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Interview with Tom Friedman; Interview with James Fallows; Mukesh Ambani on India's Hopeful Stories; The King of Bollywood: Shah Rukh Khan. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired February 21, 2016 - 10:00   ET


[10:00:06] FAREED ZAKARIA, HOST: This is GPS, the GLOBAL PUBLIC SQUARE. Welcome to all of you in the United States and around the world. I'm Fareed Zakaria.

We have a jam packed show for you today starting with uncertainty over a ceasefire in Syria. Questions about a new Cold War with Russia and controversy over the president's planned trip to Cuba. We'll do a tour of the world's hot spots with the "New York Times'" Thomas Friedman.

Then Donald Trump says America is going to hell.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Our country is going to hell.


ZAKARIA: But is it really? We have an elaborate fact check from the "Atlantic's" James Fallows. He spent the last three years traversing the country reporting on what is actually happening in America.

And I just spent a few days in India where I sat down with the nation's richest man as well as Bollywood's biggest star.


SHAH RUKH KHAN, BOLLYWOOD STAR: And I'm sure Mr. Tom Cruise has the same issue.


ZAKARIA: Mukesh Ambani on the bed of the century, bringing broadband Internet to a billion people. And Shah Rukh Khan on the battle between Bollywood and Hollywood. Who will win?

Finally, why one former Treasury secretary wants the $100 bill to disappear as a public service. I'll explain.

But first, here's my take. A key sign of the Republican Party's dysfunction in recent years has been its unwillingness to produce serious policy proposals. Instead its leading lights routinely present outlandish plans that they well know can never be enacted or in which the math simply doesn't add up.

What will Republicans do this year if elected to the White House? All GOP candidates would repeal Obamacare, some would pass a constitutional amendment to balance the budget and others would deport several million undocumented workers.

Needless to say, none of this will actually happen. Take their tax plans. The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center estimates that Marco Rubio's would produce deficits of $8.2 trillion over the next 10 years. Ted Cruz's plan clocks in at $10.2 trillion in deficits and Donald Trump predictably outdoes them all with a proposal that would add $11.2 trillion in deficits and would raise the national debt by nearly 80 percent of GDP over the next two decades.

So why do Republicans do it? Because they know what the base wants to hear, are aware that none of it is remotely plausible, and so have decided that policy proposals are no longer, well, actual policy proposals. Instead they service signals and emotional impulses that are meant to energize supporters. The fact that none of the proposals never get implemented is of course why the conservative base is so enraged and flocks now to Ted Cruz.

Now while not blameless, the Democrats since Bill Clinton have by and large avoided this path. They buttress their policy with real research by reputed scholars, if they make some rosy assumption, this tend to be within the bounds of reason. That's why after being seen as propagate taxes and spenders in the 1960s and '70s, the Democratic Party has convinced many centrist voters that it is the responsible party of governance these days.

Enter Bernie Sanders who makes the Republicans look like models of sobriety and scholarly exactitude. The proposals he has listed on his campaign Web site add up to around $18 trillion to $20 trillion over the next decade, according to the "New York Times." If you add a higher estimate on the Sanders' health plan, by Emory's Kenneth Thorpe, that brings the total cost to about $30 trillion.

This week, four respected economists who serve Democratic presidents in senior traditions wrote a letter bluntly pointing out that no credible economic research supports Sanders' economic assumptions and predictions.

They were referring to claims by Joe Friedman. An economist who has tried to make Sanders' math work. To do so, Friedman assumes that per capita growth would average 4.5 percent. That is more than double the average rate over the last three decades. Even more magically, productivity growth would rise to 3.18 percent. As Kevin Drumm has pointed out in "Mother Jones," there has never been a 10-year period since World War II in which productivity grew by 3.1 percent.

Sanders' supporters argue that all this criticism misses the point. Sanders is setting forth an idealistic vision on purpose, his goal is to shift the spectrum.

[10:05:07] But that argument is premised on the notion that in fact America would be better off with $30 trillion of extra government spending, college that would be absolutely free and does essentially government controlled and top marginal income tax rates of about 85 percent.

It wouldn't, but to him, none of this nitpicking on facts matters. He's painting with a broader brush. An authentic man who speaks his mind without fear or favor, willing to present bold ideas geared to capture the imagination. Never mind that the establishment elites criticizes them as workable or divisive or radical.

Am I speaking about Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump?

For more, go to and read my "Washington Post" column this week. And let's get started.

