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Daniel Roher is Interviewed about Academy Award for "Navalny"; Odds of the Perfect NCAA Bracket; Kevin O'Leary is Interviewed about U.S. System. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired March 13, 2023 - 08:30   ET




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the Oscar goes to "Navalny."


POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: That is a night I can tell you we were all praying for here at CNN, for so many reasons beyond this network. CNN film documentary "Navalny" winning best documentary feature last night at the Oscars. It is the first Oscar win for CNN. The documentary film released last year explores the attempted assassination of Russian occupation leader Alexei Navalny and who was behind it.

Joining us now is Daniel Roher. He is the director of the Academy Award-winning film.

It sounds so good to say, right, the Academy Award-winning CNN film "Navalny."


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Still in his tux shirt, by the way.

ROHER: I haven't slept. I have been up all night. And I was just about to go to bed when I remembered I had to speak with you guys -- or I got to speak with you this morning and I jumped out of bed, put my shirt back on, and here I am.

HARLOW: Well, look, I was saying in the intro, it's about so much more than -- yes, it's a big deal for CNN and all of you to win, but this is about imprisoned Navalny. This is about what it means to stand up for what is right and justice and the consequences of that in Putin's Russia.

ROHER: That's exactly right. I mean last night was extraordinary for my colleagues and I. It was amazing recognition of the work that we did. But more than anything, it was a megaphone for Alexei Navalny and his plight. The world heard the name Navalny last night. And, for me, that is the greatest prize.

LEMON: And they heard -- his wife was on stage last night. HARLOW: Oh, yes.

LEMON: Let's listen to her message.


YULIA NAVALNAYA, WIFE OF ALEXEI NAVALNY: My husband is in prison just for telling the truth. My husband is in prison just for defending democracy. Alexei, I am dreaming of the day when you will be free and our country will be free. Stay strong, my love.


LEMON: An important message coming from you, from the wife, but this is more than just about you, it's about the family and it's also about freedom and democracy. It's a big -- it's bigger than just that.

ROHER: You know, it's about a vision for what Russia can be. Right now, Russia is experiencing, you know, its darkest moment in the last 25 years with this brutal war in Ukraine. And what Alexei Navalny offers for millions and millions of people is a flickering light of hope. And I think that for his supporters, especially in Russia, you know, this win is meaningful for them. This win reminds the world that we have not forgotten about Alexei Navalny and that his plight is in the headlines. And that is extraordinarily meaningful.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: And, Daniel, what's remarkable about this, the Kremlin is already weighing in on what you have there, the fact that you won --

ROHER: What did they say?

COLLINS: The fact that you won this. We heard from Dmitry Peskov, who, as you know, is Putin's spokesperson.


COLLINS: He said - he was asked about it at a conference call with reporters. And he said, although I have not watched it, meaning the doc, he said, I dare to assume that there is a certain element of politicization of the topic here. Hollywood also sometimes does not shun the topic of politicization at its work.

What do you make of that comment from the Kremlin?

ROHER: You know, I'm not surprised to hear it. I actually think Peskov has seen it and I think he probably really liked it and he's obviously not allowed to say that. But, look, these are guys who lie and lie and lie. If they don't call it politicization, they'll call it, you know, a CIA project or it was financed by the State Department. This is what they do, they deflect and they make things up. So, I'm not surprised that they would try and write it off.

But, look, they can't write this off. This is the Academy Award for best feature documentary. That is a huge honor. And as I said earlier, a huge megaphone. So, while Dmitry Peskov and the Kremlin can try their best to minimize it and call it politicization, that's not what this is. This is recognition for - for filmmaking, for the work of my colleagues and I, and for Alexei Navalny's courage and bravery.

HARLOW: Do you still believe that Alexei Navalny may be president of Russia one day?

ROHER: You know, things seem dark right now, there's no doubt about that, but I think Alexei's core value, or one of his core orientation in life is towards optimism.



ROHER: And something that he asks of his supporters is to be optimistic. If we don't have optimism, what do we have? And so in the spirit of Alexei, I say, absolutely. There (INAUDIBLE) chance that he will survive this ordeal and have a big impact on the future of Russia and Russian politics.

