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Lavish Lifestyle of Former Brokerage Chairman; CodePink Takes Up Foreclosure Fight; Global Markets Perk Back Up; Obama Battles Against Socialist Label

Aired October 20, 2008 - 10:00   ET


HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: It's Monday, October 20th, I'm Heidi Collins. You're in the CNN NEWSROOM.
Wall Street in the positive right now by triple digits at this point. You see the gizmo down there at the bottom right hand corner of your screen. Dow Jones industrial average up about 216.

Of course, we will see where this all ends up after comments this hour from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. He is on Capitol Hill on a House Budget committee hearing. And Bernanke is expected once again to warn against a quick fix. Investors also will be listening to see if he gives a hint about further cuts in interest rates.

So global markets showing some spark on this first day of the trading week. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index up more than five percent. It lost almost one-tenth of its value last week. So interesting numbers there for us. And Tokyo's Nikkei index up about 3.5 percent. London, better than two percent. Frankfurt and Paris, a bit less than two percent. Also up, Seoul and Shanghai. Positive numbers across the board this morning as we just saw.

We want to go live now to New York and our Christine Romans. We want to talk about all the good news here.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Well, one piece of good news is that the Fed Chairman just began speaking just a couple of seconds ago. And you can see stocks jumped. They're now up 231. They hadn't been up more than 100. But he says another round of government stimulus is appropriate. That's in the text of that speech which was released as this event begins. And so clearly stocks at least taking the overnight cue and are going from there.

So we'll hear what the rest of Mr. Bernanke's comments are and what that means about the depths of -- sort of the pain in the economy here, how long he thinks it will last, and what he's hinting or outright saying that the government is going to do about it?

So we have some gains overnight, some gains this morning. You're seeing another round of the Dutch government and the South Koreans doing their own kind of intervention in their markets. And that was helping the mood overnight, this whole idea of global coordinated intervention. And then oil prices are down substantially. Really substantially since July. Almost cut in half. Back when oil prices were $145 a barrel. Now they're down in the 70s. COLLINS: Look at that graphic. Look at that red line. Unbelievable.

ROMANS: It really is. And you know that translates into gas prices eventually. And gas prices again and again in the surveys we've seen, this is the number one concern for so many Americans. Because this is the thing they feel every week when they fill up their car. $2.92 a gallon. For gas, below $3 a gallon. Last month it was, you know, we were approaching $4 a gallon, last year about $2.82. So we'll see just how much more quickly those can fall.

A lot of people complain they never fall as quickly as they rise. And they don't fall in direct lock step with the price of crude oil. And there's a couple of you know, we had a couple of big hurricanes and the like that put refineries off line. But all of these things, bottom line, that's a little bit of relief. It really is for consumers.

And we're also seeing signs of the credit market thawing a little bit too. Showing all this global coordinated intervention is working at least now on the margin. So it may take months to get back to normal, "normal."


ROMANS: But at least you're starting to see some thawing there. At least for now, Dow up 218 points.

COLLINS: Yes. How about that? All right. We will stay on top of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke as well. Christine Romans, thank you.

America's money crisis, it is issue number one for you and the president. Today President Bush will be traveling to Louisiana, where he'll meet with local bankers and business people. The White House says he'll take the pulse of Main Street to see how this economic crisis is hitting every-day Americans.

Presidential election now just two weeks from tomorrow. Can you believe it? These waning days mean every skip and stumble takes on added weight. So let's see where things stand according to our latest CNN poll of polls. New numbers this morning show 49 percent of voters nationwide say Barack Obama is their choice for president, 43 percent are backing John McCain. A few things to consider -- 8 percent say they are still unsure. Look for new poll numbers today at noon.

As that clock counts down the pace certainly picks up. John McCain and Barack Obama sprint towards the final two weeks of their presidential campaign. So today Obama will be stumping for votes in the critical state of Florida. McCain hits the trail in the swing state of Missouri. His running mate Sarah Palin is in Colorado and her first appearance of the day this hour. Obama's running mate, Joe Biden, is taking the day off with no scheduled events today. The presidential election as we've been saying, just two weeks from tomorrow.

We of course are following both candidates this morning as they get ready to cross that finish line. CNN's Suzanne Malveaux is in Tampa where Barack Obama is kicking off a three-day swing through Florida.

