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What We didn't Learn from Sandy; Rock Legend Lou Reed Dies at 71; The 2016 Contenders -- Possibly; Investors Betting Fed Stimulus Continues

Aired October 28, 2013 - 10:30   ET



MAGGIE LAKE, CNN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS ANCHOR: But when you ask him about it, he said they're not doing it in a seamless way. It's not really click yet and some of these small business owners will say just by looking at the analytics they can see who is coming in their shop, tweak their hours and grow their business by 20 percent. That's the kind of stuff that he's sort of locked into and focused on. And he thinks it's going to be the next big thing.

But they are both about community, interestingly, when you talk to him. Community, where Twitter is everyone, community here is getting these small business owners together to mentor each other and try to grow their business.

HARLOW: Yes and big business -- big business for him if it's a success.

LAKE: Big business right, already a (inaudible) billionaire for this as well if he make it happen with Square.

HARLOW: Right.

LAKE: That's why people compare him to the likes of Steve Jobs.


LAKE: And everybody agrees but he certainly has a vision.

HARLOW: What a comparison. All right well thanks you Maggie I appreciate it.

LAKE: Sure thanks.

HARLOW: Still to come. Almost a year since Superstorm Sandy slammed the northeast. Have state and federal officials really done enough to prepare for future natural -- future natural disasters? My next guest says no. They need to do more. That's next.


HARLOW: Well, tomorrow marks one year since Superstorm Sandy struck the North East. The massive storm made landfall in southern New Jersey first. Now the destruction can still be seen and felt all along the East Coast. I certainly have lived it being in New York City. A lot of us have.

You know when you look at the toll, it's pretty unimaginable. Sandy killed 117 people in the United States. It costs property damage in the billions of dollars; so many people still repairing and trying to recover from this devastating storm.

And this week will be a time for a lot of them to reflect on what went right and what went wrong. Hurricane forecasters admit, you know, things could have gone better. And they are making changes so it doesn't happen again.

But are there other lessons that we could learn taking away one year later, that we could learn for the next storm?

My guest Adam Sobel says we dropped the ball on making changes and big long-term investments that could save lives and money. He writes all about this in his op-ed which is on and he's also working on a book right now called "Storm Surge". It is about Superstorm Sandy.

Adam thank you for joining us this morning I appreciate it.

ADAM SOBEL, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY: It's a pleasure. Thank you.

HARLOW: So when I was reading your op-ed, it stood out to me you say look, Superstorm Sandy was handled a hundred times better than Katrina -- lesson learned certainly. But you also write that our real problems are long-term. What do you think is not being tackled even in the wake of Sandy?

SOBEL: Well I mean I think it's a little too soon to say what the long-term response to Sandy will be. And we do sometimes see that in the wake of a big disaster, that that is a moment when -- when people think long-term at least for a little while.

But I think if you look at some of the things that -- that went right and didn't, you can see the distinction between long and short-term. So for example the MTA you know in protecting the New York Subways really did heroically everything they could in the short-term. I mean they put up sandbags and plywood to try to keep the water out. When that didn't work, they managed to get the system back online really much quicker than a lot of us thought they could.

HARLOW: Right.

SOBEL: And that was great but then you have to think about the long- term, I mean why were there new expensive stations being built in flood zones like the one in south (inaudible) which is now totally wrecked. Because the sort of long-term risk that was known to be there and is only getting worse was something that requires making an investment now to protect for a problem that's going to occur later.

HARLOW: Right.

SOBEL: And sometimes at a time you don't know later. And so we're not so good at that whereas in the cases where -- and I think you see it in all of the response, the evacuations and everything else. Not that it all went perfectly. But you saw at every level of government up to the President you know a quick -- a quick response and doing everything everyone could.


SOBEL: Whereas you know in thinking about how to build infrastructure in such a way to be resilient, I think that's only really beginning to be talked about in a serious way.

HARLOW: You know I think it's a really hard question because I was really amazed at the response that we saw in New York City and New Jersey in a lot of places, nothing is perfect, but amazed at what went in to getting these cities and communities back up and running.

But I also spent a lot of time with people that live on -- on the coastline faced there that are rebuilding again and they face that tough question of should we rebuild or not. We know this could happen again you hear over and over again from a lot of people, this was a 100 year storm right? That this isn't going to happen every year.

We frankly can't predict this but you write in your op-ed, you say "We still have trouble accepting that the future will bring new ones unlike those before. It will."

So you're of the belief that this is not a one in 100 year storm?

SOBEL: Well I think actually if you look historically, Sandy was probably a one in several hundred year storm.

HARLOW: Right.

SOBEL: That doesn't mean of course even that by itself doesn't mean that you have to wait another several years to happen. But what I was referring to in that piece, is that because the sea level is rising because the climate is getting warmer because the greenhouse gases that we put into the atmosphere, that's going to make the same event happen much more frequently because with a higher sea level, it will take a weaker storm to make the same kind of flooding.

So I mean there's two issues, one is that we're not so good at thinking about rare events and recognizing that even something is rare and maybe unlikely in the next year, in the next two years it will be catastrophic enough that it did happened and we should prepare for it is the assumption.

