'This Week' Transcript: Economic Roundtable

I also disagree that we're taking money, quote, "out of the economy" if we improve public transportation, if we improve highways. That's your concept. You're taking money out of the economy if you make sure a bridge doesn't fall down. I think you keep people out of the water. You're not taking money out of the economy.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And on the -- on the issue of credit, there's -- it's a separate question. The president is going to probably have to come forward and ask for potentially hundreds of billions of dollars more for the banks. Is that something you can support?

DEMINT: Well, we're calling these Wall Street guys idiots for their bonuses. I think maybe the real question about intelligence comes from the politicians who are giving these guys money.

A lot has to sort out in the market here. We're rewarding failure by bailing out the worst of the banks instead of rewarding success. The first round of TARP did not support lending, which was its whole point. We've got to loosen up the credit markets.

I'm not convinced the guys from Wall Street who are running Treasury know how to do it. They know how wealth is traded, but they don't know how it's created on Main Street.

So, obviously, we need to loosen up credit, but what we've been doing hasn't been working. And if government spending, Barney, got our economy going, we would have the best economy in the world. We have never...

(CROSSTALK)

FRANK: Spending on Iraq was never going to do that. Can I just say, too -- we're talking -- I agree that, under the Bush administration, you introduced...

DEMINT: Bush is gone.

FRANK: Excuse me, Jim. You talked about Democrats and Republicans.

DEMINT: I have not.

FRANK: He's gone, and it is a mistake to assume that the Obama administration hasn't learned from the mistakes of the Bush administration. I believe they're going to do it very differently.

I agree that Secretary Paulson, whom I generally admired, made a mistake in not pushing them to do more lending. I think you're going to see the Obama administration, having learned from that, push for much more lending. There are going to be some real rules in there.

SCHMIDT: But you could just publish -- you could just publish what people are doing, and we could figure out where the money's going. All you have to do is put these things on Web sites.

FRANK: They are going to be.

SCHMIDT: One of the ways -- in fact, one of the issues with TARP was it wasn't generally known where the money went. If we simply -- as part of your work got every single dollar and where it went, we could prove whether your argument is right or your argument is right.

DEMINT: But you assume we can actually track that stuff.

(CROSSTALK)

FRANK: Excuse me. Can I just say, first of all, our guys -- I would say, putting on a Web site, you're not entirely disinterested...

SCHMIDT: Of course.

FRANK: ... but that's OK. Fred might want us to mail them to everybody, deliver them -- deliver them in a package. But the point is, we're going to do that.

In fact, the new inspector general, who was set up -- we've set up a special inspector general. Confirmation was delayed in the Senate. And Mr. Barofsky is now about to demand of every recipient of TARP, past and future, that they do exactly what you say and that we will publish on our Web site.

So there was -- I agree. It was not -- I think it was better to have had it than not, but it is going to be done.

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