ZAKARIA: Let's get right into some of the big stories from around the world with Tom Friedman of the "New York Times." Three-time Pulitzer Prize winner.

Tom, welcome.


ZAKARIA: Let me ask you first this bit of news about President Obama going to Cuba. He's already being hammered on the campaign trail by some Republicans. Is it a good idea or it is naive?

FRIEDMAN: That's a great idea. Go down there, engage with the people. Show them the best of America, their economic model, our political openness. Whoever out there in the audience is afraid of Cuba, Fareed, please have them raise their hand. I'm not afraid of Cuba. OK? It's time -- well past time that we ended our isolation of Cuba. It's a lab test that utterly failed. I think the more we engage them, the more we will enhance their own move to a more open political system. I think it's a great idea.

ZAKARIA: more complicated issue of course is Syria. Is there any path out here?

FRIEDMAN: Well, I'll tell you, I've been thinking about this issue, Fareed. You know, I've been quiet weary to get involved in Syria over the last couple of years because I just didn't see a path going forward and have certainly been, you know, deeply concerned about the humanitarian dimension of this. But I'm doubly concerned now both about the humanitarian dimension and because it's becoming a strategic issue in two ways.

Syria has now spilled out so many refugees that it's destabilizing the decent states around it, Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Kurdistan. And at the same time even more strategic for the United States. The pressure of all these refugees flowing into Europe now is really causing the European Union to start to close in on itself, to try to isolate some of its members like Greece, and force them to take all the refugees, producing all these nationalist and populist parties.

I know a soft spot for the European Union. I know the minute I raise the subject on your show, half your viewers change your channel. When their hear European Union, it's not a subject that is near and dear to most Americans. But let me make it very simple.

The European Union is the United States of Europe. It's the other great center of democratic capitalism and if that union begins to seize up and fracture, that is a really negative strategic trend for the United States. And because of that, I think we have to reexamine in partnership and with the European Union and NATO how we construct some kind of no fly zone, safe zone on the border of both Syria and Libya. Otherwise, when the spring comes and these refugees start to flow into Europe, it's going to have very serious political implications for the other United States of the world.

ZAKARIA: What is going on with Russia and Ukraine? The United States is now sending forces, ground forces to Europe. Something we didn't think would happen. You know, this sounds like the days of the Cold War. Is this something that we have to really worry about which is that the United States may actually have to defend the Baltic States or at least credibly threaten to defend them so that this deters Russia.

FRIEDMAN: You know, one has to worry about Putin, Fareed. He's a man that keeps looking for dignity in all the wrong places. Rather than unlocking the talent and entrepreneurship of his own Russian people. He's been looking for sugar highs by feeding a kind of nationalist frenzy, retaking Crimea, throwing his weight around the Middle East. But these are all just sugar highs. They're all just shiny objects to distract these people from the fact that the Russian economy is shrinking radically.

[10:10:01] And I can't believe that the growing Russian middle class is very happy about this so because of that, one does have to worry that where Putin might go for his next sugar high. And I don't think it's reckless of us to be putting up some barriers there and I dare -- hate to say it in case of this administration because they've gotten in trouble for it but drawing some red lines.

ZAKARIA: In the past you've written that when the price of oil is low, freedom has flourished. So the price of oil is pretty low, Tom Friedman. Is freedom going to flourish?

FRIEDMAN: Well, it's never going to happen overnight. You know, the -- we do know that when the price of oil got down, I believe., it was to $18 in the '80s and late '80s for a sustained period of time, Fareed, not just nine months, we saw the end of the Soviet Union. We saw the Oslo peace agreement because Yasser Arafat lost a lot of his economic aid, and we saw the beginning of political reform movements, you know, throughout a lot of the petro states.

So I would say give it time. I think that there is a chance of that but it may be we get disordered before we get some kind of consensual politics out of it. But I can is assure you this, it will have political effects for these regimes that have been for so many years tapping their oil rather than their people unlocking their creativity. Men and women, when they get, you know, that resource taken away from them. They're going to have to figure out a different way and I think it's going to be enormously destabilizing in the short run. I hope in the long run it will leave a mark in central politics.

ZAKARIA: Tom Friedman, always a pleasure.

FRIEDMAN: Thank you.

ZAKARIA: Next on GPS, has the U.S. presidential campaign convinced you that Americans are doing terribly? Do you wonder if Donald Trump is right when he says that the country is going to hell? Well, let's go from rhetoric to reality with one of the nation's finest journalists who has just spent three years traveling around the country reporting on its actual condition.


