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First Move with Julia Chatterley
Israel Defense Forces Orders Mobilization of Reserves; JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon Weighs in on SVB's Collapse; One-on-One with JPMorgan's Jamie Dimon; Dimon: Banking Crisis Increases Chances of U.S. Recession; Supermarket CEO: Customers will see Food Prices Easing; Koepka, Hovland, Rahm Shared Lead after First Round. Aired 9:05-10a ET
Aired April 07, 2023 - 09:05:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN HOST, FIRST MOVE: Hello, I'm Julia Chatterley and you've been watching our continuing coverage of the escalating violence in
the Middle East. We will take you back to Israel for more later on in the show. For now, a belated welcome to "First Move" this Friday.
It's also Good Friday, for those of you around the world who are celebrating Easter and jobs data Friday here in the United States. And
that's where we begin the world's largest economy added 236,000 jobs last month absolutely in line with expectations. It is a slight cooling,
compared to recent months to what continues to be an incredibly resilient labor market in the face of rising interest rates.
Analysis on this report on what it will mean for the Federal Reserve just ahead. Also coming up a CNN exclusive JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon warns that
the recent banking crisis has raised the recession risk his wide ranging interview with our Poppy Harlow coming up shortly.
And in the meantime, of course, U.S. stock markets are closed for Good Friday. But across the Pacific in Asia, stocks broadly rose ahead of that
U.S. jobs report the South Korean KOSPI index boosted by a rise in Samsung stocks investors welcoming the firm's plans to cut chip production to help
preserve pricing power.
In the meantime, Japan's NIKKEI in the Shanghai market also in the green as you can see the HANG SENG also closed for the Good Friday holiday. No time
for a Friday feeling though today on "First Move" as ever and we begin with some jobs analysis.
Joining us now is Sinem Buber. She's the Lead Economist at ZipRecruiter, an online marketplace for job seekers and employers. Sinem, fantastic to have
you on the show! I mean, momentum is softening we can argue but this labor market continues to be incredibly strong. What was your take, first and
foremost on this report?
SINEM BUBER, LEAD ECONOMIST AT ZIPRECRUITER: I - the number. First reaction was I have never seen a jobs report more in line with expectations for the
last two years, then today's. Everything's on spot from wage growth softening further, almost getting in line with what the Federal Reserve
wants to see.
What they have in mind that aligns perfectly with their 2 percent long term target rate of inflation. We are seeing the strength in industries that we
were expecting its leisure and hospitality healthcare and government surprising the art contributing more than 70 percent of the job gains this
This is where we saw the big you know, there's still the strong demand for labor at our platform, at ZipRecruiter as well. So that was no surprising,
but the rest of the industries when we look at it, the weaknesses are where we were expecting us to interest rate sensitive industry, from
manufacturing to Information Services and Financial Services.
There is one more data point that I want to bring up. It's the temporary hub services under the professional business services. This small industry
lost some jobs and that's generally the leading indicator that tells us that we might see a further deceleration of job gains in the next coming
months as well.
And that's because employers are cutting costs to get themselves ready for a potential recession. So that's going to affect that behavior effects, the
professional and business services. Also, there's a big share of small businesses in that sector. So when we look at all the numbers from the
industry perspective to the wage grow, everything is in line with what the Fed wanted to see.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, status quo maintained, quite frankly, I couldn't agree with you more on this report. And the beauty of the data that you collect,
though at ZipRecruiter is you get a sense of online job openings, what businesses are doing to your point about preparing perhaps for an economic
slowdown and confidence among workers, because that's driven by even if you lose your job?
How quickly and how confident you are that you can find another? What is your data on that telling us at this moment?
BUBER: So from the job seekers perspective, they still have a lot of options. Yes, there is a big soften in there has been more than you know,
when we look at the jobs report and jobs data, the job offerings decrease significantly - below 10 million, but let's remember we had only 7 million
jobs before the pandemic.
So that is still way higher than what we had before the pandemic. So job seekers have still options, and that's what's driving the cost rate high
right now. And right now what they've tried to do is they're getting nervous. They're reading headlines about a potential recession. They're
getting nervous and they're still since they still have options.
They want to switch to jobs with higher job security with better stability and that's exactly why we're seeing the government number the public sector
you know inching up right now in employment gains for the last three months they added a significant number of jobs. And that's because people
reprioritize, the job security over the rich prop and flexible work options right now.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, if I were the Federal Reserve looking at this, and obviously, it will also depend on the inflation data that we get towards
the next meeting as well. But I don't see a reason not to hike a further quarter of a percentage point. Just purely looking at this data point,
would you agree or do you differ?