HARLOW: Before you go, I just want to give a shout-out to one of our own, our CNN Films team here, led by Amy Entelis, Courtney Sexton. I mean this is -- I'm sure you were with them all night, but this is, you know, Amy and Courtney and that team bet on you guys. And what does it feel like for all of you?

COLLINS: And show us that trophy.

LEMON: Yes, how heavy is it?

ROHER: You know, a lot heavier than you'd think. It's extraordinary. The team at CNN Films believed in this project from day one. So many other studios and companies said to us, it sounds amazing, but we're just not interested in taking on the Kremlin. We're afraid of being hacked. We're afraid of what could possibly happen. We needed to find special partners who were unafraid to walk through the fire with us. And in CNN Films, and Amy Entelis and Courtney Sexton and Ryan Robinson and Alex Hannibal, that's exactly who we found. And from day one we were lockstep. And CNN, the entire organization, had the courage to pursue this. And that's why we're here. And so this is for all of them and for CNN Films and for all of our friends at CNN.

HARLOW: Yes, it takes courage to do great things and change the world.

ROHER: It does.

HARLOW: You guys all had it and we're grateful to you.

ROHER: Thank you guys so much.

COLLINS: Daniel Roher, thank you so much.

ROHER: Thank you.

LEMON: Thank you.

Daniel says that you can just wave that in Hollywood right now, probably and beyond, and just get -- it's like a magic wand.

ROHER: Pretty much.

LEMON: Can get into it any place.

COLLINS: All right, get some sleep, Daniel?

LEMON: Thank you.

COLLINS: Thank you so much.

LEMON: Congratulations.

ROHER: Thanks, guys.

COLLINS: And if you haven't seen it and you want to watch - I mean how could you not off of what you just heard there, it's the Academy Award winning film -- CNN Film "Navalny." It is streaming now on HBO Max.

All right, also this morning, we are tracking the major news happening here in the U.S., and it's having impacts around the world. A look at the stock futures this morning. The White House is closely watching these, I can tell you. How the markets are going to react any moment now to the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, which was shut down yesterday. The president is going to speak soon. We have new CNN reporting on what he's expected to say.

LEMON: And, guess what? It's time! Right? To fill in your March Madness brackets. So, is it possible, is it possible to pick a perfect match, a perfect -- whatever it's called.


HARLOW: Bracket!

LEMON: Bracket.

COLLINS: Oh, boy.

LEMON: I'm a little tired this morning. Harry Enten has more on this morning's number.

Oh, my. War you doing?

COLLINS: He's dribbling!

LEMON: Oh, my gosh.

COLLINS: Bring in a real basketball!



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) is ready to host the championship party. The conference's two signature basketball programs. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now it's up to the player to deliver your show.

This is Los Vegas.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tubelis (ph) drives (INAUDIBLE) scores.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's (INAUDIBLE) needs to do just -


LEMON: Nothing like the sound of the sneakers on that court, the hardwood.

The games will come down to the wire. And as you put together your March Madness bracket like -

HARLOW: Yours is empty.

LEMON: Yes, I'm -

COLLINS: Mine's filled out. It already has a winner on it.

LEMON: Humble bragging here. Like we're doing right now. At least they are. Did you do yours yet?

HARLOW: What do you think?


So, you're probably thinking, what are the odds of it being perfect, like me?

Harry Enten has this morning's number.

Is a perfect bracket possible?

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: Well, Don, this morning's number is one in nine quintillion. That is the chance of getting a perfect bracket if you pick randomly. So, very difficult. There are 18 zeros in that. I had to look that up.

But, of course, if you pick some skill -- with some skill, you have a 1 in 120 billion chance. So, perhaps a little bit better than the quintillion, but still one in 120 billion. Quite low odds.

I want to kind of put that into some perspective for you, right? What are the chance of some happy events happen. OK, one in 120 billion if you pick the perfect NCAA bracket. One in 300 million of winning the Mega Millions, which, of course, is complete chance. Or one in 650,000 for a royal poker flush. So, by far, the chance of a perfect NCAA bracket is the lowest. You have a better chance of playing the lottery and winning hundreds of millions if not a billion dollars that way.

