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October 27th, 2011
10:13 PM ET

Video: Wall Street CEO takes on 'Occupiers'

After Peter Schiff went to the protests to represent the one-percent, Anderson Cooper spoke with him and Dr. Cornel West about taxes, the wealth gap and the Occupy Wall Street movement.

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Filed under: Occupy Wall Street
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Tim Gibson

    I agree that government is the problem. The mother board is corrupt and must be restored.

    October 28, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
  2. Susanne, Oregon

    SAVE AMERICAN JOBS! Put a 30% tarrif on goods imported from China and a 20% on goods from So. Korea and Mexico. Do this ASAP! Susanne, OR

    October 28, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
  3. KRS

    I'm a equity and commodities trader, but I am also not so self involved and rationalizing to the point that I am unable to remain modestly objective. Schiff and many other claim this economic calamity was created by Washington...that the Fed created an environment for banks and brokerages to make unwise decisions because their cost of capital was so low. That argument is analogous to a junkie explaining his addiction is due to drug dealers selling illicit drugs at bargain prices. Again, it is the general decline in individual responsibility and accountability. Cheap money at the Fed had little to do with the creation of Credit Default Swaps other than intoxicating financial institutions into believing that they would never have to "cover" their mortgage insurance and the premiums would be pure gravy until the second coming. That's self interest driving delusional thinking. I think that's referred to as avarice and linked to myopia, bad outcomes are certain – only the timing is uncertain

    October 28, 2011 at 11:26 am |
  4. Jay eboh

    This is the most foolish argument that i have ever heard and this Peter Schiff character is making a fool of himself. Wall st. takes 100% of the benefit and Washington is to blame. When Mr. west suggest that government is shaped by the 1% schiff says that's Governments fault. That's absurd, take responsibility and stop trying to twist the facts. I just wish Elliot Spitzer was still attorney general.

    October 28, 2011 at 6:34 am |
  5. William W. Quinn

    I certainly hope that Anderson does his job and fact-checks Mr. Schiff. Keep him honest, okay? I do not understand why this man is allowed to make so many non-factual assertions without being challenged immediately. For example, the Banking Act of 1933 established the federal deposit guarantees and simultaneously restricted the banks from holding riskier non-bankiing investment entities. This act is known as.... are you ready.... GLASS-STEAGALL! So Mr. Schiff, who surely knows better, states that in fact Glass-Steagall was enacted seperate from and later than the FDIC, to undo the damage to free-market enterprise done by the FDIC. Also, Mr. Schiff falsely asserts that Fannie and Freddie caused the housing crash by their guarantees, when the fact is that they were only the tail of the dog, ultimately being wagged by the speculation enabled by the repeal of key provisions of Glass-Steagall in 1999. Additionally at the end of the segment he (Schiff) states that it was not government but the private sector that ended child labor. Does Mr. Schiff take us for idiots? Does he really expect us to believe all his bald-faced lies? If Anderson does his due diligence, he will expose Mr. Schiff for what he is.

    October 28, 2011 at 4:52 am |
  6. Flo

    Give back our give backs! our medical benefits! our paid holiday's and vacations! Sick days! 401 k's we lost our savings in! Stock options that we lost our savings in! Our peace of mind in secure employment, for starters!

    October 28, 2011 at 4:48 am |
  7. Flo

    The Puppet of Wall Street?

    October 28, 2011 at 4:43 am |
  8. Flo

    Beware of Sheep in Wolves Clothing!

    October 28, 2011 at 4:32 am |
  9. Charles North

    Coop, This must be continued and also get some other CEO;s and some other protesters that have a strong case and let's have a "We The People" Debate just like the candidates so these people can see our struggles, opinions and at the same time give these people a chance to express themselves. I'd do it and be a good well behaved person for it all, I would not raise my voice and we could do it on a plane so we have a cut off time preordained. Let's hear what the people have to say!!!! Thanks Coop.

    October 28, 2011 at 2:44 am |
  10. Max Levin

    How did you like Mr. Peter Schiff's threat :
    "...I employ 150 people, what if I sell my business tomorrow and fire them all?.....how would you like that?"
    I feel sorry for your employees Mr. Schiff. Their employment, future, welfare rests in his hands and at his whim he could just throw them all out just to prove his point. Mr Schiff -You are a paragon of whats wrong with capitalistic society where there is no job security and all is based on greed and individual's profits
    You threatened to sell your company and leave..
    That really worries us, but, nevertheless, I do encourage you to sell your company and better yet move out of USA so we can take over your company, pay your present employee better wages and treat them as human beings not as disposable labor. If we could do that with all large businesses, USA would be a workers paradise again.
    Hey, Professor Cornel West, if you are reading it, do not waste your time and your breath with this walking caricature of Mr. Ebenezer Scrooge, furthermore he needs more than your prescription of Java coffee and strong cognac to learn about history and social justice.

