Why does Ed Schultz think Wall Street and "big business" are sitting on $1 trillion in assets?
Depends on what week you ask him.
Here's what Schultz said about that during a contentious discussion on July 26 with publisher Mort Zuckerman on MSNBC's "The Ed Show," as rebroadcast the following day on Schultz's radio show (click here for audio) --
ZUCKERMAN: And if you don't think that the business community doesn't feel that they're being, you know, attacked, I'm just telling you, that isn't the case. They do believe it.
SCHULTZ: OK, they may believe that, Mr. Zuckerman ...
ZUCKERMAN: 'Cause they are!
SCHULTZ: ...but credit is tight, money is tight, small businesses getting money is a huge issue, and Wall Street, in my opinion, the bankers, tight with a dollar because they want to see this president fail.
ZUCKERMAN: That's absolute nonsense.
SCHULTZ: Well, that's not nonsense ...
ZUCKERMAN: That may be your view ...
Earlier in the interview, Zuckerman said this about hesitancy among business owners to hire more workers after Schultz cited "big time" higher profits for J.P. Morgan and insurance companies (audio here) --
SCHULTZ: I'm curious, with all of the Wall Street numbers that are out there, J.P. Morgan, their profits up big time, insurance companies are reporting, you know, profits big time again this year. How is that bad for business? How do you see this?
ZUCKERMAN: Nobody says that that's bad for business. Of course it's not bad for business. And what's happened to all big companies of America is that they've been in a position to significantly reduce their costs. And that, amongst other things, means cutting a lot of jobs in order to do that because they really were very concerned about what was going to happen and what was happening in the economy.
A week later, when he was interviewed during his radio show by MSNBC daytime anchor Tamron Hall on Aug. 3, Schultz sang a different tune about "big business" holding tight on $1 trillion in assets -- a tune eerily similar to that coming from Zuckerman on July 26 (audio) --
HALL: I know the president says jobs saved and he says things would have been worse, but still, you've got millions of folks out of work who thought that perhaps they would get a boost from the stimulus that they may not see.
SCHULTZ: Well, you've got a trillion dollars on the sideline right now from big business because they're afraid of what might happen in the economy, they won't invest in workers ...
Alas, the lucidity couldn't last. Earlier this week, Schultz was interviewed again by Hall during his radio show on Aug. 9 (audio) --
SCHULTZ: No one can make the case better than President Obama when he talks about what he has been up against when it comes to Boehner and McConnell and this crowd that has just fought him at every way you possibly can.
HALL: But the Republicans say all you need to do is ask, where are the jobs, and that shuts down Democrats on the spot. What do you say to that?
SCHULTZ: Well, I don't agree with that. We're not peeling off 750,000 jobs a month any more, interest rates are great, the table is set for this economy to come roaring back. We've got Wall Street that's sitting on $1.8 trillion worth of assets because they want to see this president fail.
.... which Mort Zuckerman ridiculed as "absolute nonsense" -- followed a week later by Schultz parroting Zuckerman.