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Paula Deen's Empire Crumbles; Mortgage Rates Soar; Student Loan Rate Hike; Interview with Carly Fiorina; Inside the Obama White House; Riding the Market Rally; Celebrity Ads

Aired June 30, 2013 - 15:00   ET


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN HOST: Paula Deen's $17 million empire is crumbling like a butter laden coffee cake. I'm Christine Romans. This is YOUR MONEY.

Deen is losing one business deal after another following her admitted past use of racial slurs. It started with the Food Network and it hasn't stopped, Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Target, Ceasars Entertainment, Smithfield Foods, all will stop selling her goods or end whatever their business relationship is with her. Even the diabetes drug maker Novo Nordisk have cut its ties with Deen. She had been the face of its patient education about the disease. And QVC, it says it's taking a pause.

Her comeback trail is getting cloudier by the minute but she's hardly the first celebrity to encounter scandal.


ROMANS (voice-over): Martha Stewart went to prison for lying about a stock sale.


ROMANS: She did. Last year, her company did nearly $200 million in revenues. NFL star Michael Vick also did time for bankrolling a dogfighting ring. Post-prison he became an ambassador against animal cruelty.

MICHAEL VICK, NFL STAR: I encourage you to love your animals -- your animals or whatever animal you have, whether it's a dog, a cat, it's a reptile, whether it's a horse.

ROMANS: Golfer Tiger Woods survived an infidelity scandal to regain the world's number one ranking. And yes, sportscaster Marv Albert gradually rebuilt his career following an embarrassing sex scandal that ended with a misdemeanor assault plea.

But such comeback are not guaranteed. Cycling legend Lance Armstrong fell from grace following a doping scandal. A confession to Oprah wasn't enough.

OPRAH WINFREY, TV HOST: Yes or no, did you ever take banned substances to enhance your cycling performance? LANCE ARMSTRONG, CYCLIST: Yes.

ROMANS: The scandal cost him millions in endorsement deals and forced him to step down from the charity he founded. But did Paula Deen cross an unforgivable line because her comments were about race?

Sports commentator Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder was fired by CBS in 1988 for this.

JIMMY SNYDER, FORMER SPORTS COMMENTATOR: The black is a better athlete to begin with because he's been bred to be that way.

ROMANS: Mel Gibson's career had suffered since racist rants were caught on tape. Then there's Don Imus, the broadcaster's offensive comments about the Rutgers women basketball team cost him his radio and television show. But a few months later he was back on the airwaves.

Gibson, Snyder and Imus all apologized for their remarks. But will remorse save Deen?

In a tearful "Today" show appearance she insisted she is not racist. And she got biblical.

PAULDA DEEN, CHEF: If there's anyone out there that has never said something they wished they could take back, if you're out there, please pick up that stone and throw it so hard at my head that it kills me.


ROMANS: So is Paula Deen redeemable or has she uttered her last on camera ya'll?

Bob Zito is the founder of Zito Partners which specializes, among other things, in crisis management. And Pamela Brown is a CNN correspondent.

Bob, I want to start, you know, Deen's "Today" show appearance, it didn't seem to help her. More companies dropped her after that appearance. We know she's hired a crisis manager. If you were managing -- you know, if you were advising her, what would you tell her to do?

BOB ZITO, FOUNDER, ZITO PARTNERS: I don't know her. But I think it's very important with anyone that you not put them in a situation where they're uncomfortable, and boy, did she look uncomfortable there.

ROMANS: You thought she looked uncomfortable?

ZITO: I definitely did. And any time you make someone do something outside the box they're uncomfortable in, it's a disaster.

ROMANS: What if -- well, the whole situation must be uncomfortable, quite frankly. You know, it started as a lawsuit and has blown up into a very big, big public fight. If you were advising the companies, all these companies dropping her or at least hitting the pause button, if you're advising those company boards, what do you tell them?

ZITO: I think you want to -- you ask her to suggest that they withdraw for a while.

ROMANS: Right.

ZITO: Let's take back. Let's take a time out from the relationship. Let me deal with the issues that I have. Let me get through this and then let's talk about what we're going to do next.

ROMANS: And that's -- none of that happened here?

ZITO: That takes the company off the spot. Instead I'm sure there's a morality clause in every agreement she has and she probably violated it. And therefore the companies felt they had to.

ROMANS: Is there a playbook for stuff like this?

ZITO: There is a playbook but as soon as it happens you should throw out the playbook.

ROMANS: Right. Because every crisis is a little bit different.

ZITO: Yes.

ROMANS: Every crisis is a little bit different.

ZITO: Yes.

ROMANS: When you look at her book sales, Pamela, this week, her book sales soaring, I mean, some of these things are on back order. One -- her new book hasn't been out yet. Got lines in front of her restaurants. So her hardcore fans are outraged she is being sort of victimized in a way. It's interesting that response.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, it's almost like this backlash has galvanized her fans. You mentioned the long lines outside of her restaurant in Savannah and also her cookbook has skyrocketed to number one on, it went from the 1500s to number one after the scandal.