BUBER: You're absolutely right. If this data point, which is not the situation, if this data point is only the only decision maker for the
Federal Reserve right now? They're definitely getting the softening in the wage growth, which is their biggest concern right now.
And that will not have that will not put extra pressure on the inflation side. So if we are to look at just this data, Fed should have a peace of
mind but having said that, this is on the one piece of the puzzle for the Federal Reserve.
CHATTERLEY: Do you think we could see a situation though, where, and you sort of touched upon this earlier as well, that firms are less reluctant
sorry more reluctant to let workers go into this slowdown because of wage cost pressures, because they know it's still challenging to find the right
people that we could have a situation where we have an economic slowdown, the Fed finishes raising rates, but actually we have a lower unemployment
rate than was perhaps anticipated a year ago.
BUBER: Absolutely. So unemployment rate was a surprising number in today's report for me, because what we have seen in the unemployment insurance data
in yesterday's report, it was a big upside revision to the prior week. And the number for this week was higher than the expectations.
So I was expecting to see a higher number on employment growth but that's not happening right now. All the, you know, new workers that are coming
into the workforce, I absorbed by the employment rates, industries are still hiring. That's why we're not seeing it, you know, beat trend and
unemployment rate right now.
And yes, that is good news for the Federal Reserve, maybe they can get close to their, you know, 2 percent inflation target rate without causing
too much pain on the labor market.
CHATTERLEY: I want to talk about a topic now that's tied, but a little different ChatGPT, because I know you also survey workers on their
expectations and concerns about the use of ChatGPT by employers. Do you also have a sense of how employers are reacting particularly when potential
workers respond and whether or not they're using this kind of technology to respond to job applications? What can you tell me?
BUBER: Yes, ChatGPT is one of the trending topics in the job seekers, right now. We are as you mentioned, we have a survey, we survey the job seekers
and asking them about their concerns and their confidence how they're feeling about the job market.
But on the recent question, we asked if they're concerned about their job prospects, given the wide use of the ChatGPT and 62 percent of the job
seeker said yes, they think the ChatGPT might replace the jobs that they're applying for. However, that's not what's going on the employer site.
Right now, we have seen new job postings coming up and asking for people to use the ChatGPT to create prompts to create content. So the ChatGPT usage
is going to be important for the employers when they're hiring from --, there new jobs called prompt engineering where the employers want people to
use their technical skills along with the ChatGPT to make the processes more efficient. So there will be more jobs created because of ChatGPT.
CHATTERLEY: Interesting. So actually, employers want people who are savvy and ChatGPT now to actually try and use their skills in order to keep up.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, it's fascinating, isn't it? Sinem, great to chat to you thank you so much.
BUBER: Thank you.
CHATTERLEY: Sinem Buber there, the Lead Economist at ZipRecruiter. OK, straight ahead a CNN exclusive with the CEO of JPMorgan Chase. Why he says
some banks should be allowed to fail. And later we're on an excellent adventure with the boss of supermarket Stew Leonard's. He always goes rogue
I can't wait to find out what's cooking this Easter and more. Stay with us.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to "First Move", as you've heard new signs today of a gradual, very gradual cooling in the U.S. labor market. The economy
added 236,000 jobs net last month amid the Federal Reserve's year-long campaign of raising interest rates to tame inflation.
And of course, too, we continue to watch for signs of how recent woes in the banking sector in the U.S. have spilled over into the jobs market and
the broader economy. Who better to ask than the CEO of the biggest bank in America?
JP Morgan was one of the banks providing liquidity in recent weeks to embattled first Western Bank and helping bolster confidence in the entire
system. Well, my colleague Poppy Harlow asked him if the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank could have been avoided.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: What we do know is that regulators told Silicon Valley Bank, at least six times, you've got a problem and you have
vulnerabilities, you need to fix them because of a law change a few years ago, they didn't have to fix them. They didn't - it was just a
recommendation. They didn't fix those vulnerabilities.
JAMIE DIMON, CEO AT JPMORGAN CHASE: I don't think it had anything to do with the law change.
DIMON: They should have fixed it. The regulators should have forced it.
