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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Money Meltdown; Rising Rage on Campaign Trail; Top Ten Culprits of the Collapse: Richard Fuld; Conservative Women Excited about Palin; Voter Registration Group Accused of Fraud

Aired October 9, 2008 - 22:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: We have got a lot of politics.
But, tonight, we begin with breaking news, and it just keeps coming, another blow to the markets, a new shock to the system. And, boy, what a shock, more evidence that whatever this is that we're going through, it is not through with us yet.

As we speak, Asian markets are sliding. And this is what today looked like on Wall Street, time-lapse video, late in the day, the Dow industrials plunging 679 points, nearly 40 percent lower than it was just a year ago to this day, when it hit an all-time high, another $900 in value gone, General Motors, GM, closing below $5 a share.

That is the lowest since, guess when, 1950, President Bush speaking today, expected to speak tomorrow, scheduled to meet with world finance ministers Saturday. In a moment, we will show you what Obama and McCain are saying, but is anyone really listening?

Certainly not the markets, not yet, it seems.

Joining us with the breaking news is Ali Velshi.

Ali, there was this massive sell-off today, the Dow closing at 8579. Have we hit the bottom yet?

ALI VELSHI, CNN SENIOR BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: No, probably not, Anderson. The good news, we might be there. Let me show you how today looked.

This is an unprecedented situation. We started out this morning, it was going down. This is actually -- in fact, we're looking at a year on the Dow. Take a look at this. It was 14000. All right, let's look at today then. We were down below the even line. We kept on going down. And then it's a pattern we have seen before, Anderson. The last hour of trading, look at that, it goes down to 8579.

Let's switch back, if we can, to the picture of the last year. You know what these stocks are down? And your portfolio might a little look like this. Since a year ago today, the Dow started the -- a year ago today was the highest the Dow had ever been. It was above 14000. That loss right now, in fact, it's more than 35 percent. Thirty-nine percent now is where we are.

So, if you look at your 401(k), and you're down 39 percent, it's -- it looks like the rest of the market. Now, Asian markets, as you said, continue their sell-off. And there are a lot of people who say that that level, from maybe 8000 to 8500, might be the -- the point that we're looking at the bottom.

There are some people who say it's lower. But, in the end, there are folks who are saying the companies that comprise these stock markets have an intrinsic value. And, at this point, they're starting to look like they're on sale -- Anderson.

COOPER: Wow. I guess the question is, where is that intrinsic value?

the White House confirmed today the Treasury Department is looking to buying equity stakes in some of the nation's banks. What does that mean? How would that work?

VELSHI: All right. What this means is, you know, we have been seeing the government give loans to company. We saw that AIG, another loan to AIG last night.

Here's the difference. This is part of the $700 billion bailout program. What it would involve is the federal government giving money to the nation's banks, to U.S. banks, but it wouldn't be a loan. What they would get in exchange for that money is, they would get stock in those banks. Why does that matter?

Because, if the money that goes to the banks actually helps them stay afloat, and those banks become profitable -- profitable again, because, historically, banking is a very profitable business, well, that means that the stock could go up in value, and the American taxpayer, through the U.S. government, could actually make money on this -- this infusion of cash into the nation's banks.

We're probably some weeks away from it actually happening. Treasury has just confirmed that they are looking at it as one of the options, Anderson.

COOPER: All right, Ali, stick with us.

As you know, there's one piece of good news to report. Demand for oil is down. So is the price of gasoline. But that is pretty much it. There have been new layoffs in the headlines. One market watcher today said she was seeing signs of the market bottoming. And, even, she added, it's going to be ugly out there for a long time to come.

So, what can any of us do? Let's bring in Ali over from the wall and bring in personal bestselling author Lynnette Khalfani-Cox.

Lynnette , should people change their spending habits, their savings habits at this point right now?

LYNNETTE KHALFANI-COX, THE MONEY COACH.NET: Your spending and your savings habits, absolutely. This is no time to be out there splurging, taking extra family vacations, buying things, driving yourself into debt. Your investment strategy, if you're in it for the long haul, that's what I don't encourage, to change solely based on the volatility that we have seen.

COOPER: Because, if you do, if you pull your money out, long term, you are going to be hurting yourself, if you're in it for the long term.

KHALFANI-COX: Absolutely.

If you pull out right now, you're just guaranteeing your losses. You're locking in what are right now paper losses. It's not a loss until you actually sell it. And I know it doesn't look good on paper for people to see those statements and to see the 35 to 40 percent declines that a lot of people are seeing.

But, if you're 30, 40 years old, the truth of the matter is, you really can ride some of this out. If you're investing for retirement, you have got 20-plus years to stay in it.

COOPER: Because, Ali, those losses are on paper. If you sell right now, you are locking in those losses.

VELSHI: They're real losses and you have to make up all that time.

History has shown us, these markets go down. They start to come up before the end of a recent. That's important for people to understand. It doesn't mean we're coming out of something. We know the rest of economy is in bad shape. But we do see markets start to emerge first.

It's a very, very hard thing to stomach right now. But we think that there is a bottom to these markets. And if you're not there to take advantage of it, you will have locked in your losses, and you're not going to get the gains on the way up.