I was reading through the comments and a lot of people are saying, I don't even like to cook but I'm buying Paula Deen's book because I want to support her. This is my way of supporting her. There was a second cruise line added after this because the ticket sales shot up from that. Also, what's interesting here, the Food Channel, not be confused with the Food Network, is getting inundated by Paula Deen's fans that are angry about this.

The Food Channel saying, hey, you've got the wrong network here.


BROWN: But we're interested in possibly picking up Paula Deen. In fact, Paula Deen's PR team has contacted the Food Channel to open up discussions about a relationship there. So, you know, obviously we've seen some big companies drop her, about a half a dozen. But at the same time, we are seeing her fans come together and we could see some new opportunities spring up from this.

ROMANS: And we have seen -- you never count out a comeback. I mean, this is the comeback country, right? I mean, this is how Martha Stewart handled a morning TV appearance when -- you know, when the insider trading scandal erupted for her back in 2004.


STEWART: My employees and I are hard at work at making our company the best omnimedia company in the world, Jane. And we will continue to do that and I want to focus on my salad.


ROMANS: "I want to focus on my salad." Remember that? Can Deen learn something from Martha Stewart?

ZITO: Different situation. And to the point we made earlier, Martha Stewart was on the board of the New York Stock Exchange and she withdrew.

ROMANS: That's right. And Bob Zito was working on the New York Stock Exchange. That's a very, very good point.

ZITO: Yes.

ROMANS: So she -- she made the first move and withdrew from the board.

ZITO: Yes. Yes.

ROMANS: That's a really good point.

In the celebrity culture in America, Pamela, we see them built up and then we see them torn down so quickly. Do you think that some of her fans were galvanized by all this, see that, they see her sort of a scapegoat?

BROWN: I think that we heard from, you know, Reverend Jesse Jackson yesterday over Twitter. And basically that's exactly what he said, he said, look, let's not use her as the sacrificial lamb or scapegoat for what he called southern culture. What -- you know, what the state of southern culture.

Whether you disagree with that or not, I do think that a lot of her fans are saying, look, she said this 30 years ago, let's not take out any of our --

ROMANS: There are those who are saying that is this a word you say just one time? Just one time? And so when you --

BROWN: That's what the question still is. ROMANS: And that's -- and so there are -- there are those who are galvanized by her appearance and feel like she's been made to be a martyr and then there -- there's the other side of the fence, they're saying, wait a minute here. We think that -- this is the tipping, this is a tip of an iceberg. I mean, her reputation has been very, very damaged here, Bob. How does she get it back?

ZITO: Her reputation is damaged but remember we sit in a city where Eliot Spitzer got a television show, where the mayoral candidate, Anthony Weiner, is leading the polls right now, and 70 miles up the road from where Michael Vick is lionized by 60,000 people every Sunday who pray the only thing that happens is he doesn't fumble. So yes, he can -- she can make a comeback.

ROMANS: Full disclosure. I've interviewed her several times. I mean, she wrote a little -- you know, a little blurb, she read my book before I came out, she wrote a blurb for my book, she's someone I've never heard her use this language obviously. People around her have said, you know, I'm -- who work with her daily said they never heard this language.

She is a saucy character, though. She says what she means, she doesn't have a filter, and I will say that about her. And we'll see what the next chapter holds for Paula Deen.

Nice to see you both, you guys.

Coming up, mortgage rates just saw their biggest weekly jump in a quarter century. If you've been on the fence about buying or refinancing, it's time to get off the fence, folks. What rising rates mean for your wallet and the economy. Next.


ROMANS: The U.S. housing market is healing. Home prices are up, so are home sales and the pace of home construction. But so are mortgage rates. And they're moving higher fast.

Last week mortgage rates soared. The biggest rise in mortgage rates in one week since April of 1987. Rates on 30-year fixed loans rose more than .05 percent to 4.6 percent. That was just in one week. Fifteen-year fixed rate jumped to 3.5 percent. Mortgage rates have been on the rise since late April. The average 30-year fixed loan was 3.35 percent as recently as early May, now this is the highest level since July 2011.

So let's do the math. A $200,000 home loan costs $880 a month. That's how much it was, payment, in early May. That same loan, a monthly payment on the same loan on today's rate would be $1,000. That's real money right out of the family budget.

So why is this happening? Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke said last week the Fed may start tapering back its extraordinary stimulus as the economy improves. That stimulus has kept mortgage rates low.

It can't last forever. And that means you're going to pay more to borrow. Don't get me wrong, rates still historically low but they're not nearly the deal you were getting a year ago. So if you want to lock in these low rates, you better do it soon.

I want to bring in Jonathan Miller, president and CEO of Miller Samuel, a real estate appraisal.

Jonathan, is it your assumption that mortgage rates are going to keep rising and that they could pinch this recovery in housing?

