Last night digital news publication The Fiscal Times celebrated its official launch at The Paley Center for Media in New York City. The main event was a conversation between CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo and Pete Peterson, the former U.S. Secretary of Commerce who now runs the Peter G. Peterson Foundation. Peterson’s foundation, which aims to draw awareness to the U.S. debt crisis, is funding the The Fiscal Times, which is branding itself as “The source for All Things Fiscal.”
The event kicked off on a lighthearted note, with Bartiromo introducing Peterson and kissing him on the cheek, the billionaire responding with a deadpan “I have been wanting to do that for a long time,” to laughs and applause from the crowd, before adding “I am glad you didn’t mention that I can’t use a computer.”
Fiscal Times editor-in-chief Jackie Leo told WebNewser that issues like the debt and finance are important to every American, the challenge is making it accessible to ordinary people…
“We are zeroing in on fiscal issues,” Leo said. “What starts in Washington migrates over to the business community, and what happens in the business community affects every consumer in the country.”
Those were points that Peterson made in his discussion with Bartiromo, recounting meetings he took with leaders in Washington last week.
“If something is unsustainable it tends to stop,” Peterson said. “So to use a metaphor, if your horse dies, I suggest you dismount. There are people who think we can ride this horse [the national debt] indefinitely, and we cant.”
But despite the seriousness of the subject matter, Peterson proved adept at giving pithy and deadpan responses to Bartiromo’s questions, before answering them seriously.
When asked what the takeaway should be from their discussion, Peterson quipped: “That they are being introduced to a new media mogul. I don’t know whether my model is Rupert Murdoch, I don’t know whether he is quite big enough. One step at a time.”