HARLOW: Yes. So let me ask you this question, because you - the regulators can't force it, should the public know when banks like that are warned
multiple times? Or is the risk too great, that then there's a run on the bank, if you wave a flag and say this bank has an issue?
DIMON: Yes, so you may know more than I do about it, because I didn't read all those mandatory reports.
HARLOW: I doubt that.
DIMON: But my view is the regulators could have forced it. If my regulators called me up and said we do not like X and you have to change it, I would
HARLOW: You would--
DIMON: There were no law change that made that not possible.
HARLOW: There was a 2021 regulation change that would say that this was just guidance. So you're saying it should be forced--
DIMON: No, it wasn't just guidance.
DIMON: I have just guidance too, but when they told me I have to do it.
HARLOW: You do it.
DIMON: I'm going to do it. Yes.
HARLOW: So let's talk about regulation. You say better regulation would not have prevented--
DIMON: No, no, it would have.
HARLOW: --it would have. So what's better?
DIMON: I think, again there we have liquidity discount windows. We have mortgage laws. We've got capital laws. We've got TLAC laws. We've got how
you can use the discount window. There are hundred rules. I'm saying thoughtfully adjust the mix of how you do those. Make a bit of changes.
If you have uninsured deposits whether that means held to maturity, should you have debt issued, should supervisors force something or not
statutorily, not voluntarily--
DIMON: And yes, I think you can make a lot of changes and improve the system. But that's always true in any system. I've never seen them not be
HARLOW: You write in your annual letter about what you call your word wack- a-mole. You seem to like that word and politically motivated responses to the banking crisis. Like what?
DIMON: Yes. Well no, I think very often when it comes to regulations you have this is the problem. They try to fix that but it often has unintended
consequences. If you want healthy regional banks, community banks, you should also listen to them about what excess cost does to their ability to
You know what extra high-cost debt does to it, and have a thoughtful conversation about, what are the things we can do to make it easier for you
and make the system safer?
I believe that that's doable. It's not doable without the conversation and without the analysis.
HARLOW: I was reading back some things you said in 2008 and this was in the middle of a crisis you just acquired Bear Stearns in a fire-sale trying to
stabilize the banking system. And then you said, if you don't worry in this business, you're crazy. What are you most worried about right now in this
DIMON: Two things? Well, I think all this quantitative tightening, the effect that has on long term rates, inflation higher for longer, that's
kind of the tide going out. So even when Bear Stearns went down, you think other people have seen that and said, I have too much leverage, too much
mortgage debt, too much this and made some changes.
Lehman went down six months later; I think they might have been able to fix that in the meantime. So that's a little bit of a warning to people, but I
think this war in Ukraine. Or I think that is changing everything we think about the world, how we should think about safety and security, even around
food, energy, it's changing economic relationships.
It's roiling the relationship with U.S. and China. That is the most important thing. I mean, if you want to have a free and Democratic Western
world and an American century in the next hundred centuries, that's what we got to focus on.
HARLOW: You said last year on that front, the autocratic world thinks that the Western world is a little lazy and incompetent and there's a little bit
of truth to that. Is that still how you see it?
DIMON: Yes, I think you know, I think we do a lot of things. And first of all, we're in great position. So you know, for the American public, we have
food, water, energy with most prosperous nation the world's ever seen. That's still true, the most innovative, just go to Atlanta go to it.
Not some people that just Silicon Valley, but it's an Atlanta, too, it's in New York, it's in Brooklyn, it's all over the place, we have the high GDP
per person is $70,000, plus, China's is 15,000. They import 10 million barrels of oil a day. They don't have the Atlantic and the Pacific.
They have a very complicated neighborhood, you know, they're aiming their neighbors, who are all starting to rearm, we've got a great hand. On the
other hand, we haven't done a particularly good job taking care of our lower paid citizens or inner-city schools, immigration, taxation and I
think people should pay their taxes.
Litigation, which you know, it costs 1 percent of GDP. And if it was, if it created more fairness in life, I'd say it was good, but it's capricious,
arbitrary, slow. You know, and so I can go on and on about mortgages afford you already heard about affordable housing. You know, we all agree with
But very often, the problem with affordable housing isn't capital, its local zoning laws. So if America just got up its own way, I think we go up
3 percent a year.
HARLOW: Are you worried about how close Iran, Russia and China are to one another right now and are getting to one another? Do you think about that,
you're a student of history?
