March 18th, 2009
10:53 AM ET

Morning Buzz: Anderson hits Detroit

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/03/18/aig.bonuses/art.geithner.afp.gi.jpg caption="Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said AIG will have to return $165 million in bonuses for executives."]

Penny Manis
AC360° Senior Producer

Anderson continues his zigzag across the country, and tonight he lands in Detroit. This city has been hit hard by the recession given the heavy reliance on work within the automobile manufacturing industry, which has had a meltdown.

Anderson isn’t the only one making a road trip today: President Obama heads to California where there’s double-digit unemployment and a housing meltdown. He’ll be trying to sell his 3.6 trillion dollar budget in some scheduled town hall meetings. He’ll also be dodging the tough PR regarding the AIG bailout.

His peeps back home are trying to defuse the latest AIG fire. AIG has become Public Enemy #1 after sucking up $170 billion worth of taxpayer money and then doling out millions in bonuses to some of the employees who ran the company into the ground, and there are questions over how much the administration knew about these bonuses before they gave them big bailout bucks.

The Obama administration says it will move to recoup the money used to pay them, and Senate Democrats are also proposing heavy taxes on these executive payments. Today there should be smoke coming out of Capitol Hill when AIG Chief Executive Edward Liddy appears before lawmakers to face tough questions. Now that is one guy who is probably wishing he didn’t have to show up for work today. We’ll be watching this story.

We are hoping those of you in Detroit enjoy having Anderson on your turf and make sure you also keep an eye out for Randi Kaye’s piece tonight. She looks at lessons Detroit could learn from Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh abandoned steel and reinvented itself with a focus on the medical and education industry.

Randi will show why the biggest bank in Pittsburgh is thriving, housing prices are higher than the national average, and there are more jobs than before steel collapsed because the city switched gears.

What else do you want to see in the show tonight? Let me know, and see you at 10pet

Filed under: Penny Manis • The Buzz
soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. Arlene Borsky

    I don't understand how AIG or any company large or small can
    build bonuses into employment packages without some
    contingencies. Bonuses by definition are for services above
    and beyond what a person is paid for and are based on tangible
    results usually having to do with increasing the efficiency,
    growth or profitability of a company.

    This company was run into the ground under the management
    of the people who received these bonuses ruling out any
    contributions on their part that would justify compensation
    beyond their already high salaries.

    Evidently these bonuses were automatic which in itself is
    bad policy for the company. By not requiring increased
    performance or essentially requiring that they earn these
    bonuses the motivation to be more productive and to
    excel was destroyed.

    Finally, how could AIG which shows years of financial problems
    justify donating hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaigne contributions to lobbyists and politicians.

    March 19, 2009 at 12:09 am |
  2. Dantoinette

    Angelique the Lawyer from Warren, Michigan could consider a career change such as teaching – in High Schoo or College- as an adjunct professor -which could possibly earn her a free Masters Degree. As an adjunct professor, she could teach Business Law, Political Science etc. She could still continue to work on weekends as a Lawyer -pro -bona which could assist in building her cliente.

    March 19, 2009 at 12:07 am |
  3. Janet A

    Race relations are a big reason for Detroit's problems. The 1967 riots, Mayor Coleman Young to "Hit 8 Mile Rd. and never come back", whites from the suburbs fearing to going downtown. White flight was very common after the riots. I have know people who lived in Detroit, and sold their homes at a loss to escape the crime and deterioration that was happening.

    Now there is nothing left for people to make a good living wage. There are the Casinos, but that is not enough, plus I went to one once and all of the license plates were from Michigan and my observation, a lot of the people playing there looked liked they needed to get out of there and use their money for better things.