So Suzanne, there were several endorsements in the past few days. But Senator Obama's biggest of course came from Colin Powell. So what do we think Powell's role is going to be on the campaign, if any?

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Heidi, it's funny to say it's hard to believe it's just two weeks away. I can't believe it myself. I've been covering it for the past year or so --

COLLINS: Has it only been a year?

MALVEAUX: A year. Been on the road for about a year covering all the Democrats. But essentially for Obama, Colin Powell is a significant endorsement in the sense that he's going to be kind of an informal adviser. That's what Barack Obama says. He's reached out to him over the last couple of years to seek his counsel on various things. So at least informally he's going to be part of a potential Obama administration. The thing that's notable here is that Obama is already using Powell to give him a certain sense of credibility.

We saw it yesterday in North Carolina. He talked about Powell's endorsement. He thanked him for it. Obviously, an important place to do that, where the military is really strong in the region. They have quite a bit of respect for Colin Powell.

We also heard Barack Obama pushing back on John McCain's accusation that somehow his economic plan is socialist. He said yesterday that he's associated with the billionaire Warren Buffet as well as General Colin Powell. And how is it he's considered a socialist. Really trying to show that he is a part of mainstream. His mainstream associations not to be put into this other type of box.

So clearly this is something that he's trying to work in his favor. We'll have to wait and see whether or not it really sways some of those independents and those Republicans who may be leaning his way, Heidi.

COLLINS: All right. CNN's Suzanne Malveaux in Tampa, Florida.

Quickly, Suzanne, before we let you go, tell us where things stand in Florida regarding the race?

MALVEAUX: Well, on the latest CNN/"TIME" poll actually shows Barack Obama is in the lead in Florida here. But they're not taking anything for granted. This is a place that a lot of people have lost their homes. 44,000 homes in foreclosure. It's only second to California. So that is something that Barack Obama is going to talk about.

Not only is he going to talk about it here in Tampa, but later in Orlando with Hillary Clinton. And that is really expected to help him out a little bit. She did very well in Florida during the primary season. Despite it was an unsanctioned primary. She did well. And therefore she's trying to reach out to some of those voters that Obama just didn't seem to win the first time around, Heidi.

COLLINS: OK. Very good. Susan Malveaux, thank you.

Well no matter where you live in the United States you should be able to cast your vote today through early voting or absentee voting programs. Among those joining the list today, Arkansas and Florida, where we just saw Suzanne. Both states are expecting record turnouts. Across the country, millions of people are expected to vote before election day.

Republican John McCain is in Missouri today. It's an important swing state. But the true power brokers may not be who you expect. Chief national correspondent John King explains coming up at the bottom of the hour.

Let's take a moment now to check out things over in the weather center. Rob Marciano standing by with more. It's getting cold.

ROB MARCIANO, CNN, METEOROLOGIST: It is getting cold. Chilly. But you know. It's that time of year.

COLLINS: Yes, it is.

MARCIANO: You know, when it's March and April and things start to get - are still cold and still -

COLLINS: Then we can complain.

MARCIANO: Yes. People are happy right now. Let's go to Dallas. I just want to take you there. It's going to be sunny I think today for a good chunk of it, not terribly chilly. Do we have the Dallas tower cam? WFAA, always love that shot with the sun glistening off the high-rises there, some (INAUDIBLE) but that's about all the cloud cover I think you'll see today. Temps will get to near 80 degrees. So cool start but warm sunshine in the big "D" should be OK.

All right. The Eastern third, pretty much everywhere east of the Mississippi is experiencing much cooler weather now than what we saw last week. That was above average. Now we're looking at slightly below average. And we'll get our little reinforcement shot of cool air as we go through the next 12 to 24 hours across the eastern seaboard. 59 degrees in Chicago today for a high of 54 degrees in Minneapolis today. With 52 in Seattle and 61 degrees in New York. So not too bad. There were frost and freeze advisories up for a good chunk of the I-95 corridor, especially across northern New England and upstate New York. That's where the coldest air will be.

And as a matter of fact, it will be so cold, a little bit of moisture moving in tonight. We could see snow flakes mixing in from time to time across upstate New York and New England. But certainly nowhere near as extreme as these snow flakes are indicating. But we like to throw them up there especially you know, you're just in the mood.

