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Big lie “big rip-off”
Jun 13, 2022
Episode 692

Big lie “big rip-off”

And more findings from the Jan. 6 committee.

It’s Day 2 of the Jan. 6 hearings, and we’re learning more about the money involved in perpetuating false election claims. On Monday, the panel said the Trump campaign raised $250 million from donors who believed their money was going to investigate potential voter fraud. “The big lie was also a big rip-off,” Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California said. We’ll explain where the money really went. Plus, the markets are getting clobbered. How should the Federal Reserve react? And a fun fact we learned that’ll impress your friends the next time you pop champagne. Cheers!

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Got a question or comment for us? Email us at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a voice message at (508) 827-6278 or (508) U-B-SMART.

Make Me Smart June 13, 2022 transcript


Note: Marketplace podcasts are meant to be heard, with emphasis, tone and audio elements a transcript can’t capture. Transcripts are generated using a combination of automated software and human transcribers, and may contain errors. Please check the corresponding audio before quoting it.


Kai Ryssdal: I don’t know where. Hello! Everybody Kai Ryssdal, welcome back to Make Me Smart, where we make the day make sense whether we’re ready or not. I guess we’re ready.


Kimberly Adams: Yeah, I guess. Alright I’m Kimberly Adams. And thank you for joining us on this Monday, we’re gonna do some news and then share a couple of Make Me Smile. Let’s start with the news fix. I will go first because I’m talking about the same thing I’ve been talking about, and I’m probably going to keep talking about, which is the January 6 hearings. They had the second one today, not in primetime. It was during the daytime, shorter, I think, by a little bit, was it?


Kai Ryssdal: By a little bit, yeah.


Kimberly Adams: It felt shorter. Um, again, it was sort of packaging up some things that we knew, but also new information about, you know, the fact that people told Trump, just about everybody in his circle over and over and over and over and over again, that he did not win the election, that there was no fraud. They investigated all these claims, and there just wasn’t anything there. And so he went and found people that Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell to make this point for him. And apparently, according to some of the testimony, you know, when Rudy Giuliani convinced him to say that he won the election, on election night, even though he lost, Giuliani was intoxicated.


Kai Ryssdal: Yep.


Kimberly Adams: The other thing that was really noticeable about today is the emphasis on the fundraising. And you and I talked about this after the election, I think, and I still subscribe to all of the text messages from the Trump campaign. And from up until now, they are fundraising off of all of this stuff. And this money, particularly from small dollar donors, the committee said that they raised something like $250 million off of this stolen election narrative, that people who were supporters of the former president thought was going to be used on election integrity or to investigate potential fraud, when really it seems to be just lying in the pockets of Trump and his associates. And, you know, when we get down the road to whether or not there are going to be charges of a crime, this is probably going to be very key for that.


Kai Ryssdal: Yeah, I think to that last point about the fundraising and where the dollars went, so Zoe Lofgren said on CNN this afternoon. So part of the testimony today was that Kimberly Guilfoyle, or part of the testimony really so far, is that Kimberly Guilfoyle, the girlfriend of Donald Trump, Jr., got $60,000 for that 10 minute speech, introducing him on January 6. And Zoe Lofgren said today, it was a grift. The whole thing was just a grift. Which is tough to argue, tough to argue, but they are fundraising to beat the band. Yeah, I think the committee is doing a really good job. I’m impressed with the discipline. I’m impressed with the degree to which they have been able to hold their fire and roll it out in a concerted way, as opposed to leaking all over the place, which is what Washington usually does. And I’m impressed with the evidence. So, I’m curious to see where the Wednesday hearing goes, you know?


Kimberly Adams: Yeah. And I’ll be curious to see how long the attention can be sustained. There’s a lot of other stuff going on. I mean, even just today, we were sort of on pins and needles, because there were Supreme Court rulings coming out today as well. So you had literally on opposite sides of the street: on one side of the street on Capitol Hill, the House having this big hearing; on the other side of the street, people waiting to see if the Supreme Court was going to hand down its abortion ruling, which we were expecting either today or maybe on Wednesday. There are a lot of… and there’s also a gun ruling that we’re waiting on about a New York gun restriction that the court is looking at. And so that and then, of course, the markets.