    I still remember a little old lady sitting next to me at the Casino;both of us observed two Black women all excited because they won a jackpot. The woman said to me " Those Black people are always so lucky." I thought "Yea, bigotry and such, really lucky."
    There has to be a change of thinking of both races, before anything really constructive to happen.
    I lived there for over 35 years, there were many White people who never went Downtown for any reason, because of fear of being rob or worse. A lot of Blacks naturally assumed that a White person was raciest, and they were of White people.
    I love and miss a lot about Detroit; people, places and things.
    I only hope that with Obama and a new mayo,r that Detroit will come back a vibrant city

    March 18, 2009 at 9:35 pm |
  4. b

    Hope you all are taking care of yourselves. You are traveling beween cold and warm weather... Cold and flu season is still very prevalent out there...
    Take care of yourselves. Hope you all are having good experiences. It's so sad to hear about Natasha Richardson, then again everyday so many people have to face so many diff. decisions as such. It's just been one of those days today, just been around too many bad news today...

    March 18, 2009 at 9:15 pm |
  5. Alexander

    Where is Tom Foreman these nights?

    March 18, 2009 at 7:08 pm |
  6. Isabell, Indiana

    Penny, you asked what I would like to see on the show tonight. I read that Anderson is reporting on artists in Detroit this evening. I recently decided to pursue my bliss of being an artist (painter). What is the outlook for artistic careers at this time of economic crisis?

    March 18, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  7. Annie Kate

    The show has been great this week. I'm looking forward to seeing tonight's show to see what ideas Detroit can get from Pittsburgh. There are probably a lot of cities/areas that can take a leaf from Pittsburgh's experience and apply it in their city. We have so many creative people in this country that can help come up with solutions to our problems and make the city a better place to live and a place with JOBS.

    March 18, 2009 at 6:01 pm |
  8. Candace

    For those who were asking, I see AC 360 will be at J. B. Bamboozles pub in Warren on E. 12 Mile. I'd love to attend if it's an open door so I can enjoy the broadcast in person. But even if I can't get in, I'm glad to see Coop in the D!

    March 18, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  9. Alexander

    Where is Tom Foreman these nights as well?

    March 18, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  10. Alexander

    So where is Erica Hill these nights?

    March 18, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  11. Janet A

    Please make people from around the country, what the Detroit area is really like. It is not just burned out homes and closed down factories. Detroit has many suburbs surrounding it, from Blue-Collar to very wealthy areas.

    Also, focus on the never ending war between the city and the suburbs. Somehow the city and the suburbs needs to change their thinking and work together. This has been spoken about for decades, but it never happens.

    Race relations also has to be talked about. From what I can remember, "White Flight", has been going on at least since the 1967 Riots. There has always been people living in the suburbs, who refuse, or are scared to put one toe into Detroit's city boundaries.

    I grew-up and lived in Metro Detroit for over 3 decades. I would go "Downtown"; but I would be smart about it; not wearing jewelry or carry a purse to be a target. I loved going to Greektown, Mexicantown, Hart Plaza to look at the river, and Windsor,Canada, (which is the only part of Canada that is south of the USA!), and the old Tiger Stadium. I grew up on listening to Motown, drinking Red Pop and Vernor's ginger ale (the best!), and eating Saunder's floats, eating at a Coney Island or having a Burger at Miller's Bar.

    There is a lot of good places and people in Metro Detroit, I miss it, but I had to leave because of a transfer, but then, because it's ever roller coaster economy, I had to move someplace else to start over.

    Detroit needs help from it's economic disaster, like New Orleans is receiving from it's natural disaster.
    Where are the entertainment stars? Where is the National Media?
    Where are the National Organizations coming for volunteering to help out?
    It needs help also......

    Anderson, thank you for going to Detroit, and give at least one night's report on it, please do not stop going back.
    Be sure sure to explain the complete story (Bad & Good ) of Metro Detroit.

    March 18, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  12. Tracey - Boston


    I used to live in Detroit; I moved 3-1/2 years ago. Lost my home, car lease was up at the same time as my unemployment benefits (unemployed three times in four years).

    I had to move to a city that had realiable public transportation.

    But truth is, when 9/11 happened the economy went down hill. Michigan, especially Detroit, has been in a spiral for decades.

    It saddens me because I remember when the downtown was a bustling area: people walking around like a modern day New York, buses that traveled everywhere and the people were happy.

    I wonder when it will be better. I go back to visit and well it's sad.

    March 18, 2009 at 2:50 pm |
  13. Diana in Detroit

    Welcome Anderson and CNN! Are you coming downtown? Can I buy you a coney? I still have a job and an income, for now. 🙂

    March 18, 2009 at 2:41 pm |
  14. Lori from IL

    Hi, Penny -

    I have enjoyed the past two night's with Anderson on the road - and look forward to the rest of the week. I agree with Cherisa – other than last Friday - I thought last week's shows were going in a puzzeling direction - not the usual 360.

    If you are covering AIG again, I would like Ali or someone to explain why AIG is in the situation it's in - as I understand it lack of regulation and the "creative" financial products it ventured into. We understand why it is too big to fail - but maybe need to get to the cause of the failure to prevent this type of situation in the future.

    I know you all work hard at 360 - thank you for all you do and keep up the good work.

    March 18, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  15. Lynn

    Thanks for holding such great shows which gets down to the grassroots of America. I just have a brief comment of overall American finance and industry. I think it is important that Corporate America come back to the realization that IT CONTRIBUTES to the society that we have today and in the future. Corporate America helps create the society we have and that we envision for the future. HAS CORPORATE AMERICA FORGOTTEN WHAT GOOD VALUES ARE?? We used to treasure and still do value hard work, honest citizenship, and reaching out to our fellowman. There was a time in recent years when over-consumption was popular and having expensive toys and a big bank account were goals but now when you see your community weakening that is when we become concerned for our society and who (such as corporate America) contributes to it. AIG bonuses represent what we don't want to see anymore ie: the greed and misplaced values. People are willing to work together to help rebuild a strong community again - not pad the bank account of a few. Sincerely , Lynn.

    March 18, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  16. Alexander

    There should be more webcam views than just the anchor desk.. That's something I think would be good.

    March 18, 2009 at 1:33 pm |
  17. Jill

    At last, somebody is showing what is going on in Michigan! We have been under this weight for so long and it has been ignored! Thank you for coming to highlight what people are going through here. The situation in MIchigan is symbolic of what is WRONG in this country, and you will soon discover that the people of Michigan are also symbolic of what is RIGHT with this country. When we are hard-hit, we come together, and work toward fixing our own situation, and we WILL prevail. People may laugh at the Midwest, but it's these values that make us survivors.

    March 18, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  18. joanna

    I would love to see Detroit reinvent itself, like Pittsburgh did. It's high time they think about the future and let go of the past. I live in Toledo, Ohio, and our city has the same problem, stuck in the mire of the past and people are fleeing this city as fast as they can graduate.

    March 18, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  19. Joe - Detroit, MI

    Glad to see Mr. Cooper visiting the Detroit / Windsor area. I hope he brings to light the fact that even if the Big Three survive, that in itself does not guarantee the city will. The problems Detroit has go far beyond the auto industry. Having said that, I would not live anywhere else, and it is the little things in life ....like hockey and Tim Horton's donuts......that keep us going. Thank you Canada.

    March 18, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  20. Tom Chavez

    2 days ago I was subjected to another operation in Guadalajara. I was surround by federalis and American agents in a wallmart parking lot and I was wondering why.

    Did you know that when George Bush travels outside of the United States his security mechanism intimidates and harasses his former victims and enemies to discourage actions against him. Was his presidency that bad? Yes, it was that bad and that illegal and he has to have worldwide operations against victims and potential threats because he cannot be brought to justice because of his executive order to protect himself. Now, the whole world must again accomodate the tyrant as he makes his rounds to raise money for his library. What a sad situation and I hope that you will again print my story because the intimidation I encountered while visiting this country legally is another Bush era violation of human rights and dignity.


    March 18, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  21. Pati Mc Camp Hill, PA

    Hey Penny, Anderson, and 360 Gang,

    Have to say last night's show was excellent. Love, love, love it when Anderson is in NOLA, you can tell that he loves it too; it really shows and it is infectuous..So thankful to see that progress is being made in St. Bernard Parish, but clearly there is more to be done. Loved the piece about the volunteers. Nice to see good things for a change.