COOPER: It's still so scary, every day looking at your -- looking at your 401(k).

VELSHI: Sure.

KHALFANI-COX: You know what? Obviously, none of us has a crystal ball. But what we do know from past trends is that, when the turnaround does come, it's actually a very brief period of time.

When you look at the number of days where the stock market has gone on a huge upswing...

COOPER: Right.

KHALFANI-COX: ... after a downturn, it's something like 10 or 20 days in the course of a year...

(CROSSTALK) COOPER: What scares me, though, is when you hear folks saying, look, this is a 50-, 100-year event, so, all these other models, I mean, I'm not even sure if they really apply.

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: But let's get to some of these questions from our viewers on the AC360.com blog.

Chris asks, "How can financially responsible people benefit from this bailout -- rescue -- package?"

Year to date, the Dow is down 35 percent. That sounds really grim, but is there a chance actually to make money?

KHALFANI-COX: I think there is an opportunity to make money. One is if you have great credit and if you're in a strong cash position, you might be able to pick up a foreclosure or two as an investment property.

Also, you might do some peer-to-peer lending. We have heard of a number of these lending sites, like Prosper and Virgin Money, et cetera, loaning money to individuals or small businesses. You're able to charge them, of course, a higher interest rate than they -- if they were not able to get that money from a loan.

So, if you're a strong position, yes, you might be well- positioned, not to mention if you are going to be a patient and prudent investor, you can go bargain hunting right now. You can get some value-oriented stocks on the cheap.

COOPER: Ali, this is a question from Martini on the 360 blog: "If the market is going down, and people are losing money, losing homes, and losing jobs, where is the money going?"

What is the answer?

VELSHI: Well, this market -- it's a deal. It's kind of like, if you bought something for a -- you bought a watch for 50 bucks and you sold it on eBay for 20 bucks, where did the money go? That money went to the first person you gave it to, the watch seller and the manufacturer.

It's the same things with stock. That money went to wherever you gave to it. And, unless you can make more of it, it has disappeared. The money was sold. You bought a stock. That money was sold. Now you have to sell it for more than you bought it for. So, it's not disappearing.

That's why Lynnette says it's a paper loss, until you lock it in.

COOPER: Right.

We're going to have to leave it there.

Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, thanks so much. Good to have you on the program.

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: We would love to have you on again.

Ali Velshi as well.

What do you think of the crisis? I'm blogging throughout the hour. Join the conversation at AC360.com. Check out Erica Hill's live Webcast also during the break. I'm about to log on myself.

Up next: new polling numbers on the race and new heat from both the candidates, and, in John McCain's case, a lot of anger from his supporters. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm mad. I'm really mad. And what's going to surprise you, it's not the economy. It's the socialists taking over our country.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Who's to blame for the financial meltdown? Tonight, we are naming names? Tonight, we add a second name to our 10 most wanted list, the 10 most wanted culprits of the collapse. Find out who we're adding tonight -- coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. SARAH PALIN (R-AK), VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I can't pick a fight with those who buy ink by the barrelful. So, you guys are going to have to start asking the questions even more adamantly also, and holding people accountable when they're in a position also to get those answers from the opponents.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Sarah Palin today calling on supporters to keep the media -- or keep the heat on the media to do stories on Bill Ayers, the violent '60s radical, an Obama acquaintance.

Senator Obama downplays the relationship, of course, with Ayers, who is basically unrepentant for his actions in the '60s and is now a college professor.

Ayers has become the star of campaign stops, used by Sarah Palin and John McCain to try to raise doubts about Barack Obama. In a moment, we will have new comments about what Barack Obama has to say about Ayers.

First, a big reason the McCain forces may be focusing on Obama's character, the polls, a six-point Obama lead in our average of selected national surveys. State by state, the Obama advantage also growing.

On the trail, McCain supporters are certainly feeling it.

Ed Henry is on the trail tonight.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ED HENRY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's an emotion now on display at more and more McCain-Palin events: rage.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm mad. I'm really mad. And what's going to surprise you, it's not the economy. It's the socialists taking over our country.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

HENRY: Republicans, this time in Wisconsin, venting frustration over Barack Obama's rise in the polls.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you have an Obama, Pelosi and the rest of the hooligans up there going to run this country, we have got to have our head examined. It's time that you two are representing us, and we are mad. So, go get them.

HENRY: Almost a cry for help, the party faithful amazed McCain could possibly be losing...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And we're all wondering why that Obama is where he's at, how he got here. I mean, everybody in this room is stunned that we're in this position.

HENRY: ... and enraged the media is allegedly giving Obama a pass to his ties to former 1960s radical William Ayers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are all a product of our association. Is there not a way to get around this media and line?

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

HENRY: But some anger is directed at McCain himself.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have the good Reverend Wright. We have Pfleger. We have all of these shady characters that have surrounded him. We have corruption here in Wisconsin and voters across the nation.

I am begging you, sir, I am begging you, take it to him.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

HENRY: McCain seems torn. On one hand, he is going negative on the Ayers controversy.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: The point is, Senator Obama said he was just a guy in the neighborhood. We know that's not true.

