March 20, 2023 - PBS NewsHour full episode
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March 20, 2023 - PBS NewsHour full episode
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03/20/2023 | 57m 46s | Video has closed captioning.
March 20, 2023 - PBS NewsHour full episode
Problems Playing Video? | Closed Captioning
AMNA NAWAZ: Good evening, and welcome.
I'm Amna Nawaz.
GEOFF BENNETT: And I'm Geoff Bennett.
On the "NewsHour" tonight: Scientists at the U.N. issue a stark warning about climate change, saying it's now or never for taking the drastic steps needed to prevent catastrophe.
AMNA NAWAZ: Former President Trump faces a potential grand jury indictment on charges stemming from a hush money payment to a porn star.
GEOFF BENNETT: And 20 years later, American Marines and their families reflect on the invasion of Iraq and its lingering impact on their lives.
SAL CHAVEZ, Iraq War Veteran: I had to find it within me and start making the hard choices of facing myself, finding help, doing whatever I had to do to get healthy again.
(BREAK) GEOFF BENNETT: Welcome to the "NewsHour."
Scientists warned today that climate change is warming the planet to the point where it is causing irreversible damage in some parts of the world.
AMNA NAWAZ: The new report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, found that, within a decade, the world is likely to miss its goal of holding global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius or 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit.
If or when the planet reaches that level, scientists say Earth will pass tipping points that will lead to catastrophic environmental damage, including dangerous sea level rise, entire species going extinct, and even greater suffering in many nations, especially the poorest.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the time to act is now.
ANTONIO GUTERRES, United Nations Secretary-General: Humidity is on thin ice and that eyes is melting fast.
The rate of temperature rise in the last half-century is the highest in 2,000 years.
Concentrations of carbon dioxide are at their highest in at least two million years.
The climate time bomb is ticking.
AMNA NAWAZ: For a closer look at the report and what can be done to change the direction the planet is headed, I'm joined by Katharine Hayhoe, climate scientist at Texas Tech University and chief scientist for the Nature Conservancy.
Katharine Hayhoe, welcome back to the "NewsHour."
That is strong language from Antonio Guterres there, saying humanity is on thin ice, the climate time bomb is ticking.
This is about as dire and urgent a report and a warning as we have heard.
KATHARINE HAYHOE, Climate Scientist, Texas Tech University: It is completely justified.
We scientists have been warning of the impacts of climate change on humans and all other life on this planet for decades.
Yet our carbon emissions continue to rise.
As the IPCC report says, the window of opportunity we have to make decisions that will lead us to a better future is closing rapidly.
AMNA NAWAZ: That increase in global average temperatures, we have been trying to keep to 1.5 degrees Celsius, that -- it's often referred to as the tipping point.
We seem to be hurtling towards that right now.
Just as we cross that threshold, if we are to cross that threshold, help us understand, what does that mean for life here on Earth?
For our viewers who have kids or grandkids, how would their lives be different?
KATHARINE HAYHOE: One-and-a-half degrees is not a magic threshold or a tipping point.
Rather, it is a goal that we have set ourselves, knowing that the science is very clear.
Every bit of warming matters.
Every little bit that the planet warms carries additional cost with it.
So, how much do we need to do?
As much as possible.
As soon as possible.
Because we will all benefit from that action.
AMNA NAWAZ: And, if we don't, paint that picture for us.
What looks different here on Earth?
KATHARINE HAYHOE: Well, we are already seeing the impacts here today in the way that climate change is loading the weather dice against us.
We know we have always had droughts and floods and hurricanes and heat waves.
But, in a warming world, they're getting stronger and more dangerous.
And they're impacting all of us.
But they are particularly affecting those who are vulnerable and marginalized the most.
The warmer the world gets, the more it endangers our food supply, our water supply, the safety of our homes, our own health, our economy and supply chains, the natural environment.
Every aspect of life on Earth, including our life on Earth, is at risk the warmer this planet gets.
AMNA NAWAZ: So, this report says, in order to shift course, we would need to slash greenhouse gases in half by 2030, and stop adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere altogether by the early 2050s.
Do you see that happening?
KATHARINE HAYHOE: It is possible.
If we have the will to do so, we can accomplish it.
The problem we have today, though, is, we still, many of us, don't really understand how this issue affects us here and now.
And we don't understand that the majority of the solutions we need are already in our hands.
And that's what the IPCC report makes very clear, that these changes are already affecting us, our homes, our food, our water, our economy, our cities, our states, and the solutions, efficiency, clean energy, investing in nature, adapting and building resilience, many of those solutions are already here today as well.
The only question at this point is, what are we waiting for?
If we wanted to accomplish this, we could.
AMNA NAWAZ: There are some who've said there have been worse climate scenarios predicted before, some who had said there could be a warming of four degrees or more sooner, which now looks unlikely.
There will be some who will look at this and say, well, could these predictions be wrong as well?
KATHARINE HAYHOE: The previous predictions were not wrong.
But the uncertainty is us.
The predictions were for what is going to happen, depending on the choices we make.
Prior to the Paris Agreement in 2015, the world was heading towards a future that was between four to five degrees Celsius warmer than today.
And you might say, well, that doesn't sound so bad.
It's four or five degrees outside or inside warmer.
But think of it in terms of the human body.
The temperature of the planet has been as stable as that of the human body over the course of human civilization this planet.
If our body is running a fever of one or two degrees Celsius or three or four or five or six degrees Celsius, that is life-threatening.
