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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Grilling Goldman Sachs; Tornado Terror; Left to Die; Bret Michaels Hospitalized; The Cost of Fighting Cancer; Real-Life Space Invaders?
Aired April 26, 2010 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight: the most powerful guy at the most powerful bank on Wall Street. Was Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs, in fact running a crooked casino with a deck stacked against both investors and the economy? Lawmakers, they're going to be grilling him tomorrow. Us, we're "Keeping Him Honest" tonight.
Also tonight, if the security cam video didn't exist, could you even imagine this? A mugging, a wounded Samaritan and then one person after another sees the man on the sidewalk. One even takes a picture, but none of them, not a single soul calls for help until it's far too late. "Crime & Punishment" tonight.
And later, "Up Close", what happens if one of those tiny lights in the sky really is E.T. and what if E.T. isn't cuddly? What if he's hungry? Or ticked off by one of the smartest men on the earth WHO says if aliens really are out there, we might want to hope that they stay way.
First up, though, Wall Street bankers, "Keeping Them Honest" and accountable; a big day coming up tomorrow after major developments in the push for tighter regulations tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Three-fifths of the senators duly chosen and sworn, not having voted in the affirmative, the motion is not agreed to.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GUPTA: And that's the sound of Democrats not getting the 60 votes needed to begin debate on a reform package. Every single Republican voted, voting no. Seeking more time, they say, for a bipartisan compromise. Democrats, despite losing this opening round, happy to get the GOP on record saying no; promising another test vote later this week.
Meantime, tomorrow, both Democrats and Republicans are expected to grill executives from Goldman Sachs. They're going to be asking CEO Lloyd Blankfein about allegations Goldman not only bet on people losing their homes, but also that it failed to tell investors about how the bank and a hedge fund billionaire designed products backed by mortgages they cherry-picked to be the worst of the worst.
The first part, if it's true, nasty, but perfectly legal. The second part, if proven, is fraud. And that's what this SEC lawsuit alleges and CEO Blankfein is already denying, but tomorrow he's going to be confronted by his own words saying otherwise. That's where we start.
Joe Johns is "Keeping Them Honest." He joins us now. You know, Joe, I don't know a lot about the finance industry, but as far as I can tell, the guy gets record profits, but he and the firm are both being castigated. What exactly is the problem here?
JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Just like you said, it's the heat, Sanjay, federal heat. Lloyd Blankfein, boss of Goldman Sachs. I mean, this guy is either a brilliant businessman or he's actually one of the people who nearly brought down the economy, that's dependent on who you believe.
You're right, this firm made something like $3.4 billion in a quarter, but he didn't exactly endear himself to average Americans describing Goldman Sachs as doing God's work and then after that, he makes something like $18 million investing his own money in Goldman- run funds.
He is basically exhibit "A" in what's wrong with Wall Street, to some people; greedy bankers looking out for themselves. Senator Carl Levin talked a little bit about what he thinks Goldman did in advance of this hearing for tomorrow. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CARL LEVIN (D), MICHIGAN: The evidence shows that Goldman repeatedly put its own interests and profits ahead of the interests of its clients.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GUPTA: $20,000 an hour is what I heard, by the way, that he made as well. This sounds all so familiar, Joe. It's not going to be the first time that Blankfein himself has appeared on the Hill about this. So what is new here?
JOHNS: Well, the one thing you can say for sure is in all likelihood, they're not going to admit any wrongdoing. Blankfein and the bank deny, basically, all the charges. They say they're up-front about their investments. And the real question for this guy is about what's known on the Street as shorting; basically betting that some mortgage-backed security products sold by the bank were going to fail.
Goldman claimed during the financial crisis it lost money, but we have an e-mail and a graphic of it. Blankfein wrote, "Of course we didn't dodge the mortgage mess. We lost money." But then listen to this, he says, "Then we made more than we lost because of shorts." Shorting, again. Also, "It's not over," he said. So who knows how it's going to turn out ultimately. Senator Levin, of course, says they lost something -- or they actually made something like $3.7 billion in 2007. Let's listen to Peter Morici now. He's an expert on a lot of this and an economist here in the Washington area.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PETER MORICI, PROFESSOR OF BUSINESS, UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND: Goldman Sachs is like a bookmaker. One client's always going to win, another one's going to always lose, but it's trying to work the game so that it always wins.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GUPTA: You know, I mean, I'm sure Goldman Sachs has something to say about all this. The way it's been sort of posed so far, it sounds pretty bad.
JOHNS: Yes, well, it's that betting analogy that seems to be getting to them. Both Blankfein and Goldman deny that they're engaging in any type of massive bet against their clients. They deny knowing the housing market was going to collapse, though Blankfein has said all along that the bank was doing what good banks do, basically exercises in risk management.
The question, of course, is whether Blankfein is telling the truth. And we'll see.