(AUDIENCE BOOING)

MCCAIN: We need to know the full extent of the relationship because of whether Senator Obama is telling the truth to the American people or not.

HENRY: But he ducked a demand that he bring up the Reverend Wright flap, instead, veering back to the economy.

MCCAIN: But I also, my friends, want to address the greatest financial challenge of our lifetime with a positive plan for action.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HENRY: It's interesting. John McCain has not been talking about Reverend Wright, because, several months ago, he suggested he did not think that was fair game.

However, the McCains have also said months ago they didn't think they wanted their son, Jimmy, who is a Marine serving in Iraq, they didn't think he should be dragged into the campaign.

But, as you know, yesterday, Cindy McCain did use him for political purposes. So, as this campaign unfolds in the final days, who knows what will be fair game in the end -- Anderson.

COOPER: Well, I mean, as -- as any campaign gets more and more desperate or more and more with their back against the wall, there's no telling what -- what they're willing to do.

They talked about not using Ayers. Governor Palin certainly brought it up with Bill Kristol and sort of introduced it, I guess, without introducing it. Are there a lot of people in the campaign camp who want McCain himself to go even more negative?

HENRY: And there are some.

And they're basically saying, look, from now until Election Day, the only way John McCain is going to win is by going negative and essentially laying out why he thinks Barack Obama is risky and why he thinks he has poor judgment and has not leveled with the American people.

But, on the other hand, there are many others inside and outside the McCann camp who are saying, look, you are going to flip this around to the point that you are going to anger independent undecided voters by going nuclear, basically, and the blowback is going be too much.

And that's why, when you see John McCain, he's sort of going through this on one hand and on the other. He doesn't quite know which button to push, and he's get going pressure from all sides -- Anderson.

COOPER: It is pretty stunning that someone in the McCain side on a conference call with reporters, I think it was, said essentially -- and correct me the exact verbiage -- that, if -- if we just keep talking about the economy, we're going to lose, that they had to pivot off the economy. Was that the message?

HENRY: There were Republican strategists quoted in "The Washington Post" and elsewhere saying, look, if we have to continue to talk about this financial crisis, it's over. Barack Obama is going to win.

And that's obviously something the Democrats have pounced on, because, after those comments were made, now we're seeing all these various attacks on these issues. It certainly suggests the McCain camp wants to change the subject.

And I think it's quite interesting you had Sarah Palin today saying, look, you have got demand that the media ask these tough questions of Barack Obama and that he give answers. This is Sarah Palin, who's been very selective, as you know, about which interviews she will give and which tough questions she will answer -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right, Ed Henry, thanks.

And, also, for viewers who are saying we should be doing stuff on Bill Ayers, we have. Drew Griffin did a very tough piece looking at the connections. You can look it up on the Web.

More about Sarah Palin tonight and how she's moving voters toward and away from John McCain. For her supporters, we're going to look at, what is the core of her appeal? Just ahead, we will met a group of women who says the Alaska governor reaches theme like no other candidate ever before.

And, next, how Barack Obama's is handling the Ayers barrage -- plus, his new challenge to John McCain -- when 360 continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Updating our breaking news: Asian markets continuing what Wall Street began today. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index down 8 percent, Japan's Nikkei down nearly 10.

Back now to politics and Barack Obama today on the trail. As we just saw before the break, there's a lot of anger directed toward Obama at McCain and Palin rallies. The name Bill Ayers comes up frequently on the stump and during speeches and interviews with McCain and Palin, but it did not come up at Tuesday's debate.

That's something Charlie Gibson of ABC News asked Barack Obama about on "World News" on ABC. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, ABC)

OBAMA: I'm surprised that we have been seeing some pretty over- the-top attacks coming out of the McCain campaign over the last several days, that he wasn't willing to say it to my face.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: More now on Obama's counterattack from Candy Crowley on the trail.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

OBAMA: Cincinnati.

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It is a continuing theme in the Obama campaign, as carefully worded as it is direct: John McCain isn't stable enough to be president.

OBAMA: Here is my point, Cincinnati. You can't afford that kind of erratic, uncertain leadership in these uncertain times.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

OBAMA: We need a steady hand in the White House.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

OBAMA: We need a president we can trust in times of crisis.

CROWLEY: Using words like erratic, risky, lurching, Barack Obama is aiming directly at one of John McCain's enduring strengths, higher scores than Obama in the experience category. Thursday, he ripped for his evolving plan to help homeowners facing foreclosure.

OBAMA: In the course of 12 hours, he has ended up with a plan that punishes taxpayer, rewards banks, and won't solve our housing crisis. But I -- this is the kind of erratic behavior we have been seeing out of Senator McCain.

CROWLEY: While Obama pounded McCain through Ohio, Joe Biden worked his way through other battleground territory, campaigning in the swing state of Missouri with the same vocabulary.

SEN. JOSEPH BIDEN (D-DE), VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: You're seeing John McCain's campaign being so erratic, an angry man, a man who is lurching from one position to another.