Kai Ryssdal: Yeah. Yeah. Which gets me nice segue – thank you very much – to my news items, which was number one, the markets got clobbered, and it had been getting clobbered for a long time. The S&P 500 closed today in a bear market, so we talked about that the other day and what that means is down 20% from its most recent high. But more to the point the Fed meets tomorrow on Wednesday. You talked to Jeanna Smialek from the New York Times today about, I haven’t listened to it yet but I’m sure about the prospects of the Fed and what it’s going to say. And Jeanna’s reporting in the Times Today is that, you know what, they’re going to talk seriously about a 75 basis point interest rate hike, that is to say, three quarters of a percentage point, which would be a big deal, biggest increase since 1994. And it would be a departure from the feds forward guidance to this point (the forward guidance being the Federal Reserve letting us know what’s going to happen), and Jay Powell has been pretty clear that it’s going to be half a percentage point. Washington Post editorial board came out today and said, make it 75 basis points, maybe even make it a whole percentage point, but show everybody you’re serious. I probably think, no, not probably, I do think that it is probably going to be 75 basis points, even though I think that’s going to scare the bejesus out of a lot of people. But I think Powell and the gang need to show intensity of purpose and they’re going to do whatever it takes. Well, so look, the markets are gonna go crazy, right, which is fine, because financial conditions. Yeah, but they you know, they can go… Well, I don’t think they are. Well, maybe today they were but they certainly haven’t been yet.


Kimberly Adams: I think so.


Kai Ryssdal: Yeah, I think today for sure. And then I think the other thing that is going to happen is companies that haven’t already realized it are going to wake up and say, you know what, this is really a lot more serious than we thought. And Jay Powell, if Jay Powell is worried, I’m worried. Because Powell has been, look, he’s made some mistakes, for sure. But he’s been nothing but steady, right? He’s been consistent in his view that he’s going to let the data drive things. And now the data is looking worse, even though the underlying economic fundamentals that we talked about a zillion times are relatively strong. There’s a noticeable tension out there over inflation, which is rightly so. And I think the Feds gonna look real hard at 75 basis points, and then again, in its next meeting too in September.


Kimberly Adams: Yeah, that’s what was interesting to me today, sort of watching the commentary around this, was not only are people starting to talk about 75 basis points in the meeting this week, but rather than it being a series of 50 basis point hikes moving forward, as people have been talking about, that maybe we’re going to have more than one 75 basis point hikes. I mean, like, mortgage rates, I think are up above 6% now?


Kai Ryssdal: Yes, six point something yeah. Which, you know, a year ago, they were two point, you know, low single digits. So yeah, it’s big.


Kimberly Adams: And I wonder, you know, perhaps we need to have Amy back on to explain this to us later. When housing prices adjust to that, you know, because there are going to be people who say, I’m not going to buy a house, I’m going to wait for rates to go down. I was talking to somebody this week, and she was like, I’m waiting to buy a house until the rates go back down. And I was like, I don’t know that you want to be doing that. But on the other hand, at some point, you know, if inventory starts improving, which who knows if it will, there will likely be some adjustment in housing prices to, you know, accommodate these higher interest rates. Although, you know, speaking of Amy Scott, I sent her something that I think both of us were tagged on this on Twitter. Yes, someone on Twitter, @cepikester, I don’t know, was pointing out this company called Arrived, that does fractional investing in rental homes. Have you seen this?


Kai Ryssdal: Jeez no.


Kimberly Adams: Like, if you think having a corporation as a landlord might not be great, imagine a home that you’re renting the place where you live, being owned by a bunch of different people managing it through an app, like, as an investment vehicle.


Kai Ryssdal: What could possibly go wrong?


Kimberly Adams: All right, it was like a good opportunity…


Kai Ryssdal: Yeah, let’s. Let us move along. Shall we?


