derivatives Exposure" has dropped to $1.6tn from $2.7tn in less than a year,and their CDS's (Credit Default Swaps's) have been cut from $433bn to $302bn! These are fantastic results in my opinion ,in just one year. If my calculations are correct they should be in the black by early (Q4/2009) ,and that's good for the US Citizen's that bailed them out!

    March 17, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  19. Renee

    Great to see Americans last night in LA vs. the pundits in DC who think they know what is going on. Great selection of guest Americans by the producers! It was good to see an UPBEAT show and not gloom and doom! Let's show some more Americans kicking it shall we say!

    You have to love Ali's attire. That is one confident man with those suit, tie and shirt combos! Wow!

    March 17, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  20. Alex: Baton Rouge, LA

    Happy St. Patrick's Day Everyone!

    I'm originally from Michigan, and New Orleans doesn't compare to the economical situation in Detroit. I'm traveling there soon to visit my mom who has significantly suffered the economic downturn and its affects on the state that I love.

    It's time that the largest cities in the country get their act together, stop the corruption, and begin a new and improved economic era so teenagers, like myself, can live in a prosperous nation.

    March 17, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  21. Alex: Baton Rouge, LA

    Happy St. Patrick's Day Everyone!

    I'm originally from Michigan, and New Orleans doesn't compare to the economical situation in Detroit. I'm traveling there soon to visit my mom who has significantly suffered the economic downturn and its affects on the state that I love.

    It's time that the largest cities in the country get their act together, stop the corruption, and begin a new and improved economic era so teenagers, like myself, can live in a prosperous nation.

    March 17, 2009 at 10:42 am |
  22. Kelly- Wrightsville Beach, NC

    Hey,
    Last Night's coverage was great!
    Where in NOLA will Anderson be reporting from tonight?

    March 17, 2009 at 10:31 am |
  23. Michelle D. Fonthill,Ontario

    Hi Penny
    Top o'Morning to ya! Happy St.Patricks Day !
    I love the show last night from L.A. Anderson did a great job and the crowd was interacting great asking questions on the economy . I feel so bad for everyone loosing thier jobs,cutbackseffecting every job it's got to get better i pray ! Anderson is the hero of New Orleans they will be so glad to see him back there again .

    Thanks for the Buzz Penny
    Michelle D.

    March 17, 2009 at 10:24 am |
  24. Griffin

    I'm hoping with Anderson's visit to Miami he can focus some of his show to the plight of the homeless community in Miami. I have traveled extensively in my lifetime but have not seen a situation such as this ever...Anderson please bring light to the problem.

    March 17, 2009 at 10:12 am |
  25. Larry L.

    Corruption-the politicians embrace it-what can be done?

    March 17, 2009 at 9:46 am |
  26. Gmachardy

    Where is the CNN story about Obama's plan for the veterans....the private insurance plan that can save 350M so they can give more to AIG? Omission is CNN's forte...certainly not fair and balanced!

    March 17, 2009 at 9:37 am |
  27. Martina Ilstad Germany

    Hey Penny
    I watched the show last night from Germany.Anderson did a verry good job.He looked so relaxed,but straigt at the truth and line.I dont know i will watch more of this shows this week,because its midnight here in Germany this time,but i really try.
    All my respect hardworker Anderson

    March 17, 2009 at 9:37 am |
  28. Isabel, Brazil

    Good morning, Penny!

    Yesterday the show was great!! All this week will very good! :)

    Anderson Cooper doing the live program, with the participation of the people – was great!

    I waited with anxiety, the debate on AIG. It was great to share my indignation with the bloggers and the commentators. We see the taxpayer's money being used as a cleaning service for companies and this is so unfair! This kind of shameful event should be disclosed and discussed in order not to become, never, something trite. In addition to impede the insurer to pay the bonuses, the government should find a way to punish them. The AIG has so much money from the government and that money could be for education or health so needy. I consider myself a privileged, because I have access to your show and discussion by the Internet too. Unfortunately such a thing, is not accessible to all. You are more privileged yet, because you meet us, making us debate, discuss, think and sometimes reassess our position.

    Friday: Miami ... this is my greatest interest! Miami is for me the American city most "Latin".

    How immigrants are facing a crisis? The unemployed, the employees, who is illegal (or legal) ... And the communities of Latinos, they are doing something for immigrants this time so complicated? And as tourism is
    affected by the crisis?

    A pity that I would not be in Miami on Friday, but everything indicates that in May I will be back, hence I got my interests as immigrant.

    Great job yesterday!
    Congratulations!

    March 17, 2009 at 9:23 am |
  29. pford orlando,fl

    tell cooper to be for real,and stop selling weak news,get out of the getto unless you going to bring those people same better air and heating condition.your know that the drug come in from the border.if you stop the drug you stop employment for people in the getto,do some real reporting you and you twin that interview cheney, tell american the truth,did cheney sell america,how can drug control the economy,stop it at the border,the border gang themself.most border control are the immigration control themself that you afraid to report on.
    selling america is what you should report on,iinless you getting paid yourself.

    March 17, 2009 at 9:22 am |
  30. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    It is sometimes very difficult to "give back" when all your government does to to constanty take--and lately they are taking Americans to the cleaners.

    March 17, 2009 at 9:14 am |
  31. Cindy

    All I can say about last night's show is WOW...and I don't mean that in a good way!! To stand in the middle of LA and talk for 20 minutes on AIG with a panel no less was just WOW..WOW..WOW..and let me say it again, not in a good way! I expected way more on LA and way less on the economy and what ever else. I just hope to God that the rest of the week is better.

    It's about time that NOLA is brought back up. Everyone..including Anderson and 360 has totally forgotten it. I'm looking forward to seeing what has been going on since we last ventured there. And please...show the "real" places in NOLA and not just the money making section that was redone to bring in the cash. From what my friends who live near there say there hasn't much changed in NOLA that it still is a wasteland in most areas unless it's were the tourists hang out. NOLA is much more than the tourists side of town...please recognize and show that!

    Cindy..Ga.

    March 17, 2009 at 9:06 am |