JONATHAN MILLER, PRESIDENT AND CEO, MILLER SAMUEL INC.: Well, I don't know if pinch is the right word, but I think what it does is get housing back to reality. In other words, the Fed policy is effectively what's driving housing prices up. And tightness of inventory is caused by tight credit. I think as we see mortgage rates start to rise, yes, affordability drops but I think we're going to see credit ease which then brings in a broader array of home -- or buyers to the housing.

ROMANS: Right. Right. So it's not necessarily a tipping point. Higher mortgage rates are not necessarily a tipping point for consumers really?

MILLER: I don't think so. And it's not like we didn't see this coming for the last couple of years. Rates basically couldn't go any lower. At some point that means they have to go up.

ROMANS: I would argue, too, if you're sensitive to -- I mean, don't get me wrong, it hurts. But if you can't buy a house because that half percentage point moved, if can't afford a hour at 4.6 percent, you could have at 3.5 percent you probably shouldn't be in the business of buying a house right now, right?



ROMANS: Because they're still very low rates, you need money in the bank, you need a job and then you should be able to buy a house no matter what these low rates are.

MILLER: Yes. Clearly, people on the margin that don't quite fit in, what's interesting, though, is that with rates rising, that signals that the economy is probably getting better.

ROMANS: Right.

MILLER: It's not a direct correlation, but clearly, you know, we're seeing a better market going forward, better economy going forward, and that is good for housing. I think housing has been sort of addicted to low interest rates.

ROMANS: Right.

MILLER: And now we need to wean it off so that we get a real housing recovery as a period rather than just a period of better housing stats. ROMANS: Yes. So let's talk about some of these stats. Home prices in particular. The Case-Shiller Index home prices jumped 12.1 percent in April versus a year ago. And you can look at that trend over the past year. This is 20 cities as measured by S&P's Case-Shiller. The stop real estate markets really in the nation, the biggest annual jump in seven years.

But inventory is still really tight. Is it safe to assume that these price gains that we were just showing you, they're bound to slow?

MILLER: Yes, I think what you're going to see with rising rates is your -- it's actually a good thing in the long run because what it's going to do is temper the pace of price appreciation. You think about it. A 12 percent rise in the Case-Shiller index, did people's income rise 12 percent over the last year?


MILLER: Right? It's a play on tightness of inventory.

ROMANS: And talk a little bit about that tightness of inventory because, I mean, maybe -- and maybe some people aren't familiar with the terminology. There aren't enough houses for sale in some of these markets.

MILLER: Right.

ROMANS: So home prices are popping because if you have to buy you just don't have a lot to choose from.

MILLER: Right. Inventory is down virtually across every major market in the U.S. --

ROMANS: Because people are under water?

MILLER: Well, that's a big part of it. Roughly about 40 --

ROMANS: Can't afford to sell it. Can't put it on the market?

MILLER: Right. Right. Exactly. Homeowners, when they sell their home, they have to buy or rent and rents are rising across the country. They have to qualify. If they don't qualify, what do they do? Nothing. They don't list their home therefore inventory remains tight. We're not replacing the housing stock that's being sold by new housing stock because credit remains historically tight.

ROMANS: Another reason why we're seeing sort of the pop in home prices is because sometimes the foreclosures have been keeping prices down in some neighborhoods. As you work through those foreclosures, get them out of the system, then prices can start to rise, too. What's the foreclosure situation in your view?

MILLER: Foreclosure situation is clearly trending toward the -- on a downward slope. That we're still significantly elevated and there's a heavy concentration in four or five states where over half the foreclosures are occurring. But it is getting better, it's not what it was back a couple of years ago. Still, a housing market can't truly be qualified as recovered until we get distressed real estate more fully absorbed.

ROMANS: If you had to give a letter grade on the housing market, what would it be?

MILLER: I think I'd give it a C-plus. Really trying hard for a B- minus.


ROMANS: Your one piece of advice for sellers.

MILLER: I think you have to look at the market. What sellers do is when they -- they read about everything popping, they get greedy. And not everything is selling. You have to price --


MILLER: Within the market norms at that point.

ROMANS: Price it right. And what about for buyers?

MILLER: Buyers, I think I wouldn't panic, if you really want to take advantage of rate. I think rates will be pretty reasonable over the next couple of years. Don't -- just take your time. Find something that you want, just don't rush in and buy something just because you think you're supposed to.

ROMANS: Buying real estate is not like buying an ETF or something, you know? It's a very big commitment with a lot of money.

It's so nice to see you. Thank you for coming in.

MILLER: Great to be here.

ROMANS: Take it easy.

All right, up next, hey, college kids, you're going to pay double to borrow money for tuition next year, as if college isn't already expensive enough.


ROMANS: All right. This next story is going to affect about seven million people. On Monday, student loan interest rates set to double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent. They will double. That's because Congress failed to reach a deal before the July 4th recess.

Zain Asher joins us now for what this means for students and for those footing their bill.

