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Outrage over AIG Bonuses; Help for Small Businesses; Who's Making Money Now; Losing Sleep Over Losses; Thriving in Tough Times

Aired March 16, 2009 - 23:00   ET



ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone, from Los Angeles. We're here at L.A. Live in Nokia Plaza right across from the Staples Center reporting on "THE ROAD TO ECONOMIC RESCUE," here and across the country all week.

We'll tell you about where we're going later in the program. Today hundreds of people showed up right here for just 40 jobs; 500 applications handed out in about half an hour for 40 jobs. You see the line of people there applying. More than one in ten Californians right now out of work; people looking for jobs, and looking for answers, frankly.

Tonight we hope to bring you some of those.

In just a few moments Dr. Phil McGraw will be here with some advice on how to survive and even thrive in these hard times.

But first, a question that millions of Americans are asking right now, President Obama included: How can the insurance giant AIG which already has $170 billion of your bailout dollars be awarding massive bonuses? Listen.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is a corporation that finds itself in financial distress due to recklessness and greed. Under these circumstances, it's hard to understand how derivative traders at AIG warranted any bonuses, much less $165 million in extra pay.

I mean, how do they justify this outrage to the taxpayers who are keeping the company afloat?


COOPER: Or, as Obama adviser Austan Goolsbee put it, these guys shouldn't be allowed to order dinner at a restaurant, let alone collect bonuses.

Or amazingly, as Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley told a local radio station, AIG executives, he said, should apologize for taking bonuses, resign, or -- get this -- follow the Japanese example, his words, and commit suicide.

More from Joe Johns tonight, following the money.


JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): American International Group, the bailout king. You, the taxpayer, have already kicked in $170 billion to keep this outfit afloat. Why? Because it almost certainly has its tentacles in your community no matter where you live; pension plans, life insurance, banking and financial institutions. You name it, AIG is everywhere.

But this company that you're paying to keep afloat says it will pay $165 million in retention bonuses to just 400 employees at AIG Financial Products Division, the very same division that ramped up credit default swaps that threw the financial markets into turmoil.

The bonuses range from $1,000 to $6.5 million. Seven employees get more than $3 million. Even now the departed founder of AIG is outraged.

MAURICE 'HANK' GREENBERG, AIG FOUNDER: I share the outrage because -- for several reasons. The retention bonus is not going to keep people very long. You pay the retention, and then after they get the bonus, and they stay for a period of time, then what? Then they're gone. If they're going to go, then why not save the retention bonus?

JOHNS: So why the bonuses? AIG declined an interview, but claims that if it doesn't pay now, it'll get hit with a bigger bill later. The company agreed to this payout to senior managers well before the bottom fell out.

Now it's risky to back out. The law in Connecticut where AIG Financial Products is based says people whose wages are improperly withheld can collect double damages. So if AIG backs out on the $165 million payment now, it might have to pay $330 million later.

Still, the question is whether there's even a way to cut off the bonuses. Proposals include changing the IRS code, even going to court.

REP. BARNEY FRANK (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Federal government says, wait a minute. We, in effect, own this company. And we're not going to pay bonuses to people who lost money for the company that we had to take over.

JOHNS: AIG also says it's worried that failing to pay on a large obligation like this would allow companies it does business with to back out of deals early charging AIG broke a contractual promise.

And the companies AIG has already had to pay include massive financial operations with names like Societe Generale, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, all got billions, and 20 states getting $7 billion more of taxpayer dollars, underscoring the stakes if AIG were to fail.

Joe Johns, CNN, Washington. (END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Now, chances are before all this you never heard of AIG and maybe you think the meltdown of AIG doesn't affect you directly. But take a look at this. I want to show you this graphic right here.

AIG started last year at $58.38 a share -- $58.38 cents a share -- ended the year at $1.57 a year. It closed today at 83 cents, 83 cents a share.

Now, even if you don't own individual shares, if you're not investing in the stock market, well, you may be hurt anyhow. Fifteen percent of all mutual funds held shares of AIG at the start of 2008. Since then ten mutual funds with the highest percentage of AIG shares in the portfolio are down an average of 58 percent.

So by comparison the S&P 500 is down 46 percent over the same period. This hits home.

We're taking questions now from some people in our audience here. "Digging Deeper," chief business correspondent Ali Velshi joins us in New York.

Ali, there's sort of a lot of outrage and certainly from a lot of people over here about this AIG bonus. I just want to talk to one member of our audience.

Lisa Ephron (ph), you had a question about AIG?

