Transcript: White House Senior Advisor David Plouffe

The president's got a terrific short-term plan to help the economy, the American Jobs Act. It's part of his longer-term economic strategy. And that's what our focus is going to be on, is -- as the president said in his speech to Congress a few weeks ago, there's 14 months until the next election. The American people don't have 14 months to wait. So while there's going to be some big debates in that election that will be settled by the election, we have to act right now.

AMANPOUR: David Plouffe, thank you very much, indeed, for joining us.

PLOUFFE: Thank you, Christiane.

AMANPOUR: So, as the White House continues to push its jobs plan, Wall Street ended its worst week since the financial crisis in the fall of 2008. For the week, the Dow dropped 738 points, which is down 6.4 percent. And anxiety over a global economic downturn rattled markets around the world.


(UNKNOWN): Fears have increased over a second wave of worldwide economic recession, as Asian markets opened up with a slump.


AMANPOUR: Even in China, which had been a bright spot in the global economy, business activity is down sharply.


(UNKNOWN): And a lot of economic pain out there, especially across Europe, this morning.


AMANPOUR: And Europe's growing debt crisis threatens to undermine its banks, as Greece teeters perilously on the edge of default. A statement issued by the International Monetary Fund, as it meets in Washington this weekend, warned, "The global economy has ended a dangerous phase," calling for exceptional vigilance, coordination, and readiness to take bold action.

Joining me now, four people with bold ideas about the global economic crisis, Austan Goolsbee, the former chairman of President Obama's Council of Economic Advisers and now back in his role as professor of economics at the University of Chicago; Mohamed El-Erian, CEO of PIMCO, one of the world's largest investment firms; Reuters global editor-at-large Chrystia Freeland, and, of course, ABC's George Will.

Thank you all. This is a big week of problems for the economy, George. What do you think -- the White House is trying to get Europe to stop this -- this debacle and this contagion. What should be happening now with Greece?

WILL: Understanding that Greece is going to default. Greece has not yet in its two-year crisis fired a single civil servant. Greece has a national railroad, the revenues of which are one-seventh of their expenses. The Greek transportation minister said it would be cheaper to put all their passengers in taxi cabs. They've done nothing to -- now, imagine, Christiane, starting the next recession at 9.1 unemployment, starting the next recession with 22 percent of Americans with mortgages underwater. That's what we face.

AMANPOUR: That's rather dire medicine. Obviously, everybody is trying to figure out how to at least manage a partial Greek default, but a full-scale default, what precise impact would it have on the world and on Americans?

GOOLSBEE: I mean, it wouldn't be good. And I think you've -- I don't quite see how they get out of this box, both -- the Europeans are politically boxed in. I think George is right. You have seen this kind of fiscal unease, but at the same time, being locked in a -- in a monetary union where the Germans have been able to not have their currency appreciate.

AMANPOUR: But what will this do for Americans?

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