    Having him out amongst the people this week is so great. He just shines at times like this.

    Cannot wait to see him in the Motor City tonight. Presley, I hope you get to see him!

    March 18, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  22. Liz

    Well it's a nice fairy tale to think Detroit might "re-invent" itself, like Pittsburgh, but Detroit has been at the bottom of the barrel now for over 20 years. Michigan has been in a recession for almost 10 years, but now that the rest of the country is hurting, the economy is big news. Unless the Detroit city councel starts allowing the suburbs to help the city, Detroit is going nowhere. But I love it, and will go down with the ship.

    March 18, 2009 at 11:33 am |
  23. Cherisa

    Good show the last two nights. It's refreshing to see Anderson in the field and with his own reporting. It seems as though the show had lost its way, especially in the last few weeks; I hope it's back on track now.

    March 18, 2009 at 10:13 am |
  24. Michelle D. Fonthill,Ontario

    Anderson Great show last night ,Looking good as always!!
    The wonderful people who volunteered at The St.Bernard's parish kudos to them and Liz McCartney who gave so much to the building of new homes for the people who are left by the wayside of the Bush administration.

    Thanks to Anderson and your great team at 360
    for venturing out across the country to report and raise attention to the plight of the economy .

    P.S. @Penny would any one at 360 condsider coming to Ontario and reporting on the loss of the leading Plant factories closing- John Deere it's 800 jobs lost ?

    Thanks Michelle D.

    March 18, 2009 at 10:04 am |
  25. Jolene, St. Joseph, MI

    Hi Penny:

    Interesting that Randi Kaye is doing a report on what lessons Detroit can learn from PIttsburg's reinventing itself from a declining steel industry. Gov. Granholm has been pushing for Michigan to be the next "Hollywood East". I believe the state is offering 42% in tax rebates as incentives to draw Hollywood filmakers to Michigan. She even announced in February that a former auto plant (Pontiac) will be converted into a film production studio which should create jobs in the Detroit area.

    Was wondering with the economy the way it is and yet the film industry appears to be booming, whether Detroit and other areas within Michigan are reaping any benefits by the state offering incentives. I know that the film Gran Torino was filmed in Detroit. If this strategy is successful, perhaps Detroit is already trying to reinvent itself.

    Looking forward to the show tonight.

    March 18, 2009 at 9:59 am |
  26. Presley

    YAY! Anderson is on my turf!!!! I am VERY excited he is here.
    The paper this morning did not give where he'll be but I will be watching!!!
    Anderson, head to a Coney Island and feast on the glorious cuisine I know many of us Metro Detroiters love.

    See you guys tonight
    XXO ♥

    p.s. I'm SO EXCITED!

    March 18, 2009 at 9:54 am |
  27. earle,florida

    Re: Correction, Mr. Liddy became CEO of Allstate Ins., Co.,and not Nationwide Ins.,Co.

    March 18, 2009 at 9:53 am |
  28. Antoinette

    Anderson...great show last night, as always. Thank you!

    It broke my heart to see that with all of the aid $ sent to New Orleans, only 1 home has been built. Where are the people who are supposed to be supporting/administering/overseeing???? This is a complete disgrace and lack of compassion for human beings.

    The volunteers of the St. Bernard Parish home building effort are to be commended for their work and tireless efforts. How wonderful to see they are about to complete their 200th house.

    Our country needs more people like them.

    Good luck tonight. Looking forward to the show.