LISA EPHRON, LOS ANGELES RESIDENT: Well, it's very simple, Anderson. I just want to know why they need government stimulus money if there seems to be enough money for very large bonuses and trips. I mean, I think that money needs to be allocated properly. Why do they need government money?

COOPER: Ali, it's a good question. Why do they need the government money?

ALI VELSHI, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Let me break it down and tell you how it works. The government's given over about $170 billion to AIG and they've given out over all of 2008 about $1.2 billion in bonuses.

The part in question here is this $450 million that's gone to people who were employed by this very unit, as Joe Johns said, that caused a lot of the problems -- all of the problems at AIG.

Now, the reality here is that AIG is, whether you agree with it or not, too big to fail. It's not just the shares that you're talking about, Anderson. It's the fact that it insures much of the world in terms of personal policies or business policies. And it is so tied into business because it insures things that we don't even think about.

Airplanes against crashes, it insures hurricanes against rigs; it insures movies against their movie stars getting sick and not being able to make the movie. So AIG is important to keep afloat.

The government has still got more money that it is going to give over to AIG, another $30 billion. And I think what you're going to see is the administration putting some rules on that money and saying if something doesn't change here, that you may not be able to get the rest of that money.

The issue is, like much of what's happened, money has been given out without strings. I think you're going to start to see those strings attached because people are very frustrated like Lisa is.

COOPER: Have you all been following this AIG thing today?


COOPER: Does it make any sense to you why these guys are getting bonuses?

AUDIENCE: Not at all.

COOPER: Anybody support them getting bonuses here?


COOPER: All right, I just want to check. It would be a brave person in the crowd who said they did if they did.

All right, a lot more questions for Ali and others, including Dr. Phil. He's going to be here a little bit later on.

And you can also weigh in at Check out Randi Kaye's live Web cast during the breaks tonight.

Up next, President Obama taking action to help small businesses. And as you'll see there's really nothing small about it when it comes to the role these businesses play in trying to get us out of recession. We'll look at some of the opportunities tonight.

Also, the new Bernie Madoff mugshot and a new multimillion dollar list of goodies the government wants him to cough up including fancy silverware worth $65,000, a bracelet worth nearly $3 million and a string of multimillion dollar houses. Should his wife be allowed to keep a lot of this stuff? We'll find out.

And later, what the stimulus package has to do with the gang wars being fought here and in streets across the country. That and much more as we travel down THE ROAD TO RESCUE. We'll be right back.


COOPER: We're in Los Angeles tonight; all week in cities across the country bringing you stories and useful information, we hope, from America's "ROAD TO RESCUE." It's the title and purpose of our coverage and really a "CNN SURVIVAL GUIDE."

And part of our focus tonight, the country's small businessmen and women. President Obama today recognizing their contribution to the economy unveiling new policies aimed at boosting small business lending and cutting taxes on investment.



OBAMA: Small businesses are not only job generators. They're also at the heart of the American dream. After all, these are businesses born in family meetings around kitchen tables. They're born when a worker takes a chance on her desire to be her own boss.

They're born when a part-time inventor becomes a full-time entrepreneur. Or when somebody sees a product that could be better or service that could be smarter and they think, why not me? Let me try it. Let me take my shot.


COOPER: Joining us now is Ali Velshi. Ali, why is it so important for the President to provide aid to small businesses right now?

VELSHI: Well, small businesses are a much bigger deal than most people know about. They're most of the businesses in America. And for the last decade or so, they've been somewhere between 60 percent and 90 percent of all new jobs created. Small businesses are more nimble than large businesses. They can react to things a little bit better.

But in an environment where we're losing jobs, Anderson, you need to count on small businesses to be able to generate those jobs. And that's why. And there's been a lot of criticism that not enough has been done for small businesses in all of this stimulus.

So that's the importance here. We've got to, got to, got to focus on getting small businesses. 45 percent of the payroll of the entire private sectors, by the way, are people who work in small businesses.

COOPER: It's amazing, 99.7 percent of U.S. companies are small businesses. I hadn't realized that. So how exactly does the President propose to help the businesses?

VELSHI: Well, there are a few ways, Anderson, the President's proposing his help. One of them is that right now between 75 percent and 85 percent of a loan that a business gets through the small business administration is guaranteed. And that's why these businesses can sometimes get loans.

So you go to a normal bank. And if you get a loan that's guaranteed by the SBA, you're more likely to get it because if you were to default, the bank gets paid by the government.

The government is now upping that guarantee to up to 90 percent of the loan. And that means that some banks will take more of a risk than they would have had otherwise.

The SBA, that's the Small Business Administration, is also eliminating fees that lenders and borrowers pay on these loans. And the government is putting aside $15 billion to buy up these loan bundles, very much in the same way that Fannie or Freddie buy up mortgages.

So three measures to try and get people to lend to businesses. And hopefully it works, Anderson.

COOPER: All right, well I got some more questions, also some "Raw Politics." Joining me now as well as Ali is the money coach, personal finance expert, Lynnette Khalfani-Cox; also Frans Johansson, innovation consultant and author of the "Medici Effect" and senior political analyst, David Gergen. I appreciate all of you being with us.

David, let's start with you. You say President Obama's announcement on small businesses was smart, but he's playing defense. How so?

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, he's playing defense, Anderson, because a lot of small business people, you know, pay taxes as high-income taxpayers. They're in the $250,000 plus.

So there are a number of them who felt like they were going to be facing crushing taxes. So he, in effect, I think had to respond to this sort of growing alienation in the business community. I thought he did it smartly.

But he got overwhelmed today on the AIG front. That's by far and away the biggest -- not only the biggest economic story, but the biggest political story, possibly a turning point in this whole effort for bailouts.

COOPER: A turning point how?

GERGEN: Well, in the sense that this is igniting so much public anger. Your AC360 blog site tonight is filled with people who are expressing anger.

I think the President is in an awkward position because he wants and he may need to continue bailing out big banks, big institutions, the car companies.

But there are so much anger over this, that people may say, "The hell with it. I don't care what happens to these people. Let them go. They are abusing us. They're taking our money and exploiting it."

So I think today he's -- I think he was walking a tight rope and I think it was very difficult for him. He was tougher than his own people over the weekend who said we've got to enforce these contracts. He came back today and said, no, we don't. Let's figure out some ways to...


GERGEN: -- see if we can't abrogate these contracts.

COOPER: Yes, not a lot of people want to talk about the sanctity of contracts right now. Frans, I know you think there are actually opportunities for people to use this recession. How can people stand out and actually get ahead at a time like this?

FRANS JOHANSSON, INNOVATION CONSULTANT: The key standing out and actually growing your business in a time like this when everything else seems to be contracting is to find a way to do something that is very different from what everybody else is doing in your industry.

I mean, the usual thing that we tend to revert to as business owners is to actually look around and say, what was everybody else doing and how can I kind of copy that? Because I want to build a business, I want to learn from others. I want to benchmark what other companies are doing.

Well, that is exactly the wrong strategy. Now is the time to actually differentiate. You have to find a way to stand out. And you do that by actually doing something different. Whether it's advertising or your marketing or how you actually create new products or sell those.

And many of these lessons can be learned from other industries. They can be learned from other cultures, looking at what are others doing outside of my industry, bringing some of those points in, and some of those concepts in and try to integrate it to your own business.

COOPER: Lynnette, we've got a question for you, from actually, from a small business owner. Your name is?


COOPER: Well, what's your question?

KOHL: My question is, I'm a small business owner in Los Angeles, California. I know that President Obama has to focus on infusing dollars to new businesses and to businesses to do for expansion capital.

But I'm only just trying to survive the current economic downturn because we're in this global recession. So what is the plan for small businesses like myself to survive the economic downturn that we're experiencing?

COOPER: Lynette?

LYNETTE KHALFANI-COX, PERSONAL FINANCE EXPERT: I think one way that he's trying to help small business owners like yourself survive is by streamlining that loan process. One of the things that him and Tim Geithner were talking about is expediting the loan processing time. Right now a lot of folks who go through the Small Business Administration lament the fact that it takes way too long. So they're trying to cut down on the amount of time that it takes for -- between you getting an application in and then actually getting word as to whether or not that loan gets, in fact, confirmed or hopefully accepted. That's one way.

Some of the other things they're talking about doing, of course, are providing tax incentives to small business owners. In effect, giving people a tax rebate because they're going to allow you to write off losses; any losses you might have had for businesses that make up to $15 million. And you probably fit into that category.

But any losses from the last five years can be written off on your current tax return. So that's one way to effectively put dollars back in your pocket today.

COOPER: Frans, we have a question for you from another small business owner. Your name?


COOPER: What's your question?

GOLDEN: My questions for Frans is, as it relates to the real estate profession and those that are involved in financial services industry, we are typically the ones that have taken a lot of the responsibility, unfortunately, for the downturn in our industry.

What are some of the ideas, some of the marketing strategies, re- branding strategies that you could impart upon this industry at large to help to unstain and unmartyr the reputation that's been taken on by the real estate and financial services industry?

JOHANSSON: Yes, it is tricky because trust is one of those things that takes a long time to build and can erode very, very quickly. And when you're in an industry like real estate or finance, you're actually in an industry that tore down essentially trust for everybody.

So if you're in it, you have to actually find a way I think basically do two things. One is keep on doing what it is that you have been doing. The fact that trust takes a while to build, well, that's not going to go away.

Work with customers to help them actually or clients to help them achieve what it is that their goals are. And make sure you stay ethical. All these things, sort of none of that changes. Trust still has to be built.

But on top of that, there are ways for you as a business owner to perhaps look at how can you actually partner up with somebody that has some trust already, someone that is willing to lend that trust out to you.

And in that way, leapfrog some of these issues that many companies and many individuals in the real estate market face and in the financial sector face.

COOPER: All right.

David Gergen, Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, Frans Johansson, thanks very much.

Up next, the fight over billions of stimulus money and who decides how to spend it? L.A.'s Mayor is waging that battle. We'll ask him why he wants money direct from Washington.

And later, meet a father who is literally up nights worrying about providing for his family for the first time in his life. He's taking prescription pills to sleep and as you'll see he's part of a fast growing trend.

We'll take to Dr. Phil about that and more tonight, on "THE ROAD TO RESCUE."


COOPER: We're in Los Angeles tonight ON THE ROAD TO RESCUE. Bringing you the information you told us you want and need about the economic crisis. Over the next five nights we'll be in five different cities, reporting from the front lines of the crisis.

Here in Los Angeles, the unemployment rate has surged four points just since July, it's now at 12 percent. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa wants the federal government to send nearly $7 billion directly to his city bypassing the state government. It's money, he says, he would put to good use right away. And he showed me exactly where some of that money would be spent.


ANTONIO VILLARAIGOSA (D), MAYOR, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: This port, just so that you understand the magnitude, this port, L.A. and Long Beach, moves about 44 percent of all the sea-borne goods into the United States. It is the economic engine of the region and one of the economic engines of the country.

It is to L.A. what Wall Street is to New York.

COOOPER: This is one of the areas you want to put some of the stimulus money. You've been incredibly aggressive in going to Washington, I think you've been there five times now trying to get money. How much money do you want for all of this?

VILLARAIGOSA: It's all about fishing, right. What we've said is we want our fair share.

COOPER: So if you got money now, you could put money directly right now into this port. And what would it do?

VILLARAIGOSA: Well, as an example, it could help us with electrification; a $100 million could help us electrify this port. Why is that important? Because once you clean and green the port you can grow it.

COOPER: A lot of people may not realize who aren't from this area, this port has been a major pollutant in the past?

VILLARAIGOSA: About 26 percent of the carcinogens in the region are generated from this port.

COOPER: And that's from what, trucks idling and ships idling?

VILLARAIGOSA: Trucks idling, ships idling...

COOPER: But how does turning the port more green, and more energy efficient, and less harmful to the environment, how does that actually create jobs?

VILLARAIGOSA: Just in the infrastructure alone you're going to create jobs.

Here's an example, we put together this effort. And we said, look, we want to go from dirty diesel trucks to clean fuel vehicles.

COOPER: So this is an electric truck?

VILLARAIGOSA: This is an electric truck that we, through our Port Technology Development Fund of $15 million, we invested in this company. We had them locate here in the city of Los Angeles.

Every truck they build that doesn't come to the Port of Los Angeles or Long Beach, we get $1,000. So we're creating jobs through this manufacturing. We're cleaning up our port. And we're making good on an investment we made.

COOPER: You also want the money to come directly to Los Angeles, and not to the state of California. Why?

VILLARAIGOSA: Well, as much as possible. What we said is why go through a third party? As much as possible, we want to see this money go directly to metropolitan areas. All of the Mayors who went to the White House really made the case that when you look at it, you know, 90 percent of the GMP is generated in metropolitan areas, and not in rural areas.

COOPER: And how worried are you about this situation, personally, I mean...

VILLARAIGOSA: People are fearful about the future.

COOPER: Are you fearful?

VILLARAIGOSA: I am. I understand that fear. I am also hopeful and I believe that we will get out of this crisis. There is no challenge that the American people working together can't overcome.

COOPER: And if you don't...

VILLARAIGOSA: But I feel -- I feel their fear. And you asked me if I was fearful. And I -- what I meant to say is I feel their fear. I also believe that we will get out of this crisis. I think that the stimulus package is going to go a long way. I really do.

COOPER: And if you don't get what you consider to be your fair share of the stimulus money?


COOPER: Is that an option for you?

VILLARAIGOSA: No, it isn't an option. But we are going to get our fair share.


COOPER: The Mayor is confident they will get what he says is the city's fair share. We'll see.

Next on 360, winners and losers of the crisis, from wine makers to producer of green vehicle. We got a surprising list of what industries are actually seeing profits right now and who's losing a fortune. And that's ahead.

Also tonight, vacation homes, yachts. A $65,000 silverware set. Just some of Bernie Madoff's prized possessions that the Feds now want to seize. And should his wife be able to keep any of them? And see what other Madoff assets are also wanted, coming up.


COOPER: We are back in Los Angeles in L.A. live, Nokia Plaza right outside the Staples Center. There was a job fair here today, there were 40 jobs available; 500 applications were handed out in about an hour. Hundreds of people waited in line for just about 40 jobs.

There was a job fair over the weekend at Dodgers Stadium, some 10,000 people showed up for that. We're on "THE ROAD TO RESCUE" all week, traveling the country, looking at how different cities are trying to use stimulus money. Looking at success stories, groups that are thriving, individuals that are thriving

We're going to talk to Dr. Phil who says, "Look, there is a silver lining for some folks in all this." We'll talk to him about that throughout this hour.

The big question right now, when will the industry downsizing and job blood-letting end? No one, of course, knows for sure except perhaps the chairman of the Federal Reserve, one of the most powerful men in government.

Here's Ben Bernanke's prediction last night on "60 Minutes."


BEN BERNANKE, CHAIRMAN, FEDERAL RESERVE: We've seen some progress in financial markets, absolutely. But until we get that stabilized and working normally we're not going to see recovery. But we do have a plan. We're working on it.

And I do think that we will get it stabilized and we'll see the recession coming to an end probably this year. We'll see recovery beginning next year, and it'll pick up steam over time.


COOPER: Well, let's say the recession does come to an end at the end of the year as he predicts. It's still a long time until then with countless more jobs lost. But for all those jobs that disappeared, there are some gained.

Continuing our "CNN SURVIVAL GUIDE," here's Tom Foreman with some of the losers and the winners of this long and grueling recession -- Tom.


We've been talking so much about small businesses tonight. We want to show you some of them are emerging as winners even though they're in the middle of industries that are losing fortunes. All we have to do is swing right up the West Coast where you are, Anderson.

A big loser, manufacturing -- we've all heard about this, 168,000 manufacturing jobs lost last month nationwide. But some small manufacturers are succeeding because they can innovate, they can adapt quickly and they can specialize.

For example, not far away from where you are, Anderson, in Harbor City, California, the Balqon Corporation manufactures heavy duty electric trucks. They just celebrated the opening of a production plant with designs on creating hundreds of jobs making these green vehicles for, among other things, the port of Los Angeles.

Another big loser we've all heard about, the construction business -- 104,000 jobs last month. But guess who is hiring? That's right -- renovation and remodeling companies. Up in Portland, Oregon, I talked to the folks at Stanley Home Renovation, a little, small company. And they say calls from homeowners are up about 50 percent in the past two months.

The owner says he's heard the same thing over and over again from so many people. They can't afford to move, but they can afford a new kitchen, a new bath. We're hearing reports like this from all over the country, a big winner in the midst of this construction bust.

Finally, yes, the restaurant business; it's way down. We know that. Folks feel like they just can't afford to drop big dollars on fancy meals. But the wine trade is up. The people at Vogel vineyards near Sacramento say home wine sales are doing great because people are dressing up their home cooked meals with a bottle of wine and it's still cheaper than eating out.

So there are winners out there for all the losers in this economy -- Anderson.

COOPER: Also I guess their drinking away their sorrows, maybe?

FOREMAN: I guess so.


COOPER: Thank you, Tom.

Still ahead, the man who tells us to keep it real. A difficult thing to do sometimes in an economy that's gone over the cliff. Dr. Phil is coming up, talking about silver linings in this recession.

But first Randi Kaye joins us with the news and business bulletin.


The sweet life may soon be over for Bernie Madoff's family. The convicted swindler is in a Manhattan jail until his sentencing in June. Now prosecutors are going after Madoff's assets trying to recover anything they can for the victims of a massive fraud that could total $65 billion. Several multimillion dollar homes, cars, boats, jewelry and more are up for grabs. Plus tens of millions of dollars in bank deposits and securities.

The White House firing back at former Vice President Dick Cheney who yesterday bashed President Obama for stopping torture and military trials of terrorist suspects at Guantanamo Bay while planning to close the prison camp. Here's what Cheney said in an interview with John King.


JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Do you believe the President of the United States has made Americans less safe?

DICK CHENEY, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I do. I think those programs were absolutely essential to the success we enjoyed of being able to collect the intelligence that let us defeat all further attempts to launch attacks against the united states since 9/11.

I think that's a great success story. It was done legally. It was done in accordance with our constitutional practices and principles.

President Obama campaigned against it all across the country. And now he's making some choices that, in my mind, will, in fact, raise the risk to the American people of another attack.


KAYE: Today White House spokesman Robert Gibbs responded by saying President Obama is keeping the nation safe and dealing with problems George Bush's administration did not. He also added talking about the former vice president, quote, "I guess Rush Limbaugh was busy, so they tried out the next most popular member of the Republican cabal (ph)."

Dick Cheney's wife, Lynne, was released tonight from a Philadelphia hospital where she was taken after fainting in her hotel room earlier today. Anderson, back to you.

COOPER: All right, Randi, time now for our "Beat 360" winners: our daily challenge to viewers, a chance to show up our staffers by coming up with a better caption for the picture we post on our blog every day.

Tonight's picture? Take a look. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner standing by as President Obama addresses small business owners and community lenders in the White House today.

Our staff winner tonight, Kirk. His caption, "Nobody puts Timmy in the corner."

Our viewer winner, David. His caption, "Mr. Geithner, standing just outside the president's inner circle." You're not wrong about that. David, your "Beat 360" T-shirt is on the way.

And Randi, I should point out, we actually have a "360" viewer here, Carolyn, right? You play "Beat 360" every night, is that correct?

CAROLYN, 360 VIEWER: I do. I've never won.

COOPER: You've never won?

CAROLYN: Apparently I'm not funny enough.

COOPER: But you want a T-shirt.

KAYE: Give her a T-shirt.

CAROLYN: I love the T-shirt. I'd love one.

COOPER: I don't think we have any T-shirts around. I'm not even sure I'm allowed to give you one if I did have one. I'll look into -- I'll check the bylaws. If we're able to, I'll give you one.

CAROLYN: I love your show. Have a great time in L.A.

COOPER: Keep playing. Thanks very much.

Just one of our viewers who never seems to win. Oh, well.

Up next, on "THE ROAD TO RESCUE," our "CNN SURVIVAL GUIDE." Experts answer your questions on how best to survive this long and bitter recession. People around me have some questions. We'll be right back.

Also later, losing sleep over losing a job. Dr. Phil is here with tips on coping in these uncertain times. That's ahead on our "ROAD TO RESCUE."


COOPER: The road to rescue begins with jobs. So many Americans are looking for one; more than 11 million people unemployed. That's roughly equivalent to the entire population of Ohio.

Those who are working are very wary of the future. A new CNN opinion research poll tells the story. Just 22 percent of those surveyed are very confident they'll find a good job if they have to leave a current employer; that's just 22 percent.

A lot of anxiety both at the office and on the unemployment lines -- the question, how do you cope? How do you keep your confidence up? What can you do to make sure you are going to still have a paycheck?

Here to help with some advice, let's bring back Dr. Phil and Ali Velshi and bring "L.A. Times" business reporter, David Colker.

Dr. Phil, you said there is a silver lining to all this. What is it?

DR. PHIL MCGRAW, HOST, "DR. PHIL SHOW": Well, you know, first off, we've been living really fast. We've kind of been in the consumptive chic -- living large, the big house, the big cars, being in the laser lane. One of the things that I've heard from so many of my viewers, saying that now that we can't take some of these vacations, we can't buy those Xbox 60s, that they're actually being forced to have some time with their kids. Be out in the yard throwing things around, going and having a picnic instead of going to Disneyland or something.

So maybe, just maybe it's causing us to slow down and focus on what really family is all about again. I'm not saying I want anybody to lose their job or have economic hard times. But maybe it's forcing us to get back to some of the basics that family's really all about. That can be a good thing for us.

COOPER: David, there's actually a lot of free stuff out there for people who are in need.

DAVID COLKER, BUSINESS REPORTER, "L.A. TIMES": You know, people are capitalizing on this like crazy. Every time you turn on the radio, go past a bus there's an ad for loan modifications. We can help you. And yet what people don't realize is they've already paid for this help. There's a lot of government-backed help.

If they go to the HUD site, and click on finding a counselor, there are counselors all across...

COOPER: For free?

COLKER: For free. All it costs you is having a mortgage. You can be the richest person in town, you can be the poorest person -- well, the poorest person I guess doesn't have a house -- but the poorest person with a house. You can walk in with that mortgage and they'll help you. They'll look at your papers. They'll evaluate the situation.


COLKER: Right. Exactly.

COOPER: For loan problems?

COLKER: For a loan counselor. They change the name all the time.