GUPTA: All right, Joe, you're going to stick with us throughout the hour. Also expected to testify tomorrow, Goldman's Fabrice Tourre; he calls himself "Fabulous Fab", I've heard. He helped concoct many of these alleged iffy investments. He's also got an e- mail trail.
In one of them, he told his girlfriend this, quote, "Not feeling too guilty about this. The real purpose of my jobs is to make capital markets more efficient, so there's a real noble and ethical reason for my job." He then adds, quote, "Amazing how good I am at convincing myself."
It's an interesting story, joining us now the "In Session" contributor, Sunny Hostin and also financial journalist, Alexis Glick who we shall also point out started her career at Goldman Sachs. Welcome to both of you.
Alexis, you know, you've obviously been following this along and you started at Goldman. You know this place. They're standing firm, they didn't do anything wrong.
And the way I see it, and again, I'm a doctor, you're a financial person, Sunny is a lawyer, so it makes for a good joke, but the way I see it, they're taking their own money and investing in things that are more surefire and then taking investors' money and sort of investing in things that weren't as stable, even though they knew that.
Is that fair and is that going to -- is Congress going to buy that something was wrong there?
ALEXIS GLICK, FINANCIAL EXPERT: Right. Well, here's the issue. The issue is, when you're a broker dealer like this and let's not forget that when Goldman Sachs were executing these transactions, these complex derivatives back then, first of all, they were not a bank holding company. They were an investment bank. And clearly this area in the derivatives business was the Wild West. It was a fairly unregulated place to trade.
But their fiduciary responsibility when they're in the middle of a transaction is if someone wants to short the market and they want to create securities to do that, they are in the business of doing that to satisfy their customers' needs. Then they go out and they try, usually, to sell that transaction to another person, because oftentimes they don't want to keep that transaction on their books, or if they do, they need to properly hedge it.
The issue here, the real crux of the problem is, they went out and sold this specific instrument, precisely the way one person wanted it created. And not only did they go out selling something that was sold as AAA-rated piece of debt, but at the same time, they went out and bought insurance on what they thought would be the failure of this instrument.
So it was that simultaneous transaction, which is what a lot of people are calling into question, and whether or not, in fact, they were betting against the ultimate buyer of this structured product.
GUPTA: That's a very good description.
GUPTA: Probably the best I've heard.
But, Sunny, you're a former prosecutor. You've worked on security cases like this. Now these e-mails have surfaced. That's new, as Joe Johns pointed out, in which Goldman executives essentially acknowledged betting against the real estate bubble.
I mean, is that illegal? Is it amoral? How damaging is this?
SUNNY HOSTIN, CONTRIBUTOR, "IN SESSION": Well, it certainly looks fraudulent. And I think that's really what the bottom line is. Everyone says that this is a very complicated case for the SEC. It really isn't. When you do something like this, you sell junk to investors and you tell them it's something else, it's just either material omission, you didn't say it, or just plain vanilla fraud.
So I really don't think that this is a difficult case for the SEC. And another thing is, the prosecutor that is the head of the enforcement division now at the SEC is a former federal prosecutor out of the Southern District who has prosecuted organized crime cases. He was the lead prosecutor for the Blind Sheik terrorism trial, so this is a hard-nosed, hard-as-nails prosecutor, and when you look at this complaint, it looks pretty, you know, thin --
GUPTA: Right, right.
HOSTIN: -- but it means there's a lot more behind it. He knows that these e-mails are out there.
GLICK: And to follow on that, I'm not sure if you've been able to see yet the embargoed piece of the opening statement from Senator Carl Levin. I've also seen the opening statement for Lloyd Blankfein, but really interesting data when you look inside this.
Highly complex, but one of the things that Senator Carl Levin talks about is one of the responsibilities of an investment bank is to go out and sell deals. And it suggests that some deals that they originated, that they wanted to sell out into the marketplace, that they knew didn't have real great high quality and had internal discussions about it, they tried to unwind what piece of the transaction they still owned in some of these entities.
And there are e-mails and suggestions that employees were kind of applauded if they were able to get it off their books. Now, the bottom line is, every single day, an investment bank has to sometimes take transactions that they don't want to have on their books. The question is, was some of that misleading?
But let's not forget, the credit rating --
GLICK: -- agencies should be held accountable and the smoking gun of those e-mails is incredible.
GUPTA: You know, Sunny, it's funny, as a doc, people come up to me all the time and say, if you were in my position, what would you do? And they expect me to give them the best advice on what I think they should do. And I think it would be obviously, immoral, again, not to do that.
But when it comes to this, banking, some investors are going to Goldman Sachs, trying to get advice, picking investments. And in this case, they -- they -- you know, no one knew exactly what was going to happen with the housing market before it happened, or are we suggesting they knew something more and they simply didn't divulge it?