    March 18, 2009 at 9:47 am |
  29. earle,florida

    Good Morning Penny, I would say that Anderson's visiting America's cities,and states is truely patriotic,Bravo! Taking the pulse of America by walking the walk,and talking the talk is quite humbling,to say the least. Finally, I'd like to add a small bit of info regarding AIG's CEO Mr. Liddy. If my memory serves me right ,he was Goldman Sachs Chairman, Hank Paulson's "Right-hand Man" VP! When Mr.Snow resigned as theTreasury Secretary in 2005/06 ,Mr. Paulson was given the new job running the Treasury. Thus having left Goldman Sachs for the Treasury Secretary, Mr. Liddy also was looking for new employment! Aborting his job with Goldman Sachs as VP to become the CEO of Nationwide Ins.,Co.,but,and this is a big but, when the AIG crises occurred and accepted, "TARP" money as a bail-out Treasury Secretary Paulson made (resigned as Chairman of Nationwide Ins.,Co.) Mr.Liddy the new Chairman of AIG affective immediately! Basically ,what I,m trying to say is that the guy is doing his best ,for the situation he finds himself in,kinda like Fed. Chairman Bernanke taking over Greenspan's mess in,"Full Bloom"! These politicians,these lifelong laggards, these hypocrits,that created this mess in the beginning will have their "Dog and Pony Show" in today's limelight ,pathetic bunch,.... Thanks(:

    March 18, 2009 at 9:40 am |
  30. Karen Knapp

    Huge fan of Anderson!!

    Where in Detroit will you be tonight?

    March 18, 2009 at 9:34 am |
  31. Marcia, Warren MI

    Why not talk about what is being done to help the people in MI? Why not talk to actual people not those who represent the Big 3 or the other corporations. Detroit is people not corporations like every other city an these are things that could be covered.


    March 18, 2009 at 9:32 am |
  32. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    The economy is falling--but remember-–it is not how far you fall--but how high you rebound---for better or worse--it will all come to an end-–just depends whether it is a good or bad ending.

    March 18, 2009 at 9:32 am |
  33. JfromtheD

    Hi Penny, Welcome back to Detroit... we're excited to have you guys here!
    Believe it or not Jay Leno's free concert has been a big story around here. But the focus has been more on Martha Reeves and Detroit City Council's criticism, than the actual good deed he is doing. The council has been very vocal about him playing in the suburbs (The Palace) and not downtown. There seems to be a big City vs Suburbs debate lately.

    And there is a good program that you might want to check out. It's called No Worker Left Behind. It gives full tuition to unemployed people to pursue a 2 year degree. It's a positive in the middle of all of the negative.

    Again... thanks for coming.
    Enjoy your visit!

    March 18, 2009 at 9:25 am |
  34. Isabel, Brazil


    People want to see the country prosper and in those hours is very difficult to differentiate the realism of pessimism. The role of the press, this time is vital, but very complicated.

    My father always spoke the sentence:
    It lasts the life of journalist and of the economic commentator in times of crisis: if he give the good news, is criticized for not seeing the reality, if he says the news is bad, takes the blame for speaking only in disgrace.
    You have achieved this thing and very well!

    We continue … and have more tonight!

    March 18, 2009 at 9:22 am |
  35. Isabel, Brazil

    Hello, Anderson e producers!

    Great show yestarday!

    It’s very interesting to see the volunteer work in New Orleans.
    This type of work should have in all cities (worldwide) ... is an example to be followed.

    Detroit – I'm excited!

    As the auto industry is facing the crisis? And unemployment there, how are?

    General Motors (which, according to the press, going from bad to worse!), Ford Motor Company? and Chrysler?

    In my company, almost all outsourcing projects, with GM are leaving!

    Today will be very good! I hope you!

    March 18, 2009 at 9:18 am |
  36. Cindy

    I'll give Cooper his due since I call it like I see it...last night's show was much, much better than the previous! He needs to keep on having the rest of the week exactly the same. I do however don't care for the audience questions because they just bore me. I'd much rather see another report. Just being honest!

    I was glad to hear that CNN is keeping Obama and his crew honest on this whole AIG bonus stuff. Funny that they are pretending that they just found out about this stuff yet Ali proved with out a doubt that it was known about as far back as January. So why wasn't anything said or done by Obama or Geithner until now? They really dropped the ball big time on this!!

    Oh..and what's this about Merrill Lynch giving out big bonuses too!? You didn't mention that this morning!

    Looking forward to seeing Coop in Detroit tonight. I hope that you all give us some really great reports...you should be able to since the auto industry is there. C-Ya then!!


    March 18, 2009 at 9:11 am |