[10:16:37] ZAKARIA: If you've been listening to the rhetoric being thrown around on the campaign trail today you might believe that America is in a terrible state of decay. We hear about the ravaged communities, the dysfunctional schools, bankrupt cities and above all the anger and despair. Well, my next guest has spent much of the last three years traveling around this country to places like Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Columbus, Mississippi, Ben, Oregon, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and what he found will surprise you.

James Fallows is a national correspondent for the "Atlantic." He is the author of that magazine's cover story, "Can America Put Itself Back Together?" An absolutely terrific read. Fallows, along with his wife Deborah rediscovered America in the tiny single engine crop plane.

Jim, pleasure to have you on.


ZAKARIA: Why did you do this?

FALLOWS: One reason was we just came back from living in China and we found it so enriching to be on trains and buses in China to see places that weren't Shanghai and Beijing. And we thought when we came back to the U.S. everything we heard was a country in collapse. So we thought what would it be like to go to the country itself, not just the big coastal elite cities, but to the center and see how things are there?

ZAKARIA: And interestingly, one of the first places you talk about is San Bernardino which happens to be right where you grew up.



ZAKARIA: You grew up in the town next door.

FALLOWS: The nearby town of Redland where the actual shooters lived. So it's a place I've known all my life. It's a transly troubled place. It's about as difficult as -- San Bernardino is, as any in the country right now. And yet even there the story we found was people thinking that the prospects in the entire country are bleak but there in San Bernardino they're finding ways to train kids for better jobs, to work with the schools and do other aspects of rebuilding the civic fiber.

ZAKARIA: And you say in San Bernardino you see this pattern everywhere which is that when you ask people how is the country doing, what do they say?

FALLOWS: They say our country is in terrible shape but here in San Bernardino, here in Sioux Falls, Here in Mississippi, here in Greenville, South Carolina, things are moving in the right direction. We all know this about as a cliche about Congress. People hate the Congress but basically like their representative.

It was fascinating to us to have people see that about the country. The country they hear about in the news is falling apart. The country they see around them, they think is actually responding to the pressures of these times.

ZAKARIA: You talk about one of the places most hard hit by the sort of wave of de-industrialization which is the parts of the south that were hit by the golden triangle in Mississippi.

FALLOWS: We've been, again and again, to this place in northeastern Mississippi called the Golden Triangle. Frankly I've never heard of it before going there. It's the cities of Columbus, Starkville, and West Point, and Mississippi traditionally very poor. The manufacturing they have there was really (INAUDIBLE). They had a toilet seat factory, they had a blue jeans factory. They had a car upholstery factory. These all went away largely because of NAFTA. NAFTA and sort of world trade in general.

And then over the last decade, just by a dent of a thousand people doing interesting things, they bought in a helicopter factory, a steelworks that pays more than $70,000 or $80,000 per year. They had a Yokohama tire, has its most modern plant in North America is in Mississippi. And, you know, Mississippi has big problems, so does the Golden Triangle, but they feel we are moving in the right direction which was the surprising point to us.

ZAKARIA: An important point I should make is that in many of these cities you went back, you spent -- in many cases you spent 10 days. This is not -- this is not kind of driving through for an afternoon.

[10:20:08] FALLOWS: Yes. Most of the places that we were about seriously we went to for at least two weeks. So we've been to about dozen cities for about two weeks. So usually with repeat visits. Another two dozen for a couple of days.

ZAKARIA: Duluth, Minnesota. Fascinating story.

FALLOWS: I love Duluth. Duluth was once a very, very rich city from grain shipment through Lake Superior, timber, the iron ranges and all the rest. And it went to a very long decline. Now it's reviving itself with the combination of aerospace technology, the kind of airplane we fly, a series of airplane which I know you've been into. It's made there in Duluth. It's kind of modern bright butter story.

Medical technology and sort of outdoors life. They have the more interesting accompany there, something called law furniture, an epicurean designs where a couple of outdoorsmen said we want to live our life in Duluth because we love the outdoors experience and to a story, I won't give you the whole details of, they're now shipping this high end sort of kitchen and furniture products to 60 countries around the world. From a former burial vault factory and deliver -- and if you walk inside there, you think this could be a CNN studio in New York. It could be a tech accompany in Seattle or in San Francisco.