So we have already, thanks to the Paris Agreement, changed -- reduced the amount of change that we expect in the policies that have already been adapted by at least a degree.
But we still need more, because every bit of warming carries a cost with it.
AMNA NAWAZ: These warnings, as you say, have been coming for decades.
So I'm curious why you think it is that the climate threat has resided, in many people's minds, as a future threat, not necessarily an imminent one.
KATHARINE HAYHOE: For many of us, it's because we haven't seen the impacts with our own eyes.
We have heard about them.
We know what's happening to polar bears or Antarctica or ice sheets, but we're not seeing it here and now.
Well, that has changed.
Over the last year, at least one in three Americans were personally affected by the way that climate change is making our extreme weather more severe.
We might live somewhere where sea level is rising, where hurricanes are getting stronger, where wildfires burn in greater area, where the summers are now dominated by record-breaking heat waves.
Climate change is no longer a future issue.
It is right here where we live.
It is right now.
And the time to fix it is also here now.
AMNA NAWAZ: That is Katharine Hayhoe, climate scientist and chief scientist for the Nature Conservancy.
Thank you for joining us.
KATHARINE HAYHOE: Thank you so much for having me.
GEOFF BENNETT: In the day's other headlines: A new report estimates Somalia's longest drought on record killed 43,000 people last year and half may have been children under the age of 5 U.N. agencies released the study by British scientists today.
It focused on Somalia and neighboring Ethiopia and Kenya, where six dry years have caused severe food and water shortages.
The study forecasts at least 18,000 more drought-related deaths in the first half of this year.
The financial world endured another tense day.
Trading in First Republic Bank shares had to be halted several times.
The stock fell nearly sent, despite a $30 billion rescue by major U.S. banks.
European bank stocks generally leveled out after Swiss regulators brokered a takeover of Credit Suisse by UBS.
Shares in Credit Suisse tumbled nearly 60 percent.
In France, the government survived no-confidence votes today over hiking the retirement age from 62 to 64 without Parliament's approval.
But President Emmanuel Macron still faced another day of strikes and protests.
Walkouts by waste disposal workers kept garbage piling up in Paris.
Union members demanded that the government reverse course.
KAMEL BRAHMI, Striking Union Member (through translator): President Macron is going to realize that the country is in opposition.
There are many employees on strike, that a very large majority of public opinion is against his social regression in this pension reform, and he must listen to employees.
GEOFF BENNETT: A new round of nationwide strikes and protests is set for Thursday.
Israel is facing new criticism after its finance minister declared that there is no such thing as a Palestinian people.
That drew condemnation today from European Union and other leaders.
Separately, Israeli officials are pushing ahead with part of a plan to overhaul its judicial system despite protests.
In a Sunday phone call, President Biden urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to compromise on the overhaul.
The U.S. charged today that all sides in Ethiopia's two-year war committed war crimes, including murder, rape and ethnic cleansing.
The conflict pitted the TPLF rebels in Tigray against the Ethiopian and Eritrean armies.
An estimated half-million civilians were killed.
Today's announcement did not mention penalties.
Instead, Secretary of State Tony Blinken called for the factions to police themselves.
ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. Secretary of State: In terms of what happens next in Ethiopia, including what process they establish to provide for justice, for accountability, we will see.
I don't think that's been determined.
GEOFF BENNETT: The Ethiopian war ended with a cease-fire last November.
So far, all sides have denied allegations of war crimes.
A federal jury in Washington has convicted four people associated with the Oath Keepers militia in the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
They were found guilty today of conspiracy and obstruction.
Two other defendants were acquitted.
Six Oath Keepers had already been convicted of the more serious charge of seditious conspiracy.
President Biden today issued his first veto.
He rejected a bill to prohibit federal retirement plan managers from considering climate change or social justice when making investment decisions.
Republicans favor the ban, but don't have the votes to override the veto.
Amazon will cut another 9,000 jobs in the next few weeks.
Today's announcement adds to 18,000 workers already slated for layoffs.
The tech giant's work force had doubled during the pandemic.
And, on Wall Street, financial stocks joined a broad advance.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 382 points, more than 1 percent, to close at 32244.
The Nasdaq rose 45 points.
The S&P 500 added 35.
Still to come on the "NewsHour": Chinese President Xi Jinping visits Vladimir Putin in Moscow; can the takeover of Credit Suisse calm the banking sector?
; and how a new claim about the Iran hostage crisis changes the history of the Carter presidency.
AMNA NAWAZ: This week might bring an historic and high-stakes moment, what would be the first ever indictment of a former president.
Former President Donald Trump says he expects to be arrested this week on possible charges from the Manhattan district attorney related to the Stormy Daniels case.
Lisa Desjardins has been following this and other Trump cases, and joins me now.
Good to see you.
So let's start with this Manhattan case.
Walk us through it.
What do we need to know and where is it now?
LISA DESJARDINS: OK, we're about to enter another complicated road trip, this country.
So let's set up a road map for all of this, starting with that local Manhattan case with the powerful district attorney there, Alvin Bragg.
This case centers around $130,000 that was paid to Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels.
Allegedly, that was hush money, some say -- and that's what the charges would be about if they come -- for covering up an affair.
Now, two kinds of charges we will be watching for here, one accounting, bookkeeping, whether Trump and his organization falsely claimed that money was for something else, two, campaign finance, whether that money was used for a campaign purpose, his reputation.
Now, as we're waiting for this indictment, which could come any time, we have heard from Trump.