DIMON: Yes, I mean, if you were going to ally with the Western world, America and Europe, Western world, or you're going to ally with Iran, and
Russia, I mean, please, am I worried? Not really.
HARLOW: That doesn't worry you?
HARLOW: It worries some of our top generals.
DIMON: OK. You said military? Yes, you should worry about geopolitics. But I just told you what a great hand America has. Same with kind of Europe
what we should be doing is making sure we're the allies, not just militarily, but economically, strategically, diplomacy, development,
finance, you know, agree - have the rest of the world want to join us. So if you're India, would you rather be part of that group or a part of the
HARLOW: Are we doing enough to entice?
DIMON: No, not enough. No, I think, you know, Bob Gates in his book I've probably called the Symphony of Power or something like that said, the
symphony includes diplomacy, development, finance, having business involved in helping develop, you know, Africa, Latin America, parts of Asia.
I think we could do a far better job coordinating that as a policy. I think, by the way, the administration thinks that too and the other thing,
but you can't take trade off the table. So the first thing we do is we take trade off the table right from the start.
You know trade may be the most important thing for these countries. And while there are legitimate complaints about trade, we can do it better, we
can do it right and we should be very thoughtful about it.
HARLOW: Should the FDIC insure more than $250,000, because I think a lot of people feel right now after what we've seen that every deposit is just
insured with no ceiling?
DIMON: You know I think probably but it goes back to my thing about regulations. If you do this, you don't need to do that. If you do this, you
don't need to do that. If you do them both, you can hurt. So just be very thoughtful. We're probably we should raise the deposit insurance.
HARLOW: To what?
DIMON: I don't know yet. I mean, again, you got to do the analysis on that.
HARLOW: What about--
DIMON: But I think that would help community banks.
HARLOW: It would help raise it. OK, so final question on that. Should the banks like yours, the big guys with the most assets that have an implicit
guarantee that you're essentially not going to fail, pay a higher percentage into deposit insurance?
DIMON: Oh, God, I don't know.
DIMON: I'll leave that to everybody else.
HARLOW: You have no opinion on that?
HARLOW: If you guys should pay more into it.
DIMON: If we were too big to fail, by the way our bonds wouldn't trade the way they trade. Just so you know, and you were and the markets said so.
HARLOW: OK, talk about the economy. You wrote a lot about this in your annual letter. Has this banking crisis even though you think it's almost
over which I'm really glad to hear, though increase chances of a recession here?
DIMON: Yes. But I look at like, it's not definitive. It's just like another weight on the scale.
DIMON: And think of it as you know, people who says like raising rates, another 50 basis points or something like that.
We are seeing people reduce lending a little bit, cut back a little bit, pull back a little bit. It won't necessarily force recession, but it is
CHATTERLEY: A wide ranging conversation there and more from Jamie Dimon coming up and the rising risk of recession here in the United States after
this. Stay with us.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to "First Move"! And returning to one of our top stories today the Israeli Defense Forces ordering the mobilization of some
of its reserve forces after a night of Israeli airstrikes against targets in Gaza and Southern Lebanon Israel says it struck Hamas targets in
response to a barrage of rockets fired into Israeli territory on Thursday.
In these images from Gaza, you can see damage to buildings and cars. The Palestinian Ministry of Health says a Children's Hospital was damaged.
Hadas Gold joins us now from the Israel-Lebanon border. Hadas, good to have you with us! What more do we know about the impact of this rocket fire and
how is the situation presently?
HADAS GOLD, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: Well, I mean, the rocket fire, of course is not happening in a vacuum. And it was in direct response to the
events of this week in the old City of Jerusalem at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which in the span of 24 hours sought to Israeli police raids against what
they say were Palestinians who were barricaded themselves inside and firing off things like fireworks and stones.
But those raids were rather violent and the more than 350 people were arrested. And so not only did we see rockets being fired from Gaza into
Israel, but then this new escalation from up here where I am you can actually see the Lebanon-Israel border just behind me on this hill.
And it was from over that hill that raw more than a dozen rockets. Dozens of rockets were fired from Southern Lebanon in to Northwest Israel, the
largest barrage that Israel has seen in decades since really the 2006 war and then earlier in the early hours of this morning the Israeli military
striking Southern Lebanon.
But these strikes were very specifically targeted, according to the Israeli military two Palestinian militant groups and Lebanese security source
telling CNN that these targets were really sort of open areas where weapons were being stored and held by militants.
