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So welcome to the core. I'm so excited. I'm so excited. This is Erika Nardini. I'm sitting in for Dan Katz with Alex Rodriguez. And we have an incredibly special guest, someone who is very personally inspiring to me, Maria Bartiromo, who I would call in the Game of Thrones era. She's like the Surcease dangerous a business news. So there's nobody more fierce or formidable than Maria. And what we're going to cover today is essentially a couple of things, which is how you got to where you are.
You have three top rated shows. You've written three books. You're doing sixteen hours of television a week. There is no one who seems hungrier, more driven, more accomplished, more newsworthy in business than you. And we're excited to cover that real. And what one of my role models to remember, I have two daughters. Yes. And I was kind of like the gold standard, as are you. So I like Maria would be a guy arrived.
I have it right, Alex. Right. You guys just said that I am one of these role models. I have above it at first girl. Yes, 100 percent.
So, Maria, I want to start with, you know, I think of you as like the female reporter in today's female reporters are in the locker room and what you broke through and did on the New York Stock Exchange in terms of covering business news, covering business news on the floor. Take us through from that moment to today. You know, how did you get to where you are? How did you come to be? Thank you. Well, thank you for having me.
First of all, it's a thrill to be with both of you. I want you to know I started my career at CNN. I was a production assistant and CNN, and that was in 1989. And at that time, it was CNN was doing something that nobody was doing and that was covering a story as it was actually happening. And that was the first Gulf War. And I remember as a production assistant, I was in awe watching Bernard Shaw, the other reporters under the bed in Baghdad, saying, oh, bombs are going off.
So I learned firsthand how to cover a story as it was happening, which was really helpful. Five years later when I started at CNBC as a reporter on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, having to cover the stock market in real time. And it was incredibly exciting and I first got to the floor to do our show, we were beginning a new program called Squawk Box and we wanted to be different. So initially, a lot of people did not want me there.
But, you know, it really took an effort to break through to get these guys to become allies of mine. And so I'm really proud of that.
How do you think about, you know, you talk about covering things on the fly and on the ground. And what I think is so impressive is not only have you moved from CNN to CNBC to Fox Business, you've moved from from business to culture to politics, like what are the skills you think you need to have or that you have that have made you so adept at covering all these different things in real time? Yeah, I think such a great question, actually, because it really comes down to the same thing, regardless of what the industry is.
And it's just preparation and I overprepare. I think one of the best ways that I prepare to do interviews and to cover a story is I speak with as many people as possible. So when I'm interviewing somebody, I'll speak with people who know that person, who like the person, don't like the person, a bull, a bear, whatever it is, to try to understand what the most important issues around that person are. And so that's how I approach interviewing.
It was really important for me to be able to stretch myself and cover more topics than just the stock market. When I was at CNBC for 20 years, I covered the stock market, balance sheets, corporates, interviewing CEOs. But after a while I felt like it was so short term. It was all about what is the stock market going to do in the next three seconds? What are the earnings going to be in the next three months? And I was looking to broaden out my own portfolio.
Fox made me a great offer to leave. I did. And now I've been able to stretch myself and study things that I never would have studied otherwise. So I'm talking about, you know, tax policy, immigration policy, politics. I really enjoy the focus on policy as opposed to just business, because now today policy really matters to the markets and policy really matters to business. Back then, you know, it didn't I mean, during the 90s, it was like, oh, you know, what stocks should we buy?
Based on the number of clicks to the website, we had thrown out all fundamentals in terms of earnings and revenue growth. And we were just looking at clicks to the website. And it's interesting, when you look back at things like that, we saw it again in the housing boom and then the housing bust where we were expecting housing prices to go up just because they kept going up. You know, you pick any any city, Phoenix, for example.
I remember in 2006, I believe it was home prices were up 40 percent year over year. Why why were home prices up 40 percent? Was the population growing? Was the housing market getting better? No, none of that. Just we saw prices going up and we thought that it would continue. So I think it's really important when you're in a boom to say, does this make sense? You know, is this really the way it should be?
Or if it if it doesn't make sense, then if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. And so we learn that over and over again in these different euphoric periods. I think it's cool.
And then I'll let you get a very enjoyable quinella. I got this one. But one of the things Alex talks about that I love and that I think about all the time is he describes himself and he's described himself on this podcast as having mojo and being methodical. And I think about you as someone who has those same to two things where you're incredibly disciplined in research, but you have the grit and the mojo to make things work. I think so often you see in both of you actually, you see personalities not able to cross the transom from one network to another.
Something worked in one place that didn't work in the next place. I think, Alex, what you're doing on FOX and ESPN is extraordinary and unheard of and nothing works except basketball.
Yes, but tell me a little bit about your mojo.
Like what drives you? What makes you go, like, what's the Marea of it all?
Well, I mean, I think your upbringing really shapes you. I was born and raised in Brooklyn, and I think I did learn a certain street savvy. So that definitely is who I am. So when I got down to the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, I started getting pushback from the guys on the floor. I pushed back and I said, you know what? I know this better than you do. I'm coming back. I'm not going anywhere.
And so I think you do need to have that confidence and that belief in yourself to believe that you can actually accomplish something, that belief, that mojo, as you call it, that's part of taking you forward. You've got to believe in yourself, because if you don't believe in yourself, I assure you no one else will. And, you know, I think that being an. Brooklyn and growing up in my father's restaurant, my whole family was there all the time, the Rex Manor, my grandfather actually my grandfather came from Italy in 1936.
First thing he did was go fight in World War One. And he came back and he built a restaurant, literally built the restaurant. He was a bricklayer in Italy. They named it the Rex, the Rex Manor. After the ship that he had taken back and forth to Italy, it was called the Rex. And I was the girl at that restaurant. So I definitely started doing a lot, working hard. That is who I am. I'm definitely known as one of the hardest working people in the industry, and I am proud of that because my mother has always told me success comes through a preparation and I do overprepare.
I love I mean, you remind me of great athletes when I think about the great athletes that I played with, like Edgar Martinez, who's going into the Hall of Fame, Mariano Rivera, you think about the Jordans is always a great preparation, right? I mean, I always say that a forward a plan B to genius without one every time. And you don't have to be the smartest with someone that great. But, you know, when I think about you, your father owned the restaurant.
Your mother was a hostess and helped seat customers. You go to NYU, you're in New York all the way around with an Italian background. What's fascinating to me is a little bit what Erika said. You come from CNBC, you're a rock star. There you go to Fox. And I remember reading all is not going to work at Fox is not going to work at Fox. Well, you're breaking records there and now you're beating your opponent, CNBC, which is fascinating, not only in the weekdays, but also on the weekends.
I guess my question to you, because I've watched some incredible interviews over the years because I'm a big fan of yours, some of the great CEOs and I know you had Trump just a few this past weekend, but I want to talk more on the business side. CEOs, maybe a few that you've really enjoyed and why and what makes them a good interview.
You know, who I really like a lot is Jamie Dimon. He's real. He tells you how it is. You know, that he's probably not lying to you. I mean, I think when people get a question and then they don't actually answer the question, audiences are really smart. They're like, he's lying to me. He's not answering the question. She's not answering the question. When you're straightforward, sometimes people don't like the answer, but they know they're getting the raw deal, they're getting the truth.
And I think people appreciate that. They just want the truth. And so that's one thing I think that Jamie Dimon does. I absolutely love Steve Schwarzman, the chairman and CEO of Blackstone, because here's a guy who has gotten to the pinnacle of wealth, the pinnacle of success, and he never forgets where he came from. He's always so real as well. I saw him the other night and he's just really personable. He's a good man. He gives so much money away.
He just gave three hundred and fifty million dollars to MIT because he's just curious. He was curious about A.I. and MIT is doing a lot on artificial intelligence. So people like that really they turn me on. I mean, it's like, OK, this guy's real. Barack Obama had a very special component about him. He was an incredible orator. And I remember watching him when he was either in the White House or at events.
He was electric. He drew you it no matter if you don't like his policies, you like his policies. You know that he was among the best speakers that you're going to find. But I think CEOs, my advice to people coming up in the world, and I think this is true to some of the CEOs that I admire very much, is, number one, they love what they do. And, you know, you see a guy like Hank Greenberg who ran AIG and then C.V. Starr, he's almost 90 years old.
He's going it to work every day. He is eating salmon and trying to stay alive forever. He never stops because he loves it. I think, you know, you always have to do the right thing. I mean, your reputation follows you wherever you go. And so I think it's really important for you to cherish your reputation and know that it's fragile and it's fleeting. And so you need to love what you do and and do the right thing and and work hard.
I certainly have followed that.
I have a follow up because this is really interesting and this has happened so many times in my career where I've seen this, Erica, is where you you see a guy off camera and he's like, so how's your dad? How's your mother? How's this? How's that? Oh, my goodness. Great. And he's just charming and truthful and honest and all of a sudden they go, three, two, one, action.
And then you say, oh my God, what happened? And really they freeze. Right. And what advice would you give to some of those CEOs that the only difference is they're not telling their story? What advice would you tell them and how much of an impact it makes for the viewers listening and sometimes shareholders? I think this is such an important point, because people forget sometimes that the best way to come across on camera is to be yourself. Over the years, I've had so many people who have wanted to be me and they would call themselves.
Whatever, Maria 2.0 or I'm you know, I'm the next Maria, and that was the biggest mistake they could have made because I'm here and I didn't go anywhere. You want to be yourself, you have to portray who you really are because like we were talking about earlier, audiences see through it. And when they think you're lying to them, you're done. They have they've stopped listening. And so I think that that's one thing that CEOs and really all of us have to remember.
You have to be yourself, be real, because that is what resonates with.
Are you talking about Jamie Dimon not I mean, being completely up front, but some of these CEOs are running public companies. What advice would you give if you do not want to lie to you, Maria, but yet you want to be forthright. What advice would you give those CEOs how to handle that question?
Look, I don't think there's anything wrong with saying, you know what, I don't have the answer to you right now. I'm going to get back to you. Or you know what? I can't really discuss that right now because it's under consideration and we're working through that right now. But don't make something up and make believe that you have a different answer for something that is really not the truth. I think the truth is really important. And if you can't answer that, you can say, you know what, I'm not.
I can't go there because I'm in the middle of something right now about that. And we're not talking about that. But here's what I will say about that. You know, it's important to I understand people want to get their messages out. I get that you want to get your message out, but you also want to answer the question as best as you can because people get annoyed when you don't.
Very annoying. Yeah. I also think that there's something to like. I have been to so many conferences where it's buzzword bingo and deflection. It's there is an art of right of deflecting the question. And if I were in your shoes, which I very, very rarely am, it's so aggravating because you're like, just tell the frigging story how to tell a little bit about how you what's your method of how how do you get past the opaqueness and the smoke to get to a real story?
We look at this a lot at Burstall and I look at this a lot in the Internet, whereby in the Internet, if it's not real, it's not going to work. And if you're packaging something, nobody cares. So how do you think about that? Because you're in live television. There's light, there's it's pressure. How do you do that? Look, I cut right through it. I cut to the chase. That's always who I've been.
I am a straight talker. And like I said, sometimes that rubs people the wrong way. But I like to think at least that person knows that. I'm telling you the truth. I'm not going to sugarcoat it. This is what I see. This is how I see it developed. And you know what? When I have a staffer who may have made a mistake or I deal with it right away, I'm like, you know what? I love you.
But right now I'm not too happy about this. This is what just went on. And this needs to change and this needs to be fixed. And at least then I know that it's on the table. We discussed it, I guess, what, probably ten minutes later I forgot and, you know, I'm over it, but I need to discuss it and get around the table and deal with it directly. So I think being a straight shooter and cutting to the chase has worked for me because people recognize that I'm being myself and I'm being truthful.
And I think people appreciate that and they want that.
I also think that they it makes them trust you. Like, I think we're in an era where we're in an era of affinity. And it's partly, I would imagine, why you can interview Donald Trump or Jamie Diamond or Alex like people trust. You're going to ask the right question. You're going to get to the right conclusion. And I think, you know, I think you have a responsibility and you feel that responsibility to your viewers and your fans.
So how do you think about that part of your job, which is your audience? I think this is such an important point that you bring up, because it's also true that I have to be true to myself and I have to be true to what I just said. I am a woman of my word. I am not going to tell someone we're going to do this and then I'm going to switch it around on them and do and play. Gotcha.
Yeah, that's not who I am and that's not who I will ever be. I think it's really important to be upfront truthful. I mean, oftentimes if someone says to me, look, I'll do an interview with you, but I can't talk about this business, I'll say, well, unfortunately, that's what I was going to ask. You can't do the interview. I'm not going to waste people's time and I'm not going to be somebody that I'm not.
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How do you think about the newsroom changing like how how has it changed for you? I mean, if you think about, you know, so much is happening on the Internet, so much is happening on Twitter. How do you think about evolving from long form interview format? And I guess to a degree, you've always been short form because you're moving through topics and people. But how do you think about the Internet versus television versus media? Well, I like long form, too.
I mean, I've done, you know, several specials. I did a special on Google back in 2006 and won an Emmy for the financial crisis. I did a long special working on a long special right now on on something else. But you write, people have short attention spans and we're in a world now where sound bite situations I try not to do too many sound bites. I like at least 10, 15 minute conversations with people because it's hard to just do sound bites.
But I think right now we are looking at a different distribution model in our in media. And so I've been trying to access social media as much as possible, whether it be teasing my programs, you know, talking about what what's going on with sound bites. So I think the newsroom has changed. It will continue to change. And again, it's more important than ever to cut to the chase, to get to the important things so that you're not misrepresenting someone by showing one portion of something and not and not showing all of the sentiment that that person movement really like.
I do this with my games every Sunday on ESPN, where there's so much data out there that my head is spinning by the time the game starts. You said you entered in nineteen eighty nine in early 90s. You come on television, you say something that's a little bit off center or maybe not factual for whatever reason someone can call you on it. Three days later today it's so active you basically have millions of millions of viewers checking every word you say.
Does that actually change a little bit of how you go about your due diligence? And how much studying are you doing before you interview, say, someone like Erica in a week?
Well, like I said, I do prepare a lot. So sometimes things happen on the fly that I didn't know I didn't see coming. So I'm on the air every morning, three hours a morning on mornings with Maria.
And for that three hour period, news is breaking. It may very well be that a news story happens and I need to react to it as it's happening. Hopefully, I have a knowledge base in that subject matter to be able to talk, to be able to vamp around and sort of talk about the industry in general. And oftentimes I do, because I've studied this stuff for a long time. But if there's something that I don't know a lot about, I'm going to bring in experts.
I'm going to say, let's get some analysts on the phone. Let's get somebody who knows more about it. But I think that, you know, right now you're talking about a situation where there are reasons and a need to prepare a lot for these subjects. You know, these these are not easy subjects in terms of business markets. So my preparation ranges, it depends on if I know the person, if I know the industry more so than I do.
And then, by the way, I am also hostage to my guests. A CEO might say to me, OK, I can do the interview, but I can only do it on, you know, next Tuesday at four o'clock, which is not so convenient for me. But I will change my schedule around to do that. So depending on when we put the interview in the books, that will dictate how much I have to prepare for it.
What is the day in the life like? Like what time do you wake up? I get up at three thirty every day. OK, three thirty in the morning because my show is live at six, six a.m. and by the way, six to nine a.m. which is when my program airs live. That's prime time for TV. This is when people are getting ready, you know, getting ready to go to work. So I get up at three thirty.
I have my fantastic hair and makeup team come to my house about four o'clock. We do that and then I go to the studio. I have my fantastic executive producer who we go through the show together and then cameras roll six a.m. We're live we're at it for the next three hours. And we are, you know, talking about what's happening in the world and talking about markets. And it's really a lot of coffee in there.