To lurch from one place to another.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is not a steady hand.

CROWLEY: This is a cautious campaign now, following the first rule of running ahead, limit the opportunities to stumble.

And with T-minus 26 days, Obama is likely to remain in safe mode. And has the money to buy it. The campaign announced today it is negotiating with the broadcast networks to buy a half-hour of prime time at the end of this month, less than a week before the election. It's a multimillion-dollar endeavor, but the airwaves will be controlled by Barack Obama.

(END VIDEOTAPE) COOPER: Candy, you're saying it's a cautious campaign, safety at this point, because they're out in front. Behind the scenes, are there folks around Obama who are very concerned about this -- this Bill Ayers stuff that the McCain/Palin campaign is -- is pushing?

CROWLEY: Not so far, simply because they don't see any evidence that it is getting any traction at all.

They believe that they have the ready-made answer, which is, you know what, John McCain is talking about this because he doesn't want to talk about the issues, because he's wrong on the issue, he's like George Bush. So, they have this -- they have been able to sort of brush it with that, and, as you see, are sort of going after him, saying, you see, when he goes on the issues, he's erratic. He's this. He's that.

So, they don't see anything in the polls. So, they're not particularly worried about that. But I have to tell you, at this point in the campaign, you really sort of worry about everything. But what they want to do here in the Obama campaign is steady as she goes. There are teleprompters at every speech now that he gives, every rally, because there's less -- less of a chance that there will be a mistake.

There are fewer interactions with the press. This is pretty standard stuff for the final month of a campaign, when what you really want to do is go out and rally the voters and get them to come out and vote for you. You don't want to make new policy people can shoot at. So, very cautious here, and basically not all that worried, at least about the William Ayers thing.

COOPER: All right, Candy Crowley, thanks, on the trail tonight.

It is clearly nasty out there. Now, a short time ago, tonight, John McCain made some new comments about Bill Ayers. We will show you what he is saying now and have a "Strategy Session" with David Gergen, and Ed Rollins, and Paul Begala, the best political team on television. Sarah

Also, to some, Sarah Palin is not just another V.P. candidate; she is a political rock star. So, what is it about Palin that has connected with some women?

We will talk about that and find out who is to blame for the financial meltdown. We add another name to our 10 most wanted list, the culprits of the collapse.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you have an Obama, Pelosi and the rest of the hooligans up there going to run this country, we have got to have our head examined. It's time that you two are representing us, and we are MADDEN: . UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have the good Reverend Wright. We have Pfleger. We have all of these shady characters that have surrounded him. We have corruption here in Wisconsin and voters across the nation.

I am begging you, sir, I am begging you, take it to him.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: A lot of passion and some anger at John McCain events.

Let's talk about what's happening on the trail out there.

CNN senior analyst and former presidential adviser David Gergen joins me, as well as CNN senior contributor and GOP start Ed Rollins, and Paul Begala, CNN political contributor and Democratic campaign guru.

Ed, let me start off with you.

Do you believe this race is over for John McCain?

ED ROLLINS, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: I do. I mean, and, you know, I'm for McCain. I am going to vote for McCain. But the momentum is going all -- all the other way.

And, equally as important, you can't break through with the economy being so overwhelming.

COOPER: So, all this Bill Ayers stuff, all the -- even if they bring up Reverend Wright...

(CROSSTALK)

ROLLINS: No one cares about it anymore. I mean, if it was a month ago or two months ago, people might have cared. Today, they don't care.

Barack has met the threshold, where people think he's going to be a leader. He has tied McCain to the past and to Bush. And I think people clearly want to make a move.

It's like Carter. When David and I were involved with Reagan in 1980, people -- once Reagan met the threshold, people clearly wanted to get rid of Carter, and they did, in a landslide. This is going to turn into a landslide...

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: So, is the tone out there, David Gergen, appropriate? Is it dangerous? What is it?

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I think it is a incendiary. And I don't fully agree with Ed that it's over.

COOPER: You don't agree that it's over?

GERGEN: No, no, I don't. I think there's still a race factor. And I think that introduces a wild card into the final analysis.

COOPER: That's an unknown.

GERGEN: But what we do know is, it's been stable now for about two weeks. And that is very bad news for John McCain.

Barack Obama has had not only -- he's had a sizable lead now, six, eight points now, for two weeks. But, in some polls, it's even up -- Gallup tracking has it up to 11. That's the biggest lead we see in any of the polls.

So, every day that goes by like today, when McCain does not break through, I think, is a bad day for McCain. And what I do -- what you do sense is that McCain is losing control over his own destiny, that he's no longer the man who seems to be in command. He's thrashing around, looking for something that will take hold.

I mean, it was just two days ago his campaign -- after the debate, his campaign team was saying, he's not going to talk about Bill Ayers. He has put it off-limits. We talked about this last night. Here he is today talking about him.

COOPER: And, in fact, tonight, he just talked to Charlie Gibson on ABC News about Bill Ayers.

Let's listen to what he said, Paul.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, ABC)

MCCAIN: He launched his political career in his living room, in Mr. Ayers' living room.

