October 8th, 2011
06:03 PM ET

This week on GPS: Tom Friedman, Michael Lewis and Starbucks CEO on the U.S. economy

This week, GPS hones in on the economy from four crucial angles and with four great guests.

- The true scale of our fiscal problems, with Martin Wolf, the Chief Economics Commentator at the Financial Times.

- A snapshot of the American economy from a man who has 11,000 data points - that's the number of Starbucks cafes in the U.S.  Fareed speaks to Starbucks Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz.

- A look at the U.S. economy's Achilles Heel - what is it? Moneyball author Michael Lewis tells all.

- And, how to fix our problems: with Tom Friedman of the New York Times.

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Topics: GPS Episodes • GPS Show

soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. James

    I'd like to second Cary Bean. GPS is perhaps one of the few good sources left in the media concerning current affairs. I also watch GPS on the go and the VodCasts are unparalleled in their quality and ease of access. Please CNN, keep the same format. It would be a great loss to not have more content available online.

    October 9, 2011 at 6:43 am | Reply
  2. Matt Hougen

    I find it ironic that I will be the third person commenting here, and also the third person commenting on the fact that GPS is no longer available on iTunes. Fareed, I love your show. I feel that the topics and issues you elaborate on are crucial to the larger picture of America's future, yet you often highlight stories that are mentioned no where else in the media. Thank you for your dedication towards depicting truth and accuracy in our government and our economy (I feel you are one of the most keen and intelligent observers of the American economy today). Thank you also for standing up for truth and justice in the name of Muslim Americans and Islam in general. There are far too Americans out there that have your background, your credentials, and your overall clout when it comes to these issues.

    I am extremely disappointed that I will no longer be able to watch your show. I have been dedicated to downloading the free podcast on iTunes each and every Sunday because I cannot afford cable television and this is one of the few media outlets that I felt privileged to be able to watch no charge. I always felt like it was an excellent stance to take - post your show online for free so that people from all walks of live can learn and enjoy GPS. I'm sure that this decision wasn't even up to the show itself, it is probably dictated by CNN as a whole... but please, do what you can to get the show back up on the web. Thousands of people are missing out. Even if I had cable, I wouldn't watch CNN as it has gone off the deep end in recent years. Fareed Zakaria GPS is a diamond in the rough, and I wish it wasn't unfairly pulled from the internet. What a shame.

    October 9, 2011 at 9:43 am | Reply
    • Matt Hougen

      Sorry, I meant to say far too 'few' Americans out there that have your background. Thank you.

      October 9, 2011 at 9:45 am | Reply
  3. Alan

    As with Cary and James I too watch GPS while traveling and would be greatly disappointed if this option was just removed from their loyal audience without even a second thought or acknowledgement.

    CNN please consider alternatives, watching on the move is here to stay and producers are going work with these concepts.

    October 9, 2011 at 9:50 am | Reply
    • jason

      I'm very disappointed that I can't download the show. Please have CNN reconsider.

      October 9, 2011 at 7:25 pm | Reply
  4. Jason & Dana Hegna

    This morning on FZ-GPS, a graph displayed indicating a high correlation between employment and investment in business over time. FZ interpreted this correlation as CAUSATION, stating that when money is invested into business, employment increases.

    FZ appears to have a keen mind to use to interpret his observations of reality, but his overall perspective has some serious defectiveness due to his *loose logical associations* and minimal understanding of inductive and deductive reasoning procedures in the mind. We would advise, NOT that he *think outside the box,* but, rather, that he begins to look IN the box more closely in order to have more correctness to his interpretations.

    October 9, 2011 at 10:46 am | Reply
  5. Jason & Dana Hegna

    How to fix America...

    Have you considered these actions?

    Re-tool. Quit giving industry incentive to produce overseas. Re-tool for production, once again.

    Tariff: Tax incoming products so that their cost is equivalent to American-made.

    Living-wage. Business needs to pay a living-wage so that it does not have to encourage illegal migration. note: If the U.S. had invested in Mexico, we'd be crossing the border in order to find jobs with living-wages. (Of course, this ought to probably be addressed at the level where individuals are sophisticated enough to generate massive profits, rather than reasonable profit.)