HOSTIN: I think that's absolutely true. I think that they knew that what they were selling was junk and that is why they shorted against it, they bet against it. And that is information that the investors should have known. And at least, that's what the SEC is alleging.
And so absolutely, they were misleading, they misled investors, they misled their clients and I think they're going to be held accountable. I'm really interested in what Blankfein is going to say tomorrow in front of this committee, because I don't think he can be transparent at all, because there is a pending case, pending litigation.
And I would be surprised if he didn't get sort of the Enron, very chilly reception tomorrow --
HOSTIN: -- when he sits before that panel.
GLICK: See, I disagree.
GLICK: I'm not 100 percent sure that everybody knew that this was a house of cards that was going to fall apart.
HOSTIN: But do you think he knew? Do you think he knew?
GLICK: There were plenty of people on Wall Street who thought that this was going to continue and it was going to be a strong, healthy real estate market. That's why there were two sides to these trades.
GUPTA: And it sounds like even within Goldman Sachs, at least according to some of those e-mails --
GLICK: There was an argument internally in Goldman.
GUPTA: -- there was argument even within the company.
GUPTA: Obviously, stay tuned on this. A lot of us, as you mentioned, Sunny, going to be paying attention to what Blankfein has to say tomorrow.
And we want to know as well from you at home, what you think. We've got the live chat it's up and running at AC360.com.
Up next, though, tornadoes, a string of them across the south.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GERHARD JEBAILY, STORM CHASER: Oh, my God, wow, wow, wow. Holy crap.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GUPTA: Oh, cable news and holy crap. Anyways there, we'll talk with the storm chaser who captured these images and get the latest from one of the hardest-hit communities.
Later, "Crime & Punishment"; what would you do? Could you walk right past a dying man without helping? You'll see just how many people did.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) GUPTA: Brutal weekend of tornadoes here in the south, at least a dozen people have been killed. This is video "Up Close" of a twister in Darlington, South Carolina. In a moment, we're going to take you to a town in Mississippi, a state where they're mourning ten dead tonight.
First, though, a "360 Dispatch": I want to bring you in the storm chaser who shot this, Gerhard Jebaily. Thanks for joining us.
JEBAILY: Thank you very much Sanjay. How are you?
GUPTA: We got to see your video and also hear your commentary as well there. How close were you to the tornado when you shot that?
JEBAILY: Well, that video right there, I was about 300 yards away.
GUPTA: And how far do you -- I mean does one typically stay away from a tornado when you're trying to shoot?
JEBAILY: We usually try to stay a little further away than that, if we can manage. A mile is usually a comfortable distance that we like to try to keep at, but I got a little bit closer to, I was a little more comfortable around and it was slower moving, so I think we could get a little closer to it.
GUPTA: I think you know, now that I'm a dad, I got to say that I'm not sure that I would want my kids to storm chase, so to speak. I mean, why do you do this?
JEBAILY: Well, for two reasons. One is, it is quite exciting, to say the least. It is kind of part of my career, as becoming a meteorologist, I guess, just putting my skills to the test out in the field. The other thing I can do, is I can provide a lot of ground truth to the National Weather Service and the media so they can get the warning out to people who may not know about it, because sometimes the radar, things like that don't exactly show what these things are doing on the ground.
And my purpose for being there can give some ground truth as to what's really happening.
GUPTA: You can see a lot of things flying around in the debris there, papers, the trees, all sorts of deferent things. You know, it got me thinking, when I was thinking about you, that you're probably the first person on the scene a lot of times and you may see some bad things happen to people, as a result.
I mean, are you -- is that something you think about? Are you trained as a first responder? Would you administer first aid?
JEBAILY: Oh that's one thing I will try always to do, but I was the first person on the scene to some devastation from this particular tornado. About three people I had to kind of help out of a big pile of debris and they had no one else out there to give them help and at least let them know that they were safe now and that help is on the way.
So I have the ability to call emergency services to their location, because sometimes how else would they get the word out that they needed help.
GUPTA: All right. Fascinating. Be safe out there, eh? I'm sure your parents worry about you a little bit, like I would about my own kids. Gerhard Jebaily thanks so much.
JEBAILY: Thank you Sanjay.
GUPTA: And as we mentioned, ten people died in Mississippi when a tornado cut across the state. This tornado, winds of 170 miles an hour, according to the National Weather Center, but that's only a number. There's a real story as well and that comes from Ed Lavandera.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAWASKI PATTERSON, TORNADO SURVIVOR: All I can say, she was a happy baby. She was so precious. I'll always, always miss her. I love her.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: These are priceless pictures for Jawaski Patterson, the only snapshots left of his only child, 3- month-old Nyla.
PATTERSON: Nyla used to always tease me that she looked just like me.
LAVANDERA (on camera): Little daddy's girl?
LAVANDERA (voice-over): When the tornado struck, Nyla was inside this shattered mobile home with her mother, Valerie.
