ABC News’ Stu Schutzman reports:
When money maven Suze Orman talks, millions of Americans tune in or read her books or check out her website, which is a veritable schmorgesboard of financial self-help and a glimpse at her vast empire.
"She is a paradox," writes Jacob Bernstein in today’s Women’s Wear Daily, "a paradigm of self-branding wrapped around a heart that actually beats."
Time Magazine dubs her the "most recognizable personal-finance expert in the world." "Like a medic tending injured soldiers on a battlefield," writes Time’s Sheelah Kolhatkar, "she spends her days fielding calls from people who are in financial peril…"
With the country now in financial peril, Orman has not been shy about lambasting the people she believes got us into this mess or are charged with getting us out of it. She recently took off on the President’s economic adviser Larry Summers for suggesting Americans start buying cars to stimulate economic recovery. That, said Orman, was "the most irresponsible thing anybody could say. Mr. Summers, I am so sorry," she continued, "I understand we have to spur the economy of the U.S., but don’t do it off the people who don’t have jobs, who don’t have a pot to pee in." Ouch!!
"The worse things get," says Time, "the harder she is to avoid." So Duck Mr. Bush, it’s coming your way. Orman lays this whole mess squarely on the former President’s shoulders. "Commander in Chief?" she says with scorn in today’s WWD, "You blew up every single financial vessel we had and if you think you aren’t personally responsible , well, the blame starts at the top. There is no higher top than you, sir." Double ouch!! And she’s not done yet.
"If I were you, says Orman, "I would feel so absolutely horrific that I would take every penny I had and distribute it to anybody and everybody to help them in whatever way I could." And now the coup de grace — "You owe the American people every penny of your fortune and your family’s fortune." Whew!
The only saving grace — Mr. Bush’s popularity was so low when he left office, even a rant by Suzy Orman won’t do much more damage. But people will listen.