    It will be difficult for us Americans during the re-tooling time, but, we can, again, produce quality items. And produce QUALITY items, we must, because,

    the thing that *made America great* was our natural resources, and, they are nearly depleted.

    October 9, 2011 at 11:21 am | Reply
    • Steven Swann

      You suggest raising wages and increases tariffs for imports.

      Perhaps you are unaware that these very actions accelerated unemployment and crushed global economies in a minor event known as the Great Depression.

      Look it up. I'm surprised that you might be unaware of the enormous wave of unempolyment which followed the mandatory wage increases in the 1930s, and the round of tariffs which begat nationalization and global collapse.


      October 9, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Reply
      • Mike

        It is not so easy to say the result would be the same in an era of widespread globalization. Targeted tariffs should not be off the table, but they are certainly not the preferred option. The world no longer relies on gold-backed currency on the scale it once did, which played a large role in the European depression after WWI. This is a very different environment and while history should not be forgotten, context has to accounted for. Companies cant be forced to employ Americans, so the only recourse is to make it less profitable to export jobs. Of course, American businesses don't factor in that their collective efforts in exporting jobs eventually impoverishes their customer base. Then again, they have not been the ones suffering the consequences, either.

        October 9, 2011 at 10:19 pm |
  6. Sylvia Wilkinson

    I too am heartbroken that the whole show cannot be seen on the computer. I recommended the wonderful October 9 show as the best program I have ever seen to a friend with no television only to find out he could only get the opening on "soft" Americans and one minute of the Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz.

    October 9, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Reply
    • Revanth

      you can get your car stolen you now why well 2% of poicle in britan are dirty cops so so evil man may nick your can and ITS THE POLICE FOLT(i got told this by my mate trust me)

      August 8, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Reply
  7. Rose McDonald

    Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could have a president like Tom Freedman instead of a politician?????????????

    October 9, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Reply
    • Lynn

      No, please no, absolutely not. Here is a man who says that people earning $50K have to tighten their belts, but who advocated invading Iraq at a cost of several trillion $$, money that he might have advocated instead be invested in education and infrastructure investments, back when we were running a surplus. It actually makes me sick to hear his patronizing commentary when he got everything completely wrong back when there was a budget surplus and a chance to invest in a brighter future for America.

      October 9, 2011 at 7:07 pm | Reply
  8. William Prince

    Martin Wolf was the only really knowledgeable person on your show. Clearly he understands the economy, like Paul Krugman, that we need a larger stimulus. This months New Yorker magazine has a great article by John Cassidy, Jphn Maynard Keynes that sets the record straight. This is a crisis of demand. You should have Cassidy on your show. The CEO of Starbucks is naive and Tom Friedman, while right about goverment backed innovation, has lost touch with political economy, if he ever was in touch. Lewis made some good points but with the wrong emphasis. The people occupying wall street reflect an organic knowledge of who cause the problem and the haven't been punished. In fact they are financing the return of the insanity. Keynes was right, he still is right, however the right mix of economic elements requires a master chef not a republican soup kitchen receipe..

    October 9, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Reply
    • j. von hettlingen

      Martin Wolf approves Obama's job creation program. Debts shouldn't matter too much for the time being.

      October 9, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Reply
    • kestas

      You can't spend yourself out of Economic crises. The only way it will work is if you going to invest in production or something that will benefit the country on the long run. If your stimulus is only promotes consumption with special tax breaks, it won't solve anything. Y

      October 10, 2011 at 9:32 am | Reply
  9. Margaret Canniff

    Watched your show and listened to all of the economists predicting doom and gloom and basically laying the blame on the American culture over the last 20 years. I was especially “ticked” by Mr. Friedman’s dissertation on how the ‘50’s were the apparent “dawn” of all the advancement, entrepreneurship, etc. that made us great.

    I was a teenage in the ‘50’s and they were not the best years – they were the evolving years, yes, but they were just the beginning of America’s greatness. And one of the most monumental actions of the ‘50’s was the passage of the GI Bill, which educated all of those young men returning from war. But people of color (African Americans, Hispanics, Asians) were still discriminated against, as were women, Catholics and Jews.