PATTERSON: She said everything came down, falling down, and the trailer came down on --
LAVANDERA (on camera): So Valerie had the baby in her hands the whole time?
PATTERSON: She had the baby. Actually, she was on top of the baby, to protect her. That's why her back is --
LAVANDERA: All damaged?
PATTERSON: Yes, damaged.
LAVANDERA: Nowhere did the Mississippi tornado inflict more pain than in the small town of Weir, along a stretch of Orange Gravel called White Road. It's where three young girls died.
Just up the road from Nyla lived the Jobe family and their five children, but two daughters didn't survive; 14-year-old Brittany and 9-year-old Tyann.
Family and friends tell us that as the tornado approached, the Jobe family ran out of their house, they wanted to get in their car so they could race away, but as they got here, the winds had picked up the car and thrown it beyond the house over.
They ran back inside, the father grabbed one girl, a brother grabbed his sister, but the power of the storm was just too much. The girls were sucked out of the house and thrown about 100 yards deep into the woods.
(on camera): What do you remember most about these two young sisters?
GLEN BEARD, PRINCIPAL, WEIR ATTENDANCE CENTER: Their smiles. You never saw them when they weren't smiling. Both Brittany and Tyann both, every day Tyann would come up to me and hug me and say, "Coach Beard, I love you." And I would say, "I love you too, baby."
LAVANDERA: That's Glen Beard, the principal of the school where the Jobe sisters were described as vivacious and popular. All five of the Jobe children go to school here at the Weir Attendance Center. This is where people know this family best.
The loss of Brittany and Tyann has been a painful blow. Tyann's chair in her second grade class will sit empty the rest of the school year.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They all drew -- that was the first thing we did this morning when I came in. She drew it and she said, this was her and this is Tyann. And the heart tells how bad she felt, she missed Tyann so bad.
LAVANDERA: This is the girl who drew this?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is the girl who drew it.
LAVANDERA: And she's crying now.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's crying and said, "I will miss Tyann so bad."
LAVANDERA: Pretty powerful stuff.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Every year I've told them that in this classroom, we're family. We lost a family member, and that's exactly how it feels.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): The last project Tyann Jobe finished at school was watching a caterpillar turn into a butterfly, a poignant final lesson.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have, you know, lost one of our friends. I think today will be a special thing to release them in memory of Tyann. What do you all think? There they go.
GUPTA: All right, Ed, an incredibly sad story there. Ed Lavandera joins us now.
I mean, how are the parents of those girls doing?
LAVANDERA: Well, the Jobe sisters' parents, their father has already been released, treated and released from a hospital nearby.
But it's their mother that they're most concerned about. She was care-flighted to a hospital in Memphis. She suffered severe injuries to her head. We understand she was in the Intensive Care Unit at one point, but she has been improving. She's now in fair but stable condition.
As for little Nyla's mother, who was holding on to her, she was taken to a hospital in Jackson, Mississippi, and she suffered -- her fiance tells us six broken bones in her back, a cracked rib, and also a punctured lung -- Sanjay.
GUPTA: Ed Lavandera, be safe out there. And thanks for your report tonight.
And if you're looking behind Ed, you could see some of the rubble behind him. Let's give you some raw data on how tornadoes stack up in wind speed and power. They're ranked on what's known as the enhanced Fujita Scale. EF-Zero through 5. Now zero has winds of 65 to 85 miles an hour which can snap tree branches, bring down power lines. EF-1, those are winds up to 110 miles an hour and they can overturn a mobile home. At two or up to 135 miles an hour, cars are lifted up off the ground. Ef-3s can topple a locomotive. Ef-4s can level homes. And EF-5 tornadoes have winds topping 200 miles an hour. That can turn anything the size and weight of a car and hurl it the length of a football field.
They are dangerous, and as we saw, deadly as well.
Up next, though, outrage, plain and simple. How nearly two dozen people walked past a dying man and just kept walking.
Also tonight, the latest on Bret Michaels' condition; the latest on his cerebral hemorrhage.
GUPTA: In "Crime & Punishment" tonight: life, death, and indifference; all of it captured on videotape. It happened last Sunday, April 18th. As you'll see, a hero is mortally wounded. But instead of helping him, people just walked on by.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GUPTA (voice-over): Overlooking a sidewalk in Queens, New York, a security camera records a woman walking along the street. Police say she's about to be the victim of a violent mugging. The attacker, wearing dark pants and a green hat, approaches her. He's armed with a knife.
Police say a man comes to her aid. He is Hugo Alfredo Tale-yax (ph), a homeless day laborer.
The attacker turns on him and police say stabs him several time in the chest. Tale-Yax turns to chase the man who's just stabbed him, but after only a few steps, he collapses on the sidewalk.
