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tv   Charlie Rose  Bloomberg  October 30, 2014 7:00pm-8:01pm EDT

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studios in new york city, this is "charlie rose." >> michael lewis is here, he rose to fame 25 years ago with the publication of his first
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book. "liar's poker." the frenzied years of wall street in the 1980's. he was a bond salesman. it's almost right, liar's poker is the funniest book on wall street i've ever read. the special edition is out now. i am pleased to have michael lewis back at this table. >> is just been six months ago it hasn't been that long. >> what is the difference in wall street? you did this because? the same question is this morning. >> it because i can. my idea but i couldn't really see a reason to say no. it never lost currency. they sell lots of books every year. it hasn't changed. that seems to be an eternal story right now. that wallhanged is
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street has gotten better at disguising what it does. it got more complicated. it's hard for the outsider to see, even if it seems transparent. it's so complicated, it's not. subprime, collateralized debt obligations. >> warned those done away with after the collapse of 2008? derivatives and stuff. >> they've never gone away. they've never been banned or anything. in 1988.ll street there was no such thing as too big to fail. firm screwed up, it was going to go down. the other thing that happened is this extension of trends to begin around that era. extreme free agency. people really not wedded to their firms, but to the markets.
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so it creates a climate of more short-term view and people are much more interested in short-term than the long-term. they don't have long-term interests, they have short-term interests. funds andout hedge private equity? it has risen a great deal. >> the whole sector is being disrupted by technology. especially the intermediary side of the business. the internet has been really harsh. but wall street has been very good -- >> it eliminates the middleman. -- ans is a premise industry that is premised on the need for a middleman. you wonder how it moves forward with the innovation that happened. me, notfeels like to the hedge funds, but the big banks. if they are scrambling around to figure out how to preserve their lifestyle without having the same social and economic
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function to perform. >> corporations need a place to borrow money when they won capital and to do things. >> you can make the argument that we don't. >> mergers and acquisitions and all of that. >> i am sure they are useful things but the things they have historically done they don't need to do. that creates a problem. you have massive regulation and response to the financial crisis which is hard to do. become broadly -- at the same time all of this interest and transparency. we'll be clear about what we're doing and why, it is basically indecipherable from the outside. much harder to understand than they were 20 years ago. greater ats a much
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session with their public image. self-consciousness with which they present themselves to the outside world is unlike anything i've seen. i cannot have written this book now. there's no way. after i left they made people sign a contract saying you won't write a book about salomon brothers if you work here. less politely than that. there is a relationship between wall street and the rest of , even less healthy than it was then. i trust wall street less. which is saying something. but wall street trusts society less in a funny way. >> are you surprised more people haven't been prosecutors things that happened during 2008? fines,ks are paying huge
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not an individual. >> the individuals are untouched. i don't know. the truth about the financial crisis is that what was scandalous is what was legal. a large amount of the behavior was legal. and that's the problem. always -- calling for people scalps. if someone gets lynched, they feel like they got it. but they either get the wrong guy or do it the wrong way. the public appetite for vengeance in an unhealthy way. it is outrageous. i think too big to fail is a huge problem and we need to establish that. supposedlyin a competitive marketplace and you fail, you fail.
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>> what did you think you wanted to do? >> my thesis advisor told me. ,ot only were they know jobs but i probably wasn't cut out for it. >> think of the books you would have written if you became an art historian. >> we never would have met. >> you would've made something that would've been a huge movie. figured iickly i wanted to write. >> you knew that before wall street. and he went in -- i was at a mortgage bankers place and he said, do you remember when we first met? introduce yourself. really was to become a mortgage banker person.
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i am here to write a book. he says it's true. i knew that i was chiefly interested in having experiences that i could write about. i was in search of life experience. i didn't know what i wanted to write about but i thought this can't be bad. they would see how this world works. >> you are really good. you have this wonderful ability to describe scenes. just exquisite. you had that talent early, yes? >> it took a long time to be identified. i didn't write for school newspapers or anything like that and i got a lot of sees on english papers. i liked the feeling that came over me when i sat down with a blank sheet of paper. i liked having to tell a story.