    Which is why, from my experience, America’s greatness really came about in the ‘60’s when the Civil Rights Bill was passed and everyone had their shot at the American Dream.

    For me, the downfall started with Reagan. Reagan gave us tax cuts (for me it was $7.00 per month) but cut government programs for education. So my husband and I had to spend $800 per month (half of my monthly salary) to put our youngest son through his last year in college. And then he left us with deficits, which he said (as did VP Cheney) were not a problem. (Under Carter, we had been able to send 4 of our 6 children through school with the help of loans and grants which all of them paid back.)

    Then, luckily, Clinton came in and restored needed government programs and raised taxes to pay for them and bring down the deficit. And we ended up with a surplus!

    And, then came “W” and the give-back of taxes to the rich and 2 wars and the dismantling of regulation and government programs. And we had deficits once again.

    I am a Liberal Democrat. I want Government to protect me from pollution in the air or water, from unsafe food, unsafe medicines (like thalidomide), deceptive business practices, and discrimination. Government needs to provide funding for infrastructure, health care, education, and disaster relief. And, like most people I know, I am willing to pay more in taxes to ensure Government can do all those things. Only the Republicans seem to have a problem with this.

    I am on Social Security but am still working in the public school system so I’m still contributing to the tax base. I have forgone COLA’s on my Social Security and accepted an increase in my health care premium. So, Mr. Friedman, I think I am paying my share. Why won’t the Republicans? And, how about those corporations who took bailouts and then turned around and gave their execs million-dollar bonuses? Where is their fair share?

    October 9, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Reply
  10. Stacy C.

    Mr. Zakaria is a longtime favorite of mine in the media and I have read his book 'The Post American World.' GPS is one of the best newscasts on television, especially since Nightline lost Ted Koppel. I'm hoping I'm wrong, but I believe that on today's show, while Mr. Zakaria was interviewing the Starbucks CEO, he referred to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (health reform) as 'Obamacare,' a derogatory term coined by Republicans to diminish the bill. A journalist of Mr. Zakaria's stature should not adopt childish talking points from EITHER party. If he does not wish to call the bill by it's proper name, he can still refer to it as the President's health reform bill or in some other way without resorting to using a partisan term.

    October 9, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Reply
  11. Carolyn Page

    On 10-09-11 -Sent the following note to Howard Schultz, Starbucks Chairman and CEO after seeing him discuss his list of 150 corporate executives:

    “Saw you on CNN’s Zareed Zakaria GPS this morning.

    I applaud you for gathering these signatures and hope that your list will grow to include all American Corporations. Most Americans do not ever want any more of corporations’ money that has contaminated our political elections and process. We particularly do not want money from corporations who use unfair labor practices whether here or abroad.

    I am hopeful that you will join the efforts being garnered to remove corporations’ personhood status which addresses the root of our failing economy.

    Carolyn Page"

    October 9, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Reply
  12. Mary McConnell

    To: CEO of Starbucks
    CEOs are saying we need leadership in Washington. Give an example: Who is supposed to say what to whom? The President or a devisive Congress? Nobody is listening. History tells us this has happened before, and it will again. CEO's need to quit waiting for anything in Washington. You'll be waiting a long time. Lead your own company, don't know the future? Look at your risk assessment of your business plan.

    October 9, 2011 at 6:10 pm | Reply
  13. Joe Tully

    Michael Lewis made a comment about "morphine" taken at in response to the American banking crisis. FZ didn't ask what was the morphine and who used it? I suspect (imagine) Lewis meant that the banks receiving assistance paid only simple interest and their shareholders suffered no pain. This has been going on since the Chrysler bailout decades past. If you want to fix the moral hazard of a bailout you dilute the shareholders to an extent they and the investment community will not soon forget. To rough say you? Remember that American banks enjoy the privilege of a US government guarantee on deposits (up to a limit). If I guarantee your obligation, I 'own' you and you operate under my rules...unless the situation is so desperate that it requires mores assistance. Then you 'own' me.