I don't care about two washed-up old terrorists that are unrepentant about trying to destroy America. But I do care and Americans should care about his relationship with him and whether he's being truthful and candid about it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Do you believe, Paul Begala, that John McCain really believes that, and do you think there's a value in him bringing this up?

PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I don't know what he believes anymore.

I do sense -- and Candy reported this -- some ambivalence on McCain's part about raising this. And, yet, there he was with Charlie Gibson. So, you know, I think the problem McCain has is, voters are going to process all the information they're given for these last 26 days through the fact that they know that McCain is behind.

And, so, it all looks political. And, you know, campaigns that are the most adaptive are the ones that win. And I think McCain is adapting the wrong way. He's adapting to his base, to the most extreme, angriest elements of his party.

Look at Barack Obama. Now, we all knew that McCain would try to paint Obama as risky. I could have never predicted, 26 before -- days before the election, Obama could make the argument that it is McCain who is erratic and unsteady.

And, yet, I think this back and forth that David mentioned about Ayers helps. You know, the other day, McCain looked out at his crowd and addressed them as, "my fellow prisoners." That's odd. That's really odd. He's a tired guy. It's a long campaign. He's 72. I cut him a break on that.

But he does look erratic, I think, in the eyes of a lot of voters.

COOPER: Ed, I mean, they're both throwing hand grenades, as you said earlier.

ROLLINS: They both are.

I have never seen a campaign -- they have done it in commercials before -- I have never seen two candidates basically be as insulting to each other.

COOPER: Barack Obama raising the questions about John McCain's erraticness?

ROLLINS: Absolutely, and the whole calling each other liars, and what have you.

The other fundamental question here is, how do you want to end your career, if John McCain ends his career? We're now starting to lose -- the potential is there to not only lose the Senate, but to lose the Senate leader, the Republican leader, to lose someone like Elizabeth Dole. We could lose 10 Senate seats. We could lose 25 House seats.

GERGEN: Wow. Do you really think 10? That's the biggest number I have heard.

(CROSSTALK)

ROLLINS: There's 12 of them in play. And I went through the list today. And it's -- it's -- the floor is dropping. And, so, all of a sudden, he needs to help his party. He's the leader of his party.

COOPER: So, how does he do that?

ROLLINS: Well, you do that by talking -- you have to go give an alternative on the economy. He has got to be prepared this week to go out and really have a good, strong -- talk about economic leadership, so that his party has a little bit of something to run on.

COOPER: But it's interesting. You see that crowd. And he says, look, but I also want to -- they talk about Ayers a little bit. He said, but I also want to give a positive message on the economy.

It didn't seem like the crowd wanted to hear that.

ROLLINS: You don't give them a choice. They're there to -- you don't want the crowd to get angry at this point in time.

And the truth of the matter, he -- if he brings this party down, I mean, forever, his legacy will be that they last 10 or 12 seats, 25 seats in the House, and he will give Barack everything he needs to basically move an agenda.

COOPER: There's also the question of ruling after this, and bringing the country together. It's going to be all the more harder to do that whoever wins with all this anger out there.

GERGEN: This -- I think one of the most striking things we've seen now in the last few day. We've seen it in a Palin rally. We saw it at the McCain rally today. And we saw it to a considerable degree during the rescue package legislation. There is this free floating sort of whipping around anger that could really lead to some violence. I think we're not far from that.

COOPER: Really?

GERGEN: I think it's so -- well, I really worry when we get people -- when you get the kind of rhetoric that you're getting at these rallies now. I think it's really imperative that the candidates try to calm people down. And that's why I've argued not only because of the question of the ugliness of it.

But I think McCain ought to get his campaign off the road and look at the -- and get the best economic minds in the country together and come back Monday, Tuesday, with a really serious speech. He's the one who ought to be buying TV time, talking to the country.

COOPER: We've got to -- and very briefly, Paul Begala, do you believe it's over for John McCain at this time?

BEGALA: No, it's not over. But I do want to be fair here. Both candidates are not being equally angry or equally negative or equally dirty. Obama has been a model of cool, calm. Sure, he's launched his attacks but nothing like the kind of really angry and hateful things that McCain is saying.

Nobody at Obama's rally is shouting "Kill him" as the "Washington Post" reported or hurling racial epithets at an African-American cameraman, as has been reported, or saying, "off with his head," as has been reported. So let's not pretend that this is equal amounts of rage and anger here.

COOPER: We're going to have to leave it there. Paul Begala, Ed Rollins, David Gergen, thank you. All good perspectives. It could be a record turnout this November, but will there be a clear-cut winner? Already allegations of voter registration fraud are popping up around the country. So how's that happening? We're investigating. We're "Keeping Them Honest" tonight.

And the ten most wanted, the "Culprits of the Collapse." We add a new name tonight. Find out who this person is and how much he has cost you. We are naming names. Holding people accountable. Ahead on 360.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Well, last night, we began naming the "Ten Most Wanted Culprits of the Collapse." Every night, we're going to be adding another name to the list.

Right now, a bunch of politicians are telling us that now is not the time to point fingers of blame over this financial fiasco. We think now is the time. You should know about these people. You should know their names. You should know their faces, and you should know what they've done and how much they are costing you.