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reason.s no particular nobody told me i was going to make a living doing it. i just started doing it. it very naive. the idea that i was going to do this took a while to digest because it was so alien. read books?parents a my parents did but it was storytelling culture. but it wasn't a literary culture. it took a while to get here. >> i'm interviewing someone later who's a filmmaker and he said there are three things he looks for. a charismatic character to be at the center of his action. he looks for narrative and he looks for a subject that interests him. >> i would add one other thing. i look for a motion. i need to feel something about the story that will get me out of bed in the morning.
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a question. it's like a feeling. it's a different thing with each an emotionale is experience. >> do you go in search of that or does it come to you? >> i graze. i talk to people, i think about pieces. when i hit something that i think it's rich material and i around, it's like, wow. >> have you had an instinct you thought this is it and it's not? >> i never gotten far enough along on something that turned out not to be a book. it is figuring out how to tell a story. ends,it begins, where it where the beats of the story are. how you get from here to there.
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the reporting, the gathering of agonyterial and i am in about the best way to tell a story. out and geteave this story? had a white tara down to what it should be? once i got that, the words are easy. i wrote/boys in four months. worked on it for a year and a half before that. >> where are you finding your next subject? >> i have several. i know the next few probably. i think. until oneith them comes to a boil. and i'm writing a tv show now which is a little different. but when i go back, there's a
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book i know i want to do. wall street in the 20's for showtime. the characters kind of based on life.eople, inspired by wall street today is hard to dramatize. it's very complicated and so abstract. anyway, the stories kind of walk in, i get interested in them. i kind of know what the next few are, i think. >> would you have been good if you had stayed at wall street? >> i would have been terrible. >> didn't they give you a bonus when he left? they were deceived into thinking that i actually had a future in that business. by the end of it i could hardly drag myself to work i was so bored. once i saw what it was, it
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wasn't interesting. and i knew how bad i was going to get when i didn't want to do it. i don't know if i would have last another year but i left at my peak and it was perplexing to them. i really liked my bosses and they said, don't do this. you have a future in the firm and i said, i want to go right books. we can't do anything about that. write about to go you. did you tell them? >> i was -- it wasn't hostile. i went back and talked to people. >> i was friends with a lot of them but the mortgage people invented the mortgage bond market that led to the financial crisis. he was very helpful. >> was he cynical about it? >> he was emotional about it. >> he was creating something of
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value that it was important. x he felt like there was a bond between him and the firm. it's so different from now. there was a real love of the place and the identity, he couldn't believe it. >> people like paul volcker have complained about the best and brightest going into financial engineering and it's really bad because they should be going into other places. do you think that is happening? for thosepossible people now, because of the power of silicon valley -- i don't know many people that have been 10 years on a business and all of a sudden could sell for $20 billion. is that more attractive to the smartest? first, wall street attracts people that are very ambitious but don't know what they are ambitious about.
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silicon valley, they have an idea. they have something specific. it kind of have to know about computers and they tend to come with a clear set of skills. slightlyalley is a different crowd that i think drifts that way. provideeet still does for the best colleges in the country. business school, columbia business school? or undergraduates? they studied as you did, romance languages. wall street has infected the educational system so they don't study art history so they go get a job in economics. >> there's no sense in the value of the humanities? >> there's no sense in the purpose of life. people sacrificed so much for things that they actually probably shouldn't want.