    October 9, 2011 at 6:13 pm | Reply
  14. judith

    each Sunday, i let my Facebook friends know, Fareed is on! tonight i tried to post Tom Friedman (and his book) to Facebook and found i cannot. read others comments to find you must watch or tape the show from television? did i get that right? i think i am giving you free advertising by posting and sharing. you must view it differently.

    October 9, 2011 at 11:30 pm | Reply
  15. Orde Wingate

    Michael Lewis gets it; Martin Wolf does not. Neither does Europe, nor many of the OWS protesters.

    Wolf is arguing that we can spend our way to prosperity. Europe still thinks the solution to a problem caused by too much debt is more debt. OWS thinks "Gender Studies" majors who graduated with $75K in debt deserve a good job, and wants to "end the wars" and "stop corporate greed and bailouts" by re-electing Obama, who has started more wars than he has stopped, and continued with the same What Wall Street Wants, Wall Street Gets policy of Paulson, Bush, and Geithner.

    There is no solution except taking the pain of our self-induced hangover.

    October 10, 2011 at 7:22 am | Reply
  16. Darrell Greco

    I am tired of these CEO's saying there is 2 trillion dollars sitting in their coffers but they have too much uncertainty to spend it. Nonsense. This is supply side economic mantra. It doesn't work. There is no demand for their products because people don't have money for discretionary spending. People either don't have a job or are afraid of losing their jobs. The jobs the private sector are creating are low paying service jobs. We need heavy government stimulus to support a huge jobs bill. Putting money in people's pockets will create demand and a large tax base. This will give the private sector the uncertainty it is looking for.

    October 10, 2011 at 7:25 am | Reply
    • Orde Wingate

      The $2 trillion is offshore in low tax environments, and it is being used by the corps as blackmail to get tax concessions from Congress or the Administration. GE, that bailed out bank that happens to have a legacy aircraft engine and lightbulb business (t4-7's hat tip), earned $14 billion in 2010, and paid $0.00 in US tax. The world is never enough.

      October 10, 2011 at 8:36 am | Reply
  17. Darrell Greco

    The certainty I meant to say

    October 10, 2011 at 7:26 am | Reply
  18. simon carter

    Just watched this weeks GPS and was a bit taken aback when Fareed didn't challenge Scultz, CEO of Starbucks when he said the actual deficit is 47 trillion dollars and NOT 14 trillion ! Does Fareed himself or anyone else have any clue as to what Scultz is talking about and more importantly how close is it to the truth? Any ideas anyone?
    Regards Simon

    October 10, 2011 at 10:05 am | Reply
  19. Eric G. Bostrom

    These interviews were all informative and interesting but I think that each interviewee was offering a perspective skewed by preferences that tended to ignore some other aspects of the issues that they discussed.

    Friedman has been an advocate of free markets and free trade for a very long time. His perspective tends to ignore the disparity between the interests of our nation verses the interests of individual businesses and investors. So when he discusses reforms his emphasis is anchored in attracting investments by businesses where businesses have developed preferences of investing in growing and underdeveloped countries where labor and the costs of production are very low, lower than we can afford in this country, a developed and modern country with a high standard of living. He falls into that mind set that only promises domestic growth if the U.S. waits for the rest of the world to catch up or for the U.S. to deliberately undevelop itself until people are impoverished enough to mirror the developing countries.

    The Starbucks CEO reflects his retail sales business perspective, Michael Lewis views the world from a non-fiction writer's perspective. Each miss some part or exaggerate the importance of some other aspect of the situation for which they evidently have not much interest.

    We have a problem when a quarter of our wealth is in the hands of 1% because it tends to concentrate the wealth where they have interests and deny it elsewhere. When they prefer foreign or speculative investments or purchased and acquisitions it can be a problem. With commercial banks able to invest as they wish in financial markets, the returns and risks for investing in small businesses and individuals seems like poorer opportunities in comparison. The concentration of wealth at the top is not a per se bad thing but in the context of our nation's wealth creation, it can become a crucial factor when the money is not being invested in a way that provides capital and sales that go from top to bottom.