What happens next is difficult to comprehend. People walk by without stopping to help him. They come and go, more than 20 of them. Some glance over at the dying man. Others stare. These two men stopped nearby, they stand there before one of the men takes out his cell phone and takes a picture. Another turns Tale-yax over, presumably sees his wounds, but like the others, walks away.
For more than an hour, dozens of pedestrians and bystanders walk past this hero who saved a life, apparently without ever calling 911. Finally, firefighters respond to the scene, but it is too late. Hugo Alfredo Tale-yax is dead.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GUPTA: It's a shocking story, I'll tell you, but we've seen it before. It's called bystander behavior, in which people do nothing to save someone else's life.
But it could be something else as well. And that's the response mechanisms in our brains. They could be changing.
We're digging a little deeper now. Joining me now is psychologist Michael Bradley. He's author of "When Things Get Crazy with your Teen."
Michael, a man left to die after being stabbed on the street. And when I heard this story, it seemed too hard to believe.
MICHAEL BRADLEY, PSYCHOLOGIST: I still can't watch that video without thinking it was staged. It's so unreal. And when we look at it, we see a couple of things.
Like you said, there's the bystander effect and then there's something called the diffusion of responsibility. We've known about those for a while.
I don't think that's what we're looking at in this Sanjay. I think what we're seeing is this new phenomenon, this desensitization to violence, that where we are actually changing brain structures, in a way, where people don't get it when they look at it now.
GUPTA: So are you saying as a result of what? Because of movies, video games? I've heard that before. Is that -- is it as simple as that?
BRADLEY: Yes, it is as simple and as complex. We pound -- particularly our children -- we pound them 24/7 with what I call prompts. They're violent scenarios, they're lyrics in a song, and they're scenes in a movie. All sorts of suggestions about violence to the point where the brain is now changing in these kids in the way it responds to real violence. It's as if brains can't discriminate between real violence and pain and cyber-violence.
GUPTA: You know, Michael, it's one of those things where, obviously, a lot of people game, or they play these games. And you know, I mean, are you saying an entire generation, an entire society is becoming desensitized to -- it's a little bit hard to believe. And also, a lot of the people walking by were adults, as far as I could tell.
I mean, is it happening, mainly in kids, or is it happening in adult as well, according to what you've seen?
BRADLEY: Well, both. And we're seeing it in the past couple of decades. We saw this increasing saturation of violence in our media, really in the whole culture.
The American culture loves violence. We can't get enough of this stuff. And it is falling out on our kids.
It would be -- it would be great if we could get those -- that group of 24 people, and then find out how old they are, what their exposure has been. But the science is real clear. If you expose kids to this stuff, they do change, actually, physiologically and neurologically, the way they respond to violence.
GUPTA: You know, speaking of these images, you know, I was in Haiti recently. I mean, what -- what role do you think the images from disasters, such as 9/11 or Haiti, have played? Is this just a more violent world to live in than -- than what our grandparents experienced, and do we see more of it?
BRADLEY: I -- we definitely do see more of it.
But the part that concerns us is that there's a beneficial effect to the Haiti series you did, which was phenomenal, where, you know, you're really showing the real pain and the real trauma in real life.
The video games have an effect where people get blown up, and then you hit a button, they dust themselves off, and get up and play again. And that's the response that really concerns us, when we see kids responding to true-life violent scenarios in a way that's passive, as if they're watching a game.
GUPTA: I can't help but wonder if the same thing would have happened in my small town of Chelsea, Michigan, where I came from, vs. New York City. But that's a -- a discussion to continue at another time.
Michael Bradley, thanks so much.
Still ahead --
BRADLEY: Thank you so much. GUPTA: Thank you -- the latest on rock singer and reality star Brett Michaels; a lot of people talking about this. He's fighting for his life after a massive brain hemorrhage.
Plus, one of the world's most respected astrophysicists, Stephen Hawking. He's sounding a warning about aliens. His message is pretty scary. And could he be right? We're going to go up close.
GUPTA: A lot happening tonight. And Joe Johns is back with a "360 News & Business Bulletin."
JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Sanjay, after more than 20 years in a U.S. federal prison, former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega is heading to Paris to face charges of laundering drug money. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signed his extradition order.
A Haitian judge has dropped kidnapping charges against American missionary Laura Silsby and nine others, but Silsby will face trial as early as next week on a charge of arranging irregular travel. The group was stopped in January while trying to take 33 Haitian children out of the country.
A federal appeals court has certified the largest class-action employment lawsuit in history against the world's largest retailer, Wal-Mart. The ruling will allow more than a million current and former Wal-Mart employees to band together in their claims of gender bias in pay and promotion.
And Bret Michaels remains in critical condition as doctors search for the source of bleeding in his brain. The rock star and reality TV star was stricken on Friday after developing an excruciating headache.
And Sanjay, I know you're hosting the show tonight, but this is a good time to sort of turn the tables and ask you a few questions about this case. A lot of people have questions about what exactly happened to Bret Michaels. Is it typical -- in the lead up to a hemorrhage like this, what sort of symptoms might Michaels have had?