Last night, Joe Cassano from AIG became one of our ten most wanted. He and other AIG executives came up with financial instruments that avoided regulation and precipitated this collapse.

Even after getting bailed out, the company spent hundreds of thousands on fancy hotel and spa treatments. Unbelievable.

And tonight, the second edition to our "Ten Most Wanted List." If you look at the breaking news banner on our screen, you can see why. He is Richard Fuld, the former CEO of Lehman Brothers.

The report from 360's Joe Johns.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Lehman Brothers' former CEO, Richard Fuld, is living pretty, a multi-million-dollar estate in Florida, a $21-million apartment on Park Avenue. Another lavish estate in Greenwich, Connecticut. And it's no wonder: "Fortune" magazine says as CEO, Fuld was paid around $500 million. But now, he's on the hot seat.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you haven't discovered your role, you're the villain today.

REP. HENRY WAXMAN (D-CA), CHAIRMAN, OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE: Your company is now bankrupt, our economy is in the state of crisis, but you get to keep $480 million. I have a very basic question for you. Is this fair?

JOHNS: Call it a half-billion-dollar question, but to Fuld, there's nothing wrong with getting paid for good performance.

RICHARD FULD, FORMER CEO, LEHMAN BROTHERS: When the company did well, we did well. When the company did not do well, sir, we did not do well.

JOHNS: John Egan evaluates companies like Lehman for investors. He says Fuld isn't the kind of guy to fall on his sword when things get bad.

SEAN EGAN, EGAN-JONES RATING: Like when the firm gets into trouble, he would be the first in line to make the sacrifices to right the ship, so to speak. He wasn't.

JOHNS: Fuld is the guy who ramped up Lehman's business and mortgage-related securities, at least until the bubble burst. But unlike many other firms, when the subprime market went south, he didn't pull back. Instead, he got in deeper.

JOE NOCERA, "NEW YORK TIMES" BUSINESS COLUMNIST: Lehman wound up thinking people are making a mountain out of a molehill. And if we go in now when everybody else is in a state of quasi-panic and buy up a lot of these things, we'll make a lot of money. And it was a bad debt.

JOHNS: The doom mounted quickly. In September, Lehman needed billions in cash to keep the company afloat. But according to the "Wall Street Journal," just five days before declaring bankruptcy, on a conference call to shareholders, executives were talking about selling assets but didn't explicitly say anything about needing extra cash.

REP. DENNIS KUCINICH (D), OHIO: Did you mislead your investors? And I remind you, sir, you're under oath.

FULD: No, sir, we did not mislead our investors. And to the best of my ability at the time, given the information that I had, we made disclosures that we fully believed were accurate.

EGAN: Either he should have known that the company was in difficult circumstances or, if he did know and didn't tell, it creates another problem. So on the one hand, he is either a liar or else on the other hand, he is stupid.

JOHNS: Most people know the rest. Lehman Brothers goes down, the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history, helping spark a financial panic that continues today. And that's why Lehman Brothers and CEO, Richard Fuld, are one of our "Ten Most Wanted Culprits of the Collapse."

(END VIDEOTAPE)

JOHNS: We asked for an interview with Richard Fuld, but we were referred back to his congressional testimony, Anderson.

COOPER: Well, I extend an interview opportunity for him any time here over the next couple of nights as we continue to name -- maybe he can talk about being named to our list.

There is an investigation going on. What do we know about it, Joe? JOHNS: Well, CNN has been told that federal investigators are looking into Lehman and more than two dozen other companies. We're told they're looking into allegations of fraud.

Now, congressional investigators, by the way, have also started asking questions whether investors were misled by anything company officials said or didn't say regarding that company's financial health.

COOPER: All right, Joe. Let's -- before moving on, let's make it official, adding Lehman Brothers' Dick Fuld to our "Ten Most Wanted Culprits of the Collapse," a list we began last night with Joe Cassano from AIG, just one of the many executives at AIG who, frankly, deserve to be on the list.

More politics ahead. Among women voters, one poll has Barack Obama ahead of the Republican ticket by 17 points. Women twice helped George W. Bush take the White House. Sarah Palin is the big draw this time, and conservative women speak of her like a rock star.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TAMI NANTZ, PALIN SUPPORTER: When he introduced her as his running mate, it just -- I was jumping and screaming and crying. And I was so excited. And I hadn't been before that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: 360's Randi Kaye caught up with members of the so-called Palin Sisterhood, who explain what it is about this candidate they like so much.

And charges of voter registration fraud already being heard around the country. How can this be? We're investigating. What we found so far is pretty shocking. We're "Keeping Them Honest," ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOE BIDEN (D-DE), VICE-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Sarah Palin says, you know, "I was in second grade when Joe Biden was elected United States senator at age 29." That's true. But she was in 6th grade the last time John had a new idea.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Senator Joe Biden firing back at Sarah Palin. A Pew Research survey released last week shows that Obama-Biden ticket is leading the Republican ticket by 17 points among women. That's up ten points from two weeks ago.