And now more and more leading Republicans, what they're doing in defending him is going on offense against the prosecutor, Bragg, saying that he has corrupt bias.
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): Stop going after people because you have political differences.
MIKE PENCE, Former Vice President of the United States: It just feels like a politically charged prosecution here.
RON DESANTIS (R-FL): Like other Soros-funded prosecutors, they weaponize their office to impose a political agenda on society.
LISA DESJARDINS: OK, that was the message up and down from Republicans, not about Trump, but about the prosecutor here.
For Democrats, on the other hand, legal scholars say, no, charges here could be justified.
And they scoff at the idea that this is politics.
Here's Norm Eisen.
NORMAN EISEN, Brookings Institution: I think it's clear that they were trying to cover up the campaign finance benefit.
There's a campaign finance violation there.
So if you have got a case that's supported by the law and the facts, it's not really fair to say that it's political.
It would be political not to bring the case.
Why should a former president get special treatment different than everybody else?
LISA DESJARDINS: There are a lot of details about this case.
There's debate over whether it would be a weak or a strong case if the indictment comes.
Obviously, we will get to that.
We're talking about that first because that is the charge that we expect first, today, tomorrow, Wednesday, possibly.
AMNA NAWAZ: That case, of course, is one of several investigations around former President Trump.
Remind us where the other probes are unfolding and what we need to know about them.
LISA DESJARDINS: Even for us -- we cover this all the time -- this can be dizzying.
So I want to take our viewers through these cases.
Think of them in terms of location and the types of prosecutors involved.
Let's start in Fulton County, Georgia.
This is the next case that we expect perhaps in terms of time.
This is a local case in front of Fulton County.
The question there, did Trump, President Trump, try to overturn the 2020 results in Georgia?
Charges there could include things like election felonies, racketeering.
This is the case that we talked about the grand jury meeting on.
The grand jury filed its report in this case to the prosecutor there two months ago.
We're waiting for the prosecutor to make her decision.
And that is expected soon.
That is the Fulton County, Georgia, case.
There's a national case that also is incredibly high-stakes.
The Department of Justice has a special counsel in a separate case that we have been talking about.
That special counsel looking into two different kinds of cases, the classified documents that were found at Mar-a-Lago and elsewhere, and then also the 2020 election, whether President Trump had a role.
Now, that means possible charges there include things like document miss handling, which sometimes could be a misdemeanor, all the way to insurrection itself.
The timeline for that is unclear.
The special prosecutor has an open-ended charge.
But there is some reporting that the idea is, this would likely happen before 2024.
Of course, former President Trump a candidate for 2024.
That's the national Department of Justice case.
One more case, for all four of them.
This will be the last one.
New York state is investigating the Trump investigation -- organization, has been.
A question there from the attorney general in New York state, did the Trump Organization lie to lenders?
This is about the organization, the business.
It's a civil case.
So this would not send anyone to jail.
However, the results of this could be, if pursued, if it ends up this way, is, the Trump business could be banned from New York.
Trial in that case is set for November.
So think of this, Amna, in terms of, we have got three major potential criminal cases and we have got one civil case that would really affect former President Trump's business.
He is defending himself on all fronts.
And we're seeing, increasingly, Republicans really ratchet up the rhetoric as well.
AMNA NAWAZ: Well, tell me more about that.
You hinted at that earlier.
This is not just about the president.
It's about the party and fellow Republicans.
What are you hearing?
LISA DESJARDINS: I think we're headed to potentially another dangerous back-and-forth in our corridors of power.
Today, we saw two very powerful House committees, Judiciary and Oversight, ask for communications from the Department of Justice to the prosecutor in Manhattan about this case that we're waiting for the indictment on.
Now, that is part of the oversight mission here.
But then what you're setting up is House Republicans vs. the current Department of Justice and the current prosecutor, each accusing the other of being political.
There are questions of whether they could step in there.
Also, Amna, this is Republican primary ramp-up season.
What happens to former President Trump in these cases will very likely affect the Republican primary significantly.
Finally, there are security concerns here, I don't have to tell you.
We were both there on January 6.
That President Trump has asked for protests over this potential indictment in Manhattan.
There is increased security, a heightened awareness in New York, and I'm told at the U.S. Capitol, a little bit of awareness, nothing too much yet, but it's already on the radar.
People are getting nervous to see what could happen, how supporters of President Trump react.
AMNA NAWAZ: High-stakes, indeed.
Lisa Desjardins, covering it all, thank you.
LISA DESJARDINS: You're welcome.
GEOFF BENNETT: Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Moscow today for a three-day state visit to Russia.
Relations between the two countries have grown closer over the past year, as China's imports of Russian oil have increased, and both countries seek to undercut the U.S. on the world stage.
Nick Schifrin has the story.
NICK SCHIFRIN: They call each other dear old friends.
And in their 40th meeting, Chinese President Xi Jinping labeled Russian President Vladimir Putin his partner in war and peace.
XI JINPING, Chinese President (through translator): China attaches great importance to China-Russia relations, because we are each other's biggest neighboring countries as well as strategic partners.
NICK SCHIFRIN: The two men share authoritarian recipes for power and a mutual desire to upend U.S. influence.
China remains one of the biggest buyers of Russian energy.
Chinese companies are providing Russia with parts essential to maintain Russian weapons.
The two countries conduct joint military exercises.
And since the war in Ukraine began, China has neither endorsed, nor condemned it.
Beijing's new peace plan calls for upholding Ukraine's sovereignty, but not for Russian troops to withdraw, an approach Putin endorsed today.
