March 5th, 2009
10:30 AM ET

“Survivor: United States”?

Program Note: Make sure to check out the next CNN Money Summit on Friday, March 6 at 11 p.m. ET.
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Ali Velshi
CNN Chief Business Correspondent

The TV show "Survivor" picks a new location every year. Gabon, Micronesia and China have been the last three. Considering the state of the economy, maybe next season should be "Survivor: United States"?

Americans are scared about their economic future, and with good reason. Right now more than 11 million people are out of work, and the unemployment rate is fast approaching a dismal 8 percent. Even those who are lucky enough to be employed are nervous about their job security and future prospects.

And what do nervous consumers do? They spend frugally, hoarding the rest of their cash for dark days ahead. They avoid making major purchases, like cars or homes- both of which are seeing their values nose-dive. That in turn hits businesses, which then need to cut costs themselves, which usually leads to...you guessed it: more job cuts!

And so the self-reinforcing cycle continues, over and over, and the U.S. economy spirals down, down, down.

Perhaps we aren’t totally forsaken. After all the president, Congress, and the Federal Reserve are working overtime trying to turn the economy around, churning out fix-it plans left and right. There’s the bank bailout plan, the stimulus plan, the mortgage plan, the bank and credit program, and the billions upon billions of dollars each of those entails.

Can the government really get us out there buying again through pure force of will (and legislation)? And can these huge recovery programs actually have any effect on your mortgage, your retirement savings, or- perhaps most importantly- your job?

We'll examine these issues on the CNN Money Summit. Send us your questions and tune in for answers on Friday, March 6 at 11 p.m. ET.

Filed under: Ali Velshi • CNN Money Summit
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Mary Kate

    I am one of those hard working American's that spent responsibly, bought a home I could afford without a fancy mortgage, put the max in my 401k, and saved what I could for a "rainy day". I pay all my bills on time.

    Last week I was laid-off, a totally unexpected event. I've cut down every expenditure I can, with the exception of my mortgage. It seems that my mortgage company, Citi, will only help if you are 60 days behind, or in foreclosure. I can't refinance, because I'm unemployed.

    Just a couple of months could make all the difference. I've done everything right, but where is my help? If it's out there, I can't find it. Can you?


    March 6, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  2. Dawn Carnahan

    Hi Anderson,

    I love your show! I just wanted to ask why when talking about health care reform you only have experts.... I understand that they help explain things, but for me I would like to see someone from the public that lives what they are talking about. I am a married mother of two and I work as a CNA in a hopsital. I see on a daily baisis what helthcare is like.. I also know the struggles of not being able to afford helath care. My children and I wentt without health insurance for a year because the premuims were tooo high not including all the out of pocket costs. It was as much as my mortage. I know the struggles that Americans go through,I would like to see people talk about it and give thier opions on what should be done. I think that would help alot and also have a voice on heath care reform! Just a thought! If you need someone you can contact me through my e-mail.. I would love to share what my family has been through!

    March 6, 2009 at 10:52 am |
  3. Sharon


    May I make a couple of suggestions?

    First, please stop interviewing Suze Ormon. The woman hasn't got a clue. She is the same person that was encouraging people to SELL, SELL, SELL their stocks when the market first started going down. There is no more sure fire way of tanking it all.

    Second, could you please stop with Rush already. He's yet another bag of blubber that has absolutely no clue. He, as well as so many others who are constantly railing against the Obama plan have provided none of their own except tax cuts. Clearly, that doesn't work. It's time to give him some media blackout. All that's happening is you are cowing to his insatiable need for egomanical attention.

    Third, would it be at all possible to explain to the "economic" experts on CNN that giving people hints on how to find other jobs doesn't revolve only around white collars. Really, there are a ton of manufacturing and service jobs that are tanking as well and these are people that are NOT tech saavy so they're NOT going to be hooking up on the internet. It's arrogant thinking that only those at the top are suffering. Unemployed auto workers and bus drivers, most of whom do not have degrees of any kind, are also in need of job creation. They aren't going to be worrying over their resumes.

    Fourth, could you please emphasize on a daily basis that all of this disaster started under Bush and that it will take far more than a couple of months to fix. The Republicans seem to be very adept at pinning the downturn on Obama. Revisionist history needs to stop at the media line. You all at CNN need to be the truth tellers, because for sure FOX wouldn't recognize the truth if it crawled into their laps.

    March 6, 2009 at 10:34 am |
  4. John Panicker

    “Making Home Affordable” initiative, said that borrowers will have to provide their most recent tax return and two pay stubs, as well as an “affidavit of financial hardship” to qualify for the $75 billion loan modification program, which runs through 2012

    Borrowers are only allowed to have their loans modified once, and the program only applies for loans made on Jan. 1 2009 or earlier. Up to 4 million borrowers are expected to qualify. Mortgages for single-family properties that are worth more than $729,750 are excluded.”

    This was the news flashed all across regarding helping the home owners in distress.
    I enquired about this with certain banks ( Hudson City Savings Bank in New Jersey) who are not taking bailout money. The home owners in distress whose lenders are not participant in the bailout program will not get the help. Why only the borrowers of the banks which failed to protect their assets and failed to comply with regulations are helped? Why the innocent people who took the mortgage loans from other banks cannot be participant in the program. The disaster caused by these giant financial institutions are the root cause of this economic disaster. The people who are paying the penalty are the innocent people who took mortgage loans – lost their jobs or investment income due to the utter negligence of these corporate giants, retired people- whose investments are wiped out due to the slipshod and greedy executives are the victims. They are the people who should get help.

    I see no mention in CNN about these sector of the people.

    March 6, 2009 at 10:30 am |
  5. Hagos Tekle


    I love your show, do you have any reason not to do any news or reaserch on Africa, inparticular, Eritrea, Kenya, Somalia or Uganda etc...?

    It's not you but I will chalenge CNN Corp.

    Again great show!

    Best Regards

    March 6, 2009 at 10:15 am |
  6. j.

    If our government would enforce the laws that they are supposed to uphold, like illegal immigration enforcement. Wouldn't that cure our unemployment crisis? 15-30 million illegal immigrants with jobs and 4.4million "Americans" without jobs... You do the math.

    March 6, 2009 at 10:03 am |
  7. When can my mortgage lender help me?

    I am not sure what is so magical about March 4th since I have been calling my mortgage lender since that date to request to refi and each time they indicate that the mortgage plan qualifications have not trickled down to their level yet. They indicate to me to call back and try at the end of March, beginning of April timeframe, in hopes they will have it by then. Really??? All of the news shows indicate to call your mortgage lender starting March 4th... well they can't help us quite yet. So what is the real date they can help us??

    March 6, 2009 at 9:28 am |
  8. Angie, Deer Creek Indiana

    38 year old, new employee with a mandatory 3% payroll deduction to our public employee's retirement fund. We have six funds to choose from. Right now 100% of my investment is in the guaranteed fund. Other fund options are S&P index, Bond, Money Market, Sm Companies, and international fund. Is now the time to break out into the other "riskier" funds? I'm thinking about putting 50% guaranteed and 50% bond fund. Or is the market still too shaky? I've never been a risk taker.

    March 5, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  9. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Picking a new location for "Survivor" is now almost a moot point--the world is struggling through difficult economic times-–so pick any place--except Fargo, North Dakota--we are all on "Survivor."

    March 5, 2009 at 11:39 am |