With 26 days to go, it is important to remember that women voters twice helped George W. Bush defeat Democratic challengers. Women like the group of mostly moms who share devotion to Sarah Palin.

360's Randi Kaye spent some time with them and has the "Raw Politics."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We pray we that may be an example for the Lord Jesus.

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These Florida women hope their prayers are answered and Republicans win the White House. They are conservative Christian, Bible study members and big fans of Sarah Palin.

NANTZ: She's the rock star of the Republican party right now.

KAYE: At 37, Tami Nantz is a born-again Christian, a wife and mother who sees a kinship in Palin like no other candidate before. She waited seven hours at a rally just to shake her hand and get this autograph.

(on camera) You feel like she's someone you can hang out with?

NANTZ: I feel like if she walked in my door right now, and we could sit down and have -- have snacks with her and talk and have a ball. I feel like she's one of us.

KAYE (voice-over): "One of us" because she's a woman and because she has conservative views.

NANTZ: Being a mom and Christian woman.

KAYE: Tami and her friends are just a small sampling of the conservative base Palin has re-energized. But they speak volumes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She was bold. She's authentic. She tells the truth.

KAYE: These women were not sold on John McCain until he picked Palin. He isn't conservative enough for them. Like Palin, they oppose embryonic stem cell research and abortion rights. They admire her for knowingly giving birth no a Down syndrome baby and for supporting the pregnancy of her teenage daughter.

BRENDA MYNKS, PALIN SUPPORTER: Such a great example for the country, that people have these challenges, but with the Grace of God, with the love of family, these challenges can be overcome.

KAYE: Even the single registered Democrat in the bunch sys she can relate to Palin.

CARA GARCIA, PALIN SUPPORTER: When she came on the ticket, it excited me. I personally started listening to her, and I liked what I heard. So I'm a fan.

KAYE: So why aren't all these fans showing up in the polls? CNN polls show McCain hasn't made any gains among women since naming Palin. And a "TIME" magazine poll this month gives Barack Obama a 17- point lead among women. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think there is a silent majority out there. I have never been polled. Have any you guys been polled?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.

KAYE (on camera): The ladies we talked with believe Palin's appeal goes beyond the conservative base. They say even if voters don't agree with her conservative base, they will be attracted to what our group calls her authenticity.

GOV. SARAH PALIN (R-AK), VICE-PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: The American people know...

KAYE (voice-over): And her feistiness. In Palin, these women have found their champion.

NANTZ: She has got that personality. She's got that, you know -- that tenacity about her. She's -- she's a pit bull. She really is.

KAYE (on camera): In lipstick.

NANTZ: In lipstick. Absolutely in lipstick.

KAYE: What do you say to critics who say that she's more about style than substance?

NANTZ: I say that I think they just don't get her. We get her. We get the little winks and nods and the little comments and sarcastic remarks. We get them.

KAYE (voice-over): Tami was so angered by criticism of Palin she started this blog, Moms for Sarah Palin. It's received more than 11,000 hits, about half anti-Palin.

NANTZ: Emma wrote me and she said, "I thought this was the moron blog, and I wasn't disappointed. Morons for Sarah Palin." And she called her an animal killer and a pig.

KAYE: Bloggers have also targeted Tami personally. But like Sarah Palin, Tami Nantz isn't backing down. It's only strengthened her faith.

Randi Kaye, CNN, Coral Springs, Florida.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: The appeal of Sarah Palin among some.

Just another quick update now on our breaking news, the markets. Asian markets trading now in Japan, down 10 percent -- that is crash territory. And Hong Kong's market down 8 percent.

Just ahead, a community organizing group getting out the vote seems to be doing its job too well, raising allegations of voter fraud. We're "Keeping Them Honest." (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Someone here keeps yelling, "ACORN, ACORN." Now, let me just say to you, there are serious allegations of voter fraud in the battleground states across America. They must be investigated. And no one should corrupt the most precious right we have, and that is the right to vote.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: John McCain isn't alone in focusing on voter fraud. The "New York Times" reports that tens of thousands of eligible voters have been mistakenly removed from lists in swing states like Colorado, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Nevada and North Carolina, apparently the result of a 2002 law. Some election officials are denying any wrongdoing. We'll look into that in the days ahead.

As for the allegations, the specific ones that John McCain is talking about, we sent Drew Griffin of CNN special investigations unit to look into it. And his report from Indiana is frankly shocking. Tonight, we're "Keeping Them Honest."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): There are 5,000 of them.

(on camera) These?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: These.

GRIFFIN: These?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Those.

GRIFFIN: And these.

(voice-over) They are new voter registration applications turned in by the community organizing group ACORN, which has launched a massive voter registration drive. And with 5,000 applications in this one county dumped on just before the October 6 deadline, it looked to elections board administrator Ruth Ann Hoagland like ACORN was extremely successful, until her workers began finding problems.

(on camera) A lot of them?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fifty percent. We had close to 5,000 total from ACORN. And so far, we have identified about 2,500.

GRIFFIN: So roughly half of them...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: roughly half.