VLADIMIR PUTIN, Russian President (through translator): We know that you proceed from the principles of justice and observance of the fundamental provisions of international law, of indivisible security for all countries.
NICK SCHIFRIN: But, today, Secretary of State Antony Blinken rejected in advance any call for a cease-fire.
ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. Secretary of State: Calling for a cease-fire that does not include the removal of Russian forces from Ukrainian territory would effectively be supporting the ratification of Russian conquest.
It would recognize Russia's attempts to seize a sovereign neighbor's territory by force.
It would enable Russia to further entrench positions in Ukraine.
NICK SCHIFRIN: This weekend, Putin tried to show just how entrenched his position in Ukraine already is.
In a staged and scripted nighttime visit, Russian TV showed him speaking to residents of Mariupol.
Never mind the daytime view, a city nearly obliterated by Russian troops.
This weekend, Putin also visited Russian-occupied Crimea, including what Russian media described as a children's center, one day after Putin became an indicted war criminal for allegedly overseeing the forced deportation of Ukrainian children.
In part because of those war crimes, Putin and Russia are increasingly isolated.
But today's visit came with an endorsement from the leader of the world's second largest economy and military.
XI JINPING (through translator): Thanks to your strong leadership, Russia has achieved significant success in reaching prosperity and well-being of the country.
I am sure that the people of Russia will support you in your best efforts.
NICK SCHIFRIN: Beijing cast Xi as a peacemaker, and he's expected to speak with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy following his trip to Moscow.
So, what is driving the increased level of cooperation between Russia and China?
For that, we turn to Sasha Gabuev, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, who joins us from Geneva.
Sasha Gabuev, welcome to the "NewsHour."
Thanks very much.
Firstly, how important is it for Putin to get this visit from Xi?
SASHA GABUEV, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace: It is very important, because China over the course of the last 12-plus months has turned into a major supporter of Russia.
It's the major market for Russian hydrocarbons and the major source of cash for Putin's war chest.
It's the major source of imports, including dual-use imports and civilian chips, that enable Putin's war economy going.
When China stands next to you or behind you, you can say that you are not isolated.
NICK SCHIFRIN: So, I want to drill down into what China is sending to Russia.
But, first, let's get the other side.
How does Xi Jinping see the importance of the relationship between Beijing and Moscow right now?
SASHA GABUEV: I think, for Xi Jinping, the relationship with Russia was always important.
Russia is an important source of raw materials.
And Russia is the only like-minded authoritarian state on the U.N. Security Council among permanent members.
But what also colors his perspective now is this view that the U.S.-China relationship is going off the cliff.
It's continued confrontation that gets worse.
And here Russia as a junior partner is a very valuable assets.
NICK SCHIFRIN: And that is the case especially as President Biden sees the world or at least paints the world in terms of democracy vs. authoritarianism, right?
SASHA GABUEV: That's absolutely right.
That's the depiction that helps to bring Russia and China closer together, particularly since both are quite obsessed about what they see the U.S. democracy promotion effort.
Both Xi Jinping and Putin see themselves vulnerable at home, and they definitely want to join hands to push back against U.S. hegemony.
NICK SCHIFRIN: Senior U.S. officials are particularly worried about right now if China were to decide to send weapons openly to Russia.
But how do you see China already supporting Russia's war in Ukraine?
SASHA GABUEV: I think that providing cash by opening its market for Russian hydrocarbons is very important, because soldiers need to be paid and all of the military procurements also need to be covered.
But, also, China provides the civilian chips and also some of the components of Russian arms, like radars and surface-to-air missiles and many other arms and Russian weapons that are used on the battlefield in Ukraine.
NICK SCHIFRIN: And are these supply chains that are going from China to Russia?
Are they long established?
Because U.S. officials have repeatedly said that Beijing hasn't made the overt decision to arm Russia.
SASHA GABUEV: These are long established relationships.
These are not ready weapons, re complete.
These are just components.
But these are ties from sanctioned Chinese entities to sanctioned Russian entities that go back years and years.
We don't see evidence that China has already provided some significant amount of weapons that will be lethal and that will be used on the battlefield.
NICK SCHIFRIN: As I mentioned before, Beijing portrays Xi Jinping as a peacemaker and this visit as part of a diplomatic effort to try and end the war in Ukraine.
How much of this visit is really about that effort?
SASHA GABUEV: Right now, the mood in Kyiv and in Moscow is give war a chance.
China perfectly gets it.
And, for Beijing, its diplomatic effort is just more a tool to push back against Western criticism that it's leaning too much in support of Vladimir Putin's war.
And, at the same time, it provides justification for Xi Jinping to go to Moscow to engage Putin on a state visit.
But that needs to be coupled with outreach to President Zelenskyy, which will also happen, but in a separate phone call, rather than a full-fledged visit.
NICK SCHIFRIN: And, finally, we expect a joint statement out of this trip from both leaders.
What should we be looking out for?
SASHA GABUEV: The language might be a little bit guarded, but it cannot mask that the relationship is getting deeper, it's increasingly asymmetric, the terms are dictated by China, and that the primary target that they have in mind as their opponent are the United States of America.
There will be some documents that are the underwater part of the iceberg, for example, decisions to sell secretive Russian military technology, like surface-to-air systems, S-500, or the most advanced Russian fighter jets, to China that both Moscow and Beijing is not the right time to publicize that, given the war and the negative optics.
But it's OK to start implementing them and go public about that months from now and maybe even years from now.