But then there's the fact that we're changing the climate in such a way that events like this, because of the sea level rise especially will become less rare. And that's the other thing we have to reckon with and that's really the -- the biggest of the long-term problems.

HARLOW: Right.

SOBEL: That -- that we're really failing to address, in the United States in particular.

HARLOW: And the big question is how do you get people to spend so much money, so much time, so much energy on this when there are also so many other pressing issues.

It's a fascinating article. Go to You can read his op-ed there. I appreciate you joining us this morning Adam thank you.

SOBEL: Thank you.

HARLOW: All right still to come in the NEWSROOM. You know him from "Sweet Jane" and "Walk on the Wild Side". Lou Reed. He died on Sunday we're going to take a look back at the life, the legacy of this rock legend.


HARLOW: Rock fans this morning remembering a poet and a true pioneer. Singer, songwriter Lou Reed died Sunday at his home in New York. Our Nischelle Turner has a look at his life and his legacy.


NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT (voice over): With classics like "Sweet Jane" Lou Reed influenced generations of rockers often merging with risque lyrics with droning guitars. Born and raised in New York Reed joined creative forces with Andy Warhol who sponsored the Velvet Underground. "Rolling Stone" named the Underground's 1967 debut album the "13th Greatest of all time."

LOU REED, MUSICIAN: I get personal satisfaction of making things that don't exist. I follow passion. That's the one rule I've lived by.

TURNE: The edgy Reed said he wanted to tell the stories of outsiders as a solo artist, Reed's lyrics and "Take a Walk on the Wild Side" explored sex, drugs and drag queens.

ANTHONY DECURTIS, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE: He saw himself as a literary figure as much as a musician and he took that aspect of his work very seriously.

TURNER: Reed also delved into acting playing an annoying record producer in Paul Simon's 1980 movie riff on the music business, "One Trick Pony".

REED: What do you think I am just a nod turner here I made -- I made a couple of records myself, you know I know what I'm doing.

TURNER: Reed loved poetry and legions of Indy rockers hung on his every word. His celebrated independence streak as heard on "I love you Suzanne.

REED: You do what you can. Do what you got to do. For the love of Suzanne.

TURNER: Reed had been frail for months after a liver transplant earlier this year. He died at his home in South Hampton, New York at age 71.

Nischelle Turner, CNN, Los Angeles. (END VIDEOTAPE)


HARLOW: Well, the speculation continues that former secretary of state Hillary Clinton may give a White House run one more shot. But she's not the only one whose moves and words have a lot of people wondering if 2016 is also on their minds.

Our Erin McPike joins me now from Washington. What have you got -- Erin?

ERIN MCPIKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's actually more than just speculation these days because some of these potential candidates are already positioning themselves and testing some messages. We're hearing a lot from both of the Clintons about their extensive experiences. And then a big group of Republicans are trying to show their commitment to conservative principles. So that might be a preview of the 2016 campaign.


MCPIKE: Trips to Iowa, multiple speeches -- big guns on the campaign stump. A full year before the midterm elections, the 2016 presidential race is already beginning to take shape with Hillary Clinton dominating the field on the left and a crew of mostly younger up and coming Republicans competing for attention on the right.

One of those, 42-year-old Texas Senator Ted Cruz, took the critical state of Iowa by storm over the weekend. He hunted pheasant with conservative Congressman Steve King and fired up the GOP faithful.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: There's nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing matters more than an energized and active vocal grass roots America. That's how you win elections.

MCPIKE: Meantime, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal who is also 42 left the door open on his plans.

GOV. BOBBY JINDAL (R), LOUISIANA: I don't know what I'm going to do in 2016. I think it's too early.

MCPIKE: In New Jersey, tough talking GOP favorite Chris Christie at age 51 is just a week away from winning a second term as governor of a state that leans far to the left.

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: We can stick to our principles and still come together --

MCPIKE: On Tuesday, he'll tour the communities hard hit by Superstorm Sandy a year ago this week -- a tragedy that cemented Christie's reputation as a bipartisan leader.

Tonight Jeb Bush will receive an award in Washington and appear on stage with potential 2016 competitor, Paul Ryan. And like the Bush dynasty on one side, the duo on the other side of the aisle appears to be gearing up too.

TERRY MCAULIFFE (D), VIRGINIA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: Ladies and gentlemen it's my honor to welcome back to Virginia the 42nd President of the United States of America, Bill Clinton.

MCPIKE: Bill Clinton is on a four-day tour of Virginia trying to help long time friend and former DNC leader Terry McAuliffe close the deal in the state's governor's race. The former secretary of state and first lady who celebrated her 66th birthday on Saturday, is starting to look a lot like someone picking up the pace for a presidential campaign with a series of speeches.


MCPIKE: Now, Poppy, Hillary Clinton gave three speeches in three days just last week and she announced on Friday night that she'll be speaking again this coming Friday in Philadelphia. Well on top of that we know how much Bill Clinton likes the campaign trail. And he's going to be campaigning all day for Terry McAuliffe in Virginia and he's going to be doing that through Wednesday. So we'll be looking forward to seeing what happens out there -- Poppy.