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and i think what wall street does because there's so much ,oney and it sort of exciting it gives young people a sense that it is a calling. it feels like a calling instead of a job. theompletely eliminates need to agonize about what you're going to do with your life. this have to do with status? somebody wanting to be part of the establishment. they want to have an answer to the question, what are you doing? and i going to harvard work at goldman. you get the same response and it solves the problem. , wall need that response street gives you that response. >> what did you make of the tapes? >> i thought they were terrific. >> i bet you did. the rayou call them
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rice video wall street? >> i think she is the air brockovich of wall street. the viewer understands a woman who was a regulator and was installed after the financial crisis to help regulate goldman sachs was so frustrated by her inability to do anything and to be listened to and the revisionist history that was going on. scandalized about what they said and she would turn her fellow employees and say, can you believe they said that? they would say, they never said that. she started taping it. the tone of them are incredible and you get the sense the regulators have no spine. they just don't want to get in a fight and keep everything sweet. this is the problem. it doesn't even begin to describe the problem. if you are a regulator, you
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don't want to antagonize the system because one way or the other you will work in the system. a post s.e.c. world rather than regulating? you don't want to say this lightly but she seems on corruptible. she figures off -- figured out that -- >> it is corrupting? >> every occupation has its hazards. the sums of money you can get paid to do things you shouldn't do and live a life you shouldn't live are quite high. there are incentives to behave in a certain way. it's not evil. it's pretending expertise you don't have. it's not exactly greed. it's desire for status, desire to be a big fish.
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yourself as ak of financial writer or simply as a writer? >> simply as a writer. it was an accident that i ended up with access. and i was able to post financial crisis stories. one quite possible i have about something else. >> the blind side. you wrote about kids going to a baseball game also. a book about a presidential campaign. >> what do you make of the fact that the principal issue in this campaign is a man you profile for vanity fair, president obama? he'sat do i think that become such a liability to his party? it happens. >> did he bring it on himself?
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>> i think it is mainly unfair people when they are unhappy, they blame the president. i will tell you a book i want to write. i want to move into his life for the last year of his presidency and write a book about presidential decision-making that will come out after he's done. one of the reasons that i think the book could work is a think it will work as a literary project. that a year after he's out, people will miss him. people are not sitting where he's sitting and seeing what he's seeing. they don't see the complexity of the decisions he's got to make. i think a lot of what wrong in the world is not actually his fault.
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>> but it's his responsibility to respond to it. when he's made mistakes, i understand them. i'm not a political person really. i don't spend a lot of time thinking about it. i am happy.ike i think is hard to the right place and he's really smart. he has disadvantages and one of them is his temperament. he is really not that interested in you. >> one of the closest people to him said to me just that. think he's going to write. it's what he really is. a writer. most politicians when he said down with them, you sense right away their political type of person.
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they are seeking to flatter or get inside. >> nobody said bill clinton is a writer. >> he is completely neglecting his responsibility to flatter you. he just doesn't want to go to that. it's not what he wants. he likes relationships between equals. he's not manipulative and it all hurts him. there are things about them that i think make him ill suited for the job but i'm glad he's in the job. once every hundred years we put a writer. because of him, i will never be. he has ruined it for me. >> has he agreed to the project? >> he was interested. >> i'm sure he is. remnick. you and >> if he says no i will write about something else. >> it irresistible to him. >> i don't see the downside and
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i think that the world benefits from an inside view of that office. we don't really have good ways of judging or evaluating presidents. it's a bit like judging baseball managers. they have very little control over games. happened in the general manager's office. the manager has a dial that may be affected a little bit but they get all the blame and all the credit for the game. called liarss poker, rising to the wreckage of wall street, the 25th anniversary and there is a new afterword here. the always entertaining michael lewis. thank you. great to see you. back in a moment. stay with us. aaron david miller is here. he is currently a vice president
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and distinguished scholar to woodrow wilson. his book is called the end of greatness by america -- why have an doesn't want another great president. is it a pleasure to get away from the mideast for a moment? >> it is and i felt a certain sense of liberation. i started life as an american and i noticed during 20 years of negotiations that things happen. we are dealing with leaders that were masters of their political houses and prisoners of their constituencies. i understood the importance of leadership. it usually determines why things happen. when i began to understand about greatnessency, the
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three deniable he great presidents in 250 years. that undeniable greatness was personality, character, and capacity. but largely by circumstance. and the circumstance was a crisis. each is why i argue in the book that you don't want another great president because if you have one -- exactly. thate lamented the fact even though he is a consequential president, what i call the close but no cigar category, they are almost there. wilson, that's arguable. and here he truman. their crises were not as great. their flaws are larger so that each identified and shepherded
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the nation through a very consequential time. >> who would be closest to the ?op three ech >> i would pick teddy roosevelt because he was a republican president that was, in many respects, a paradox. a believer in rugged individuals. and he saw government as an agent of reform and remedy. ambition and i mean real ambition. look at the three undeniable's. a 23, washington was the best-known military figure in the state of virginia. he did not think the president he -- presidency was his due, but it was his legacy.