ZAKARIA: But it seemed -- what you described strikes me as very -- took billion, by which I mean, Alexis (INAUDIBLE) talked about how, you know, Washington may be dysfunctional but most of the American government takes place at the local level and it's that bottom up energy that makes America thrive.

FALLOWS: Yes. I think you and I, many people would prefer to have a functional national government, too, but we don't have right now, and may not for the foreseeable future. And if you just hear the press, you might think the entire nation is just viewing itself as objects of these failed national systems.

America doesn't seem like an object country when you go place by place by place. People think, what can we do here in South Dakota or in Iowa to make the future better 20 years from now and they're trying to do it.

ZAKARIA: James Fallows, stay right there. When we come back, we will look at American anger over immigration. You see, it turns out that many people aren't so angry after all.


[10:26:09] ZAKARIA: We're back with the great James Fallows of the "Atlantic" talking about his fascinating journey across America and the surprisingly optimistic perspective he witnessed.

Immigration is the one issue in this campaign has seemed to generate the most anger at the national level. But again, when you went to an actual town with actual immigrants and minorities, what did you find?

FALLOWS: I found something very much in keeping with the long American saga of immigration, which you know very well. You've talked and written about, which is that on the one hand, immigration is always disruptive in any country around the world any stage of history. It always has been in the U.S. whether it's Germans or Italians or Vietnamese or whomever. So it's always involved some change. But on the other hand, U.S. has found ways always to continue to absorb people. And that's what -- if you weren't listening especially to the GOP campaign, you would think it's still going on.

For example, a place like Sioux Falls, South Dakota. It's a largely white city, largely upper Midwest, plains, Protestant city, Lutherans and German. German and Norwegian residents there. They became one of the main places for absorbing refugees. Along the streets in Sioux Falls you see Somali and Sudanese people walking along to their jobs to the gas stations or the malls, in a beef, in a pork packing house in downtown Sioux Falls. They worked tens of thousands of pigs and meet their maker every day. Most of the people doing the dispatching, a large number of them are Muslim women refugees from the rest of the world, who are there sometimes wearing their head gear and working in this pig slaughter house so their kids can go to high school and college, join ROTC, do all these other things.

There was no correlation we saw between where immigrants were arriving most rapidly and where people were most alarmed about that. You know, that the U.S. demographic is changing but that seems to be a fact rather than an emergency in most of the places we saw.

ZAKARIA: When you look at these, and as I said, there's so many examples and you've spent so much time with them that in this case the pleural of anecdote does seem to be data.

FALLOWS: Or at least narrative.


ZAKARIA: What do you make of -- you know, this sort of problem of inequality that when you look at the recovery again statistically so much of the gains have gone to so few people. How does that play out?

FALLOWS: So it's every problem that people know about in the United States that you've broadcast over the years is true. That it's -- there are polarizing forces here as there are in every country. It is the second gilded age. We have all the pressure of national fabric that we know very well about. The surprising news I think we're trying to convey is the counter effort towards that. It's happened in many places. In terms of inequality, the main thing we've seen is an effort to connect people who otherwise would have no jobs or welfare or service sector jobs, food service or Wal-Mart of whatever, with these medium wage tech jobs of being repair people, of being welders, being robotics repair people.

There is an actual job shortage in that category. So it takes you from $10 an hour to $20 an hour, or $25 an hour. So that is -- that doesn't solve the world's problem of inequality but is a buffering effort the surprising number of communities are making.

ZAKARIA: Now you talked about -- you've been flying this little -- single crop plane for a while. You've been flying for 25 years. I've flown on this plane and it's a magical experience and it's particularly magical to do it in America. You talk about this in that terrific article. Why?

FALLOWS: The reason I got -- so I've fallen in love with flying around low altitude is to have a unique perspective. A century ago the assumption was anybody who was an aviator would also be a writer because the perspective it gives you is so unique and then vice-versa. In America in particular, as you fly at low altitude, as you know, in the eastern third of the country America is basically a big forest. You see these little ribbons of road, you see a couple of shopping centers but basically, it's still a forest.

In the middle, it's a big farm. And in the west, it's a big desert and mountain range.

And you can see the logic of how settlement took place. You can see the fall line of the Appalachians and why the mills are where they are.

And so it's -- it's both beautiful and instructive at the same time.

ZAKARIA: Why is St. Louis where it is?