ZAIN ASHER, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Right. So first of all, it's not all types of student loans that are going to be affected. It's subsidized Stafford loans. These are need-based loans for students who can demonstrate some degree of financial hardship. Yes, when these loan rates do double as we anticipate they're going to those students can end up paying $3,000 to $5,000 more over the life of the loan. Take a listen.


RACHEL BOEHR, STUDENT: I'm almost $60,000 in debt which will affect my ability to get a mortgage, to have children and put them through a good education, and it will affect what kinds of jobs that I choose.

ASHER (voice-over): Columbia student Rachel Boehr started out studying drama but skyrocketing tuition costs forced her to drop out. Now at age 30 she's only just finished her undergraduate degree.

BOEHR: We're asking too much of our college students and we're narrowing and narrowing the field of who can be a college student in the country.

ASHER: American college grads owe more than $1 trillion in collective student loans. As tuition costs continue to soar, rising interest rates could soon be their headache.

Interesting rates for need-based or subsidized Stafford loans were fixed at 3.4 percent. Now that Congress hasn't intervened, that rate is scheduled to double.

RYAN MORGAN, STUDENT: Yes, I definitely think that doubling the rate to 6.8 percent would definitely increase default rates because, again, the students are receiving the subsidized loans are from the lowest income brackets.

ASHER: While some lawmakers want to keep the rate at the lower 3.4 percent at least temporarily, others say student loan rates should be allowed to fluctuate along with market forces.

KALMAN CHANY, AUTHOR, "PAYING FOR COLLEGE WITHOUT GOING BROKE": I think there's going to be some kind of compromise, some kind of adjustment. I don't know if they're going to go variable rate loan. My guess is they may just kick the can down the road and say, we'll just do this for one year and we'll revisit it another year later.

ASHER: The higher rates could be a revenue booster for government, generating $36 billion this year at a time when Congress is scrambling for new sources of cash. The raising the rates could also cost students as much as $5,000 more in loan re-payments over the next 10 years.

SARAH SCHUTZ, STUDENT: The president and Mrs. Obama just finished paying off their student loan. And I think that's a fact that they are 40 years old and they're still paying off student loan debt is really scary. We could even be 50, 60 years old without having -- without having paid our student loans.

BOEHR: The politicians have to look beyond their own self-interest. Because college students like myself and my peers are counting on them. (END VIDEOTAPE)

ASHER: Right. So the good news is that Congress can actually reach an agreement after Monday and then enact it retroactively. But right now, you know, lawmakers are deadlocked. On the one hand, you know, should they allow loan rates to fluctuate along with, for example, the 10-year treasury but is that really fair on students and parents not to give them any safety net.

On the other hand, if you extend the lower loan rates at 3.4 percent, is that really fair on the government when we are under so much pressure to reduce the deficit.

ROMANS: And taxpayers. I mean, it is taxpayers who foot that bill. So you can also make sort of this, you know, ideological argument that, do you want to fund someone else's degree that maybe they're not going to get a job in. You know?

ASHER: Right. Exactly.

ROMANS: Or their five years at school. You know, I mean, we have to start to think about, is it taxpayer support of out-of-control tuition?

ASHER: Right. And I actually spoke to students and they were saying to me, listen, you know, Zain, on the one hand, it is important to lower the loan rates. But on the other hand, the government should really look at ways to actually lower the cost of actually going to college. Right?

ROMANS: Right.

ASHER: So $31,000 is so much, especially when you can't guarantee that you're going to get a job afterwards.

ROMANS: I know. And I think if you're going to spend $60,000 to $100,000 to go to a big fancy private school you should think about a state school, guess what, you're going to graduate with a lot less debt.

Zain, nice to see you.

Coming up, this generation has Marissa Mayer, long before her there was Carly Fiorina, the first female CEO of a Fortune 20 company. She knows how to create jobs. She knows how to lean in. She did it first. She joins me next.


ROMANS: All right. Americans are ready to get back to work. So what's holding them back? I'm Christine Romans. This is YOUR MONEY. The question that confound this recovery, where is the jobs boom? We want answers and that's why Carly Fiorina is here. From secretary for a small business to "Fortune's" most powerful woman in business six years in a row. It would you take the whole show to go through her entire resume but today, you're the chairman of that charitable organization Good360.

You were CEO of Hewlett-Packard. You know what it takes to create jobs and you know what it's like to lose them.

I want to talk a little bit about what we do right now to create jobs. For example, the Obama campaign probably said that they would create 12 million jobs in four years. It's actually a promise or a claim that the Romney campaign came up with first. The Obama campaign said they could do it.

This is what you would have to do to do that. You know, you have to have 250,000 jobs per month over the next 48 months. You can see we're not there yet. You advised John McCain in 2008. So maybe this is sacrilege to ask you to do this right now.

If you were advising President Obama how to create jobs, how to make that promise by the end of his first term, what would you tell him to do?