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attached to a broader enterprise, the american experiment. that's why they transcended their own party and began to be appreciated by republicans, democrats, and independents alike. and what they had to use a very fashionable word is emotionally intelligent. there were not haunted by demons. they were men of great discipline and i think they were at ease with who they were. project aimportant to bond with the public. and in the end, the public's affirmation and validation of are incredibly important. he never had a great one term president. it is critically important the president established that second term mind. it is the people's office and people ask me, why should anybody listen to aaron miller?
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is a terrifying prospect. my response was, it's a national conversation. book is toion of the get real about what we should expect out of these individuals. >> don't let perfect be the enemy of good? >> it is. you could argue that the greatest obstacle is the office itself. because the founders willfully designed an office that was energetic but accountable. and because they feared the royal governors and the king, they did not want power aggregated. so they created a system of accountability, checks and balances which presents an enormous challenge to any president. what i'm trying to argue in this the greatesteven
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president didn't create circumstances. exploited and took advantages of the moments they had and they had the character and the capacity for presidential greatness. enablesr and capacity them to walk through. management of the cabinet, the right people to advise you. ,robably the greatest cabinet roosevelt. his brain trust, and lincoln's team had a pretty good cabinet. very smart people. but the situation has changed since our last undeniably great president. >> who in your mind would be good? teddy roosevelt would be most likely -- >> i argue three undeniably
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great, five no cigar presidents and i identify three post-fdr who i consider to have what i call traces of greatness. real or imagined. jack kennedy, frozen forever as our idealized president and cuba. lyndon johnson who without vietnam would've been the most transformative legislative president since fdr. >> it was demons that he couldn't get his arms around? >> he really wanted the best. and reagan is the third. >> because? >> it's funny. not a great president but a guy that was great at being president. a guy who change the nature of debate over the role of government and the guy we can argue all day long was a key factor, not the key, in bringing an end to the cold war and a guy who restored a measure of
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prestige to the office after the proverbial fall of it. knew how important it was to have someone like jim baker around. reaganng people for became a real problem in his administration. so you get a sense that these larger-than-life figures somehow are gone. and obama will be a certain president. firstct that he is the black president is extraordinary. that he inherited the greatest recession since the great depression. but the question is, he said such a high bar. do you know that the inaugural lunch after the first on auration was served replica of mary todd lincoln stein a act oh he re-created the exact meal that lincoln consumed.
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that was inaugural committees but obama actually had a real admiration. >> and you have people stepping forward likely on panetta and bob gates questioning whether he has the passion of leadership. ,> more than one observer including one of fdr's most recent biographers made this point. required, the partisanship required to drive national change was missing from this president. from obama. attachment, that reserved istion of the professor appropriate for some aspects of decision-making but not for politics. >> when you think about secretaries of state, you served for six. >> i do want to make anybody unhappy but i will be clear and
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honest with you. >> who is the number one? last 50 years we've had to undeniably consequential secretary of state. >> kissinger? baker.james i worked for baker. what you need is support of the president. support,ean rhetorical i mean a real bond. the opportunity. be in someas to measure of distress that makes it amenable to some kind of american fix. and negotiating skills. the world has got to be an unassembled jigsaw puzzle and intuitively -- i don't know how these guys do it. kissinger was an academic. how do you understand how to negotiate? both of these guys did.
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>> if you look at where the president is today, we have a huge threat today. was there or is there that he can carve out for himself a legacy that is better than it is going into this crisis? would argue the world has become such a cruel and unforgiving place and much more complex since the cold war that presented a world of semi-order. if you ask people what was the act discreet and important of foreign policy, the most heroic act is probably that he killed osama bin laden. than that, you have a world on fire. vladimir putin having his way in the ukraine. decentralization in the middle east, syria, iraq. the emergence of isis.