FALLOWS: St. Louis is where the Mississippi and the Missouri come together. It also makes you wonder why Dallas is where it is. There's, sort of, no natural feature that's there.


ZAKARIA: Well, Dallas, Las Vegas -- there are some places which are the triumph of American ingenuity of a certain kind, I suppose.

Would you -- do you leave this wishing that you could get Americans to, kind of, rediscover their country?

FALLOWS: Yes. I'm trying -- America, like China, like India, is a big, complex place. We have, strangely, a flat, two-dimensional view of the country. And I'm trying to both -- both literally to have a three-dimensional view from above and metaphorically to have a three- dimensional view of understanding how complex is the machinery of this nation that's trying to respond to the challenges we're all facing now.

ZAKARIA: And you end up optimistic?

FALLOWS: I end up optimistic in that the seeds of a second reform age, I think, are being sown around the country. When they'll be able to have some moisture to -- to ripen, we'll see. But just as the first Gilded Age led to reforms, sometime this will happen, and the preparation is being set now all across our great land.

ZAKARIA: James Fallows, such a pleasure, terrific article.

Next up, the richest man in India, with a staggeringly vast plan, bringing high-speed Internet to India's billion-plus population in four years.


ZAKARIA: I'm just back from India, where I had the opportunity to sit down with that nation's richest man, who is also the CEO of its largest company. Forbes estimates Mukesh Ambani's net worth as being almost $20 billion. Reliance Industries, the company he heads, has a market capitalization of over $40 billion, according to Bloomberg.

He talked to me about what seems to be one of the most hopeful stories about India and a piece of positive news in a gloomy world economy. In the next few years, an extraordinary thing will happen: 1 billion -- that's "billion" with a "B" -- Indians will get access to the Internet, most for the first time.

What does that mean for India and the world?

Ambani's company, through a venture called Jio, has bet billions of dollars that this is the economic opportunity of the moment, for India and for his company. India's other telecom companies are also planning to build up capacity. We sat down to talk in Mukesh Ambani's home in Mumbai, which some reports claim is the world's most expensive private home.


ZAKARIA: Mukesh Ambani, thank you so much for coming on the show.


ZAKARIA: Your company generates huge amounts of cash. You have been pouring all of this into one huge venture, which is to provide the Internet to people essentially on cell phones. Why do you think this is worth that massive investment?

AMBANI: I believe that humanity is at the doorsteps of a massive change and we're just at the beginning of the Information and the Digital Age. And in the next 20 years, in a network society, we are going to have change much more than what we have seen in the last 100 years. And it's really digitization and the digital world that is going to lead this.

From an India point of view, India cannot be left behind in this revolution. As we saw in the year 2012, 2013, India is 150th in the world in mobile broadband penetration as well as quality. And Jio is really conceived to change this position.

ZAKARIA: To put it simply, would it be fair to say India has not really been connected to the Internet in a broad sense because infrastructure being such that the land lines that provide wired Internet only reach about 100 million, 150 million Indians? What you are proposing, this revolution -- how many million Indians do you think will get connected to the Internet in the next year, year and a half?

AMBANI: We'll be ready to launch in the second half of 2016. Eighty percent of India's population will have high-speed mobile broadband Internet. So 80 percent of the 1.3 billion Indians will have high- speed mobile Internet. And by 2017 end, we will cover 90 percent. And by 2018, all of India will be covered by this digital infrastructure.

ZAKARIA: So in 2018, will a rural farmer in India have better Internet capacity than somebody in America?

AMBANI: I think that, if you look at what you have in the U.S., right, after five years, all the media carriers today cover only 75 percent to 80 percent of the U.S. And we would be pretty much doing that by -- in 2016 itself.

ZAKARIA: Do you think -- I mean, you have -- Reliance throws off enough cash, billions of dollars a year that could be invested anywhere. Do you think this is the best investment opportunity in the world right now?

AMBANI: This digital infrastructure, I think, is a very good investment. For me personally, like, we made this investment just to make sure that the youth of India, which is still the bulk of India -- India, as you know, is a very young country -- is empowered and they have an equal opportunity to not only prosper themselves but to contribute to this new world. And that was really our main reason, and that's why we took very high risks, right. As time has passed, this now looks like being pretty good, even business-wise.

ZAKARIA: Mukesh Ambani, pleasure to have you on.

AMBANI: Thank you.