CARLY FIORINA, CHAIRMAN, GOOD360: Well, it's not sacrilege because he's all of our president and we all care about our nation.

ROMANS: There you go.

FIORINA: We have a structural problem now called small business. Right now, there are more small businesses failing and fewer starting than in any time in the last 40 years. Any time in the last 40 years. And that's important because small and new businesses create about two-thirds of the new jobs in this country and they hire about -- they employ about half the people. So when you have small business kind of flat on its back, that's a big problem.

ROMANS: So fix it.



ROMANS: You're telling the president how to fix it, what are you telling him?

FIORINA: All right. First, we must lower our tax rates and vastly simplify our tax code. This really should be a bipartisan cry because Simpson-Bowles said the same thing.

ROMANS: Do you think the tax code right now favors the big companies who can have very well-paid, multi-million dollar tax accountants?

FIORINA: Yes. Absolutely. Absolutely.

ROMANS: And they can --

FIORINA: Washington works well for big business, big government and big labor. But it doesn't work well for small business because when you have a 26,000-page tax code and all these small loopholes, small businesses, A, don't understand it, B, can't take advantage of it and C, the rates is uncompetitive. It's the highest in the world. The second thing we need to do is --

ROMANS: So the big businesses don't pay the high tax rate but the small businesses do.

FIORINA: No. The small businesses do. Or they're filing under personal tax rates and those are going up as well, have gone up. So they're getting hit both ways.

Second, credit isn't falling to small businesses still.


FIORINA: And third, 70 percent of small businesses say government is hostile to them. If you ask them why, they say, I don't understand how to get started anymore. The regulatory thicket is choking the entrepreneurial life out of the economy.

ROMANS: Is part of that Obamacare?

FIORINA: Part of it is, yes. But in fairness, regulations have been growing year after year after year after year after year for 25 years. We literally have a thicket of regulations now. No one ever repeals a regulation.

ROMANS: Right.

FIORINA: But lots of people add to them.


ROMANS: So fixing jobs is fixing the small business environment?

FIORINA: Yes, I believe so.

ROMANS: I want to ask you something else that's been for years companies have been moving forward with same-sex spousal benefits and same-sex couple benefits.

FIORINA: Yes. We did it when I was at Hewlett-Packard way back in 2000.

ROMANS: Right. And even long before DOMA was addressed by the Supreme Court, you had briefs that hundreds of companies were signing on to about the same-sex marriage situation. This week we saw the same -- the Supreme Court make it possible for same-sex married couples to access federal marriage benefits.

In terms of business reaction, two different reactions, this from the Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy on Twitter. Garnered some major headlines. He said, "Sad day for our nation founding fathers would be ashamed of our generation to abandon wisdom on the -- of the ages re: cornerstone of strong societies." They quickly deleted that tweet. Chick-fil-A, of course, no stranger to the gay marriage issue.

On the other hand, you have Goldman Sachs, where outside the window of Goldman Sachs, the big investment bank, look, there they are, they're flying the rainbow flag in response.

Is it appropriate for companies to be weighing in on this debate?

FIORINA: Well, in some ways, companies have already weighed in on the debate because they have provided benefits for same-sex couples. On the other hand, I think this is an issue that -- where clarity is helpful so now the Supreme Court has given us some clarity but it's clearly also an incredibly emotional and personal issue for so many people.

My own view is the states ought to vote on this, vote on marriage but the Supreme Court has spoken in terms of benefits, so let's move on.

ROMANS: Yes. So a big conversation among women in corporate America and women at work is sort of this lean-in conversation. Sheryl Sandberg, Marissa Mayer is very young, you know, she's not even 40 yet she's running a fortune. Before there were -- before these women were leaning in, there was you, the first CEO of a Fortune 20 company, I mean, you're my generation's Marissa Mayer quite frankly. You know a very big role model.

They probably wouldn't be -- I'm going to say this editorializing, they wouldn't be where they are if it weren't for women like Carly Fiorina who are blazing the trail for them. And I'm wondering if you think that women now, this younger generation, this Gen Y women, maybe they're going to decide they can start their families earlier. Right? They can get married earlier because it's not going to hold them back from a career because they're seeing families play out on the corporate stage.

FIORINA: Well, I certainly hope that's the case. I hope that young women coming up say, you know what, I'm in charge of my own life and I'm going to make my own choices about how to balance these things. I think it's still true that the work-life balance issue is more complicated for women than it is for men.

ROMANS: I like to call it work-life imbalance but --


FIORINA: Exactly. Exactly.

ROMANS: It's never really balanced.

FIORINA: Exactly. And there is no silver bullet. But the thing that I notice about women, say, coming up, I have two granddaughters now, you know, and they don't feel constrained.


FIORINA: Their imaginations about what their futures can be appear to me to be much more unconstrained. And that's a wonderful thing. Having said that, women continue to be the most under-utilized resource in the world.

ROMANS: Yes. FIORINA: They are the most subjugated people in the world. We have a long way to go but we've also come a very long way.