And it is interesting to hear the Israeli authorities being very careful not to talk about how they are targeting Hezbollah? And that's because a
direct confrontation with Hezbollah, the Iranian backed militant group that controls Southern Lebanon that could very easily devolve into a major war,
which would end up being likely thousands of casualties potentially on both sides.
And I think that's why we saw these limited strikes in Southern Lebanon. And most of the action has been in Gaza, because Israel is directly placing
the blame on these rocket fires on Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups. So overnight, there were Israeli military airstrikes in Gaza
targeting what they say where Hamas targets like tunnels and weapons, manufacturing sites, militants there responding with more than 40 rockets
There has been material damage on both sides as you note it, but there has been no injuries actually reported within the last few hours. There were
some injuries from the barrage of rockets fired from Southern Lebanon into Israel yesterday, but otherwise there have been no injuries yet.
And although there was one instance of mortar fire in the last two hours being fired from Gaza towards Israel, it has right now been relatively calm
on both the Gaza front and the Lebanese Front.
But that's not what's been happening in the occupied West Bank were two Israeli sisters officials there saying they around the ages of 15 and 20
were shot and killed alongside their mother who was critically injured and one Israeli police are saying was a Palestinian shooting attack.
And the suspect or suspects in that case, managed to escape Israeli authorities saying they are currently on the lookout for them. It just goes
to show you how there are so many fronts going on right now. And while things have been still tense and calm, as you noted, reservists have been
And the airspace here in Northern Israel is still close to civilian aircraft. So while there hasn't been necessarily major action in the last
few hours, there still very much a sense that things could easily change by the minute Julia.
CHATTERLEY: Speaking at that Hadas what about activity at the Al Aqsa Mosque and the implications for Friday prayers?
GOLD: So Friday prayers, you know, the main midday Friday prayers, as far as we know, they passed pretty peacefully, although there was a
demonstration by Palestinians in the main part of the compound where they raise things like Hamas flags, and chanted slogans and things like that.
But as far as we understand tens of thousands at least 100,000 people went to the compound today for Friday prayers, they passed rather peacefully.
And I think that is also a main place to look because if things kick off at Al-Aqsa once again then I think we will start to see another escalation
because for much of the Muslim world, and especially for these militant groups, they will say clearly for them anything at Al-Aqsa is a red line.
CHATTERLEY: We'll continue to watch it very closely. Hadas great to have you with us thank you! Hadas Gold there near the Israel Lebanon border! OK,
it is I'm just looking at the clock 9:33 obviously, Wall Street is closed to observe the Good Friday Holiday.
But we have had of course, the March jobs report released just around an hour ago by the U.S. Labor Department. The economy creating 236,000 jobs
net last month that was broadly in line with expectations though, it is lower than Friday at February's number hiring remains strong in the U.S.
economy that's the bottom line.
The unemployment rate even dropping to 3.5 percent the U.S. labor market has been incredibly resilient despite and in the face of rising interest
rates from the Federal Reserve. This is also the last jobs report before the next Federal Reserve meeting in early May.
And a new warning about the rising risk of recession in the United States. Jamie Dimon CEO of JPMorgan Chase spoke to my colleague Poppy Harlow and
said the recent volatility in the banking sector may have consequences?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: Has this banking crisis even though you think it's almost over which I'm really glad to hear, though increased chances of a recession
DIMON: Yes. But I look at like it's not definitive. It's just like another weight on the scale. And think of it as you know people who says like
raising rates another 50 basis points or something like that. We are seeing people reduced landing a little bit cut back a little bit pull back a
little bit. It won't necessarily force recession, but it is recessionary
HARLOW: Storm clouds ahead you say maybe some the economy?
DIMON: Yes, like I mentioned the QT higher inflation for longer the war. Those are pretty strong things. If you look at history since World War II,
we've not kind of faced it like that. It's still early in that we're going for longer. We don't really know the outcome of QT. I think we'll be right
about QE and QT for 50 years.
HARLOW: Quantitative timing - made them easy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHATTERLEY: I'm going talk more in depth about the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and beyond, listen now to what else he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DIMON: Hide in plain sight. Everyone knew about uninsured deposits. Everyone knew about it straight exposure. Everyone knew about held to
maturity portfolios. The only difference the only real difference was we called concentrated clients.