Hey, we're getting into the winter season. We're getting out of hurricane season. Btu we still can get hurricanes this time of year. And one area of concern is the Gulf of Mexico but especially the northwestern Caribbean where the little flair of thunderstorms right now, south of Cancun. And this has the National Hurricane Center thinking let's watch this thing develop quickly, potentially.

It was '05 Heidi, Hurricane Wilma developed in the area and became the strongest ever in the Atlantic basin. And it happened in the last week of October. So we don't want to let our guard down just yet.

COLLINS: Absolutely not. That's why you are there. All right. Appreciate that. Rob Marciano, we'll check back with you later on.


COLLINS: Meanwhile, a great story over the weekend. A boy found safe four days after armed men broke into his home and abducted him.

Kara Finnstrom reports on how police found the six-year-old boy.


KARA FINNSTROM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on-camera): Saturday night detectives were out in this neighborhood passing out fliers with Cole's picture when they got a tip that a young boy has been spotted wandering around. When they got to this United Methodist Church, they found out that boy was Cole. Church member Albert Van Patten led the congregation in a prayer Wednesday that Cole would be left some place safe. He was at the church Saturday night when an officer came knocking. Saying Cole had just been found right outside.

ALBERT VAN PATTEN, CHURCH MEMBER: As a police officer was telling me this, it just made me feel warm all over that we had been praying for him. And as it turned out, he was safe around the church.

FINNSTROM: Authorities say Cole is in excellent health. Right now police are refusing to comment on whether there are any custody concerns. They do say the search for Cole's kidnapers and their investigation into the drug operation are far from over.

CAPT. VINCE CANNITO, LAS VEGAS METROPOLITAN POLICE: Our focus now goes onto the drug dealing, to potential extortion issues as well as other issues.

FINNSTROM: But on this Sunday, detectives, family members, and all in this community who had watched and waited paused to give thanks.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The boy found alive. The boy found alive. Cole Puffinburger alive.

FINNSTROM: In Las Vegas, Kara Finnstrom for CNN.


COLLINS: Setting a timetable for the troops. Iraqi officials consider a draft plan on a future of U.S. forces in their country. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: Insurgent strike in twin bombings in Iraq. It happened in eastern Baghdad this morning. The "Associated Press" reporting now four people killed. Seven others wounded. Police say a roadside bomb hit a double decker bus. It was carrying employees of Iraq's housing ministry. Two people were killed there. Two others died in the bombing of a taxi.

Timetables for U.S. troops in Iraq. Iraqi lawmakers now looking at a draft plan. We talked about it a little bit this morning. But out Jamie McIntyre is joining us now from the Pentagon this morning with more details on this.

Good morning to you, Jamie.


You know, this U.N. mandate that U.S. troops are operating under in Iraq expires at the end of the year. So it's important that Pentagon get the status of forces agreement approved by then. It's an agreement not unlike that the U.S. has with other countries, but Iraq is not like other countries. This protest over the weekend by supporters of Muqtada Al Sadr, tens of thousands of Iraqis really tapped in what is a common mood in Iraq, which is that the country wants its country back, and it wants U.S. troops out.

Those are the two big sticking points in this draft agreement, a copy of which has been obtained by CNN. One is the question of when U.S. troops would come under Iraqi law. The U.S. wants to make sure that only happens in the most extreme cases, of the most extreme crimes. And the other is when U.S. troops leave. And again, the U.S. wants to make sure that although there are goals for U.S. troop withdrawals that it's not tied to anything concrete.

And it doesn't tie the hands of the next president who may want to adjust the policy. Iraqi lawmakers are reviewing this plan. It's very controversial. The U.S. wants to get it approved by the end of the year. Otherwise they have to come up with some other kind of arrangement. Because Heidi, as you can imagine, it's simply not practical for all the U.S. troops to leave at the end of the year, if this agreement is not concluded.

COLLINS: Quickly, Jamie, I'm just curious, that when we see those protesters, the followers of Muqtada Al Sadr, any idea at this point of how much strength, how much support he has? He's certainly a person that we've talked about for a very long time during this conflict.

