Watch Maria Bartiromo at the 2011 Aspen Ideas Festival spend ‘2.5 Minutes With genConnect.’ We connected with the “Closing Bell” co-host and Cable Hall of Famer.
Click the play button below to watch genConnect Creative Director Kelly Hayes interview Maria Bartiromo on America’s financial future and standing in the global economy:
MARIA BARTIROMO: Hi there. How are you?
KELLY HAYES: I’m absolutely terrific. I understand you had a great talk with Austan Goolsbee today?
MARIA BARTIROMO: Yes, we talked about a whole host of issues. The economy, debt, deficit. America’s standing on the global landscape.
KELLY HAYES: And a full house over there?
MARIA BARTIROMO: Yes. The music tent. Very growded.
KELLY HAYES: Maria, first of all, I understand you’re a new member the Cable Hall of Fame.
MARIA BARTIROMO: I am.
KELLY HAYES: Is this is your first hall of fame?
MARIA BARTIROMO: Well, I’m also a part of my high school hall of fame.
KELLY HAYES: Well, so it’s your second. I’m sure that there’ll be many more to come.
MARIA BARTIROMO: Oh, thank you. No, but being inducted into the Cable Hall of Fame, for me, was an incredible honor. Because it’s largely people like Ted Turner, and John Malone, and wow. It was great.
KELLY HAYES: Well, I can’t imagine there being a Cable Hall of Fame if you weren’t in it.
MARIA BARTIROMO: Thank you!
KELLY HAYES: So, that’s terrific. I want to ask you a couple of questions here about what’s going on, as I watch CNBC on a daily basis. There’s so much data out there there’s. There’s daily reports, there’s earning reports. What drives the market? Is it the data, or is it the emotions surrounding the data?
MARIA BARTIROMO: I think a little of both. I think the data, at the end of the day, is the fundamentals. Sort of the building blocks of either a rally, or a sell-off, or the building blocks of really the economy. And it gives us a window into what’s going on. And it gives us a window on a quarterly basis, on a monthly basis, sometimes on a weekly basis. It’s a lot of noise in some cases.
There’s a lot of information out there. And with the internet, and with so many new sources of data and information, it has become more difficult for people to assess that data. Because you really have to figure out what’s important and what isn’t. But the data certainly does drive the stock market over the long term. I think over the short term, I think you are right. It is emotion, in many cases. Sometimes it’s knee jerk reactions. So you don’t really want to invest that way. That’s not investing, that’s trading.
I’m a big proponent of understanding what the picture is today, and where the vision is, in terms of where you’re going long term, and what the data says over a long term basis, and not make knee jerk reactions. But that certainly does happen all the time.
KELLY HAYES: We spoke yesterday with Gillian Tett, who is the US Managing Editor of the Financial Times. A paper, by the way, which said that you were one of the 50 shapers of the first decade of this century. She said that she is optimistic about the economy in general, provided, and in quotes “the politicians can get their act together”. But she was pessimistic that they’d be able to do so. What’s your feeling about that? Are you an optimist or a pessimist, as we sit here today?
MARIA BARTIROMO: I think we’re in a tough spot, frankly. I am, by nature, an optimist. I basically see the glass half full, in most situations. When I look at the actual happenings, and where we are in this recovery, I think the hard truth is that job creation has slowed quite a bit. The rest of the world is growing, and relatively speaking, the US is very slow. I think the debt issues– we are having an unprecedented conversation about raising the debt ceiling right now. These are all very, very real and dangerous issues.
So, am I optimistic over the long term? Yes, I think America is the greatest country in the world, and as Churchill said long ago, at the end of the day, America will get it right, because they’ll try everything else until they get it right. And we’ll try every alternative. But over the short term, I think we do face some very serious issues, which we will have to get through.
And those issues are getting our arms around our fiscal house, the $14.3 trillion in debt. And number two, creating jobs. And this is where business comes together with government, in terms of creating the right policies to encourage businesses to create jobs. And I think this is what the policy makers and politicians are dealing with right now. And I agree with Gillian in that the situation Washington is not positive.
I think America today is looking at Washington and saying, why can’t you guys agree on anything? It’s all us versus them, it’s your fault, no, it’s your fault. And we’re facing real changes in the global economy today. China is growing. India is growing. 1.5 billion people in China, versus 300 million in the US. The numbers don’t add up. The rest of the world is growing. At some point, China will be the largest economy in the world. So what does that mean for America? I think America needs to be lean, and mean. And we need to be unified, not divided.
