President George W. Bush attended a July 2008 fundraiser in Houston, Texas for Republican congressional candidate Pete Olson. TV cameras were requested to be turned off, but at least one person recorded the event. “Wall Street got drunk...and now it’s got a hangover,” President Bush remarked. The video was played on KTRK-TV (ABC) in Houston and was quickly distributed on YouTube, making national news.
In 2008, Wall Street continued to experience a bear (down) market. The “drunk” comment can be interpreted to mean “excess,” like the proverbial spending of drunken sailors. George W. Bush admitted to alcohol problems in his early years, so his use of the analogy might have come from personal experience. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson stated in August 2008 that “there’s a lot of truth” in the comment.
KTRK-TV (ABC), Houston, TX
What did Bush say at Olson fundraiser?
ABC13’s Miya Shay has the exclusive video
Bush Says Wall Street ‘Got Drunk,’ Needs to Sober Up
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
WASHINGTON — President Bush, in an unguarded moment, said Wall Street “got drunk and now it’s got a hangover.”
He made the comment at a political fundraiser in Houston last Friday after asking members of the audience to turn off their video cameras. Someone obviously ignored his request and a snippet wound up on a blog Tuesday by Miya Shay of ABC affiliate KTRK in Houston.
Bush clearly was in a good mood as he addressed a crowd in a private home. Members of the media were barred from the appearance.
“There is no question about it. Wall Street got drunk,” the president said. “That’s one reason I asked you to turn off your TV cameras.”
“The question is, How long will it (take to) sober up and not try to do all these fancy financial instruments?”
He segued to problems in the housing market but said they weren’t an issue in Houston. “Evidently not in Dallas because Laura’s over there trying to buy a house today.” Bush has six months left in office and is expected to return to Texas.
Houston (TX) Chronicle
Bush: Wall Street has ‘hangover’ after getting ‘drunk’
President secretly taped at Houston fundraiser
By JULIE MASON and ALAN BERNSTEIN
July 23, 2008, 9:33AM
WASHINGTON — Unaware he was being recorded, President Bush at a Houston fundraiser last week compared Wall Street to a drunk with a hangover and cracked jokes about the ailing housing market.
“There’s no question about it. Wall Street got drunk — that’s one of the reasons I asked you to turn off the TV cameras — it got drunk and now it’s got a hangover,” Bush said at a private fundraiser for Republican congressional candidate Pete Olson. “The question is: How long will it sober up and not try to do all these fancy financial instruments?”
The president’s blunt remarks were a sharp departure from the more measured tones he uses publicly to discuss the economy and national housing market collapse.
Economists in large part blame the current mortgage foreclosure crisis on complex financial instruments devised by Wall Street after Congress deregulated the banking industry a decade ago.
The jocular tone Bush used to describe a serious subject also underscores the pitfalls of being candid in an age of tiny camera phones.
News reporters were prohibited from the Olson event in River Oaks last Friday. The short video clip, apparently made by an attendee at the fundraiser, was obtained by KTRK-TV in Houston.
International Herald Tribune
Paulson: Bush right on Wall Street ‘hangover’ quip
The Associated Press
Published: August 10, 2008
WASHINGTON: Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, a former investment firm executive, says “absolutely there’s a lot of truth” to President Bush’s comment that Wall Street “got drunk and now it’s got a hangover,” in understanding the current economic climate.
New York City • Banking/Finance/Insurance • (0) Comments • Thursday, September 25, 2008 • Permalink