MCINTYRE: Well, he has a lot of popular support. And he does control a block of coalition in the Iraqi parliament. And they are, you know, his coalition is dead set get against approving this agreement.

COLLINS: No matter what. MCINTYRE: Yes, no matter what. So it's a question of how much power Nuri Al-Maliki has and how much he can cobble together and whether or not they're going to have to go back and renegotiate some of this. But you know, clearly they have to have some kind of operating arrangements for U.S. troops to remain in Iraq and of course the plan is for them to stay until at least 2011.

COLLINS: And that deadline for the agreement is December 31st. All right. CNN's senior pentagon correspondent Jamie McIntyre. Jamie, thanks.

Opening statements today in the trial of five men accused of plotting to kill soldiers at Fort Dix, New Jersey. Authorities say the men turned paint ball games into terrorist training sessions. No attack was ever carried out. Defense attorneys are expected to question the role of two paid government informants who made secret recordings. The trial is expected to last until December.

A weighty issue for many parents. Is my child fat? What you need to know, coming up.


COLLINS: Realizing your child is overweight is sometimes harder than you might think. According to a new study from Australia, as many as one-half of parents might be unaware. Medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen is joining us now.

So, Elizabeth, we all know, you have four kids. And we are all, as parents, very concerned about nutrition levels, whether your child is getting enough or not enough and so on. How can you not know that your child is weighing more than they should when talking about their health?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: It's actually pretty easy to make that mistake. And there are a variety of reasons why you might make the mistake. One of them is that so many kids are overweight these days that if your child is overweight, your child might just fit right in. He might look like everybody else. And so you think they're doing fine when really they're not. So, here at CNN, we're going to give you a reality check as to what children should weigh.

Take a look at this. Your five-year-old, your average five-year- old, average height, should weigh about 40 pounds. An eight-year-old of average height should weigh 55 pounds. And a 10-year-old of average height should weight about 70 pounds or just a little more if that child is a girl. So if your child is way out of whack with these numbers, you need to talk to your pediatrician.

COLLINS: And when you say way out of whack, I mean you're talking like what? 10, 15 pounds?

COHEN: It depends on their height. Because kids are different heights but if you look at those and think oh we're not anywhere near there, just check it out with your pediatrician. It's easy to do. COLLINS: OK. And that's a good point because if your child is overweight, I mean, isn't that something your pediatrician would tell you when you go for check ups?

COHEN: You would think that your pediatrician would do that but unfortunately studies have shown that pediatricians don't always bring it up. So you might have to bring it up.

COLLINS: Are they afraid to?

COHEN: You know part of it might be that. Or part of it might be that they're busy and they don't notice. And the growth charts can be difficult to read sometimes. But really you should bring it up and say check out the growth charts, is my kid where he or she is supposed to be? Now, even before you get to the pediatricians take a look at this.

These are some warning signs that your child might be overweight. If your child is sedentary, doesn't get much exercise. If you eat out a lot, especially at fast food restaurants, or if you have a family history of being overweight. A lot of overweight people in your family. Those are some warning signs that you ought to be thinking that perhaps your child has a weight problem.

COLLINS: Because a lot of us especially new parents. You have the percentage charts where you get, you're in the 50 percentile for your height, 75th for weight. You try to get them to be equal. They also say that is a good proportion.

COHEN: Right.

COLLINS: When they get older you don't really have that anymore.

COHEN: Well, you know as a mom when you have a baby you pay so much attention to all those percentiles. When your kid gets to be 6, 7, 8 you kind of forget about it. That's the time to be thinking about it.

COLLINS: Yes, absolutely.

COHEN: That's the age kids gain weight.

COLLINS: All right. Very good. CNN's medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen.

Thank you, Elizabeth.

So speaking of kids, should you do a credit check on your kids? That's what the FBI is recommending to protect them against identity theft. Federal officials say it's easy for a criminal to steal your child's identity with just a name, address, and birth date. Information your child may give out without thinking.


BILL SHORE, FBI SPECIAL AGENT: When they can find someone who has a clean history, particularly children, then it's a benefit to them because they can carry on any type of crime schemes over a long period of time.


COLLINS: Officials recommend checking your child's credit once a year with a free credit report. That will help you protect them from fraud and a huge stack of bills.

