'This Week' Transcript: Arnold Schwarzenegger

So I think that everyone is making the effort, but things change, also, all the time. Right now, for instance, the big thing is that we know that in -- in commercial real estate, there will be a shoe dropping very soon, because I think all of those companies that are now, you know, having financial trouble or getting bankrupt, they will not be able to make their payments, the lease payments and so on, and they will pull out. And all of a sudden, you have a real estate building with only half of the places rented.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But on this question of fairness, what do you say to the homeowner who didn't buy too much house, who took an extra job to make sure they -- they made their mortgage payments, and they see their next-door neighbor getting bailed out?

SCHWARZENEGGER: Well, first of all, every situation is different, as you know, that maybe have a job, you can still afford your house. Maybe your neighbor has just lost their job. Isn't it nice when you, for instance, work something out with the bank, where the bank says, "Look, while you're in this situation, we're going to stop you from having to pay. I mean, we understand that you cannot make the payment. We don't want to throw you out of the house. For the next six months, we will not charge you for your -- for your mortgage payment"?

So I think that people just need a little bit of help. What does the bank do when they get stuck with a house that is 40 percent -- has 40 percent less value? I mean, that has been a huge problem in this country in general, because eventually they think that the banks have to -- and the lending institutions have to figure out what to do with that asset. You know, should it be written off, those trillions of dollars of assets?

STEPHANOPOULOS: You've talked often about how you first came to the United States in part because of your hatred of socialism, of the whole socialist system. So I wonder, when you look at government coming in, taking over mortgage companies, taking over insurance companies, the prospect now of nationalization of banks, is that something you now see as necessary?

SCHWARZENEGGER: Well, I -- first of all, I think that we have a really good system here in America. You don't have to talk about nationalization. All it basically says is that if a bank doesn't have the money to -- to give their customers, so if it, you know, defaults in some way, that the federal government comes in, because it secures those moneys.

SCHWARZENEGGER: And so they come in, and they help out, that they go with the bank, because they cannot make the payments anymore, and -- and to business. So the federal government always had that right to take over. So it's not nationalizing anything. I don't see it as such. There's a difference of the way it is in Europe, where the -- where the federal government owns some of those banks, whereas here only if there is a problem financially that the federal government comes in and takes over and helps out.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, and we're seeing that now...

SCHWARZENEGGER: And that's a huge service to the people of America, to have that security to know that, no matter what happens, the federal government will step in and will get your money.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But then the question is, these -- these capital infusions from the federal government may give them essentially majority stake in some of the biggest banks in the country. Is that something you're prepared to accept?

Page
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...