GRIFFIN: ... are bad?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Correct. GRIFFIN: Registered to a dead person, registered as a person who lives at a fast-food shop?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Yes.

GRIFFIN: Or just all of them, amazingly, in the same hand?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, yes. All the signatures look exactly the same. Everything on the card filled out looks just the same.

GRIFFIN: Ruth Ann, fraud?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have no idea what the motive behind it is. It's just overwhelming to us.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): It's not that some are bad. Once they started going through them, every one they looked at was bad. Hoagland decided to stop the review all together, work on other apparently legitimate registrations, and get back to the other half of what she now calls the fake pile later.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's frustrating. It's very frustrating.

GRIFFIN (on camera): Here's another ACORN-filled-out registration form. It's for Jimmy Johns, 10839 Broadway in Crown Point. Jimmy Johns. We decided to track him down.

There he is.

Is there anybody here that's actually named Jimmy Johns? Nobody registered to vote here named Jimmy Johns?

This could really. There's been no fraud yet because people haven't voted yet, right?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Correct. We'll find out on election day.

GRIFFIN: But it certainly sets up a potential.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The potential, I suppose, is always there. It's just the volume. The volume is just incredible.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): The elections board is run by both Republicans and Democrats. It is fraud, says the Democrat director, Sally Lesoto (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you look, it's the same signature for all three voters, as though the one individual tried to -- did three separate applications but put -- you can tell the signature. We're not handwriting experts, but what's obvious is obvious.

GRIFFIN: ACORN's voting registration drives are under investigation or suspicion in several states. Just yesterday, local authorities raided this ACORN office in Las Vegas where ACORN workers allegedly registered members of the Dallas Cowboys football team. Over the last four years, a dozen states investigated complaints of fraudulent registrations filed by ACORN and complaints of fraud by ACORN have exploded nationwide in just the last few weeks.

We tried to contact the ACORN director in Gary, Indiana, but when the phone messages went unanswered, we went to the office. It's abandoned. ACORN told us the state director for Indiana ACORN is actually based in this office in Milwaukee.

But today, we found it empty, too.

ACORN's attorney in Boston told us allegations his organization has committed fraud is a government attempt to keep the disenfranchised from voting.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We believe their purpose is to attack ACORN and suppress votes. We think that by attacking ACORN that they are going to discourage people who may have registered with ACORN from voting.

GRIFFIN: Brian Meller (ph) says ACORN has its own quality control, has fired workers in the past, including workers in Gary. Despite its past, the Obama campaign gave $800,000 to ACORN to help fund its primary registration drive, and ACORN has endorsed Barack Obama for president.

The Obama campaign reacted this afternoon, saying it is committed to protecting the integrity of the voting process and said it has not worked with ACORN during the general election.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Drew, Senator McCain is calling for an investigation. Is what's happening in Indiana a crime?

GRIFFIN: It absolutely is a crime. That was a fraud, somebody who filled out those forms. And I looked at them, Anderson. They're obviously a fraud.

But the election workers say we have to turn this over to the actual elected board of elections. The board of elections has to then bring in the county attorney to see if an investigation, a criminal investigation, should begin. So all of that will be, you know, weeks, maybe even months down the road, and of course, that's going to be after the election.

COOPER: We'll see how it plays a role. Drew Griffin, thanks for "Keeping Them Honest" tonight.

We continue to follow breaking market developments here around the world tonight. At the top of the hour, we'll explore what it means to the economy and to your bottom line.

Also tonight, Nancy Grace has a starring role in our "Shot." So does a character you see a lot around here. The mystery revealed in a moment. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: All right. Time now for "The Shot." And Erica, you know how much I love me my Nancy Grace at 8 p.m. You know, I come into my office. You and I are often watching Nancy Grace.

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Eating popcorn.

COOPER: Eating popcorn. Everyone knows this.

Last night, of course, you and I were feuding, so you're there, but...

HILL: Yes. I'm still a little upset, by the way, but whatever.

COOPER: I noticed that Nancy had a guest who looked exactly like Nancy Grace. Take a look at "The Shot."

Now, at first I was worried. I thought maybe Nancy was the victim of identity theft and that she was actually interviewing her dangerous doppelganger, which would have actually been brilliant. But I think it's just another person who loves her some Nancy Grace as much as I do and wants to look just like her.

Erica, what do you think?

HILL: You know, I actually think, Anderson, that's Renee Rockwell, who happens to be a very good friend of hers. And I used to see her in makeup all the time in Atlanta.

COOPER: Really?

HILL (wearing a man's suit and a gray wig): Yes. She -- it's just their look. Friends do that sometimes, look like each other, without even meaning it.

Is everything all right? Checking my BlackBerry here.

You can see all the most recent "Shots" on our Web site, AC360.com, where you can also see other segments on the program, read the blog, check out the "Beat 360" picture. The address again, AC360.com. That's our Web site.

COOPER: Thanks, Erica.

Coming up, serious stuff, breaking news at the top of the hour, the latest on markets here and around the world. Still getting hammered. Also, what the candidates are doing about it or at least what they're talking about doing about it when they're not taking shots at each other, when 360 continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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