So Silicon Valley Bank had a handful of people controlled 35,000 corporate accounts, and they just left you know, $140 billion or something over the
course, of course of two days. That's not happening in other regional banks. They don't have that issue. What do they have all these other issues
so there's only a handful that much of upsides.
HARLOW: OK. Talk about the economy. You wrote a lot about this and your annual letter. Has this banking crisis, even though you think it's almost
over, which I'm really glad to hear, though increased chances of recession here?
DIMON: Yes. But I look at like, it's not definitive. It's just like another weight on the scale. You can think of it as you know, people who say it's
like raising rates of the 50 basis points or something like that. We are seeing people reduced lending a little bit cut back a little bit, pull back
a little bit. It won't necessarily force recession, but it is recessionary.
HARLOW: Storm clouds ahead you say maybe some for the economy?
DIMON: Yes. Like I mentioned the QT higher inflation for longer, the war, those are pretty strong things. If you look at history, since World War II,
we've not kind of faced it like that. It's still early in that that we're going for longer. We don't really know the outcome of QT. I think we'll be
writing about QE and QT for 50 years.
HARLOW: Quantitative tightening and quantitative easing. OK, but we can't just focus on the risk because you even write, if you do that it cloud your
HARLOW: Do you see a lot of positives in this economy? I mean, you talk about America's GDP, you think being more than 2 X in 20 years, what's
ahead, that is good?
DIMON: We're going to have whatever we go to the next couple of years, America in almost every 10 year period, going back all through history is
much better 10 years later than it was before. That includes 1948 and 1950 that includes 1930 to 1940.
And so the health of America is the strength of its peoples human capital is brain power, its capability is capital markets. We have the widest,
deepest, most transparent capital market worlds ever seen.
And that includes venture capital, private equity, media. We've got open media, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of enterprise, but
the most important that is freedom of people to do what they want. Like if you're starting to use so there's two wonderful ladies going through this
DIMON: It's that - that is at the heart of America. And that's still there, that has not gone away. And we should applaud it. I mean, we should sing I
wrote my letter I talk about all those stuff we do to help society and communities philanthropies and DI.
I said, bless my shoulder forget, I'm a red blooded, full throated, free market, free enterprise capitalist. OK, we should applaud free enterprise.
We should sync from the hills the benefits while we fix the negatives, as opposed to denigrate the whole thing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHATTERLEY: So let's talk about more good things. Coming up on "First Move", an Easter Extravaganza we talk to the Barstow Grocery Trading Stew
Leonard's there he is about finding bargains and giving back that's next stay with CNN.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to "First Move"! We're heading into a heavy weekend for all the foodies out there with the holidays of both Easter and
Passover taking place at the same time. Countless consumers will be snapping up produce to make feasts for their families. But how is food
inflation post COVID changes and tightening budgets changing the dynamic this year?
Well, it wouldn't be a holiday without us asking Stew Leonard's and Stew Leonard's Jr., the CEO and President of Stew Leonard's joins us now. Stew,
it truly wouldn't be a holiday without you. Happy almost Easter! What's cooking?
STEW LEONARD'S JR., CEO AND PRESIDENT OF STEW LEONARD'S: Well, thank you. What's cooking? That's a good question. Well, you know, this week, we have
Passover and Easter together to have Passover and Easter.
Well, you know, you're just seeing your hands, your lamb, rib roast really big, the beef briskets are huge. And you know, surprisingly, you think egg
sales would go up dramatically, but they only go up about 10 percent at Easter right now.
CHATTERLEY: I tell you what else we're seeing. We're seeing the Easter Bunny over your left shoulder and chicken they - to do with you, aren't
they? They're not just - oh my goodness, here we go.
LEONARD'S JR.: We got our characters welcome to the store right now. But you know what you're seeing Julia, I think I heard your guests there
earlier talk about inflation. But no, a lot of this still is a little bit of baked in costs that have increased like labor and packaging.
We're hearing that from all our suppliers right now. Fuel costs, now you notice are going up? Those are things that just get baked into the cost.
But you also have a lot of supply and demand issues right now like eggs, for example. You know, everybody's seen a big spike in eggs over the
And right now they're starting to come down because there was like a flu that affected the chicken flocks, like a coat - they had their own COVID,
which has now passed and we're seeing egg prices drop dramatically right now. They should be lower even this summer.