GUPTA: The thing that really struck me, Joe, about hearing about Bret Michaels, he described this sort of -- this feeling of a baseball bat in the back of his head. And we refer to that, Joe, as a thunderclap headache.
The reason that's so significant is because, a lot of times, it can be -- it can be a clue that an aneurysm has ruptured in the brain.
Take a look here, Joe -- I don't if you can see these pictures -- but if you take a look sort of at the base of brain. You can spin that skull around. And start looking at those blood vessels in red at the very bottom of the brain. Focus in on that area there. That's sort of a blood blister at the bottom of the brain. The problem, as you might guess, is that. It can spray blood throughout the brain. That's called a sub-arachnoid hemorrhage, Joe, exactly what you were talking about. What's interesting is that they haven't been able to figure out exactly what -- you know, where that aneurysm is. They've done a few tests. They're probably going to have to do a few more and try and fix it so that aneurysm doesn't happen again.
JOHNS: OK, so blood pooling in the brain. How do you relieve that pressure?
GUPTA: You know, it's interesting. A lot of times, if blood sort of pools in one area, you can take -- you can go in there and remove that blood. But with this type of thing, Joe, the way that was spraying through the brain, it's more like a sponge absorbing water. You can't really go in there and just remove that water. You have to let it sort heal over time.
To relieve pressure, they're going to -- they may sometimes take some fluid out of the brain, to give the brain and that blood a little bit more room while it heals.
JOHNS: So what do the next few days or the next couple of weeks look like for Bret?
GUPTA: Well, you know, Joe, this is a serious issue. There's no question. You know, 10 percent of people who have a ruptured aneurysm die almost immediately with it, and about 50 percent of people don't survive within 30 days. So he's not out of the woods by any means.
But I'll tell you, I was encouraged a little earlier when I was heard that he was talking, albeit with slurred speech. He was seeing, albeit with blurry vision. Those are good signs. So I think that he's going to -- he's going to need to basically -- the doctors are going to keep a close eye on that and try to figure out why he bled.
He's also a Type 1 diabetic, Joe, as you know. I doubt that that probably contributed to this overall situation. Sometimes the medications you're on might cause a little bit of a problem.
JOHNS: Good enough. Thanks so much, Sanjay.
GUPTA: Yes. See, I'm anchoring for just this once in a long while, and you're asking me the questions, Joe. That's how that works.
JOHNS: That's a good thing.
GUPTA: Stick with us, though.
Next on 360, secrets of the high cost of medicine: more than $27,000 for one dose of medicine; $192,000 for chest scans; and there's more. Tonight: the staggering price of one man's battle against cancer.
Plus, the astrophysicist and aliens; Stephen Hawking weighs in on whether there's life out there.
Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
GUPTA: Tonight, we begin a weeklong series called "The Secrets of the High Cost of Medicine." I'm going to start off by showing you a couple of numbers.
This year, Medicare is going to spend roughly $125 billion on patients during their last 12 months of life. That's a full quarter of its entire budget. So why is spending so skewed toward the end of life?
Well, we all know medical advances have allowed people to live longer, but here's the thing. Fully three quarters of people who live to age 65 will develop cancer, heart disease, chronic lung disease, dementia, or are going to have a stroke in their last year of life. And all of that is costly.
Let's show you how some of those numbers break down. The estimated lifetime cost of treating a stroke, for example, in a senior, $100,000. For heart disease, conservative price tag, around $121,000 over 20 years. That's without surgery. And if you need surgery -- many people do -- costs can run more than $4 million.
For prostate cancer treatment, the cost is around $41,000. And the average cost of a nursing home per year, $42,000 to $70,000.
For an Alzheimer's patient, the estimated average lifetime cost, $174,000.
They're big numbers. They add up quickly, and your insurance doesn't always cover everything.
Randi Kaye has one family's story.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Terence Foley embraced life. He spoke six languages, even taught himself Arabic. He played more than 16 musical instrumented and earned his PhD in his 60s. So when Terence was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2000, he was determined to beat it.
His wife, Amanda Bennett, says they never gave much thought to how much it would cost. They had health-care coverage.
(on camera): That first operation to remove his kidney, you say it cost about $25,000. This was just the beginning.
AMANDA BENNETT, WIFE OF CANCER PATIENT: Right. It was just the beginning.
KAYE: Did you see bills along the way or --
BENNETT: It's not like you're shopping for a car. You know, you don't go in and say to the hospital, "I'm about to buy this kidney surgery. How much is it going to cost me?" KAYE (voice-over): But Terence's fight wasn't finished. Two years after it was first discovered, February 2002, a routine follow- up showed the cancer had spread. Terence started taking the drug Interleukin 2 at $735 a dose. The costs were starting to add up to a price tag that would stun Amanda.