    October 28, 2011 at 2:05 am |
  11. William Brandt

    Frankly, I'm surprised you invited someone as uninformed as Peter Schiff to speak on your 10/28/11 show to discuss the economic situation facing our country. First of all, he implied FDR was the president who caused the Wall Street Crash of 1929, when FDR was not elected until 1933. Schiff then went on to attribute part of the blame for the ensuing depression and economic downturn to the FDIC, which had not yet been created by FDR to prevent exactly the situation which Schiff was describing. Additionally, he flubbed too many points to mention further. Enough said?
    Though he may be a CEO of a large corporation, Mr. Schiff is certainly no economic expert and as someone who has studied these historical events in depth, I resent the fact that your producers even allowed him to open his mouth on national television. Usually, I respect your show and the way it presents the facts, giving voice to actual experts espousing the arguments pertaining to each side of the issue. But in this case I was appalled by the lack of basic knowledge which Mr. Schiff displayed. I Would have expected more of your vetting process. Please, announce corrections to this disinformation in subsequent shows. Or, at the very least, do not invite such an irrational and uninformed guest to speak as an informed expert guest on your show. Thank you.

    October 28, 2011 at 1:46 am |
  12. Yirser Ra Hotep

    The debate between Dr. West and Mr. Schiff illustrates how totally out of touch with reality many of those opposed to the Occupy Wall Street movement are. Mr. Schiff's ridiculous assertion for example that the free market eliminated child labor is delusional. Anybody who has read standard books on American history know that child labor laws came about due to government interventions prompted by public outcry fueled by the works of Upton Sinclair and others. His assertion that the free market got the US out of the Depression and the FDIC that insures individual's bank accounts is a drag on the economy are unbelievably fantastic. I couldn't believe this man's level of ignorance and delusional thinking. It was like listening to someone who is a member of a cult spew brainwashed ideology. Schiff also stated that he pays 50% of his income in taxes. If this is true, he is not only delusional but stupid. He is either lying or has the worst tax preparer on the planet!

    October 28, 2011 at 1:42 am |
  13. Edmond shahbaz

    HI Anderson, in regard of how much taxes they should pay? , oil companies report billions of dollars profit each quarter, yet they sell the gas for four dollars, insurance companies ,report billions of dollars in profit each quarter, yet they keep raising the premiums , are they paying fair share of taxes.
    20 percent of my 30000 income is six thousand that leaves me with 24000 a year to live with, 20 percent of 250000 , is 50000, and leaves them with 200000 to live. that is why they have to pay more taxes. I agree with the president, those making more than 250000 a year can pay more taxes.thanks for the program

    October 28, 2011 at 1:34 am |
  14. Adeline Lewis

    Schiff pays 50% in taxes? I'd sound loudly "Prove it!" I find this statement highly suspect.

    October 28, 2011 at 12:04 am |
  15. Karen

    So what he's saying is that the banks, if left alone, would take care of the people instead of focusing on profits. Ummm. K.

    October 27, 2011 at 11:13 pm |
  16. Allison

    One other thing, the disabled are the forgotten ones in these bad times. In IL, there have been so many cuts & late payments by the state for services. This includes the sheltered workshops that employ people like me who couldn't get a job elsewhere due to having special needs. I have Asperger's. I don't know what % that makes me, but I do know that I matter!

    October 27, 2011 at 11:10 pm |
  17. Allison

    No responses? Must be on Twitter/Facebook. I think we're all to blame, but not in equal proportions. Fannie/Freddie were enablers. I think Bush Tax Cuts need to go. I think we need to focus on how to create jobs in America and government (both state as well as federal) needs to come up with a new tax system that is fair to each bracket.

    October 27, 2011 at 11:07 pm |
  18. Arthur Kalbarczyk

    Mr. Cooper ! fantastic dissusion about OWS, Schiff and the other gay ! FANSTAIC ! have those guys more ! very educational dissusion !

    October 27, 2011 at 10:33 pm |
  19. Robert

    Just like any oligarch. Revisionist history spewing out of this man's mouth. He wouldn't even let the opposition speak. Typical. Repeat lies enough times and they somehow become the truth. Only in their minds. Anderson, you let him do that. You really need a button to mute those types of people. It is not fair to let someone talk over the other.

    October 27, 2011 at 10:31 pm |
  20. Pashmina

    This clip I just saw of them debating is exactly the type of thing I wish I could see MORE of. Debating ideas, concepts, ethics and policies in an open and public forum is healthy. We can only sharpen our mental swords and critical thinking with this kind of ongoing discussion. And it is unfortunate that most think it is "politically incorrect" to debate. More is needed, at the dinner table, at parties; with family, and friends.

    October 27, 2011 at 10:31 pm |
  21. Kash

    Was Peter Schiff even a REAL Wall Street CEO? His understanding of American Economic history in the 20th century was abysmal! I think Mr. Schiff even claimed that Herbert Hoover had ushered in the Great Depression through excess government regulation - any 11th grade history student could have told him that Herbert Hoober was terrifically opposed to virtually any kind of governmental regulation or economic intervention.

    October 27, 2011 at 10:30 pm |
  22. Juan

    This dude it was grass roots protest tht gave birth to workers rights. Not the companies saying tht they will now do the right thing.Seter Schiff is just trying to spin the truth and rewrite history to poison peoples thoughts.

    October 27, 2011 at 10:28 pm |