CBS ‘Early Show’: Obama Gives Wall Street A ‘Tongue-Lashing’

Jeff Glor, CBS Showing that Barack Obama is fighting for the common man, on Friday’s CBS Early Show correspondent Jeff Glor reported on the President’s reaction to big bonuses on Wall Street: "For a man who prides himself on being cool, this was a rare flash of anger, if planned. A tongue-lashing directly from the Oval Office, which is indicating now they will look to change the rules if Wall Street doesn't itself."

Glor explained: "...firms gave out $18.4 billion in bonuses to New York-based employees last year, the same year the Dow Jones caved in 33%. And yes, a lot of the bonus money came from T.A.R.P. government bailout funds, taxpayer dollars." There was no mention of the fact that then Senator Obama was a strong supporter of the bailout.

At the top of the show, co-host Julie Chen declared: "Target Wall Street. An angry President Obama lashes out at bonuses worth nearly $20 billion." Co-host Harry Smith introduced Glor’s report in a similar fashion: "In our series ‘Red, White, and Greed,’ President Obama chastising Wall Street for paying itself big bonuses while the economy and the banking industry tanked."

Here is the full transcript of the segment:

7:00AM TEASE:

JULIE CHEN: Target Wall Street. An angry President Obama lashes out at bonuses worth nearly $20 billion.

BARACK OBAMA: That is the height of irresponsibility. It is shameful.

CHEN: But can the Fed get its money back?

7:05AM

HARRY SMITH: In our series 'Red, White, and Greed,' President Obama chastising Wall Street for paying itself big bonuses while the economy and the banking industry tanked. Early Show national correspondent Jeff Glor is here with more on that. Good morning, sir.

JEFF GLOR: Harry, good morning to you. For a man who prides himself on being cool, this was a rare flash of anger, if planned. A tongue-lashing directly from the Oval Office, which is indicating now they will look to change the rules if Wall Street doesn't itself. The president said he saw the numbers in the news and thought one thing, outrageous.

BARACK OBAMA: At a time when most of these institutions were teetering on collapse and they are asking for taxpayers to help sustain them, that is the height of irresponsibility. It is shameful.

TOM DINAPOLI: Well, the president expressed outrage, and I think main street expresses outrage as well.

OBAMA: State comptroller Tom Dinapoli reports that firms gave out $18.4 billion in bonuses to New York-based employees last year, the same year the Dow Jones caved in 33%. And yes, a lot of the bonus money came from T.A.R.P. government bailout funds, taxpayer dollars. While the 2008 bonus number is down 44% compared to 2007, it was still the sixth largest on record. And while the average worker's bonus dropped 37%, they still got an average of $112,000 in extra pay.

OBAMA: There will be time for them to make profits, and there will be time for them to get bonuses. Now's not that time.

GLOR: It is worth noting that 260,000 jobs were cut in the financial sector last year. And Wall Street has long bristled at outside criticism, saying the public and government officials simply don't understand private industry. But this tension now is likely to only increase. Harry.

SMITH: Jeff, here's my question. Is there any real likelihood that any of this money will get back into government hands?

GLOR: It's a question a lot of people are asking, and some lawmakers want it back. We looked into it. The experts say it is highly unlikely any of this money is returned.

SMITH: Alright. Thanks, Jeff.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC