CNBC's Maria Bartiromo Shares Her Laws For Success
SCOTT SIMON, Host:
Last week, the stock market reached its highest level in 18 months.
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MARIA BARTIROMO: Stocks finally closing above the 11,000 mark on Wall Street. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finishing the session up six points above 11,000.
SIMON: That's Maria Bartiromo with the news. She's watched the roller-coaster ride on Wall Street for years behind the camera at CNBC. She's also the author of a new book with Catherine Whitney. It's called "The 10 Laws of Enduring Success." Maria joins us from our studios in New York. Thanks so much for being with us.
BARTIROMO: Hi there, Scott. Good to talk with you.
SIMON: Before we get to the message of your book and these 10 laws that you talk about, I have to ask you about your birthday.
BARTIROMO: Yeah, my birthday is September 11th, and I open the book with the chapter called "Born on September 11th" to put an example out there: Sometimes we work so hard and we do everything right, and even then, after all of the hard work, doing the right thing, your success can get just snuffed out because of unseen events.
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BARTIROMO: We could not breathe. People are wearing white masks to cover themselves. I don't know if you could actually get a shot, but I'm covered in soot...
I was at the New York Stock Exchange that day, you know, watching the towers come down and running for my life when that happened and shielding my eyes from the smoke and the soot. And you know, today we all look back and remember how resilient America was right after September 11th.
SIMON: I guess a lot of people think of you as someone who deals with and interviews captains of industry. But I get the idea you learned as much from your grandfather, who ran a restaurant called The Rex Manor?
BARTIROMO: That's right, in Brooklyn. You know, my grandfather came to this country in 1919 from Italy, left family and friends and boarded a ship called the Rex, came to America and built a restaurant and named it the Rex Manor after that ship that he came to America on. And that was my first job. I was the coat check girl at my dad's restaurant, which was passed down.
SIMON: save, save, save - and even as a young girl, if I wanted something as simple as an ice cream cone, I would say to her, mom, the ice cream man is here, can I go get an ice cream cone? And she would say to me, well, you can have it but how will you pay for it? How much change have you saved?
SIMON: Let me run through the 10 laws and then follow up on them: self- knowledge, vision, initiative, courage, integrity, adaptability, humility, endurance, purpose, resilience. Let me begin with humility.
BARTIROMO: I think that the easiest way to lose success once you have it is through hubris. You may have worked really hard and you may have a fantastic talent, but often times it's also luck. And so don't believe your own press releases and keep it real and keep your feet on the ground.
SIMON: Purpose - when you talk about purpose, the purpose is not just to make money.
BARTIROMO: Right. I think, you know, success is defined by each of us. It doesn't necessarily have to be about stuff that you acquire and money in the bank and homes and cars in terms of feeling successful. Success is a feeling that we get to when we feel content.
So I spoke with people like Jack Welch and Bill Gates and Warren Buffett and Joe Torre and I asked them all about this so-called stuff in their lives and then I asked them, is that what success is? And so many people told me that purpose, knowing what matters, is so important, because it puts things into perspective for you.
SIMON: One of the nicest little vignettes you have in your book is about a name that I think will not be familiar to many of our listeners: Paul Bond of Nogales, Arizona.
BARTIROMO: Oh God. This person really impressed me. We were trying to find a company that had seen its fortunes change as a result of advertising on Google. So we came upon this company that Paul Bond - a boot company in Nogales, Arizona, right on the border of Mexico. And when I went to Nogales and met the Paul Bond, who started this company, I was so impressed with his vibrancy - 93 years old, and every day gets up, goes to work and makes boots and loves what he does.
And I said to him, you're 93 years old. You've got your cowboy boots on, you're walking up and down steps and you're loving life and you've got a smile and you're happy and you've got contentment in your heart. And he said, I love making boots and I love getting up every day and coming to my showroom and coming up with a new design and hammering the heels and making those boots.
And I thought it was so impressive to be so engaged at 93 years old. It's funny - I came home that day after the shoot and I said to my mom, who is 77; I said, mom, you've got to get a job.
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SIMON: Enough of this lolling around the house, yeah. We're speaking with Maria Bartiromo of CNBC. She's got a new book, "The 10 Laws of Enduring Success."
A lot of people have no patience or sympathy for the people on Wall Street.
BARTIROMO: It's true. There's a lot of anger out there, and it's well placed. When you look at some of the salaries that we're talking about, it's impossible to understand these kinds of numbers, particularly when you see people losing their jobs.
I also think, though, that we need to be careful not to have a brush stroke attitude with this stuff. All business is not bad. Business in many cases is trying to do the right thing in terms of lending money and in terms of getting the economy back on track and creating jobs.
SIMON: Tell us, please, one good idea that you might recommend to clean up Wall Street.
BARTIROMO: Accountability. I think it's very important for people to take accountability for what has gone on and make investors, consumers, make all of us feel like someone has taken accountability and responsibility. And going forward there will be policemen on the job.
I was astounded to learn the other day that AIG had 400 regulators. Four hundred agencies were overseeing AIG. I guess when 400 agencies oversee you, nobody oversees you. So I think regulators dropped the ball. They completely missed the fact that the company was taking on an enormous amount of risk and in effect taking the economy to its knees.
Andrew Cuomo, the attorney general, said to me recently, people do not go back into the water until they know the shark is dead. And I agree with that. I mean, you're seeing a much more aggressive Securities and Exchange Commission right now - the SEC. I like that. We need to know that the policemen on the job are doing their job.
SIMON: We put out the word on a couple of social media platforms that we were going to be talking to you. And you know, of course people who follow us are very issue oriented and very savvy with financial questions. And I think the number one question we got was - how does Maria feel about that nickname the Money Honey?
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BARTIROMO: Oh, that's funny. Well, you know, I'm flattered to have been noticed, put it that way. I mean, I've never taken it too seriously. People have asked me that over the years: Oh, Maria, don't you hate the fact that, you know, they call you that? And doesn't it undermine, you know, what you've been doing?
And I say, no, look, my viewers know what to expect from me. I'm going to have on the person of the moment in business and I'm going to ask them the questions that need to be asked and what shareholders want to know and we're going to hold them accountable. And that's the bottom line.
SIMON: So if coming out of this interview we play the song that Joey Ramone wrote for you...
BARTIROMO: I'd love it. I'd love it. You know, most people don't realize that Joey Ramone was an avid investor. He used to email me and call me up and say, Oh, Maria, what do you think about earnings at Intel and what do you think about the revenues coming out of Google and Amazon.com. And he was a real Internet stock investor.
So it was a funny story, because he started emailing me out of the blue. And I didn't think it was really the real Joey Ramone until he said to me, you know, Maria, I wrote a song about you. And I said, What? So it warms my heart and I cherish the friendship that I had with Joey Ramone.
SIMON: Maria, thanks so much.
BARTIROMO: Thank you for having me.
SIMON: Maria Bartiromo, her book with Katherine Whitney is called "The 10 Laws of Enduring Success."
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JOEY RAMONE: Maria Bartiromo, what's happening on Wall Street? What's happening at the Stock Exchange? I want to know. What's happening on Squawk Box? What's happening with my stocks?
SIMON: Yeah, you should have heard the song they did for Tom Gjelten. You're listening to WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News.
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