To get some perspective on this week's financial crisis The Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith caught up with master deal maker Donald Trump at his office in New York's Trump Tower.
"Did I read someplace that you never ever invest in the stock market?" Smith asked.
"I don't invest," Trump said. "I'm very lucky I didn't invest in the stock market. I was so tempted. In fact, I was very tempted even a few months ago to invest in the stock market. It seemed so low. And guess what? I had a lot of friends that did that and they're not very happy campers right now."
"You like bricks and mortar," Smith noted.
"I like brick and mortar," Trump said. "I like buildings like this where you can walk in and actually touch it."
"Although, even within your history it wasn't so long after the stock market crash in the late 80's, you yourself were on the brink," Smith said.
"I had trouble," Trump said. "There's no question in 1990, 1991, '92 there was a real estate depression like I've never seen."
"People watch you. People have gone to your seminars. They've certainly bought your books. They watch you on 'The Apprentice,'" Smith said. "Here's a smart guy like Donald Trump. What's he doing now? What would his advice be to the little guy who lives in Teaneck?"
"Well first of all, my advice over two years ago and during many of the seminars and many of the speeches I've made over the years -- don't buy real estate because I said it's too highly priced and don't take these exploding mortgages," Trump said. "Now I say buy. This is a great time to buy. This today is a great time to buy. And people will have to take back money. The banks are already in. So they'll take back money. You know they'll do a lot of things to get something sold. The last thing that banks want right now is your house. They have enough houses. And you go see the bank, and I tell this to so many people, go see the bank and make a deal. They don't want your house."
"I'm thinking back to you in those troubled times in the 90's for you, what was the most important lesson for you and what was your takeaway from that time?" Smith asked.
"Well first of all Harry, you have to be very smart. You gotta be cunning and smart and all, but you can never give up. And I had an expression I came up with and I think 'Business Week' wrote it. It was 'survive 'til 95.' This was in 1990, 1991. And it was a great expression, 'survive 'til 95.' And I survived and a lot of other people went bankrupt and they're gone," Trump said. "Well it's gonna be the same thing right now. It won't rhyme as well probably but over a period of three or four years lots of good things will happen. But you have to survive. So you can never ever give up. You have to be smart and you're either smart or you're not smart but you can never ever give up. You have to just keep going forward."
This summer Trump followed his own advice and sold a mansion he had bought in Palm Beach, Fla., for just shy of $100,000,000.
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