HARLOW: And we'll keep asking that key question, "Do you intend to run?" And not get answers. At least not yet.

MCPIKE: Exactly.

HARLOW: At least not yet.

All right. Erin McPike thanks so much. Appreciate it.

MCPIKE: Of course.

HARLOW: Checking other top stories. Police in North Carolina have charged the operator of a ride that malfunctioned and seriously hurt several people. Timothy Dwayne Tutterrow faces felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon for allegedly tampering with the ride at the state fair. Three people are hospitalized from that. Police say more arrests are possible.

And a powerful storm hammering southern England this morning, winds have gusted nearly 100 miles an hour. Dozens of flights at London's Heathrow Airport have been canceled and upwards of a quarter million homes there have lost power. At least two people have been killed by the storm: one, a 17-year-old girl who was sleeping, she died when a tree fell on her home.

Still coming up in the NEWSROOM, you won't get the sizzle of bacon, but you can get the smell -- that enticing scent. We're going to tell you about the latest experience coming to your smart phone, of all things. Yes, there's an app for that.


HARLOW: Let's take a quick check of what's happening on Wall Street right now. Pull the big board up -- a little sell-off on Wall Street. Dow down 23 points, S&P 500 and Nasdaq also down just slightly. Not a big sell-off after that incredible week we saw with the record high close to the S&P 500. Investors hoping that the Fed has some good news for them at this week's policy meeting.

Let's bring in Christine Romans with that story. So what are we expecting? Same policy here from the Fed that's going to keep pumping up these stocks

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And you know what's so interesting is I think a lot of people don't understand that the Federal Reserve has been pumping $85 billion into the economy every single month. And you think about all the budget cutting we're talking about in Washington, the quibbling over billions here and there in Washington in terms of policy makers.

The Fed has been pumping this money into the system and now with the debt ceiling fight and the shutdown and still indecision about America's budget priorities, a lot of economists and analysts and market professionals are saying the Fed is going to keep doing it -- Poppy. And the Fed really is sort of stuck here.

You know, the Fed, its hand is forced. The shutdown trumped the taper. The taper -- right, what is that? That's the Fed finally pulling back on all that money it's pumped. Well no, the shutdown shows the Fed has to keep going.

Bernanke -- Bernanke going to be moving out, right. He's going to be done January 31st. And Yellen, Janet Yellen will probably have to continue the very same policies of Ben Bernanke at least for the foreseeable future. So you've got -- now this is the third round of Fed stimulus -- remember QE1, QE2. This is QE3, this one will likely be bigger than the two before it and will continue at least, you know, to the beginning of the year.

HARLOW: What about the folks, I mean you mentioned it last hour. Half of Americans are not invested in the market whatsoever. No 401(k), IRA, nothing in the market, this Fed policy like this, though, helping them in other ways?

ROMANS: It's keeping interest rates low. So if they're going to buy a house that means low mortgage rates if you've got the credit and cash in the bank, of course, for the down payment. So it's keeping interest rates low, it's been good for the housing market to a degree. But when you look at -- you know, "CNN MONEY" has a fantastic story about this just showing the size of the stimulus, this quantitative easing which is QE3.

And in fact, you know, a lot of this is going to banks. Banks are holding on -- the money is going -- it's fueling the stock market, it's sitting on the books of financial professionals. But there's a lot of debate about whether it's really, you know, trickling down to Main Street.

HARLOW: Right.

ROMANS: Limiting other than those lower mortgage rates. Now the Fed, Janet Yellen and Ben Bernanke and other, they're very clear that they want to have the job market get better. That's what all this QE is four. What would things look like if we didn't have QE? Probably a lot worse than they do right now.

HARLOW: Yes. But you know, that speaks to that poll last week. CNN polls show us more than 70 percent of Americans think the economy is poor so here you have this market not being reflected for a lot of folks and how they're feeling about the economy overall and jobs.

All right. Christine, thank you. Appreciate it.

Well, is there anything as enticing as the smell of bacon? It may soon be as close as a smart phone. We're not kidding here. A Japanese company has reportedly created an app that releases a burst of aroma. You can choose from a menu with bacon, coffee, cinnamon rolls, scores of other scents. The key is this little the pod of fragrance that plugs into your phone right in that headphone jack.

Wow, I don't know. I don't know. I don't know if I want to be smelling my iPhone any time soon. But that will do it for us today.

"LEGAL VIEW" with Ashleigh Banfield starts right now. Hey -- Ashleigh.

ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN HOST: Word today that the NSA tapped the phones of not one but 35 world leaders.

And new revelations -- what the White House supposedly did and did not know about it.

Also this hour, Chris Brown arrested again. Accused of punching a fan and charged with assault. And yes, he is still on probation for roughing up Rihanna.

And a (inaudible) through a maintenance patch above the shower made their way along the jail's plumbing and air conditioning and broke through a concrete wall --