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Clarke & Dawe reflect on Bush's final fortnig -

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Clarke & Dawe reflect on Bush's final fortnight in office

Broadcast: 23/10/2008

Transcript

KERRY O'BRIEN, PRESENTER: Time for John Clarke and Bryan Dawe, reflecting on President George W.
Bush's final fortnight in office.

BRIAN DAWE (REPORTER): President Bush, thank you very much for your time again.

JOHN CLARKE (PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH): It's very good to be talking with you.

BRIAN DAWE: Can you tell us what is actually happening with the world economy at the moment?

JOHN CLARKE: Well, we are buying into a lot of banks, that's what we are doing, we are spending
billions and billions of dollars buying into a lot of US banks.

BRIAN DAWE: Why are you buying US banks?

JOHN CLARKE: Well, in order to try to fix these terrible, terrible problems we are having the most
appalling, shocking, we are having shocking, shocking, catastrophic problems with the US economy. I
don't know whether you are aware of this, we are having the most dreadful problems with the
economy.

BRIAN DAWE: Yes, I am aware of this President Bush.

JOHN CLARKE: Yeah, well when you are old enough to understand, the whole thing will be explained to
you.

BRIAN DAWE: Well I'm old enough to understand it now actually.

JOHN CLARKE: Yeah, but it can't be explained to you yet.

BRIAN DAWE: Why not?

JOHN CLARKE: Because I don't understand it. I mean, I can't explain it to you until someone
explains it to me.

BRIAN DAWE: Well of course.

JOHN CLARKE: Yes.

BRIAN DAWE: Let me ask you: are these new problems?

JOHN CLARKE: Oh, the new problems are terrible. The new problems that we are having are absolutely
terrible. They are terrible, terrible, terrible problems.

BRIAN DAWE: What are they?

JOHN CLARKE: Well there are these things called credit default swaps.

BRIAN DAWE: What is a credit default swap?

JOHN CLARKE: They are depressing. You get a whole lot of loans that can never possibly be repaid
and you put them in an envelope, and I get a whole lot of loans that I have advanced to people and
they can never be repaid, and I put them in an envelope.

BRIAN DAWE: Right. And then what happens?

JOHN CLARKE: Well then we swap envelopes.

BRIAN DAWE: Why do you swap envelopes?

JOHN CLARKE: Insurance.

BRIAN DAWE: So let me get this right: so when my loans fail -

JOHN CLARKE: Yeah, you can be sure in the knowledge that my loans have failed and that therefore if
we hadn't swapped, whereas if we had swapped we are now bankrupt, if we hadn't swapped -

BRIAN DAWE: We'd still be bankrupt.

JOHN CLARKE: We'd be bankrupt. Yes.

BRIAN DAWE: How many of the credit default swaps are there exactly?

JOHN CLARKE: About $500 trillion worth.

BRIAN DAWE: $500 trillion?

JOHN CLARKE: Yes.

BRIAN DAWE: Well what are you going to do about it?

JOHN CLARKE: Well we are very worried about it. I mean, we're thinking about this all the time.

BRIAN DAWE: What are you going to do though?

JOHN CLARKE: We talk of little else. I have suggested that there be a meeting about it in fact, and
I'm doing something about it personally tomorrow.

BRIAN DAWE: What are you going to do tomorrow?

JOHN CLARKE: I'm going to be getting out of a helicopter and walking to that lectern in the middle
of a lawn. I might take the dog, it could do with a run.

BRIAN DAWE: Are you going to do a salute?

JOHN CLARKE: Yeah, the salute. I think I will take the dog, let the dog know, will you?

BRIAN DAWE: President Bush, thank you very much for your time.

JOHN CLARKE: I am not in this job for long, I'm only here temporarily. How long am I in the job? Oh
God, that long.