    The incentives to reduce taxes with the thought that it will generate more domestic business must be constrained to account for where the saved taxes are going. There is a fundamental problem with taxpayers bearing the burden of high finances follies and assistance to the most wealthy followed by defunding of government and the programs that help the vast majority of the country because higher taxes on those who made money and also crashed the economy with their speculations is against the ideology of conservatives.

    We are not having a really candid discussion of the scope and context of the problems we face, yet.

    October 10, 2011 at 11:26 am | Reply
  20. Jolmer Schukken

    Dear Fareed,

    I too am a big fan. Your show is the only TV show I listen to religiously. Like some other people here, family and work commitments make it inconvenient for me to watch it at set hours on CNN and therefore the pod- and videocasts were a great solution. I understand their is a cost to producing such an excellent show and am more than happy to pay my small but fair share. I would in fact be happy to subscribe to ensure a regular revenue stream. Looking at the above and past comments I am confident that I am not alone in this. Small but fair amount multiplied by many viewers = hopefully something worthwhile. Since the costs of producing the podcasts if the show is already taped must be close to zero, I see only upside? Here is hoping you and the CNN team will consider doing this.

    October 10, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Reply
  21. sam M

    I'm sad your podcast is not available in full form. I would love to pay a small fee per episode, say a dollar or two. Content generates should always look for more ways to promote their products, please don't take a few steps back to the 90s.

    Your cost of reproduction and transmission are near zero, while there is huge revenue on the other side. Why not add commercials and become a hulu type venture? Your content is not relevant after a few weeks because of events on the ground in most cases, so you might as well try to milk what profit you can. Please reconsider your short sighted decisions CNN management.

    October 10, 2011 at 6:08 pm | Reply
  22. Tim Reeves

    Fareed. You failed to correct Tom Friedman when he identified you (like him) as part of the Baby Boomer generation. Tho this may mean little to you at heart for not having grown up in the USA, you are most definitely not part of the Boomers, who wouldn't think twice to identify and Xer they actually like as Gen X (such as Obama, for example). Gen Xer's do not blindly follow the "situationalism" that Boomers do (vs Greatest Gen who is save & invest – I agree). Not that no Xers do this – there are – but they are sardonically aware of the destructiveness in it even when they do. Boomers are not. So take it as a compliment that Friedman identified you as such, but it does not reflect well on you in the eyes of Xers that you failed to call him on that.

    October 14, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Reply
  23. GregN

    Agree with all of the above. I would be happy to pay a small fee rather than have a shortened version of one of the only thinking persons news shows available. I live in Singapore and the show is simply not shown live at a convenient time.

    October 15, 2011 at 11:57 pm | Reply
  24. Alan

    Firstly thank you FZ and GPS team for acknowledging your "on the go" audience (re removing the full video podcast) in your recent 10 minute bite size video podcast.

    Shame you couldn't give the reason behind the decision (production cost, wanting to prioritise your show on TV) or open a discussion with your audience on ways to bring it back (micro-transactions, advertisements (would this work for your advisers globally ? etc).

    A question for you, how does a full video podcast differ from individuals using a PVR/DVR and then transferring to a mobile device?) – sorry to go on about this but I am not getting into the audio podcasts and haven't had a chance to sit down and watch the show on CNN in the UK...


    Still hopeful audience member from the UK...

    October 17, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Reply
  25. Sato

    Sure, pernpipg for launch sometime in Late February/Early March, SonarApp.com will be a tool for people to use in their company to communicate easier with people. Think Twitter, but private, for people that work. We have geo information to give context to the content and also have some fun things in store that I'm not quite ready to reveal yet. Check out our site and sign up to be notified when it launches. I will only send out one email (the launch notice), I promise.

    February 12, 2012 at 2:06 am | Reply
  26. Janell Larocque

    RE: Interview with Michael Lewis on September 16, 2012. I found the discussion about transactional verses non-transactional relationships very interesting. The comments about not being able to fake superficial transactional relationships running counter to most Washington DC dynamics explains a lot about his relationships with the DIVAs in Congress. So going to the next step, does this mean that a good leader is someone who can fake it in interpersonal political relations?

    September 16, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Reply

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