(This post previous appeared at Wall St. Cheat Sheet)
Charlie Gasparino recently left CNBC for FOX Business. I caught up with Charlie to see what’s on his mind in his new environment …
Damien Hoffman: Charlie, was there any specific reason you moved over to FOX?
Charlie: I always wanted to work for FOX. People keep asking me “What happened? Why would you want to work for FOX?” FOX is a place that’s good for me. I would have come here sooner if I didn’t have a very labour intensive book. I couldn’t just start a job while taking off two months.
I needed to put a lot of time into this job. I’m doing a book now called Bought And Paid For — the unholy alliance between Wall Street and big government. But it’s not the type of work as The Sellout.
Damien: So, the topic is something you can research while you’re currently reporting?
Charlie: Yeah. I covered the topic for years at the Wall Street Journal. When I left the Wall Street Journal, no one really cared about this mid-ground where Wall Street meets Big Government. Understanding the confluence helped me break all those stories back in 2008 during the financial crisis.
I knew the financial system was going to be saved or not by the government. That gave me a leg up on the other reporters. That’s why I looked to see if they were going to bail out AIG after Lehman. I knew a grand bailout plan was on the table, and went out to find the people to confirm it.
Damien: Were those the biggest scoops of your career?
Charlie: Those were probably the two biggest stories of my life until I came here and broke the Tiger Woods story. [Laughing]
Damien: When I saw you broke that story, I did a double take. I thought, “Really? Charlie broke Tiger Woods?”
Charlie: Well, that one came through one of the sponsors which was a financial company.
Damien: Ah. That makes more sense. Getting back to that other unholy relationship — Wall Street and Washington — what is your current pulse on the new paradigm?
Charlie: this is going to be an interesting time for Wall Street. The administration is centralizing all the power of the financial business in Washington. They are taking over banks and establishing new regulation. There could be massive changes.
However, right now there’s a gridlock. Contrary to popular belief, the Republican party isn’t crazy about Wall Street. People think they’re joined aren’t the hip, but they aren’t. Wall Street supported Obama in an unprecedented fashion and there are many democrats among the upper echelons of Wall Street.
That doesn’t mean the Republicans are just going to roll over and allow the Democrats to do something ideologically at odds with their main mission of less government intervention. If you see an ascendant Republican party, I think there is a good shot none of this bank regulation is going to happen — or, there will be extremely watered down versions of it.
One exception is the notion of “too big to fail.” That’s the one thing Republicans really don’t like. They don’t think Goldman deserves a free pass. I don’t think the securities business has a lot of friends among the Republicans.
So, if the Republicans take the House or Senate, we could see something in the air about “too big to fail.” Other than that, I think some of these rules like the Volcker rule are a bunch of crap. I think a lot of that stuff is not going to happen.
Damien: Well, we’ll soon find out as mid-term elections approach. Charlie, thanks for taking the time to chat with me while you’re still settling in at FOX Business.
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