CHATTERLEY: Wow! OK. Just put a comparison, if you can for us on some of the basics, like chicken like beef, like eggs compared to this time last
LEONARD'S JR.: Well, you know, first of all, we've held our egg prices, you know, stable at 399 a dozen over the years, but they went you know, most
stores had gone up quite a bit over the holidays almost doubled that up. But we're back at normal prices right now that we've held on that, you
know, what's the challenge for retailers now is trying to keep value for the customers during these inflationary times.
You know, we have a family business, and we're just working really tight right now with our suppliers. You know, we're resisting any cost increases,
but they all have labor increases, and they have fuel increases and packaging costs have gone up, but corn prices have come down right now.
You're seeing meat prices take a little bit of a spike right now. But, you know, overall, there's a lot of supply and demand issues out there. But I
think customers can see some easing coming in the future for food prices.
CHATTERLEY: Well, that's a good - that's a good message. What about frozen foods? I think we all ate a lot of frozen foods during the pandemic. How
has that behavior changed or not in the last sort of six to six to 12 months in particular because we can see lots of fresh produce behind you?
LEONARD'S JR.: Yes, well, there's a lot of thresh but you're right, frozen people - like I even talked to a guy in our local town who had an appliance
store and he said those freezer chests went way up and sales during COVID. So people got used to buying steaks they got used to buying pizzas, they
stocked up on vegetables.
They put a lot more product in the freezer right now. And by the way, that's a good way to save money right now is look for specials out there
that all supermarkets across the country offer take advantage of those app yields right now.
I mean, right now our - rib roast price went up like a couple of bucks. But if you go to and use our app you save $2 a pound on it. So it'll actually
be lower than last year. So look for app deals try to go with your private labels if you can is usually some real savings right there.
The other thing that's really important stay away from our demo at Stew Leonard's you know, because we're trying to get you to put another item in
that cart which--
LEONARD'S JR.: You know--
CHATTERLEY: But don't eat too much.
LEONARD'S JR.: You will always find Julia, our store traffic's tough, but people are putting one less item in their shopping cart. So we're feeling
that from a sales standpoint a little bit. So people are buying what they need and not what they want.
Now, they used to pay something at the demo and throw it right in their car. And now they're starting to think about it a little bit more. So we
can tell the customers out there they're excited our catering sales are up people are out there having celebrations with their family, but they are
more conscious of their wallets and purses right now.
CHATTERLEY: I tell you what? I do you see behind your - I don't see behind you is Plexiglas. So at least people when they are putting it in the
basket, I'm banging their heads against that. And I believe buffets are back.
LEONARD'S JR.: Yes, that's what we're finding right now. We're sort of unwinding COVID a little bit. Plexiglas, we're taking a lot of that down,
it used to be could hardly hear the person on the other side, because we had big Plexiglas windows up at the daily counter and the cashiers and so
We're taking a lot of that down right now. And also the buffets are out, people are much more comfortable. You got to be very conscious of
cleanliness and sanitation. But they're much more comfortable buying food like that.
The one thing I don't think will ever go away is the containers of wipes and hand sanitizer that we have around the store. People are still using
that. And that sort of something just to keep your hands cleaner and they're realizing the value of that right now.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, we like clean hands. So keeping those I'm keeping that right, there is a good thing to do. Stew if you don't mind, I want to talk
to you about something very personal. And it is about turning something that I know was deeply painful for you and your wife and your family and
turning it into something incredibly positive.
You lost a child to a drowning incident, a young son, and I believe you're now two months away from opening a swim school "Stew the Duck" swim school
to provide swim lessons for children six months to 18 years. Talk to me about the importance of this moment, and what it means to you and your
LEONARD'S JR.: You know it's especially important right now as the pools are starting to get open; you notice how warm it is. And unfortunately, my
wife and I lost our son who was floating face down in the pool when I found him. He just snuck away from us.
We don't even know how it happened and how quickly it happened? I just would like to let all your listeners know it's so important to get your
kids swim lessons right now. I was just talking to Charlie who heads up - up here, the 16 month old.
He's starting swim lessons now, but it's not swim lessons. My wife and I want to teach kids to float. They can roll over on their back and float
right now. And so what we're doing we're starting this swim school we're donating hundred percent of the profits back to help the needy and
underprivileged inner city kids that can't afford a swim lesson.
And we're hoping we're providing 10,000 free lessons now through our foundation. We're hoping to do another 10,000. And Julia, if you don't mind
me just mentioning, if anybody out there wants to go to our website @stewtheduck.org they can get some good safety tips, but they can also have
an opportunity to donate $5 a month.