ROMANS: Carly Fiorina. We covered taxes, we covered job creation, we covered women at work. A lot we covered today. Thank you for joining us. Nice to see you.

FIORINA: Thanks. So great to be with you.

ROMANS: All right. After two elections and four years in the White House, President Obama still can't shake the perception that he wasn't prepared for the presidency.

I'll ask a man who was there whether that's true. That's next on YOUR MONEY.


ROMANS: In 2008, President Obama campaigned as an outsider. His message, I'm fighting the Washington establishment on behalf of America's middle class. In four years, at the heart of the Washington political machine, he took the White House again.

You might think the (INAUDIBLE) of the Oval Office is the ultimate Washington insider. But lawmakers, donors, and journalists say no, that's not the case.

Jonathan Alter is one of those journalists. He has tracked President Obama since he was a state senator in Illinois and he's been granted more access to the Obama White House than almost any other journalists.

His new book, fantastic new book, titled, "The Center Holds: Obama and His Enemies."

Welcome to the program.


ROMANS: It's so interesting, you say that the president is missing this schmooze gene.

ALTER: Right.

ROMANS: Which is something that is pretty much the rigor for American politicians. And Conan O'Brien -- I mean, it's no secret. And a lot of people have said this, but Conan O'Brien poked fun at him during the White House Correspondents Dinner about it.


CONAN O'BRIEN, HOST, "CONAN": Some in this room have even accused the president of being distant and aloof. When I asked the president about it earlier, he said, oh, and then walked away.

(END VIDEO CLIP) ROMANS: The president has also been described as a pragmatist. So if it's holding him back so much, even the perception of it, why doesn't he do something to change that?

ALTER: Well, he is starting to try to do something about it. You know, he's playing more golf with Republicans and eating dinner with them once in a while. But it doesn't come naturally to him.

You know, the president's favorite movie, he says, is "The Godfather" and there's this line in it from Hyman Roth where he says, this is the business we have chosen. You know? And you sometimes think that the president forgets that a little bit that politics is about backslapping and making these other politicians feel as if they're being stroked and getting attention and he needs to pretend to be their friend.

He'd rather spend time with his real friends. And in the book, I do try to kind of pull back the curtain to explain what he's like when he's with those friends not --

ROMANS: What is he like with those people?

ALTER: He's joking around -- he's joking around a lot. And --

ROMANS: He doesn't swing at pitches from --

ALTER: There's some off-color -- off-color stories --

ROMANS: Really?

ALTER: -- in the book that I can't say on TV about the sorts of things that he says with his -- when he's with his real friends. And as you say, he can't swing in public at all these pitches. So he really appreciates it when other people go after his enemies for him. And so for instance --

ROMANS: But it makes him look aloof, though.

ALTER: It does.

ROMANS: And it feeds into that stereotype (INAUDIBLE).

ALTER: It does make him look aloof. And he doesn't get out and make people feel included enough. And he understands this abstractly. But because he has a kind of a disdain for a lot of the normal rituals of politics, we saw that in the first debate.


ALTER: He doesn't like those debates. It means that he doesn't have these personal relationships that he could draw on now that he's in trouble, you know. Because you want to be able to fall back on those relationships and he hasn't really established enough of them in Washington. I think he knows it.

ROMANS: Do you think he's being attacked more for the IRS, for Benghazi for some of these more current troubles that are after your book than he would have been because of that aloofness and because he doesn't play the game the way they play the game?

ALTER: No. I mean, the obstruction is the obstruction. And, you know, the reason that he hasn't gotten more done since the house went Republican in 2010 is because anything he's for the Republicans are against. So that's the main reason he's having trouble on Benghazi and the IRS. But I do think that particularly with Democrats, when he -- you know, they have to go back and tell their constituents, I haven't talked to the president in 18 months.

ROMANS: Right.

ALTER: That doesn't make them look very good.

ROMANS: Right.

ALTER: And it gives him less of a cushion of support when he does get in these situations.

ROMANS: You mentioned -- you mentioned the Democrats. You know, just this week, House minority leader, Nancy Pelosi, she stopped short of endorsing Hillary Clinton for president but she said something that was interesting, encouraging her to run for president, Hillary Clinton. And she took what some insiders read as a swipe at the president. I want you to listen to what she said.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D), HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: If Hillary Clinton were to run, and we think if she ran, she would win, I believe that she would be the best prepared person to enter the White House in decades.


ROMANS: That would mean more prepared than the current president.

ALTER: Well, that's -- I don't see that really as a swipe because the president was so inexperienced. I mean, he was only elected to the Senate in 2004. And he became president in 2008. He barely stopped by the Senate for a cup of coffee. You know, Hillary Clinton has been in public life for a long time.