NICK SCHIFRIN: Sasha Gabuev of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, thank you very much.
SASHA GABUEV: Thank you for having me.
GEOFF BENNETT: Ten days after the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and emergency measures from the federal government to stabilize the system, key parts of the banking industry are still reeling and anxious.
This weekend, Switzerland's largest bank agreed to buy out its rival, Credit Suisse, for a fraction of its market value.
And there were new efforts today to help stabilize First Republic Bank.
We're joined now by Roben Farzad, host of public radio's "Full Disclosure."
It's great to see you.
ROBEN FARZAD, Host, "Full Disclosure": Thank you, Geoff.
GEOFF BENNETT: And let's talk about the demise of Credit Suisse.
Overnight, a 167-year-old institution is dead, sold in a fire sale to its biggest rival.
Why should Americans care about what's happening with Credit Suisse?
And what does all of this suggests about the stability of the global banking system?
ROBEN FARZAD: I mean, granted, I mean, this was the C student of international investment banking, and yet it was a student of investment banking internationally.
And that's all interconnected with the other systemically important too-big-to-fail banks.
So, after we had experienced what we did here with Silicon Valley and that little mini bank panic, all eyes suddenly looked across the Atlantic for kind of weak players.
That's just the way this works in social media.
What about this guy?
What about that guy?
What about that guy?
Show us your balance sheet.
And, immediately, they realized that Credit Suisse could not stand on its own two feet.
And the government there in Europe, I think there was a lot of suasion to force what effectively is a shotgun take-under, a merger.
You saw something like that with J.P. Morgan and Bear Stearns back in 2008, when it was bought for $2 a share, and they got the headquarters near Grand Central.
And this was largely to telegraph that, look, we're on top of this crisis as well.
But yet all eyes again are back on the United States.
GEOFF BENNETT: Yes.
Well, let's talk about domestic banks, because J.P. Morgan right now is reportedly advising First Republic on next steps.
You have got the New York Community Bank.
They have agreed to by a significant chunk of the failed Signature Bank.
For the last 15 years, regulators have been focused on these banks that are deemed too big to fail as posing the greatest risks to the financial system.
Were they blinded to the threat, potential threat, posed by these smaller regional lenders?
ROBEN FARZAD: In fairness, these smaller regional lenders, these sub-regional banks, if you will, they were able to fly somewhat under the radar because of this deregulation, this impulse that you had in 2017 and 2018.
The cry back then was, we really can't make money with these onerous Dodd-Frank rules.
Why don't you give us a break?
Donald Trump was president that.
Everybody had forgotten about 2008 and 2009, when, in truth, there was a whole other risk coming down the pike.
It wasn't about rolling subprime debt and toxic assets on Wall Street.
It was about interest rate risk and being pretty with grabbing yield in this case.
And it was something that it's amazing to people that a bank that was so big and so flush with deposits and so reputable as Silicon Valley Bank could kind of blink.
And everybody's asking, where were the regulators, where, in reality, they kind of flew under the radar.
GEOFF BENNETT: A question about Silicon Valley Bank, because the decision by the federal government to make all of those depositors whole... ROBEN FARZAD: Right.
GEOFF BENNETT: ... even those folks who had well above the $250,000 amount that's insured by the FDIC, it sets a precedent.
And there's this question of, is what's good for thee good for me?
Why not just ensure all of the deposits?
ROBEN FARZAD: Because it's kind of an unthinkable taboo.
Nobody knows what it would cost.
It's not like the Fed and FDIC and Treasury and everybody is going to get together and write a $30 trillion check or transfer payment to the banking system.
I don't know the number above $250,000, the percentage of overall U.S. deposits that are uninsured, but just the telegraphing of it, just the suasion might be enough, especially in this era of Zelle and Twitter and frictionless transfers and going on your phone and moving something from a regional bank to a too-big-to-fail bank, to kind of forestall that, like, calm down, because this is a crisis of confidence, first and foremost.
Again, it's not toxicity.
It's not malfeasance.
It was a question of, are there -- it's inside baseball?
Are there mark-to-market losses?
And might there be a run on my bank?
And if enough people echo that, then the fear becomes reality.
And so the Fed wanted to put a psychological wall in front of that.
And I know I mixed 3,000 metaphors.
(LAUGHTER) ROBEN FARZAD: But I try to explain this to my parents and my relatives who call.
And that's really where we are right now.
GEOFF BENNETT: What is the Fed to do?
And what are they going to do next?
I mean, up until now, they have tried to balance or had to balance growth and inflation.
Now they have got to navigate growth, inflation and the financial stability of the banking sector.
ROBEN FARZAD: That's right.
GEOFF BENNETT: How does that work?
ROBEN FARZAD: And it's not like you have two interest rates.
It's not like you have one for hospitality and the two hot parts of the economy and real estate speculation and another special one for the banks.
You do have kind of backdoor facilities with the Fed and liquidity channels, and we will help you warehouse bonds and kind of if you need ample liquidity.
The Fed's balance sheet is swelling real time with this, but it was up until two, three weeks ago laser-focused on inflation.
And that's very hard to do when you have a banking crisis.
So now there are concerns that, if they come out and don't hike rates, people are going to be like, oh, that's worse than hiking by a quarter-point.
Maybe they know something we don't know.
So the steady hand theory, at least that was today's Wall Street digest.
Who knows what people are going to romance tomorrow or the day after?
It's a treacherously difficult thing to do... GEOFF BENNETT: Exactly.