So all of these issues, unfortunately, create a lot of noise, create upset and uncertainty, which manifest themselves in no job creation, in upset, and in a shaky stock market, and the idea that we’re going to have a decline in our standard of living.
KELLY HAYES: Well, that takes us back to yesterday. President Obama, for the first time in four months, took questions from the press in an open matter. He talked about various ways in which he thought that there could be job growth maintained and started. Kicked off right away, assuming that there was some sort of consensus within the House of Representatives. He also said, though, six times, he mentioned private jet owners. Do you think that this is a new rhetoric? Is this a new euphemism for Wall Street and the rich? And if so, is it a volatile situation?
MARIA BARTIROMO: Well, look, I don’t like to see certain groups targeted for any reason. I think that most people will say people want to pay their fair share of taxes. And the average guy out there can not get their head around these enormous salaries for the hedge fund community, for Wall Street, and I understand that.
But I also think we walk a very fine line of really, killing the American dream. I think America, for me, represents a place where you can come from nothing, work really hard, get a little luck, and achieve success. And I think that that has to stay alive and well. People have to have the aspiration that, wow, I really could make $100 million. I could make a million dollars. I could make a billion dollars. I could do it, if I do the right thing in life, and I work really hard, and I know my craft, and I maybe get lucky.
So I think people can make $80,000 or $100,000 more than where they are today. And think it’s very important that we preserve that. Does that mean that people who own corporate jets shouldn’t pay their fair taxes? No. But I also think we have to be careful not to stigmatize people, and companies, and individuals who have worked really hard, gotten lucky, and done well–
KELLY HAYES: And achieved success.
MARIA BARTIROMO: –by doing right and achieved success. So I think that’s where, really, there’s a balance to walk. I think we have to preserve that. Because entrepreneurialism, and innovativeness, and this innovation in this country, that’s who we are, as a people. And it’s not ours to own.
Right now, as we sit here, the Russians are creating something called the Skolkovo Project. It’s their version of Silicon Valley. And the Chinese are producing solar panels. Not so that they can use solar panels, so that they could sell solar panels to the rest of the world. So innovation is not owned by America. We can get overtaken.
And so I think it’s really important to preserve innovation, preserve entrepreneurialism, support people who do stick their neck out and try to create a business, and then create jobs. And so I think that’s the fine line that the President has to walk.
KELLY HAYES: Well, one final question here. I’ve seen you walking around on your cellphone, very connected. How does Maria Bartiromo disconnect?
MARIA BARTIROMO: Well, I know I’ve told you before, I love hiking. I go to Arizona a couple times a year. I try to get there twice. Usually in December, around the holidays. And I try to slip in another long weekend, so that I could go take hikes. I love hiking in the mountains in Phoenix, and in Tucson. I do yoga. Yoga has changed my life. I love yoga so much. I really sweat and I feel like it’s an amazing workout, and it also sort of centers me.
But look, I mean I had this discussion with Jack Welch recently. I said to him, you worked all the time in your career. What a sacrifice. And he said to me, and I agree with this, he said, Maria, you call it sacrifice. I call it choices. And so I’ve made choices in my life. And one of those choices is I work a lot, and I love it. So I’m lucky to be able to love what I do, and I know that. And I’m humbled and feel really fortunate to be able to do that. So you say, what do I do to disconnect? I don’t like to disconnect that much.
KELLY HAYES: Got you. Well, thank you for choosing to be with us today. You can see more from Maria Bartiromo at genconnect.com. Thank you, so much.
MARIA BARTIROMO: Thank you, so much. Great to see you.Maria Bartiromo is the anchor of CNBC’s “Closing Bell” (M-F, 3-5 p.m. ET), and anchor and managing editor of the nationally syndicated “Wall Street Journal Report with Maria Bartiromo,” CNBC network. Bartiromo has received numerous other prestigious awards, including a 2008 News and Documentary Emmy for her “Bailout Talks Collapse” program broadcast on NBC Nightly News; and a Gracie Award for “Greenspan: Power, Money & the American Dream,” broadcast on CNBC. She was nominated for a second Emmy Award for her 2009 documentary, “Inside The Mind of Google,” which aired on CNBC.
genConnect is credentialed press at the 2011 Aspen Ideas Festival in Aspen, Colo., where we are interviewing the premier speakers and attendees at the conference. For more of our video interviews and articles from the Ideas Festival, click here.