Signs from a battleground state. Some suburban voters shifting. We're going to follow the trend.


COLLINS: The presidential election now just two weeks from tomorrow. Republican John McCain is in the swing state of Missouri for a rally next hour. Polls show a dead heat there. But McCain's message is national. He wants supporters to vote right away. Early voting or absentee voting is now available in every state.

Meanwhile, Barack Obama is in Florida. And he has a new weapon. The endorsement of Colin Powell. A former insider in the Bush administration.

There are a handful of battleground states still up for grabs, and their direction may be in some unlikely hands. The power brokers, suburban women. Chief national correspondent John King explains.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So do you need anything else?


JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Getting Molly off to school is part of the morning routine.

SUSAN MCGRAW, MISSOURI VOTER: When are you going to find out about staying after?

KING: A push to stay late for extra credit and a few jokes about the election.

MCGRAW: Who are you voting for?

KING: In Susan McGraw's rearview mirror, two votes for George W. Bush. But in this campaign, the struggle for the suburbs, she is leaning Obama. Despite scoring things in McCain's favor on the issues of leadership and experience.

MCGRAW: I feel like the state that we're in right now, we need something different. And to get different, you have to do different. And so that's what I'm leaning towards him.

KING: And big diverse states like Missouri, those elections are usually decided in the suburbs. And three weeks out McCain has a problem here and in other key battleground states. Republicans don't expect to win among suburban women but the margin matters. Four years ago Democrat John Kerry had a narrow edge, 51 percent to 48 percent. And President Bush won re-election.

But the latest CNN polling shows Barack Obama with a big 56 percent to 44 percent lead among suburban women nationally. And running ahead of McCain 55 percent to 42 percent here in the pivotal St. Louis suburbs. And among the reasons are significant doubts about the woman McCain chose to share the Republican ticket.

MCGRAW: It's not that I'm so rah rah Obama. But you know, with Sarah Palin, I feel like when she talks, she's like, OK, John, I pulled that one off. This is too important. I hate to say it, but Sarah Palin has really - she scares me.

KING: Stacy Newman feels the same way, and says picking Palin hurt McCain with a key target constituency. Women who voted for Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries. Newman is a long-time Democrat who says the Obama campaign has done little to reach out to prominent Clinton supporters.

STACY NEWMAN, LONG-TIME DEMOCRAT, HILLARY CLINTON SUPPORTER: I don't know if it's the arrogance that we are going to vote Democrat anyway.

KING: But while she was an all but certain Democratic vote in any event, Newman says friends who were once open to considering McCain are now contributing to a new bloc opposing the McCain/Palin ticket.

NEWMAN: So, it's been more of the, you know, the Palin in terms of inciting us to realize that wait a minute, you know, we have to support the Democrat. Even though we're not as emotionally tied.

KING: McGraw's neighborhood features a competition of lawn signs. And the fight for her vote involves much more than doubts about Governor Palin. Four years ago security concerns kept her in the Bush camp. But this year pocketbook issues carry sway with this divorced mother of two, who says energy and health care costs are squeezing her budget.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I keep getting these bills going, hmm, sorry. You're 53 and you're single. And you know what, guess what? We're going to raise your premium again. And my deductible, it's like I might as well not have insurance.

KING: One voice, but an important message. A suburban Bush voter leaning strongly the other way now because she didn't get what she expected and thinks it's probably best to try something different.

John King, CNN, Glendale, Missouri.


COLLINS: All the latest campaign news is right at your fingertips. Just go to We also have analysis from the best political team on television. It's all there at

The corruption trial of Senator Ted Stevens back in session this hour. Stevens returning to the witness stand for cross-examination. The Alaska senator is accused of making false statements on his financial disclosure forms. The case involves work on his home. Stevens has said his wife paid the bills. The jury is expected to get the case early this week.

Checking the markets now. The Dow Jones Industrial average is up by 159 points at the current moment. We could see a significant shift one way or the other in those numbers because right now Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is appearing before the House Budget Committee. He could give the committee a hint about further cuts in interest rates. We'll be watching that for you.

Gas prices as I'm sure you've noticed, definitely down. Iowa, practically giving it away. I don't know about that, but $2.39 a gallon is certainly what they are charging right now. AAA says the national average is down to $2.92. The last time prices were below $3 was back in January.