ROBEN FARZAD: ... and I think a function of unprecedented stimulus that we have that the Fed is trying to put back into the bottle.
GEOFF BENNETT: So, bottom line question in plain English for folks who have their money stored away in just the bank down the street.
Do they have reason to be concerned?
ROBEN FARZAD: If you are above $250,000.
And, again, it's not because your Daddy Warbucks or anything, but you might have working capital or a small business.
It makes sense to read the fine print.
Oftentimes, if it's a joint account with a spouse, you are protected.
Read the fine print.
Don't transfer first and ask questions later.
Very rarely in history have depositors taken a haircut.
The system doesn't want there to be an overall run on the system.
And you don't need to lose sleep at night about it.
GEOFF BENNETT: Yes, more to come.
Roben Farzad following it all, thanks so much.
ROBEN FARZAD: Thank you, Geoff.
AMNA NAWAZ: Tonight, we begin a series looking back at the U.S. invasion of Iraq 20 years later.
The attacks began March 20, 2003, in a thunderous hail of airstrikes on Baghdad.
Soon, American troops would race across the desert from Kuwait toward the Iraqi capital.
Special correspondent Mike Cerre was embedded with the Marines of Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines, known as Fox 2/5.
They would help take Baghdad and return to Iraq on subsequent deployments.
Mike has stayed in touch with many of those Marines and their families.
he begins our coverage, which will stretch over the coming weeks, with this look at Fox 2/5 then and now.
MIKE CERRE: Still teenagers 20 years ago, most of these Marines enlisted right after 9/11, straight out of high school, for what became the largest military operation in the war against terror.
WOMAN: My husband said, it seems like every generation has to do this, and this is this generation's battle.
MIKE CERRE: Do you think the rest of the country fully appreciates... WOMAN: No, they don't have a clue.
MAN: And we got an old, beat-up helmet for you, which I'm going to mess with a little bit.
And we're going to fix it up on the plane over there.
MIKE CERRE: OK. As a reporter, and a Marine veteran of Vietnam, I embedded with Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines in 2003, both to report on the war for ABC News and to chronicle how much another generation of Americans would likely be changed by a war.
As we're now moving and trying to penetrate into Southern Iraq as fast as we can.
PETER JENNINGS, ABC News: As you hear from Mike Cerre, it is now a full-scale invasion.
MIKE CERRE: Any abstract notions of war these Marines might have had quickly turned into their reality of war, as one of the first American units to invade Iraq in March 2003.
SOLDIER: We came out with 206.
I want to go home with 206.
If we don't have to get decisively engaged, that's fine with me.
MIKE CERRE: First Sergeant Ed Smith was Fox 2/5's senior enlisted man and one of the few with previous combat experience.
He delayed his scheduled retirement to accompany his unit to Iraq.
On their final push to Baghdad, First Sergeant Ed Smith was Fox 2/5's first and only fatality during the unit's first of several deployments to Iraq over the next five years.
SHELBY SMITH ROBINSON, La Mesa Police Department: I think it affects me more now in my adult life than it did obviously when I was 8, because I couldn't really process it, being so young.
MIKE CERRE: His daughter Shelby Smith and other Gold Star families who lost a relative in Iraq don't need anniversaries to remind them of the sacrifices made in Iraq.
SHELBY SMITH ROBINSON: But for people who do not know it personally, and it hasn't affected them personally, I think the war probably never crosses their mind.
MIKE CERRE: Shelby Smith is continuing her fathers legacy as a police officer, like the new career he had already started prior to his delayed retirement from the Marines.
SHELBY SMITH ROBINSON: Twenty years is a long time to heal and to process things.
There's times at work I feel close to him there, because I imagine him doing the same things that I'm doing.
And I can feel him next to me sometimes.
I think he's keeping me safe.
I'm really happy to have been able to kind of follow in his footsteps.
MIKE CERRE: Others I have reconnected with over the years have had to deal with less obvious injuries.
MIKE ELLIOT, Iraq War Veteran: Don't sweat the small stuff, Mike.
This is what started the whole... MIKE CERRE: I first met former Corporal Mike Elliot reading this pop psychology book for teenagers while in his foxhole wearing a chemical protection suit.
MIKE ELLIOT: This was some bathroom material at home.
It's called "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff."
And the main part, simple ways to keep yourself cool in stressful times.
MIKE CERRE: Michael Elliot was one of the first members of the unit to enter a Veterans Administration residential program for PTSD.
The VA believes more than one in four Iraq War vets have or will experience varying degrees of PTSD.
He has since earned a counseling degree and has helped other Montana vets deal with their PTSD through wilderness programs.
SAL CHAVEZ, Iraq War Veteran: About a week ago, I had a sniper get real close to me.
You never know out here.
An IED, as we have seen -- I guess, the first couple of months, we them every day.
MIKE CERRE: Former Navy Corpsman Sal Chavez, Fox 2/5's medic, has tried some of the newer alternative PTSD therapies to help him deal with some of his most intense Iraq memories.
This is a virtual reality reenactment of a roadside ambush when their 1st sergeant was killed.
SAL CHAVEZ: Everything was on fire.
It was loud, rounds being shot off, main tech gun being shot off.
You could feel the percussions of all of the explosions.
MIKE CERRE: How do you feel in your body right now watching this?
SAL CHAVEZ: Just a little intense.
So I had to find it within me and start making the hard choices of facing myself, finding help, doing whatever I had to do to get healthy again.
MIKE CERRE: Others have not as been successful.
