Transcript: White House Senior Advisor David Plouffe

EL-ERIAN: Oh, huge. I mean, that's why we wiped a trillion dollars -- I mean, if you want to know what it means for the 401(k), they've basically lost 6.5 percent of their savings over the week. We need to move quickly on a number of areas, and it has to be the U.S. having the Sputnik moment, realizing that the time has come for political unity, Europe having a moment of truth, and China helping out.

WILL: Maybe the answer is to quit looking for remedies. That is, we keep trying to cure Greece. Let it go.

AMANPOUR: But, George, we saw what happened when Lehman fell, and what if the others had fallen? I mean, it would have been a drama worse than we've already had.

WILL: What is being suggested is they ought to have what we did after Lehman Brothers, which is a TARP for all of Europe. Italy is too big to fail and too big to bail. It's the third-largest economy over there. There is not enough money in Europe to bail out Europe.

FREELAND: I think that's actually wrong. And the problem with saying, "Just let it go," is they have a shared currency now, so just let it go isn't an alternative.

WILL: Let it go, too.

FREELAND: You have to have -- you have -- OK, but let the euro go is not simple. That's much more complicated than letting Lehman fail.

WILL: It doesn't get...

FREELAND: And the people who are supporting that have to have a clear plan for how Europe looks without the euro.

WILL: It doesn't get simpler by delaying the inevitable.

AMANPOUR: But what I hear is that there are the financial resources and tools to deal with this, but the -- but the politics around is so difficult. Austan, you know about that.

GOOLSBEE: I think that -- look, I'd say two things. The first is, the politicians and policymakers in Europe aren't dumb. I mean, they look around. Every single government around the world that bailed out its financial institutions fell. And if the U.S. had a parliamentary system, we would have fallen twice over the last three years from this. It's highly toxic.

And so with their version of the TARP, they didn't have stress tests the first time around. Everybody presumes their banks aren't in as good a condition as ours were, and that's why they didn't make it public. Their TARP isn't as big and isn't structured to be as helpful to get private money in there.

So if they go -- if they get into problems, I don't know that the euro would survive. I kind of think the U.S. has got to -- we've got to just focus on what we can do. There's -- there's not much we can do about that, except tell the Europeans, "You've got to fess up to your problems. You've got to show the world what's in the banks. And you've got to recapitalize them."

But on our side, I truly hope that Mohamed is right that we can start coming together. It doesn't have to be just government-directed to -- to get the economy growing, but it's got to grow. We've got to shift to business investment and exports. There's not going to be massive residential construction again. That bubbles over.

AMANPOUR: So just to go to Mohamed's point, Secretary Geithner said this week, "We're seeing a terrible wave of politics get in the way of governments doing what is necessary and essential and urgent for the economy. We have a political system that looks manifestly broken, and it makes people nervous about the future."

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