COOPE: Even for small business owners there's free advice out there?

COLKER: Yes, there is. You know, we just recently wrote about that in our small business pages which appear on Tuesday in the lat "L.A. Times". My colleague, Cyndia Zwahlen -- I always get this name wrong -- she wrote about the fact that many universities, including many in the CalState system right here in California, will send business students out to be your consultants. Who can afford a consultant when you're just starting out?

They'll come, they'll help design a marketing system.

COOPER: They actually send consultants out?

COLKER: They send them out. The kids come out; they help you. They get the experience. You get the expertise, the enthusiasm. It's terrific system.

COOPER: We've got some questions -- if you could stand up for a second.

COKER: Sure.

COOPER: We've got just one question for Ali Velshi. Michelle, you're a school schoolteacher, right?

MICHELLE: I am a secretary, actually. For the L.A. school district.


MICHELLE: We're facing potential layoffs.


COOPER: That's what you want to know?

MICHELLE: We are running out of time.

COOPER: Let's ask Ali Velshi. What do you know about that? Do we know how stimulus money here in California is going to be allocated?

VELSHI: Yes, we do. California, what a tough time for people in the education system. Yesterday, by yesterday there were about 20,000 or more warnings, layoff warnings sent out to teachers in the system.

Now, every year by March 15th the government of California has to send out those warnings. Most years they're rescinded so most people don't get laid off. But in this case the budget shortfalls are so serious.

California is getting about $31 billion from the federal stimulus, and about $8 billion of that is going to go to education. So hopefully that's going to be able to save a lot of those jobs. But far more teachers than normal got those pink slips and school employees. And more people are worried that it actually translates into layoffs.

California is a big recipient of federal stimulus money. We're hoping that some of that money is going to go to education and that your job and those of your colleagues will be safe.

I should tell you, Anderson, education, teaching, anything in education still one of the growing industries in this country. It remains very portable. Hopefully if you get through this rough patch it's a good future for you.

COOPER: We'll have more with Dr. Phil coming up.

David Colker -- thank you very much -- at the "Times."

COLKER: You bet.

COOPER: Ali Velshi, thanks as well.

Dr. Phil is sticking around with us all night to help us. The tools you need to deal with this economy.

As this next story is going to show, some people are going to extremes, losing sleep because of stress, popping pills just to get through the day; a warning sign for everyone. Dr. Phil's advice coming up about that.


COOPER: When I interviewed President Obama in the Oval Office he told me the economy literally keeps him up at night. He's definitely not alone; millions of Americans right now sleeping less since the recession. We've got the startling figures for you.

As you're going to see, many people awake over the crisis are turning to pills for help. But are the drugs fueling perhaps a new addiction?

Here's Randi Kaye.


KAYE (voice-over): Until last June when this New Jersey father of four was laid off, he thought he was set.

THOM KRAUSS, STRESSED OUT FROM JOB LOSS: I kind of lived the dream. I had the money in the bank. Everything was paid for.

KAYE: Now Thom Krauss, an Ivy-League-educated investment banker who worked on Wall Street for ten years, is so stressed out he can't sleep.

KRAUSS: I'd be up at two looking at the clock. And then you're like, OK, two turns into 4:00.

KAYE: What keeps Thom up at night?

KRAUSS: I will run out of money in probably 11 months.

KAYE: Thom's trying to find a job. He got severance but not enough for all his expenses: his house in the suburbs, an apartment in New York City and his ex-wife's house.

KRAUSS: It's easy to see why I might not sleep at night when I see a $25,000 to $35,000 burn rate every month.

KAYE: Plus, with four children, he thought he had college covered.

(on camera): What is your greatest fear?

KRAUSS: My worst fear is that I have to wake up and find myself in a position where I've got 30 days left of money.

KAYE (voice-over): Thom tried therapy, but that got too pricey. So even though he'd never taken prescription pills before, he asked his doctor for the sleep aid Ambien. That helped for a while. Now he takes Xanax to relax instead.

(on camera): Do you think the economy has turned this country into a pill-popping nation?

KRAUSS: I know this is just my case. And I'm not a pill popper. I can't imagine what's going on for people who are a little bit more liberal than I am.

KAYE: In fact, a recent poll by the National Sleep Foundation found one-third of all Americans are losing sleep over the state of the economy and their personal finances. That means more prescriptions for sleeping pills.

One health-care company that tracks this stuff says doctors wrote more than 56 million prescriptions last year, a 7 percent increase from the year before.

(voice-over) This doctor says in his practice, he's seen a 30 percent increase in patients who believe a pill is the answer.

