Zuckerman: 'We Don't Know How to Cure' Economy

Friday, 01 Jun 2012 09:32 AM

By Greg McDonald

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Media mogul and investor Mort Zuckerman said Thursday there may be no cure at the moment for the nation’s economic problems, suggesting that things may get much worse before they get better.
Asked in an interview Thursday by Fox News’ Neil Cavuto to “bottom line” the state of the American economy, Zuckerman ticked off a list of “bad” indicators.
“The employment is bad. The housing numbers are bad. Consumer confidence is bad. Consumer sales are bad,” he said.
“When I say bad, it’s not as bad as they are Europe, but they are weak and this is something that feeds on itself,” Zuckerman said, adding the U.S. economy should be growing at a “6 percent to 8 percent” rate but “is not even growing at 2 percent.”
“So something is fundamentally wrong,” he continued. “We do not know exactly what it is. It has never happened before. We don’t know how to cure it.”
Zuckerman, a real estate investor who owns the New York Daily News and U.S. News and World Report, painted an even worse picture of the eurozone crisis, where some of Europe’s largest economies are teetering on the brink of collapse and the survival of the European Union is threatened.
He said he’s worried that Greece may default on its bailout debts and split from the euro currency union, which has been held in place so far by a strong German economy and a government that has been willing up until now to extend loans to help its neighbors. 
“The worst that would happen is that there would be contagion; it would spread to Spain, it would spread to Italy,” Zuckerman said.
Both Spain and Italy are facing default as well and could also leave the European Union.
Asked about the possibility of a ripple effect on the U.S. economy, Zuckerman said, “I don’t think we are vulnerable on the financial side the way Europe is.”
But he said there would be a “direct effect” on confidence in the U.S. economy “because people will wonder, ‘Where is this going?’”
“Nobody knows where this is going.” Zuckerman added. “The only predictable thing about it is that it is unpredictable. We have never been into anything like this.”

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