Yeah, I like well, I go back and forth with coffee and mint tea.
I got I got my lightning rod because I know we have just a few minutes left when I got one before. OK, go ahead.
Oh we're good. We got to go. I want to talk about the money, honey. Yes, yes. Honey, honey, I'm obsessed.
OK, so tell like it's a great nickname. I think you've made it your own. But talk about being the money, honey.
Well, look, I mean, in the nineties, I don't know why, but the New York Post decided to just come up with a name that rhyme, then money. So that was great and I never was insulted by it. In fact, I always felt that it was a compliment. I was just, you know, I was grateful to have been noticed. So but everyone would say to me, oh, aren't you insulted? This is terrible.
And I said, no, I think it's fantastic. But the truth is, no one actually picked up the phone and said, hello, money, honey. And that's really not know. And I always knew and I always felt like my viewers knew exactly who they were getting. They knew that I had done the work. It wasn't going to waste their time. I was going to be professional. I was going to be a woman of my word.
So I was never worried about my audience, the people I was interviewing, thinking of me differently because of that name. So for me, I'm grateful to have been noticed and and I'm happy about it.
I love that. So I was researching Maria and I saw that she trademarked the money Honey and Rose and used it to create a platform to educate young people about money, which I thought was so inspiring. I get called the token CEO. I get called that I'm a woman. And the only reason I'm a barstool sports is to make them look better and to wear a skirt, which I did take a lot of insult to insult with. But yesterday I trademarked it because I like you know what?
I'm going to turn this into something where you can be a token anything, and that just means your groundbreaking.
Well, that's the thing. I mean, I felt like the reason that we have so much debt, the reason that we have an economy that is so reliant on debt is because people don't understand how important saving is. And I think it starts at home. When I was a young girl, I remember as young as four or five years old, the ice cream truck would come down Mr. Softy on my block in Brooklyn. And I would say to my mom, Mom, can I get a cone?
Can I get a cone? And she would say the same thing all the time. Well, you can get it, but do you have any money for it? How are you going to pay for it so little by little? I started collecting change in a jar and I would just collect change and I would always have the money. And I would say, Mom, the ice cream vans here, I'm going to run down to Mr. Softee. I've got the change.
And she would say, OK, then you can do it. And so from a very early age, I always knew if you wanted this, you had to do this. You have to save. And even today, I encourage people to have three buckets. No one bucket is your four, one K, your retirement bucket. You put you start putting money in that bucket and you do not touch it. Your second bucket is your bucket for your bills, your checking account.
That's the money that you're going to be using to live to pay. Then you've got the third bucket of fund money every once in a while. We need a treat. And so you want to buy that extra pair of shoes. You want to buy that and go on that trip, go to that third bucket. So if you plan your life with an idea, a plan that you will have the money that you need, you will actually be saving.
And I always tell people you have to pay yourself first. Every time you get paid, every two weeks, every week, whatever it is, the first thing you do is put money into one of those buckets and you save you pay yourself first, then you use the rest of the money to pay your bills or whatever you need to do. So that's important.
So Maria is a lightning round. The first quick answer, one word in and out. OK, we're not expecting this. It is so special. OK, it's a lot of pressure. What songs do you think to yourself in the shower? How do you solve a problem like what apps are open on your phone right now? Apps open right now, shoot, let me can I look I mean, I'm not oh, you can't look at something right now.
Well, I've got the app for wine.
I've got the OK books, books or book or Kindle book. Cats or dogs. Dogs.
You just adopted one. I did. My baby. Dusty coffee or tea? Coffee. But I've been getting tea into the mix recently.
OK, and Shaun Mendis or Justin Bieber. Well, God, that's just it.
OK, got to go. These are just quick buy or sell Facebook. Sell Amazon by Google. So General Motors. So Toyota so. And last Berkshire Hathaway. But OK, that's great. That's great.
Venture out there is expensive and have to save you money for that one. Going to be here even one Shari'ah. But thank you so much Maria. This is great. We appreciate you being on the court. Thank you so much, fans of you both. So thank you for having me. Thank you for being here.