More members of Fox 2/5 have since died from suicide than were killed in combat.
All three have been diagnosed with PTSD.
MAN: God love you.
We knew you were going to make it.
MIKE CERRE: Since their homecoming after the 2003 invasion, most of these Marines have resumed their lives interrupted by war and now have families and civilian careers.
RYAN SMITH, Iraq War Veteran: It did help us that the country was unified behind us.
We felt after 9/11 that everyone wanted to go and get the bad guys, and that we had a lot of support from our country, which is way different than my father-in-law and my uncle, who served in Vietnam.
MIKE CERRE: Former Sergeant Ryan Smith learned of his acceptance to college in his first letter to home after reaching Baghdad in April 2003.
RYAN SMITH: I never really thought I had a chance of getting in, but, hopefully, we get out in time for me to start in September.
MIKE CERRE: He went on to UCLA Law School and is now a corporate attorney near Newport Beach, California.
RYAN SMITH: So, after getting out of the Marine Corps, I struggled making social connections.
I struggled interacting with people that hadn't served in the military.
I felt I had a chip on my shoulder, that the average civilian couldn't understand what me and my friends had gone through.
MIKE CERRE: As far removed from war as his personal and professional life are today, some memories from his Iraq experience are still inescapable.
MAN: We have got a vehicle coming.
MAN: We have got a vehicle coming.
MAN: We got a tracer?
MIKE CERRE: The same day that their 1st sergeant was killed, the unit was involved in a civilian tragedy at a roadblock that killed 10 Iraqis, some of them children.
It was later determined to be a fog of war accident.
RYAN SMITH: I think yesterday was probably a defining moment that I have had so far in my life.
And after yesterday and the day before, I think there's no more curiosity.
I think people have seen the horrors of combat, and no one looks forward to any more of it.
MIKE CERRE: I can remember coming up to you that morning afterwards, and you were certainly a bit rocked back on your heels, and you said you had had enough of war.
RYAN SMITH: You didn't think about innocent people and children getting in the line of fire.
And once that happened, it shattered whatever noble vision I had of war or romanticized vision of war.
And it really dawned on me that war is a dirty, ugly business.
MIKE CERRE: Did your feelings about the war change while you were in it, or did take a period of time to evolve afterwards?
RYAN SMITH: A lot of us took a more nuanced approach towards the war after that and realizing that we did what we were told to do, and we served our country, and were proud that we stood up when we were asked to serve, and that we stood shoulder to shoulder with some of the best people I have ever met in my life and some of the finest Americans.
But, at the end of the day, you look how the Iraq War ended, and it does make you question, what was -- what was that all for?
MIKE CERRE: Whatever their personal feelings about the war 20 years later, they all share what former chief Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes called the incommunicable experience of war, when their hearts were touched by fire.
For the "PBS NewsHour," this is Mike Cerre.
AMNA NAWAZ: And, tomorrow, we will continue our look at the war and its aftermath through the eyes of two Iraqi families.
GEOFF BENNETT: In the summer of 1980, a prominent Republican close to Ronald Reagan's campaign sought to sabotage then-President Jimmy Carter's reelection by asking Middle Eastern leaders to get a message to the Iranians: Keep the American hostages until after the election, and the Reagan administration will give you a better deal.
That stunning reporting this weekend by The New York Times is prompting a rethinking of presidential history.
Jonathan Alter details Jimmy Carter's presidency and reelection bid in his book "His Very Best: Jimmy Carter, a Life."
Jonathan Alter, thank you for being with us.
JONATHAN ALTER, Author, "His Very Best: Jimmy Carter, a Life": Hi, Geoff.
GEOFF BENNETT: This reporting by Peter Baker of The New York Times that there was in fact a secret effort by the Reagan campaign to sabotage the Carter campaign by urging the Iranians to hold the American hostages until after that year's presidential election, how does it fundamentally change our understanding of American history and of the Carter presidency?
JONATHAN ALTER: Well, this is a pretty big deal, because what you have is the campaign of a candidate for president who is prolonging the captivity of Americans at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in order to achieve a political victory.
Now, this -- the deal itself has not been completely nailed down, but there is considerable circumstantial evidence that this took place.
And this latest story is just another piece of that evidence.
But it's been accumulating over the years.
This was rumored at the time.
There was a congressional investigation in 1992 that said there was quite a bit of suggestive evidence, but no smoking gun.
And in the time since then, there have been really two major disclosures that have lent credence to this.
But it's -- it was an extremely unpatriotic move on the part of William Casey, who was Ronald Reagan's campaign manager and later his director of the CIA.
Now, as far as whether the hostages have been released before the election, whether Jimmy Carter would have won, that is unknowable.
Jimmy Carter believes so.
And the polls were actually much closer than the final result in the weeks just before the election.
It turned out to be a landslide.
But there were a number of other factors in 1980, including a wretched economy.
So we can't know for sure that, if this hadn't happened, history would be different.
But we do know for sure that there was a plot by the Reagan campaign to do Carter dirty.
GEOFF BENNETT: Well, let me ask you more about that, because The New York Times, Peter Baker in his reporting stresses that there's no evidence that Ronald Reagan knew about this effort or that William Casey directed it.
But you wrote a piece this weekend where you said, not only is the reporting credible, but that you, in your own reporting, have encountered information that is even more incriminating.
Tell us about that.
JONATHAN ALTER: Right.
So this is all in my book, my biography of Jimmy Carter.