ZAKARIA: More from my trip to India: from the nation's richest man to the nation's biggest movie star, Shah Rukh Khan. He's the king of Bollywood. Some would say he's the biggest movies star in the entire world. He explains how Bollywood could begin to rival Hollywood.


ZAKARIA: The Los Angeles Times has called my next guest "perhaps the world's biggest movie star."

That seems about right to me. Shah Rukh Khan is the biggest movie star in India. He almost certainly has more devoted fans than any other movie star in the world, given India's population of more than 1 billion people.

The 50-year-old Khan has starred in over 70 films, according to Forbes, and made $38 million last year. If you don't know him and his work, perhaps you should.

India has long been the only major market where Hollywood movies struggle to compete. Shah Rukh Khan talked about the new globalized world where Hollywood movies are making serious efforts to penetrate the Indian market and where Bollywood movies are competing against Hollywood in the rest of the world.


ZAKARIA: Shah Rukh Khan, pleasure to have you back.

SHAH RUKH KHAN, INDIAN ACTOR: Thank you, Fareed. Thank you very much to get me back.

ZAKARIA: Tell me about what Bollywood today looks like. How do you deal with the competition, I suppose it is, of Hollywood movies that are now essentially made for a global audience, so that many of the movies that Hollywood makes now make a majority of their revenues outside the United States and they are designed in a way to appeal to people -- so they have more action or they have cartoon figures, not a lot of dialogue, not -- less complex character development. Are they the, kind of, the competition, the new global competition you face?

KHAN: Thankfully, unless they have six songs in their films, they're not competing with us...


... which I'm sure is not going to happen. But I think you're completely right. I have always had this worry, if I may say so, that if we are not able to change our cinema quickly enough, you know, we will be, kind of, overtaken, like Hollywood has.

You know, principal movies all around the world are Hollywood films. India is the only country where local cinema does better than international cinema. And Mr. Quentin Tarantino -- I heard him say it somewhere, I think, at Cannes or somewhere -- where he said, you know, "The reason for movie -- local movies to survive is stardom."

So there is still a huge balance of stardom in this country, where there's a director or an actor or an actress. And I think that stardom keeps it -- you know, it's like watching a football match; you want to see stars; you want the NBA because you have some great basketball players.

So I think, as long as the star system is retained in this country, it will be some time before international cinema takes it. But, yeah, international stars are also, kind of, becoming local stars. But, like I said, the Indian cinema is changing so fast right now, with all the young filmmakers and actors and actresses. I think that it would be quite a while before international cinema becomes actual competition. But I won't deny the fact that there are films which do take over from Indian cinema at this point, once in a year.

ZAKARIA: How -- how much of your fan base is now global because of the -- the fact that the Internet exists and these movies are all over?

There's always been a huge Indian expatriate audience. But it has grown now to the Gulf, to Southeast Asia. Do you -- how do you think of that?

KHAN: It's quite -- you know, it never ceases to amaze me. Because, like the last one, (inaudible) release it in Peru, we're releasing it in markets like Finland and Sweden, where we never thought a Hindi film would go out, even with subtitles or dubbed -- and, you know, Germany, France, Italy. Those were shocked themselves that, you know, in Europe, they're watching the films. Yes, in England and America, Southeast Asia -- I mean, but the business has increased tenfold or sevenfold since I last spoke with you. People are watching, and I'm hearing now it's happening into China, too, so -- which is quite amazing.

And I think, also, the two different kinds of cinema that is coming to the fore in India -- they are also helping that. We have some really artistic, wonderful films also being taken. And I think these are small steps to what's creating an international market for Indian films.

And we are fortunate to have been in these times when such acceptance in happening, you know. You go to Morocco, like you said, UAE -- South America, I'm really amazed. I have a cricket team there. I want to go there and, you know, at least spend time and say how do these guys know and what do they understand of what I am doing?

And -- but it's increased, and, like you said, on social media, you know, when I'm tweeting or something, I can make out I think more than half the people are from, you know, places not in India. And, you know, when I talk about something, suddenly I'll get a shout-out from Japan, and I'm really amazed, you know, they sing Hindi songs and they say Hindi dialogues; they do the Dubsmash, and it's new and it's very encouraging, actually.

ZAKARIA: And it really is new for Indian cinema, which has been very parochial in...

KHAN: Absolutely.

ZAKARIA: It's now becoming, kind of, global cinema.

KHAN: Yes, like you said, say, UAE, or Southeast Asia, we still have similar cultures, so you assume, you know, they would like an Indian film; they're conservative and they're about families, and some of the commercial films are just regular, nice, good things to say and not too edgy.