Kimberly Adams: Yeah smile. Yeah.


Kimberly Adams: Okay, I went down the rabbit hole with you.


Kai Ryssdal: I know. So here’s the, and this is one of those random things that you come across on Twitter and then it turns into an hour of your life just going, oh my god, what is this? So, there’s a guy on Twitter, actually he’s on Tik Tok but I saw it on Twitter. The handle is the same. It’s @georainbolt. G-E-O-R-A-I-N-B-O-L-T. And what he and apparently a bunch of others do, I discovered going down this rabbit hole, is they take random clips that show up on the internet, and they try to geo locate them using Google Maps. And so this guy take, it’s exactly what it sounds like, he takes random clips and he tries to find them. And the clip that I saw today was him actually doing that and explaining the process. Now, is there a chance that this is all bogus? Yes, of course, but holy cow, it’s entertaining. We’re gonna put it on the show page. And we’re gonna let you all see it. And it’s amazeballs. It’s amazeballs. He goes through like license plates and street signs, and then he looks for, like tree formations and it’s just…


Kimberly Adams: Where cars are parked at driveways.


Kai Ryssdal: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, it’s crazy. It is crazy.


Kimberly Adams: I think it’s real because, remember when that hiker was lost and like with the last bit of battery they had they sent, just like a photo of themselves in the woods looking out over the distance. And people were able to use topography and all these other geolocation things to help find the hiker. Like this is a thing people do as a hobby, which I think is super cool.


Kai Ryssdal: And professionally too, right? It’s open-source intelligence. And so you see a lot of this stuff early on, you saw a lot of this stuff with the war in Ukraine, right, figuring out where things were and where the Russians were and where the Ukrainians are moving. So it’s a real thing. I don’t know if this guy’s a real thing, but I hope it is because it’s crazy cakes. It’s wild. That’s mine.


Kimberly Adams: Yeah. Mine is probably better suited for Friday, but I discovered it today, so here it is. It was a story in Popular Science, reporting on a study published in the journal Physics of Fluid Dynamics last month, which found that the force of a cork exploding from a champagne bottle can go at like supersonic speeds. Yes. I’m just gonna read some of this.


“In that flash of a second when the cork is yanked up, the flow bursts through, hitting supersonic speeds at the top of the bottleneck. As the gas and pressure rush out, they dissipate in crown-shaped shockwaves (or Mach diamonds), similar to the ones that come off rockets during launch. The final shockwaves look more muted and detached, and are likely the ripple effects of the CO2 and water vapor’s interactions with the cork.”


Kai Ryssdal: Wow, that’s crazy.


Kimberly Adams: So there’s your fun detail to throw out at a cocktail party. Did you know that when you pop that champaign cork it can move at supersonic speeds?


Kai Ryssdal: You are fun at the party, Kimberly, you are fun at the party.


Kimberly Adams: Yeah, I’d like to think so. All right. That’s all I’ve got. And I think all that you’ve got for today. So because I absolutely think it’s super important. And I know you do too as well Kai. Tomorrow we’re going to do a deep dive on the January 6 hearings. What if anything is going to come of them and what they mean for our democracy and for the stability of the economy? Because that plays into this too.


Kai Ryssdal: Yeah, send your questions or your comments, thoughts whatever you got. We’ll take a voice memo or an email to makemesmart@marketplace.org, or you can call us and leave a voice message 508-U-B-SMART and that is us for today.


Kimberly Adams: Make me smart is produced by Marissa Cabrera and today’s program was engineered by Juan Carlos Torrado.


Kai Ryssdal: Our senior producer is Donna Tam, the Director of On Demand is… Wait a minute. Senior producer is Bridget Bodnar, Direct of On Demand is Donna Tam. All right. Yeah, I got a little… you know, it’s my native tongue sometimes I have trouble with, I don’t even know.


Kimberly Adams: My dad used to say he spoke three languages, English, Ebonics, and fluent profanity.


Kai Ryssdal: Oh, that’s pretty good. I like that actually.

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