One reason gas prices are falling is because many Americans are finding other modes of transportation. Of course, biking and walking are two popular alternatives. But, just how much of a savings do they really offer?'s Poppy Harlow is joining us from the Energy desk now in New York, with a look at those numbers.

So, it's a good question. Hi there, Poppy.

POPPY HARLOW, CNNMONEY.COM: Hey there, Heidi. Good morning.

The savings are pretty big, obviously. You know you save on fuel. You help the environment if you bike and if you walk walk. You get a workout in the process. But there's a new report out today from a non-profit group that's called Rails to Trails Conservancy. It looks at just how much you'd save by hitting the pavement.

The group says we could save more than $10 billion by increasing our biking and walking trips by just 3 percent. We'd lose less fuel, we'd reduce traffic and congestion. Now, in most cases you'd only have to bike for about 20 minutes since about half the trips in this country are within three miles for home.

Can you believe it, Heidi? I was surprised.

COLLINS: Yes. That's very surprising. For some people, though, this really isn't an option. Because many of them don't have bike lanes in the towns that they live in. So, what about the coast associated with getting those built?

HARLOW: That's a good question. There are certainly costs associated. It's just the costs will be less. No denying it takes money to build some bike paths. But if you compare it to building and keeping up the highway system, it's sure a lot cheaper.

One mile of a four-lane urban highway costs a whopping $50 million. Now Rails to Trails says the same amount could build hundreds of miles of bikes and walking paths. Portland, Oregon, is a really good example of this. It's a city that shows you if you build it, they will come. The number of commuters riding their bike to work is now five times higher, Heidi, than it was in just 1990.

COLLINS: Wow. Gas prices though --

HARLOW: Yes, impressive.

COLLINS: Yes, it is impressive. But gas prices have been falling. So how necessary is this? I mean, if you want to ride their bike to work, great. I say more power to them.

HARLOW: Well, I wish I could do it in these heels. I can't. But, a lot of people are walking, especially here in New York City. That's a good thing.

But you got to keep in mind -- gas prices are down now. You're liking what you're seeing now. You never know what's going to happen. This week OPEC is meeting. They're expected to cut production significantly when they meet on Friday. That could mean oil and your gas prices go right back up. Oil up today.

If we learn anything, Heidi, from this summer, it's that oil and gas prices in this volatile market could turn right around at a moment's notice. Changing habits, it's a long-term energy fix that may shield us from these quick changes for the market and in oil. But still, be prepared -- Heidi.

COLLINS: All right. Very good. We will always try to be prepared.

CNN's Poppy Harlow, thank you.



COLLINS: The credit markets, in fact, showing signs of thawing out. Can Wall Street, though, warm up? We're headed back for a check in just a moment.



COLLINS: CODEPINK, the women's anti-war group now fighting a new battle -- the war on foreclosures.

CNN's Brooke Baldwin has the story.


BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): An American flag flanks the front door of this Queens home, belonging to Jocelyn Voltaire. JOCELYN VOLTAIRE, FORECLOSURE VICTIM: I look at him every day, every night.

BALDWIN: Voltaire's oldest son who had served in Iraq, died suddenly in January. This month Voltaire faced foreclosure.

VOLTAIRE: I know, I already lost my son! But my roof -- I have to sell my roof now.

BALDWIN: Turns out, Jocelyn's roof will be saved. Just days ago, on the eve of her court mandated house auction, an unlikely savior swooped in. CODEPINK is best known as a women's anti-war group. Many call them controversial.

Most recently these activists interrupted presidential nominee John McCain at the Republican National Convention. Now these protesters say they're shifting strategies from the war to the economy.

MEDEA BENJAMIN, CODEPINK: This is the first time CODEPINK has ever done anything like this.

BALDWIN (on camera): CODEPINK co-founder Medea Benjamin, has been leading the charge to save Voltaire's home. She sent a message to members Friday. Since then they have raised more than $30,000, enough to remove Voltaire's home off the auction block.

BENJAMIN: Our heart went out to her. And we said, we're going to go to the court house with you tomorrow and try to stop this.