But what happened, Geoff, is that the question of whether there was a so-called October surprise turned on a very, very specific thing in 1992, when it was being investigated by Congressman Lee Hamilton on Capitol Hill.
And the question was whether William Casey - - this was Reagan's campaign manager and later CIA director -- whether he left a meeting in London and went to Madrid to meet with four Iranian representatives of the ayatollah to discuss a deal.
Now, those four Iranians say that Casey did leave London and did go to Madrid in the summer of 9080, not long before the election.
But for a long time, there was no proof of that.
And then, just eight, nine years ago now, a document surfaced in President Bush Sr.'s library, where the United States ambassador in Spain said, in a cable, William Casey here this week.
We're not sure why.
And that pretty much established that he was there for the meeting.
And then I have something else in my book that's also very relevant, and that is that a banker and diplomat whose name is Joseph Verner Reed, he later became ambassador to Morocco and head of protocol for Reagan.
I came across a letter that he wrote to his family in which he said: I'm proud of my role in preventing the hostages from being released before the election, so that Jimmy Carter would not get credit for that.
That's a pretty sick thing, when you think about it.
These 52 Americans are being held in captivity.
And you have people very close to Reagan -- whether Reagan himself knew or not, we don't know - - but people very close to Reagan who were definitely trying to do this.
Whether they completed a deal or not is unclear.
The original deal would be that, if the Iranians waited to release the hostages until after the election, which they did, that Reagan would unfreeze their assets and give them arms.
It turned out that it was Carter who negotiated the release of the hostages, although -- and this was extraordinary when I came across this.
Remember Iran-Contra, where we shipped arms to the Iranians.
That was in 1986.
This is in 1981, just a couple months after our citizens are released.
At that point, the Reagan administration is already shipping arms to its enemy in Iran through the Israelis.
So it's quite possible that this was a payoff for the decision by the Iranian government to not release the hostages before the election, which would, of course, aided -- it would have aided Jimmy Carter's reelection efforts.
GEOFF BENNETT: Gary Sick, who was, as you know, the Iran expert on President Carter's national security team, he spoke with my colleague John Yang on "PBS News Weekend" yesterday, and said that this reporting basically backs up what they believed to have been the case.
You know President Carter, former President Carter.
You have interviewed him.
What did he think?
And how might he view this reporting?
JONATHAN ALTER: So, I think that this reporting will be yet more evidence of what both President Carter and Rosalynn Carter expressed to me, which is that they have very strong suspicions that William Casey cut a deal with the Iranians, whether directly or through intermediaries.
But they have suspected this for many years, and they have had good reason to do so.
GEOFF BENNETT: Jonathan Alter, thanks so much for your time and for your insights.
We appreciate it.
JONATHAN ALTER: Thanks, Geoff.
AMNA NAWAZ: Tonight, we're revisiting the Brief But Spectacular take by choreographer and dancer Stuart Hodes, who died last week at the age of 98.
Hodes took his first dance lesson at the Martha Graham School after a distinguished stint as an Air Force aviator in World War II.
He was still dancing two years ago, when the "NewsHour" featured his memoir, "Onstage with Martha Graham."
Here now is another look at a life well-lived and beautifully danced.
STUART HODES, Author, "Onstage with Martha Graham": Well, I'm 96.
How are you supposed to feel at 96?
A lot of people don't live that long.
And I'm here.
Death doesn't bother me.
I don't really think it ever bothered me.
When I was 19, your age, I was flying combat missions.
And they were shooting at me.
I didn't like being shot at.
Who the heck would?
But the idea of dying was not like, oh, my God, I might die.
And I still don't feel that way about it.
When the time to die, I will be quite content to understand or to experience whatever comes next, or, if nothing, that.
I guess I have been a dancer most of my life, although it was really foolish to become a dancer, but I did it anyway.
I started at the age of 20.
And the last performance I had was four years ago.
I was 92.
Flew B-17s in World War II.
That was the time when you flew in the cockpit, and you felt the whole country was up there with you.
I knew I loved flying.
I had to solo first.
You have to fly the plane yourself.
And the plane became an extension of my body.
And I was crazy about it.
And after the war, I had the same experience hitting dance.
I loved it.
I felt that dancing and flying were two ways of getting to the same state.
People don't understand how flying and dancing can be similar, but they do something to you.
I think anything that you do with every particle of yourself can be wonderful, and it can make you forget the world.
How the heck am I supposed to describe it?
It takes everything you have got.
And, for that -- for those brief moments that you're dancing, you're transported.
You're in another world.
You sense nothing but that moment.
When it hits you, you want more.
I can't imagine dancing outside of being completely myself.
I never liked my own dancing because I was too conscious of my own flaws.
Well, I wanted to be perfect.
I think all dancers do.
When I watch old videos of myself today, I think, I'm not as bad as I thought I was.
(LAUGHTER) STUART HODES: Sometimes, I like them.
I still see the flaws.
But I don't expect to be perfect anymore, so why make a fuss about it?
My name is Stuart Hodes, and this is my Brief But Spectacular take on magic time.
You got a big editing job, don't you?
MAN: That was perfect.
That was great.
STUART HODES: It's going to be terrible.
AMNA NAWAZ: Of course, our thoughts are with all of Stuart Hodes' family and friends.
And you can watch more Brief But Spectacular videos online at PBS.org/NewsHour/Brief.
And that is the "NewsHour" for tonight.
I'm Amna Nawaz.
GEOFF BENNETT: And I'm Geoff Bennett.
Thanks for being with us.
Have a great evening.