In December 2005, another setback; cancer had started to grow in Terence's lungs. He started Avastin, a free clinical trial, but the second time he needed it, it cost plenty.
BENNETT: Right here you can see it was charged at $27,360 for a dose of the Avastin.
KAYE (on camera): For one dose?
BENNETT: For one --
KAYE (on camera): Twenty seven thousand?
BENNETT: One dose.
KAYE (voice-over): Over the course of his illness, Terence had more than 60 chest scans, each about $3,200.
BENNETT: And the last -- the last drug he took was Sutent (ph), which was at $200 a pill.
KAYE (on camera): Two hundred dollars a pill?
BENNETT: Per pill.
KAYE: And how often did he take that?
BENNETT: Every day.
KAYE (voice-over): That lasted about a month, because in December 2007, Terence was rushed to the hospital. The cancer was in his brain. For the four days doctors worked to save him, they billed more than $43,000. That's more than $10,000 a day.
BENNETT: Really, the only thing I can say for certain that we spent that money on was to confirm that he was dying.
KAYE: On December 14, seven years after his diagnosis, Terence Foley passed away, with Amanda holding his hand.
Today, years later, she is still blown away by how much it cost to try and save her husband. The total: $618,000.
(on camera): Did he ever say to you, "Save me at any cost?"
BENNETT: I think he would have been absolutely horrified at how much it cost. I think he would have immediately thought, you know, you could vaccinize (sic) -- vaccinate 600,000 people, you know, in Africa for this. KAYE (voice-over): Amanda paid just $10,000 out-of-pocket, thanks to health insurance, but to have her husband for another day, she'd pay anything.
BENNETT: I absolutely would do it all over again. Would I want everyone who was in a situation like this to have the same opportunity I had to do whatever it took to save their loved one? Absolutely, I'd want that. How do we, as a country, as a world, afford all that?
KAYE: Something else Amanda doesn't know. Did all those expensive treatments actually help her husband live longer? Not even his doctors can say for sure.
Randi Kaye, CNN, Washington.
GUPTA: All right. Great question she poses there.
Of course, near the end of life, a lot of us want everything done. Therein lies part of the problem.
We're going to stick with the topic.
Our series on "The Secrets of the High Cost of Medicine" continues tomorrow. We're going to look at how much the obesity epidemic is really costing us. It's not only a deadly trend. It's also, as we learned, incredibly expensive.
But next on 360, are they real-life space invaders? Astrophysicist Stephen Hawking warning about aliens and why they could be coming for a not-so-pleasant visit.
Also, it's from an office in the British government, and it mocks the Pope with topics involving everything from condoms to gay marriage. The great memo fallout, that's coming up.
GUPTA: Here's a question. Do you believe in UFOs? Well if so, tonight, guess what? You're in some pretty impressive company.
British astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, one of the smartest people on the planet arguably, thinks there's a good chance that alien life exists. Not exactly the friendly E.T. kind.
In fact, Hawking envisions a far darker possibility, more along the lines of this movie, "War of the Worlds." In a new documentary for the Discovery Channel, Hawking said the alien will be big, bad, and very busy, conquering planet after planet. He said they might exist in massive ships, and he calls them nomads who travel the universe, conquering others and collecting energy through mirrors.
Mirrors? Massive ships? Giant, mean aliens? Is it all possible? Let's go up close with Neil DeGrasse Tyson. He's the director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York. And like Hawking, he's also an astrophysicist.
Thanks so much for joining us.
NEIL DEGRASSE TYSON, DIRECTOR, HAYDEN PLANETARIUM: Sure. Happy to be with you. Thanks for having me.
GUPTA: You know, I've been fascinated by this since I was a kid, probably. And the fact that there's hundreds of billions of galaxies, hundreds of millions of stars in each galaxy --
TYSON: Hundreds of billions -- hundreds of billions of stars.
GUPTA: Hundreds of billions of stars, even more. It probably means that there's probably life out there somewhere.
GUPTA: But this idea that aliens will be evil, and Hawking paints this picture that is far less "E.T." and far more "Independence Day." Speculation?
TYSON: Yes, but it's not blind speculation. I think it says more about what we fear about ourselves than any real expectation of what an alien would be like.
In other words, our biggest fear, I think, is that the aliens who visit us would treat us the way we treat each other here on earth. So in a way, Hawking's sort of apocalyptic fear stories are just a mirror held up back to us. And that's how we need to think about it.
GUPTA: And that's a very different perspective than what Carl Sagan put out there. He was literally giving away the Earth's location.
TYSON: Exactly. He gave the return address on a plaque on the Voyager spacecraft, "Here we are."
GUPTA: Right. So why would they do -- I mean, why would they do this? They're going to treat us the way we treat ourselves. It sounds like something parents tell their children, but why? Is there some sort of revenge, vengeance? What is it?