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the new bogeyman threatening the united states. argue thatcould also he inherited an economic crisis that needed his full attention and there was not a time for him to go off around the world and try to solve the crisis or find a central principle that needed to be applied. the collapse of the economic system. became,anaging this given the fact that politics were hostile, not an opportunity, but a burden. a thousand days of his presidency left. it's hard to see now even though the final judgment on his record will take time, it's hard to see how he navigates through. >> where do we put bill clinton? >> fascinating question. he and reagan are undeniably the two most effective american politicians of the 20th century
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after fdr. relative peace and great prosperity. scandal, keeping those hidden demons under control, critically important for presidents. but i think, you know, they ask americans even now, who do you one back? your reagan, jack kennedy. >> they say that reagan could not get the nomination of his own party. >> that's probably right. >> and bush 41. >> a guy for whom i have a great deal of admiration. these are transactional presidents. men who i think understood their
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toes, did not inspire grandiose dreams and ambitions, more competent and effective. don't think great. think good but don't think good as banal. >> people think of jimmy carter and identify him meone term and it seems to that you would know this specifically. it took him, and availability to achieve campaigns. >> an extraordinary testament. those that remain will tell you. there is no question about it. him, with all due
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respect, how come we haven't had a great president since fdr? his response was extraordinary. he said because we haven't had a good war. wasthe truth is, the last fdr. and probably beyond given the degree of the complexity of the operation. >> it would have given him a second term. the book is called the end of greatness, why americans can't have and don't want another great resident. greatgument is because
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presidents come on the top of the crisis that is threatening to the country at large. thank you. aaron david miller. back in a moment, stay with us. ♪
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>> many say he has the best job in the world and has been the main photographer of victoria's secret. his work has appeared in vogue, sports illustrated, and his work focuses on the female form. and how did you come to photography? >> i am probably an accidental photographer. i have a very diverse background , making trash cans, i trained dogs. i was a police officer for five years. there was a photographer i was assisting. i saw an image lifted out of the when digital was still in
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myth. it was a singular moment that grabbed me and this is what i wanted to do. >> regardless of if the camera whatgital or not, separates good from best? >> subjective. it's a you ask. i stood before a picture with 20 different people and get 20 different opinions. >> and one is not necessarily better than the other? >> it's in the eye of the beholder but certainly there are specific aspects. there is such a deliberateness to his photography. it and the art to balance of the photographs, if or a is a person involved model, the connection to the camera isn't real. done isital has
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equalize the playing field. >> how did you come to this? why? >> i came to a delicately. book goingo do a back to the early 2000's when i was inducted into the first fine art gallery in berlin. my passion was divided. i had a landscape to a portrait of someone that i had seen significantly but had never known them. they all compelled me in the same way. new photography, there is a very
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special thing about it. it's an empty canvas. if you're shooting paragraphs for a male viewer, you can take the photo like this and you win. of a woman andph not offend her but have her partner in the photograph and have her come back -- the most important critic is the subject itself. >> what is the essence of shooting the nude body? you start with an appreciation i guess. >> a great appreciation. we can go back to the early arts and say it has compelled us from the very beginning. some of thee, ancient rock art contains the nude female form. >> or sculpture or whatever it may be. form, andhe purest
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there are so many different ways you can take it. you can take it to the most vulgar and offensive to the most beautiful and delicate and innocent. and all those things in between. >> the most liberating or the most subjugating. >> absolutely. most is thate the what i do isn't offensive, it's a partnership. there comes a moment where the subject is nude and i'm not. and i think the worst thing you can do is take the camera back. i start should very close, directly into the eye. of the windowyes of the soul and it's absolutely true. once i find the calmness of the person and they understand i'm interested in their overall --
