February 19, 2018

CNN Edits Interview to Make Goldman Sachs Head Appear Worried About ‘Overheaing’

A current CNN mission is throwing cold water on the economy — even if doing so involves misleadingly editing interviews. When Goldman Sachs Chairman Lloyd Blankfein told Christine Romans Wednesday that “I haven’t felt this good since 2006″ about the economy, Romans said, “That’s not what I want to hear.” Meanwhile, CNN’s editors ensured that the interview as seen on New Day ended negatively.

The press constantly airs fears the economy may “overheat,” a non-existent worry under Barack Obama.

Blankfein acknowledged the concern, as anyone who manages investments in the current economy would.

Concern is one thing; undue fear is quite another. Romans, as seen below, was not interested in perspective, while CNN’s New Day editors left matters on a negative note:

New Day Transcript:

(0:25-1:14 of CNN Money interview

CHRSTINE ROMANS, CNN: Small business optimism is higher than it’s been in decades. The money is flowing. The taxes have been cut. Regulations are being cut. What could go wrong?

LLOYD BLANKFEIN, GOLDMAN SACHS: What could possibly go wrong?

ROMANS: What could go wrong, Lloyd Blankfein?

BLANKFEIN: I haven’t felt this way — I haven’t felt this good since 2006.

ROMANS: Yes, that’s not what I want to hear.

BLANKFEIN: Yes, exactly.

ROMANS: It could –

BLANKFEIN: Well, that’s true. We have to have that in mind.

ROMANS: Is there a risk of overheating here?

BLANKFEIN: Yes, of course, there is. I would say the conditions are not just benign, they’re highly supportive of a good economy.

ROMANS: Right.

BLANKFEIN: The economy was good before. On top of it we put in a trillion and a half dollars of tax cuts, then $100 billion of spending over — additional spending. Maybe even an infrastructure bill.

ROMANS: Right.

BLANKFEIN: And so, the sentiment is very positive, and interest rates are relatively low for where we are in the growth cycle. The issue could be potentially — I’m not saying this is — this is certainly not my base case, but I’m in the business of worrying about small but adverse probabilities

ROMANS: Right.

BLANKFEIN: — is too much of a good thing.

(Next 1:11 skipped)

(2:25-2:32)

And I would say that the odds of a bad outcome have gone up.

Why skip over a minute of the interview? Among other things, CNN’s editors didn’t want New Day viewers to gain important historical perspective Blankfein added in between:

Transcript:

(1:15-1:29 of full interview)

BLANKFEIN: If the economy starts to overheat and the Fed feels it’s behind, the markets (are) saying “Gosh, can the Fed raise twice? Can they raise three times, maybe four times in this year?

Well, guess what? I remember 1994, when the Fed was raising in between meetings.

Blankfein’s point: The economy has handled rising rates when on a solid foundation. (The historically weak Obama economy could not.)

The failure to air Blankfein’s historical perspective made him appear more worried about the “bad outcome” of overheating than he really is. At CNN, that means “Mission accomplished.”

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