BALDWIN (voice-over): Benjamin says, this doesn't mean the end of war protest for CODEPINK, just the beginning of a new wave of demonstrations aimed at the economy.

BENJAMIN: Hillary Clinton once said, "It takes a village to raise a child." I feel like right now it takes a village to stop a foreclosure. We want to show our government, this is the way that you should be doing it, not bailing out Wall Street.

VOLTAIRE: They tried to (INAUDIBLE). And they give me a napkin. They said, don't cry. We swear you're not going to lose that house.

BALDWIN: At a time of uncertainty, it's a gesture that has gone a long way to help this mother heal.

Brooke Baldwin, CNN, New York.


COLLINS The rise and fall of the Wall Street wolf. He partied like there was no tomorrow. But this brokerage king's tomorrow was time in prison. How he crashed.


COLLINS: He calls himself the Wolf of Wall Street. A former executive who had it all; mansions, a yacht, a helicopter. CNN's Special Investigations Unit correspondent Abbie Boudreau is here now with the fascinating story of Jordan Belfort.


COLLINS: He did have a lot, didn't he?

BOUDREAU: Well, yes. He lived what appeared to be the American Dream. He worked hard and played hard. Today he says he's lucky to be alive to talk about his story.


JORDAN BELFORT, AUTHOR: I partied like a rock star and I lived like a king and I lived to tell about it, barely.

BOUDREAU (voice-over): He calls himself the Wolf of Wall Street. Jordan Belfort, a self-proclaimed master of the universe, living what he calls the life.

Wall Street's all about the money. Servants at your houses, parties where the Dom Perignon's flowing. Helicopters landing on your helo pads. You know, pigs roasting on a spit outside with you know, a live band playing reggae music on the beach. Dancing girls, jugglers, clowns, the whole entire thing, the life.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jordan Belfort, this is your life.

BOUDREAU: A lifestyle hard to imagine for most. This is home video taken during one of Belfort's lavish vacations. A getaway on his 167-foot yacht.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is where everything happens.

BOUDREAU: Named after his wife, Nadine. A former beer commercial model.

BELFORT: I started going hog wild. So, for me, I started just you know, -- it was like Monolopy money. It's like, anything you want you can buy.

BOUDREAU: He says he paid $2.5 million for an estate on Long Island. And $5.5 million for a mansion in the Hamptons.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What a great life, huh?

BOUDREAU: His net worth rose to $100 million. That was in the '90s, when he was one of the kings of Wall Street. Becoming chairman of a brokerage firm called Stratton Oakmont, in Long Island, making he says, $1 million a week.

He says he lived his life as if he were a character in a movie. Even in private he played the role of his most envied character. Not wanting to disappoint what he calls his invisible audience.


BOUDREAU: Identifying with Gordon Gecko from the movie "Wall Street."

BELFORT: He was just so super cool and super smooth and just on top of it and just -- nobody is fooling him the ultimate shark.

DOUGLASS: Hundred thousand dollars --

BELFORT: Sort of like every, you know, average kid from the street's dream is to be a Gordon Gecko.


BOUDREAU: Admiring and emulating the character Richard Gere played in "Pretty Woman."

JULIA ROBERTS, ACTOR, AS EDWARD LEWIS, "PRETTY WOMAN": So how come you rented the penthouse?

GERE: It's the best.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can't count to 74, Marino (ph).

BOUDREAU: And then there was the character, Sonny Crockett from the television series "Miami Vice," who epitomized the life in the 1980s.

BELFORT: When I first started making money, I went out and bought a white Ferrari Testarossa. You know why? Because it was the car that Don Johnson drove in "Miami Vice."

BOUDREAU: Jordan Belfort grew up just outside of New York in a middle class family. He had dreams of making big money. So where better to start than Wall Street? He says his first day as a stockbroker was the same day as the 1987 stock market crash. He eventually oversaw a place that sounded more like a fraternity than a brokerage firm.

BELFORT: You know the -- it was like ancient Rome where this was the Coliseum -- you've got acts of depravity. There was midget tossing, peoples heads were being shaved, goldfish were being eaten, live, people who were hooking themselves up to car batteries. It was almost like adult Disneyland for dysfunctional people.