And, has there ever been one? Well, the answer is, no, not that we know of. The closest ever was in 2019. There was a perfect through round two of six. So, that gives you an understanding. Very, very difficult. In 2022, there were no perfect brackets after round one. How long could it be until we get a perfect bracket? Could be hundreds if not thousands of years, guys.

COLLINS: Well, perfection is overrated. And people, despite that, are still clearly very hopeful because, Harry, a lot of people do fill out brackets.

ENTEN: A lot of people do. So, this gives you an understanding of how popular it is. There were 17.3 million brackets in 2022 that were filled out on alone. The winner, this gives you an understanding of how good you actually have to be, picked 50 of the 60 three games right. And that 17.3 million brackets filled out, compare that to the 16.6 million who watched the Oscars in 2022.

And the idea of filling out a bracket has become more and more popular, at least on Look at this. In 2007, there were just 3.3 million. That jumped up to 6.5 in 2012, 13.3 in 2017, and last year, look at that, 17.7 million. I wouldn't be surprised if coming up this year we get even 20 million and then millions more in other places, guys.

LEMON: What's bigger, a quintillion or a gazillion?

ENTEN: I think that my ego is a gazillion, while your ego's a quintillion. I'm not quite sure which is bigger, though. So, we can figure it out together.

HARLOW: Oh, snap.

COLLINS: We'll do a check on those after your brackets fail.

ENTEN: Thank you.

LEMON: I'm not even going there.

HARLOW: Thanks, Harry.

LEMON: Yes, thanks, Harry.

COLLINS: Thanks, Harry.

LEMON: See ya. Bye-bye.

COLLINS: All right, in a little less than an hour, we're going to start to get a sense of how investors are feeling about not one but two banks collapsing.


Markets open at 9:30. President Biden is also expected to address all of this soon. We're going to talk about what it means for you though. What it means for your money with no one better than "Shark Tank" judge Kevin O'Leary, Mr. Wonderful.


COLLINS: All right, you're looking at live pictures there. That's the Roosevelt Room of the White House, where any moment now President Biden is going to come through that door by the Oval Office and approach that lectern and talk about what we've all been talking about all morning, the collapse of SVB and the closing of a second bank yesterday.

Now, CNN is now getting new information about what President Biden plans to say in his remarks any moment now. MJ Lee, at the White House, says he is going to emphasize that the U.S. banking system is, quote, safe. We are also just a short time away from the opening bell of Wall Street, where we'll get the real reaction to what is going on. And that's when we'll get to start to see the sense of how investors are feeling about the federal government's handling after they stepped in, in an extraordinary way, when it comes to the nation's banking system.


That is after the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank on Friday, and the subsequent closing of Signature Bank just yesterday.

For more on this amazing events that have transpired over the last several days, I want to bring in "Shark Tank" judge Kevin O'Leary, who is the chairman of O'Leary Ventures, and is here to join us.

What are you hoping to hear from President Biden?

KEVIN O'LEARY, CHAIRMAN, O'LEARY VENTURES: Well, I think I know what he's going to say. I think - I don't think he'll say it in the way I'm suggesting. But what effectively happened over the weekend is that he nationalized the American banking system. It's no longer a risk. It's no longer private in any sense. It is now backstopped by the government, ultimately the taxpayer. So it doesn't matter how bad you are as a bank manager, and a good example is what happened to Silicon Valley Bank. Now, that was a combination of a negligent board of directors and idiot management. That's a very powerful cocktail when put together. And it completely wiped out that bank. And that's what should have happened. And we knew before the weekend started that every account with $250,000 or less was insured, and anything beyond that, which is generally business accounts, or sophisticated investors, was not. But that's all changed. Now you have no risk in any bank, any time, and you, as the taxpayer, bear that going forward.

LEMON: When we spoke on Friday, you said - I said, how big a deal is this, Kevin? And we were texting. And you said, next week the real trouble starts when they can't make payroll.

