This morning, I’m live-blogging the live chat with Jack Welch over at MSNBC . Last time I tried this was when they had author John Grisham on – for three minutes before the station’s firewall made it impossible for him to connect. Let’s hope that they do better with it this morning.

Right now, I’m sitting here with the window open for the chat, waiting for Mr. Welch to sign into the chat and realizing that most of my questions for him start with “Hey, idiot…”

This is the man who just said “We have to fix the housing market before we can think about fixing the economy.” That was in reference to – oh, you know – creating jobs. Green energy. Infrastructure improvements. Those things should go into buckets to be addressed AFTER we fix the banks. Give the banks more money and more assurances. And yeah, some banks are going to fail – we should let the LITTLE banks fail and save the big banks. Oreally??? Letting these banks get so big is what screwed us up so badly in the first place. I think what we just proved is that any bank too big to fail should get broken down into smaller bits. Thank you, that’s all there is to see here, move on.

I’ve never quite figured out how nominally smart people can’t wrap their heads around the idea that people who don’t have money and jobs can’t buy houses. Or groceries. Or televisions. And it starts there because when enough of them can’t buy houses or groceries or – well – put their money in the bank, yeah? And when people don’t buy from businesses, then businesses fail. And when businesses fail, more people lose their jobs. And the more people that lose their jobs, the more businesses fail. So – how do you fix it? You do things that put money to spend into the pockets of the people that fuel the engine – the people who buy the groceries and the houses and the televisions.

And the chat is starting… here goes:

Mr. Welch, do you think we have only seen the tip of the iceberg in the current economic crisis?

Jack Welch: Good morning everyone. Thomas — No, I think we’re getting our arms around it. And if we can get Congress and the government to focus on the banks and get them functioning, we’ll see a recovery within the next 18 months.

Comment From Jim Thompson]
“Buy America”, how do you feel about this?

Jack Welch: Good morning Jim. I think it’s a disaster, we went through this with Smoot-Haley in the 30s and it reduced global trade by two-thirds in 24 months

[Comment From David in Selinsgrove, Pa]
How is this stimulus package going to benefit struggling home owners with their mortgage?

Jack Welch: David, right now this package isn’t going to do a thing for them. The government treatment of the banks has to include mortgage relief in some form and I think it will.

[Comment From Josh B]
Good morning Jack…Do you feel executive pay cap is a good idea?

Jack Welch: Dear Josh — they have to do something and the president’s proposals are reasonable and if the banks perform the restricted stock that will be granted to the executives will make up for the lost compensation. I like the incentives.

[Comment From Jason Barnes]
What advice do you have for small business owners and how might we take advantage of any of the stimulus funds?

Jack Welch: Jason — business owners of any size have two areas to focus on: one is preservation, and that means getting costs in line for the tough times ahead. And secondly, innovation has to be part of every employee’s job. Every business needs new ways of doing business.

[Comment From Bob Belinke]
Jack: Why not have the Gov’t buy all home mortgages and people pay it back lke they pay taxes. The banks can lend money just to business (for the most part) and if you don’t pay your taxes/Mortgage to the gov’t, you loose what you would loose now

Jack Welch: Dear Bob, I think you’ll see something along these lines of government intervention in the mortgage market. The exact form it will take, I don’t know.

And that was that. Obtuseness, they name is business executives.

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