Nancy Pelosi actually has a good relationship with the president, as does Harry Reid. It's more the other Democrats he just doesn't schmooze with enough --

ROMANS: You know, in recent memory, I mean, the president was at a White House Correspondents Dinner and nobody knew who he was. You know? That was only a few -- a few --

ALTER: Yes. He actually came up to me at that dinner in 2003, he came up to my table at that dinner and he said to me, this is just remembering this for the first time in years. He said, you're one of the only people I know here. You know, and so obviously, he's -- he has gotten to know an awful lot of other people in that room. And when he wants to turn on the charm he can be very charming. But there's just this sense in Washington that he needs to use that charm more effectively.

ROMANS: In the book, you say, you know, he talked -- he was worried during the election that if he lost, that his presidency would be a footnote to history.

ALTER: Right.

ROMANS: Now he's got the second term and these new problems and this new -- you call it obstructionism, but new problems on the hill. Will he be able to build up his legacy? You know this man. Will he be able to build up his legacy?

ALTER: Well, I think -- I mean, what's going on right now is critical on immigration reform. It's much bigger than the various controversies that have dogged him at the beginning of this year. That will be a -- would be a significant part of his legacy if he gets it. And the story that I try to tell in "The Center Holds" is, how did he get 71 percent of the Latino vote?

ROMANS: Right.

ALTER: If he'd gotten 65 percent or 60 percent, we wouldn't even be having this conversation about immigration.

ROMANS: Right.

ALTER: Because none of the Republicans would be taking part. But he delivered a message to them that they will not do well as a political party if they don't get this bill through. How did he do that? He introduced people like the Latina Oprah. The Anglo media doesn't even know who she is.

She's a former Univision star who did ads with Michelle Obama in the campaign that were very appealing in the Latino community. He did this unbelievable outrage from what's called the cave, which was the secret annex to the Chicago headquarters of the Obama campaign that I penetrated where these 20-something analytics geeks --


ALTER: -- figured out all these new ways to appeal not just to Latinos but to all sorts of different voters --


ROMANS: Right down the color of the e-mail. You know?

ALTER: Down to the color of the e-mails --

ROMANS: Right.

ALTER: -- that they've sent out. Yellow got a better return than white, and there are 100 other things. Everybody knows Obama did a better job on the digital front. I try to explain how.

ROMANS: "The Center Holds" is the book, Jonathan Alter is the author. Nice to see you.

ALTER: Great to see you, Christine.

ROMANS: Thanks for coming in.

ALTER: Thank you.

ROMANS: Take it easy.

If you have money in the markets, you probably need a chiropractor after the whiplash you suffered over the past month. Now is not the time to loosen your grip. Come on, bull riders, we're going to tell you why after the break.


ROMANS: Hey, nobody said riding a bull was easy and this bull market has been particularly feisty, especially when a certain Fed chairman threatens to take away its food. The food, the $85 billion a month in stimulus the Fed has been pumping into the economy.

When Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke suggested the Fed might taper those purchases as the economy improves, well, investors responded by selling everything in sight. Stocks, bond, gold, copper, small puppies, leftover chicken salad. Nothing was spared.

And now we're in this strange vortex where bad news on the economy is actually good news for the stock market. The first quarter GDP report out this week showed the economy grew at a measly, measly 1.8 percent.

You would have expected investors to sell and run for the Hampton. Instead, stocks have rallied through most of the week. Fears of a correction for stocks have been greatly exaggerated. What isn't exaggerated is volatility. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has had triple-digit moves up or down in nearly every trading season in June.

If this is the new normal, you better put on a helmet, or certainly get some bull riding lessons.

Michael Farr is the president and majority owner of Farr Miller in Washington, an investment firm.

Nice to see you.

He's also the author of "Restoring Our American Dream."


ROMANS: "The Best Investment." An old friend.

Richard Quest is the anchor of "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" on CNN International. I'm going to start with you, Michael, because you talk about restoring trust in your book and punishing people who cheat the system. But can average investors who don't work on Wall Street or don't, you know, work inside investment banks, can they trust the stock market right now given this volatility?

FARR: Long-term I think you can still trust the stock market but short term, you know, investors questions and doubts and fears, I think feel justified. You see something like an MF Global where customer accounts are actually invaded and customers' funds disappear, and then there's -- don't seem to be any consequences for management. You see these things like the flash crash and you see things like the Knight Trading thing and --


FARR: And I think people say, gees, I wonder if this is still for me. For the long term, I think it is but you see the kind of volatility, of course, that we've had in the month of June and you do feel like you really need to cinch down the seatbelt a little bit more tightly.

ROMANS: But, you know, if you listen to your head, really, Michael. If you listen to your head and you didn't get into stocks that you saw all of these things blowing up around you over the past few years, you're poorer for it.

FARR: There's no question that emotion is the foe of the long-term investor. I mean, I've said for years, if it feels bad, do it. Forget everything you learned in the '70s. OK? Forget everything you learned in the '70s.

ROMANS: Let's get a banner for that. Moms everywhere, moms and dads, everywhere, if it feels bad do it. What you're telling your kids not to do.