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>> they are communicating with the camera? andhey communicate with you -- >> they go through the lens to you? >> there is a technical object but the conversation has to be at a level and the tone has to be at a level. sexy and stunning is the opposite of helpful. what is helpful is talking before i start shooting. food, kids,t lunch, life. current politics. the moment the tension drops, i start taking photographs. mean something different to you now because you've thought about it and photographed it and try to reflect it? >> yes. as i have changed matured and developed. i spent a lot of time in places
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like haiti and taking portraits of people down there. certainly say this with complete honesty that when i am person, an elder or member of the seminal tribe, there is a beauty about the photograph. and it's the strangest thing but it's so powerful and engaging. i get lost in that moment. this is all about creating women as objects? is a challenging balance that we do. an art perspective, working with brands like victoria's secret, the good thing is i am shooting women for women. value can be measured on how women receive it. i've got dollars. so i'm very conscious of the
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objective vacation of women and it's a balancing act. day, one partthe of my career, i'm taking andographs of nude people at the same time, i have to think, how do i balance that? with youngof work women, i don't photograph them nude but we let them come to the industry and let them see it's not about objectification. we made a big transformation in the last 15 to 20 years, probably in the last 10 even more. >> we will take a look at some of your work. is new york city in 2013. >> there is no nudity and that is the irony. some of it is a sense and a feel. and it's just amazing to have
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the moment we can calm the room enough to look at the camera and not do anything. just let her eyes and her body speak. >> this is lily aldridge. what should i notice about this? other than the overall photograph? her hair is not sort of perfect lady -- >> i photograph lily very much. she's about as rounded a person as you can get. she's a remarkable mother, a remarkable spokesperson. she is philanthropic in her nature and is an absolutely gorgeous woman. she walks in with appeared genes , and a t-shirt.
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>> tell me about this photograph. >> taken in the northwest of australia, it was with an elder. -- literally, some things are self-explanatory. i looked at the eyes and body and said, i can literally see the 50,000 years of your culture and your eyes. there wasn't a lot of explanation to it. i shot around the area and went back the next week. it's always compelled me. the eyes of people whether it is a beautiful woman or an ancient elder or a person that we know very well. it is carried in the eyes. the vehicle was started as a
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foundation, a philanthropic endeavor. it's an art project where i would collaborate with indigenous cultures. i did it because there are so many issues where indigenous cultures have been marginalized and for many groups i met, there have been extraordinary suffering going on. is the seminal tribe of florida. they have one of the greatest success stories. we are working on something we called seminal spirit. it is an art collaboration that will launch in february 2015 in new york. what i hope to show is a positive side to what is often a negative. tried that has kept the culture and has adapted as good as or better than anyone in the modern day. >> what are you looking for in this photograph? you're looking into his eyes.
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somewhat an absolute mentor. i got to travel with him to haiti and other places. when i was looking at in that inspiration and understanding that what i was doing was an art project. when people like resident clinton and richard branson said don't be ashamed about socially conscious -- people see you can't mix philanthropic endeavor with commercial activity. flipped ittely and said yes you can. i am seeing a mentor and a space. who sits on which side of the fence? him --are you talking to >> are you talking to him or is he simply posing and you waiting for the moment that you want?
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>> we were talking about the story ina little-known the north of haiti. that was the conversation we were having. and so i had just interviewed the president on that subject and asked if i could take some photographs. i did. i guess the closest thing for me hishat it was just personality that i was looking for. who he actually is. that photograph is very recent. passion is the biggest for you? someone said to take a month and go where ever you want. that would be sophie's choice for me.
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go to the roots that have driven me. cultureound indigenous and marginalized culture. and again, i probably want to bring all the elements and bring them together. >> thank you for coming. russell james, thank you for joining us. see you next time. ♪
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>> with all due respect to chris christie, we are already sitting down and we are not going to shut up. just leave us alone, ok? trick or treat, sports fans. in our spooky lineup tonight, which governors heads will roll, democrats haunt the cell, and bernie sanders does the monster mash. that last one, not a joke. just five days between now and election day. candidates are starting to make their closing arguments. and many of those are, both sleepy and hollow. take a look. >> n


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