But, now, suddenly, it's -- and I find it -- you know, like I -- Scotland, Ireland and America, and now the -- the other day, like, I was doing a show, I think, in New York, and, you know, out of, like, say 8,000 people, we had about 500 to 800 Americans watching an Indian show. And I spoke to some of the ladies and they're like, yeah, "We love Indian films. We love you. And we've traveled, like, so many miles to come and see you," which is really, really nice. It's a -- and it is a new phenomena. And I think it also, actually, is telling that Indian films are progressively making footprints outside India. And I think that's an important aspect.

ZAKARIA: Do you think you're going to be doing this 10 years from now?

KHAN: I -- I'd talk more 30 years. So, when you say 10, I'm a little scared and paranoid it's going to end so early.


Yes, I may need -- I may need a new knee and a new shoulder and stuff...


... but they tell me they are finding new body parts.

(LAUGHTER) So I'm -- yes, I would -- I always tell everyone my last shot -- and I love acting -- for whatever amount I know, my last shot should be on a -- you know, when they say "Cut." If my life has to go, it should be with a "Cut" -- and an "OK," if possible.

ZAKARIA: Until then, you'll be the bionic man.

KHAN: Yes. Until then -- I'm the iron man -- or actually, I'm titanium, so I'm the titanium man. That's a -- that's a good idea.

ZAKARIA: Shah Rukh Khan, pleasure to have you on.

KHAN: Thank you, Fareed.

ZAKARIA: Next on "GPS," why hundred-dollar bills are a danger to the global economy -- really. The plan to banish Benjamins and bin Ladens.


ZAKARIA: President Jimmy Carter won his second Grammy award this week for the audiobook for his memoir, "A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety."

He's not the only world leader to have won a Grammy award, and it brings me to my question of the week. Bill Clinton and Mikhail Gorbachev won a 2003 Grammy award together for a spoken album. What did they win for? "Frozen Tides: A Verbal History of the Cold War" or The Charter of the United Nations" or Stars, Stripes, Hammers and Sickles" or "Peter and the Wolf"?

Stay tuned and we'll tell you the correct answer.

This week's book of the week is Mohamed El-Erian's "The Only Game in Town." How come the global economy is now run largely by unelected central banks?

In this highly intelligent analysis, the author, a respected investor and CEO, explains how elected governments are failing in their basic job to take care of the economy and why this might lead to a massive unmanageable crisis.

And now for the last look. Three years ago, the U.S. government released a new hundred-dollar bill complete with features like color- shifting ink and 3-D security ribbons. This month a study out of Harvard University says we should throw this bill out. You can find the scene in many classic movies, briefcases full of hundred-dollar bills changing hands discreetly in the underworld.

But this isn't just the stuff of Hollywood. Real-life criminals use cash to launder money, finance terror and evade taxes, among many other crimes. One solution, according to this Harvard study, get rid of the biggest bills, like the Benjamin Franklin. After all, it's harder to fly under the radar if you have to exchange your briefcase full of hundreds for a suitcase full of twenties.

As the paper points out, $1 million in cash weighs about 22 pounds in hundred dollar bills and is small enough to fit into one briefcase. In $20 bills, on the other hand, $1 million in cash weighs about 110 pounds and would fill almost four briefcases. And it isn't just U.S. dollars. The study's authors recommend getting rid of other large denominations. Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, who directs the center that published the paper, believes that, although removing existing notes may be going too far, stopping the production of new ones would, quote, "make the world a better place."

So, sorry, Benjamin Franklin, we'll find a nice building somewhere in Washington to name after you.

The correct answer to the "GPS Challenge" question is D. Bill Clinton and Mikhail Gorbachev, along with the actress Sophia Loren, recorded a new version of the classic tale "Peter and the Wolf: Wolf Tracks," which took home the 2003 Grammy for best spoken word album for children. President Gorbachev narrated the prologue and the epilogue in Russian, while President Clinton narrated part of the story with the help of dramatic music from the Russian National Orchestra.


FORMER PRESIDENT WILLIAM J. CLINTON: Peter and the Wolf faced each other, motionless.


ZAKARIA: Perhaps one day President Obama will add to his growing Grammy collection by collaborating with President Vladimir Putin. It would be interesting to see what story the duo would choose to tell together.

Thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week. I will see you next week.