And if they do that, I'll match it. And the $10 will provide one beautiful child an opportunity to get a free swim lesson. And we would like to turn
this tragedy that my wife and I suffered hopefully that it won't happen to anybody else and our mission at the swim school is save a life one lesson
at a time.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, I'm glad you mentioned that--
LEONARD'S JR.: That's my dream. I'm so excited for this school to open in Connecticut in a couple of months.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, we - Stew, where is the Easter Bunny should be somewhere near?
LEONARD'S JR.: I don't know. Hey, Easter Bunny come on over. What are you doing? Dancing around the customers right now we got to get him. I don't
CHATTERLEY: I just wanted to give you a hug because I can't hug.
LEONARD'S JR.: I will give the bunny a hug for you. But you know, overall right now you know we feel pretty positive about food prices you know here
at Stew Leonard's and we're working as close as we can to keep the prices down as much as we can.
You know, we understand it's difficult for a lot of customers out there. And, you know, we're hoping to see a little bit of relief coming forward
right. Here we go.
CHATTERLEY: Oh, there we go.
LEONARD'S JR.: Say hi Julia.
CHATTERLEY: I want to give you a hug? Yes.
LEONARD'S JR.: Hey, Happy Easter! Happy Passover!
CHATTERLEY: Thank you for what you're doing. Teach your children to float. I know important message.
LEONARD'S JR.: Yes, thank you Julia. Bye! Bye!
CHATTERLEY: The CEO and President of Stew Leonard's there and the Easter Bunny, and a big chick. Thank you. All right still to come here on "First
Move" from groceries to golf, the Masters is underway in Augusta, Georgia. We'll check the leader board and see how five times champion Tiger Woods is
fairing, is next.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to "First Move"! And over to Augusta, Georgia now where the second round of the Masters is underway. Right now American
Brooks Cooper has the lead with eight under par. He's already into his second round. Let's bring in Don Riddell that's my reading. We have to talk
about Tiger never mind everybody else. I've got my fingers crossed for him. How's he doing?
DON RIDDELL, CNN WORLD SPORTS: Yes, not great Julia to be honest. He really struggled during his opening round on Thursday, three bogeys on the front
nine he ended up with five in total. He made three birdies, including back to back birds on his second nine which gave his supporters a glimmer of
hope but in the end to overpass score is not at all what he was hoping for.
He struggled in particular with his iron clay, and he's given himself a bit of a mountain to climb today. Woods hasn't missed the cut here at Augusta
since the mid-90s. But he's got a lot of work to do if he's going to be sticking around for this weekend.
So that's a shame to see because of course Tiger Woods is such a huge draw, but his playing partners perform much better notably, the Norwegian Viktor
Hovland and this guy was hard to miss. It wasn't just the azaleas that are in full bloom here at Augusta this spring.
It was also the world's number nine from Norway. He was brilliant. He made an eagle on his second hole, never looked back from there. He ended the day
on seven underpass are a brilliant score from him.
You can probably tell by the shirt he was wearing that he doesn't take himself too seriously. He's lucky that he didn't have pollinators following
him around throughout his 18 holes. And he and Tiger Woods will be back out on the course in pretty much about three hours' time.
And of course, they're going to have to contend with the golf course but also the weather. The sun is shining right now but Julia we're expecting a
lot of rain in the next couple of days and that's really going to shake things up.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, get the umbrellas out. Is he forced to wear that shirt Don? Is that the sponsors that make him do that or does he choose because
he would camouflage with a bunch of flowers?
RIDDELL: Yes, I mean, there were times where we lost him on a man corner like. He said he was given the shirt. And we know he's kind of dressed a
bit like this before. He wore pink pants previously--
CHATTERLEY: I remember.
RIDDELL: --as you were saying your opinion, and he said, well, yes, sure it was better than that.
CHATTERLEY: Given them a likely story. Don, great to have you with us thank you! Don Riddell there in Augusta thank you! OK, and just in to CNN, the
Vatican says Pope Francis will not participate in the way of the cross, a traditional devotion on Good Friday.
The last minute changes because of an unusually cold weather in Rome. Now while it's uncommon for Pope Francis to pull out of the ceremony, he is of
course still recovering from bronchitis. The Vatican says the Pope will be united in prayer with everyone at the event. And that's it for this show.
"Connect the World" is up next. Happy weekend and we'll see you next week.