FARR: I can have a tattoo maybe. But, look. If you are loving stocks as we did during the dot-com or as we did in 2007, or perhaps as you are beginning the love them again now, you're probably better off thinking about becoming a seller than a buyer.

If you're hating stocks as you did in 2009 when the market dropped 7,000 on the Dow, that was the time to buy, so don't worry -- certainly pay attention to how you feel but you're better off as an investor doing the opposite.

ROMANS: Oh, Richard, if we could all be robots, right? If we could all be robots in the investment world but we are not, and this volatility is just mind numbing. It used to be 50 points was a big move. Now 100 points over the last, you know, couple of dozen sessions. We've had 100 points one way or the other. What's driving this?

RICHARD QUEST, HOST, CNN'S QUEST MEANS BUSINESS: Nothing about what we are seeing should surprise us. For one simple reason. The rules of the road have changed. Bear in mind we've got QE3. Until this crisis, we've never had QE1. QE was unknown. So it's not surprising. Everything, uncertainty, unknown, new rules, even the Fed admits it's experimental. Tapering.

I mean, these are all different concepts. So it is not surprising in this environment that when something is -- like Bernanke speaking or when you have gold moving that investors are just moving with an element of herd mentality and with an element of uncertainty.

ROMANS: But can you just exacerbate this?

QUEST: Of course. Again, new rules of the road, high frequency trading. Everything gets faster, everything gets more detailed, everything gets more pronounced. It is as if the markets are in glorious Technicolor.

ROMANS: Yes. So let's talk about the Technicolor -- the color of gold. Because you mentioned gold. Gold has crashed. It has crashed.


ROMANS: But I've been looking -- regular investors have been saying, oh, the Fed, the Fed, look at what the Fed is doing, it's manipulating everything. I'm going to buy gold. Regular investors have been killed this quarter in gold.

QUEST: A dumb, stupid metal, the love of which I have never understood. Except as a marriage band or as a piece of delightful jewelry. No.

ROMANS: Mine's platinum.

QUEST: Right. Exactly. I mean, that's my point. Look, people say have a bit of gold in your portfolio as a counterbalance. Yes, a counterbalance. OK. What? For the day when it all goes wrong? I mean, the dollar has gone up. The gold has gone down. You'd expect to see that. Growth has come back with no inflation. Gold has gone down.

The run-up in gold was over, done, two years ago. The run-up -- the falloff is probably overdone. A bit of gold but you can't eat it.

ROMANS: Michael Farr, last word to you.

FARR: You know, I think market's volatility is something, yes, that we've got to come to expect. You have to look through that as an investor. And you have to find a discipline and a strategy to get your money where you need it to be in 10 years or 20 years. So try and ignore the noise. Remember, the old rule in the fish market. Ignore the yelling and screaming. Pay attention to the price of fish.


ROMANS: Michael Farr, well, some great advice from you two. Richard Quest, nice to see both of you this weekend.

FARR: Thanks, Christine.

ROMANS: See you again real soon. Coming up, do you follow Justin Bieber or Kim Kardashian on Twitter? Or Richard Quest? Not Richard Quest. Just Kim Kardashian and Bieber. Why their tweets may not always be what they seem.

Yours, they're always what they seem.


ROMANS: If you're one of the millions of people who followed celebrities on Twitter, you get an inside look at what the rich and famous are up to. But how can you tell if you're reading a genuine tweet or just an expensive ad?


ROMANS (voice-over): Justin Bieber gives tips on where to buy Mother's Day flowers. Miley Cyrus raves about her airline carrier and Kim Kardashian tweets about her lip balm. But how do her 18 million followers know if she's getting paid or if she just really loves her Chapstick?

MARY ENGLE, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF ADVERTISING PRACTICES, FTC: It's really important for the audience to be able to understand when someone is endorsing a product saying positive things about it, whether they have been paid to do that or not.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How long has it been since your mom has fixed your --


ROMANS: For decades advertisers have used celebrity endorsements to push their products.


ROMANS: Having a famous spokesperson gets a brand more attention and more credibility. Now social media has opened up a whole new world for advertisers. They can access the star's millions of followers with just one tweet. But that attention doesn't come cheap, ranging from a couple hundred bucks to tens of thousands of dollars for one little tweet. The Federal Trade Commission requires companies to disclose a paid advertisement.

ENGLE: We don't prescribe specific rules or words that have to be used but ad is very clear.

ROMANS: Some celebrities are using the disclosure. Like when Hillary Duff wished her husband a Father's Day or when Charlie Sheen went searching for an intern so his 10 million followers knew he was compensated for plugging

ENGLE: The beauty of ad is only two characters long and so it should be easy to do even in a tweet.

ROMANS: But with only 140 characters to spare, some say there's no room for an extra hashtag.


ROMANS: Thanks for joining the conversation this weekend on YOUR MONEY We're here every Saturday 2:00 p.m. Easter, Sunday at 3:00. Until then, find me on Facebook and Twitter. And please check out our blog,