Now it looks like they will be making payroll, I would imagine. So, what do you think? Do you think that maybe the - you know, the pressure is off now, that things are going to go back to normal, or is there still more fallout here?

O'LEARY: No, they'll never go back to normal. Two things are going to happen. This quick move, this policy decision was to try and stop a run on small banks, mid-sized banks. I don't think long-term that's going to work because why would you take even 1 percent of risk keeping your money, or at least all of it, in a small, regional bank. You're going to diversify. And I think that's the first lesson that wasn't being adhered to is, when you have liquid assets, you want to make sure it's diversified. And the rule we've put in place for our powerful companies is no more than 20 percent in any one financial institution because you never know where the black swan is swimming. In other words, every single institution has an idiot manager, big ones, small ones, that's been proven by history. You just don't know where they are.

And that's the same for every sector of the economy. But the banking system is different. We have 11 sectors in our economy. The banking system, financial services, is one of them. But it services all other ten. So, what's really happening when the president steps out in a few moments is, he's basically saying, look, I can't take this risk anymore, I'm just going to nationalize the whole thing. And that's the way we should look at banking going forward, nothing more than highly regulated utilities. And that has profound impacts for you as an investor. If you thought putting your money into bank stocks was a good idea, you should change your mind this morning forever. And should you own bank bonds? Never. You were taught that lesson over the weekend. If you owned equity in Silicon Valley Bank, it's worthless. If you owned the bonds, it's worthless.

HARLOW: Yes, but - but, Kevin, I - Kevin, I think -

O'LEARY: So, who - go ahead.

HARLOW: Sorry to interrupt, Kevin, I just - I do want to push back on that because you've got to differentiate between the small and medium- sized banks that were given more lax requirements in that 2018 legislation and the big guys, because the big guys closed up on Friday and there's a flight to safety to JP Morgan, to Citigroup, et cetera.

O'LEARY: That doesn't mean they're -- you know, you should not assume that just because they're big they can't fail. Managers make mistakes all the time. It's your behavior --

HARLOW: No, but they are held to higher -- wait, wait, but they are held to stress test requirements, higher capital and liquidity requirements because of Dodd-Frank. That didn't get diminished for those big ones.

O'LEARY: And you should assume that stage is going to be lifted even higher on them, so they're going to be even more regulated as they become more concentrated and far less profitable. That's my point. This really does make you think about owning bank stocks long-term. I think they'll be underperforming the index for decades to come. That's my personal opinion.

But it's the behavior of you as an investor and the actual accounts. If you're a business, you can't put it all in one financial institution. Certainly everybody learned that lesson over the weekend. So, diversification is going to matter.

But this has fundamentally changed the way you should look at banking because I'm not really comfortable that all of a sudden we've de- risked everybody all of the time. It was a good idea to de-risk $250,000 and make more sophisticated investor think about their behavior and how they should put their capital to work. Get diversity. You don't have to do that anymore according to what the president's going to say. You have zero risk, and that has consequences.


There's no such thing as a free lunch, and this is going to be very expensive for shareholders of banks long-term.

LEMON: All right.

O'LEARY: I would never put my money into a bank's stock ever again.

LEMON: Oh -- Kevin O'Leary -- Kevin, always appreciate your perspective. We've got to run, because we're going to get to the president, he's going to speak soon, but we've got to get our quick break in.

Thank you very much. We'll see you soon. Good luck.

HARLOW: Thanks, Kevin.

O'LEARY: Take care.

LEMON: We'll be right back.



KE HUY QUAN, WINNER, BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: And somehow, I ended up here on Hollywood's biggest stage.

MICHELLE YEOH, WINNER, BEST ACTRESS: For all the little boys and girls who look like me watching tonight, this is a beacon of hope and possibilities.


This is proof that dreams -- dream big and dreams do come true.


LEMON: Amen.



HARLOW: Amazing moments all night last night at the Oscars. So meaningful, for everyone, and so representative of the talent of the Asian community. It was great to see. What a night.

So, thanks for being with us. A very busy morning.

LEMON: There's the podium.

HARLOW: Let's get straight to CNN "NEWSROOM" as the president prepares to speak on the Silicon Valley Bank collapse.