DR. NABEEL FARAH, SLEEP DISORDER SPECIALIST: What I'm even seeing is younger and younger patients coming in to see me: Young professionals in their early 20s who are having difficulty with keeping their jobs or being stable.

KAYE: Dr. Nabeel Farah says stress messes with the body's natural rhythm. It puts the brakes on relaxation.

Thom says he doesn't like taking pills but admits he'll probably keep taking them as long as he can afford them or until he finds a job.

Randi Kaye, CNN, Chatham, New Jersey.


COOPER: Let's hope he finds a job soon.

The road to rescue for each person is going to vary, depending on how you've been hit. Dr. Phil is next with his advice for how you can thrive, even find some opportunity in this recession.


COOPER: You're back with 360 in Los Angeles tonight. We're right outside the Staples Center in L.A., live, the Nokia Center, on "THE ROAD TO RESCUE." That takes us to New Orleans tomorrow, Detroit on Wednesday, New York on Thursday, ending the week in Friday in Miami, looking at how people are surviving in these tough times.

Dr. Phil McGraw is with me right now. He's told millions to get real about their lives. For a lot of Americans losing their jobs, it's all too real, and it's the first step to losing everything: the house, the car, health insurance, losing sleep over money worries.

Dr. Phil joins me again right now.

What do you give -- I mean, how do you advise someone who's lost their job?

MCGRAW: Well, you know, here's the thing. The thing that makes people most stressed out is when they don't feel like they have any control over what's happening in their life.

And so what I encourage people to do is focus on those things they can control. I mean, if you don't have a job, then your job is finding a job, right? I mean, if you work nine hours a day on your job when you had it, you should work at least nine hours a day looking for a job when you don't have a job.

And we're at a time where people have to understand that we have to start negotiating. The bank doesn't want your house. They don't want your car. They don't want you to stop using their credit cards. But you've got to not turn away from it. You've got to get on the phone and call them and say, "Look, here's my situation." Look them in the eye over the telephone and start to negotiate.

And then people feel like, "Well, I'm doing something for myself. I'm fighting back here." And...

COOPER: It feeds on itself, though. Because once you -- if you get depressed, then you're less likely to want to put yourself out there. You're less likely to want to, you know, go for those interviews.

MCGRAW: Yes. And the worst thing you can do is pull back and start isolating yourself, Anderson.

You know, we know that the No. 1 pressure on couples and families is money. When you talk to a divorce lawyer, they say that one of the most common things they hear when somebody comes in for a divorce is "We're fighting over money." And we know now that that pressure is higher than it's ever been.

This can either be a wedge that's driven between you and your spouse or it can be the glue that binds you together where you say, "Look, we're in this together. Let's not blame each other. Let's start working on a solution together."

Domestic violence is on the rise. Depression is on the rise. Anxiety is on the rise. Alcohol and drug use are on the rise.

So the stress is starting to take its toll, and couples need to come together and not blame each other. Maybe they both made mistakes getting into this: lived beyond their means; didn't save for a tough time. But that was then. This is now. We're in this together. You got to talk about it and not point fingers and be blamers.

COOPER: And as you said, it's not just your spouse. It's with your kids and trying to use this time to maybe, you know, reconnect in a way that you haven't.

MCGRAW: Right. And I always say don't ask children to deal with adult issues. And that's like paying the mortgage, that you're having trouble paying the mortgage. But you do need to let them know that there are good times financially, and there are leaner times financially.

COOPER: If kids are wondering why you're not eating out as much...

MCGRAW: Right.

COOPER: ... what do you tell them?

MCGRAW: It's OK to tell them that right now we're conserving money, because things are tougher right now in the economy and get them involved, even if it's a 4- or 5-year-old child. They can be on light patrol: your job is to turn off lights on any room we're not in so we can save a little money there.

You can do the recycling. You can do some of it -- you know, feed the neighbor's cat. Let them feel like they're contributing in some small way. But don't burden them with the really big issues.

And don't fight about this in front of the kids, Anderson, because they have a way of filling in the blanks to their detriment. They will blame themselves if Mom and Dad are fighting over money. You may be fighting over a $4,000-a-month mortgage payment. But they go back to the bedroom thinking, "If I didn't need school pictures for $11.25, Mom and Dad wouldn't be fighting." They personalize it, and they blame themselves.

So we've got to really talk about this and not just get into a blame game.

COOPER: All right. Dr. Phil, good advice. Thanks for coming out. Appreciate it.

MCGRAW: Thanks so much. Good to see you, Anderson.

COOPER: That does it for this edition of "360."

Thanks for watching. "LARRY KING" starts now.

See you in New Orleans tomorrow night.