BOUDREAU: In fact, he says he was addicted to cocaine, and queleuds (ph) and abused about 20 other prescription drugs. All present, he says, at parties like this one. This is video from one of Stratton's infamous bashes in the Hamptons.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) on Wall Street, guys. And that's how our goal. All right?

BOUDREAU: But eventually, Jordan Belfort's parties would be over.

(on camera): So this is all you have left of your former life?

BELFORT: This is it. Everything else is all new in my new life.

BOUDREAU (voice-over): It was all a fraud. In 1998, Belfort was indicted on federal charges of securities fraud and money laundering. He admits he knew the whole time that much of what he was doing was illegal -- pumping up the value of stocks and concealing the profits. He ultimately cooperated with the FBI, as seen in this surveillance tape --

BELFORT: ... I have this money that people owe me, I need to -- I want to get it offshore and out like --

BOUDREAU: -- to help build criminal cases against others. A judge ordered Belfort to pay back $110 million owed to victims, with half of his income going towards that amount.

BELFORT: I was a crook.

BOUDREAU: He served 22 months at this California prison. He got out in 2005, relocating here to this pristine beach front community of Manhattan Beach, just south of Los Angeles. Now, he says he's off drugs and he's had a lot of time to reflect.

BELFORT: Why do I smile when I talk about the old days? I don't smile because I'm proud of it. I smile because I'm embarrassed about it.

BOUDREAU (on camera): What do you have to say to all the victims?

BELFORT: Just that I'm sorry for what happened and I wish it wouldn't have happened.

BOUDREAU: Do you think people trust that you're telling the truth when you say that?

BELFORT: No. Everyone thinks I have tens of millions of dollars hidden all over the world. But I don't.

BOUDREAU: Why should anyone trust you? You've lied for years and years.

BELFORT: Again, I can't make people trust me.

BOUDREAU: Why should they?

BELFORT: Because of how I live my life today.

BOUDREAU (voice-over): Today, he says, he lives a modest life. still with a spectacular ocean view where he rents this duplex. He's an author, writing about his life as the wolf of Wall Street.

DOUGLASS: Astonish me pal --

BOUDREAU: He no longer identifies with fictional characters like Gordon Gecko, and Sonny Crockett. Instead, he's cast himself in a much different role, the one Tom Cruise played the movie, "Jerry Maguire," a sports agent redeemed after a career collapse.


BOUDREAU: Since getting out of prison, Belfort says he's paid back as little more than a million of what he owes to victims. Another $12 million was paid before he was locked up.

(on camera): And you were called the wolf of Wall Street.

BELFORT: The wolf of Wall Street among other things. That was the one that I -- it was -- the original wolf of Wall Street was Thurston Howell III from "Gilligan's Island." That was his nickname so it was like a funny nick name, the Wolf or Wolf. You know?

BOUDREAU: And what are you now?

BELFORT: Just Jordan Belfort.


BOUDREAU: The FBI agent who worked on the case and spent eight years investigating Belfort -- he says that Belfort did led an extravagant lifestyle until it all came crashing down. Now Belfort has just finished his second book, "Catching the Wolf of Wall Street," which is scheduled to be published early next year.

COLLINS: Yes, and I bet people will be wanting to read that. Thurston Howell, really?

BOUDREAU: Thurston Howell, who would have known? He was known as the old wolf of Wall Street. So, you know.

COLLINS: Well Abbie Boudreau, we sure do appreciate it. Great story, thanks.

Shuttle switch. Atlantis moving out so Endeavor can move in. Live shot for you there -- Kennedy Space Center.


COLLINS: Slow moving day at Kennedy Space Center. Atlantis heading back to the vehicle assembly building at a snail's pace. The Atlantis mission to the Hubble Space Telescope delayed until at least February now. The Hubble team needs the time to make a repair part for the telescope. A -- NASA needs the launch pad for the shuttle Endeavor's lift off to the space station next month.

The presidential election, as you know, two weeks from tomorrow. The candidates racing to make the most of every remaining moment. This morning, John McCain in Missouri. It's a critical swing state. He is set to appear at a rally in the St. Louis suburb of St. Charles. We're going to be going there live coming up next hour.

I'm Heidi Collins. Join me again tomorrow morning beginning at 9:00 Eastern.

For now, CNN NEWSROOM continues with Tony Harris.