TYSON: Well, like I said, I don't -- no one knows how an alien will behave. They'll have different chemistry, different motives, different intentions. Who are we to extrapolate what we are to them?
I'm just saying that any suspicion that they will be evil is more a reflection of our fear about how we would treat an alien species if we found them than any actual acknowledge about how an alien would treat us.
GUPTA: We have these -- we're listening right now, my understanding is, we've been listening for a long time, for anything. And we haven't heard a peep, really, from out there. Do you think we're being listened to right now?
TYSON: Yes, possibly. Yes. So the big fear, I think is we announce our presence and then the aliens come and then enslave us or put us in a zoo or whatever. And there have been entertaining science fiction stories that capture just those themes. So -- so that's the fear factor.
But what are we doing? We're mostly listening. We have giant radio telescopes pointing in different directions with highly sophisticated circuitry that listens to billions of radio frequencies simultaneously to see if anybody's whispering on any one of them at any place in the universe.
So that's -- that's different from sending signals out. We're not sending signals out on purpose. We're sending them out accidentally.
Our radio bubble is about 70 light years away from us right now, and that's -- on the frontier of that bubble has, like, you know, the "I Love Lucy" show, "The Honeymooners." That's the first -- these are the first sort of emissaries of our human culture that an alien would decode.
GUPTA: It takes so long for sound to get out there. And -- and by the way, I never thought you'd describe us as living in an alien zoo. I love that.
I think we have just a little bit of time for a lightning round of fun space factoids. Professor, let me ask you a couple questions.
TYSON: Bring it on.
GUPTA: True or false: Saturn would float in water. True or false?
TYSON: Yes, the average density of Saturn is less than that of water. When I was a kid, I wanted a rubber Saturn instead of a rubber ducky, because I knew it would float.
GUPTA: You'd be the same height in space as you are on Earth, true or false?
TYSON: No, if you're weightless in space, your vertebrae expand back, and you're an inch or two taller in space. The moment you come back to Earth, you shrink back. That doesn't last.
GUPTA: Got you. I learned something new.
The face on the landscape of Mars was evidence of life there?
TYSON: Of course not. No. It was -- when we had better resolution images, the face went away. So that's just --
GUPTA: There you go. Right. OK. We'll give ourselves a pass on that one.
No one can hear you scream in space, true or false?
TYSON: Yes. That's true, unless you've got, like, radio communication. There's no air. Air propagates sound, so if you're in the vacuum of space and something -- and you scream, no one's listening.
GUPTA: I should put my kids out there.
There's a star made entirely of diamond. True or false?
TYSON: There are dead stars that are principally carbon and, under very high pressure with enough time, the crystalline structure of carbon can change. So we suspect some of these sort of charcoal briquettes became diamond, at least, in some parts of their core.
So yes, that's -- they're not active stars sustaining life on surrounding planets. They're dead. You wouldn't want to be a planet around them.
GUPTA: So my wife can't get that right now, do you think?
TYSON: Maybe. So if you do a flyby.
GUPTA: A flyby.
TYSON: Scoop up some diamonds on your way.
GUPTA: Right. I love -- I love talking to you so much, Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Professor, always learn so much. Thanks so much.
TYSON: Thank you. I tweet the universe, like, every day. They're more probably rain droppings, but they're there.
GUPTA: I'm going to Twitter and maybe somebody in outer space will read it and hear it.
TYSON: You got it.
GUPTA: Thanks a lot.
TYSON: Thanks for having me.
GUPTA: Next up, we've got a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico the result of a deadly oil rig explosion last week. What are officials doing right now to stop the 42,000 gallons of oil leaking into the water each and every day? Details ahead.
GUPTA: We're following several other important stories tonight. Joe Johns is back with a "360 Bulletin."
JOHNS: Sanjay, the U.S. Coast Guard is preparing for the worst with 42,000 gallons of oil leaking each day from the wreckage of a drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico. If the oil slick cannot be contained, officials say it could hit land between Louisiana and Florida within the next three days.
The view from space here, a look at the spill tonight, just off the coast of Louisiana.
The British government has apologized to Pope Benedict after an internal memo was leaked, suggesting the Pontiff could launch a brand of new condoms during his visit to the U.K. in September. The memo also recommends the Pope bless a gay marriage.
And a Perdue University student challenged women around the world to show off more skin today to test an Iranian cleric's claim that immodestly dressed women are responsible for earthquakes. Now, this is what they called it, Boobquake. But the fact of the matter is, it did not get off to a good start.
Believe it or not, a magnitude 6.0 quake hit Taiwan today, but the organizer said that did not count, since it's outside her Boobquake zone.
Just the facts, folks.
GUPTA: I'm going to do something rare and keep my mouth shut on that one, Joe.
JOHNS: Exactly right.
GUPTA: And that does it for this edition of 360. Thanks for watching.
"LARRY KING" starts right now.