DONNA: Mexico collapsed?
JOSH: Yeah, can you believe it.
DONNA: Mexico collapsed over the weekend?
JOSH: No, actually just this morning.
DONNA: How does a country collapse on a Monday morning?
JOSH: By not slowly devaluing the peso the way I told them to.
DONNA: You told them to devalue the peso?
JOSH: The Treasury Secretary did, but I was in the room.
DONNA: But seriously--
JOSH: Seriously, they're in big trouble--three weeks ago, they fell to 20 cents against the dollar, two weeks ago, the Bolsa Index took its worst single-day fall in history, and this morning, the Mexican market opened 20 per cent off the Friday close.
DONNA: What's that in US terms?
JOSH: It'd be like a ... 2,000 point drop in the Dow. The immediate problem--
TOBY: (interrupting) Have you seen this?
JOSH: I saw it two hours ago Toby, where've you been?
TOBY: I just got here.
JOSH: We're going to be screwed on vouchers--
TOBY: (yells) We are screwed on vouchers, but I want to know--
JOSH: Talk to CJ.
TOBY: Somebody's going to eat this quote. (he leaves)
DONNA: He's pretty pissed.
JOSH: Yeah, I can't worry about it right now.
DONNA: So what's the immediate problem?
JOSH: Mexico's got 30 billion dollars worth of foreign loans due this week, and they don't have thirty billion dollars.
DONNA: So what happens now?
JOSH: (sings) Oh, the Wells-Fargo wagon is a-coming down the street ... (enters Roosevelt Room) Buenos dias, Senors and Senoras--let's find some money.
JOSH: You just ... lurk there in the shadows, like--
JOSH: What are you doing?
DONNA: I'm doing things, things with paper.
JOSH: Can you do them later?
JOSH: So you're not doing them now?
DONNA: Actually, I had a couple of questions--if you don't mind.
JOSH: About what?
DONNA: The Mexico bail out.
JOSH: Can you ask them later?
DONNA: Well, later it might be a done deal, and before you send 30 billion dollars of my money to Mexico, I'd like to ask a few questions.
JOSH: Okay, it's going to be one of these now, right?
JOSH: You object to the bail out.
DONNA: I do.
JOSH: Because in the world of Donnatella Moss, we should all love one another--just so long as it doesn't cost you anything.
DONNA: Well, yes, I suppose that's one small-minded way of putting it.
JOSH: Close the door. (she closes it and remains in the office) Donna.
DONNA: With me on the other side?
JOSH: Thank you.
JOSH: They're not done meeting yet?
DONNA: In the Roosevelt Room?
DONNA: You got a phone message.
JOSH: From who?
DONNA: Frank Kelley.
JOSH: Who's he?
DONNA: He's a textiles worker in South Carolina, making twelve dollars and seventeen cents an hour, with no health insurance. His two kids go to public school--the school's fine, but they had to cut art and music for budget reasons, and Frank's 10-year-old is just nuts about the trumpet, so the mom does telemarketing at night, after the kids have gone to bed, to pay for lessons and rented instruments. Not that art and music are important or that any of us had any fun or met friends doing it. Frank obeys the law and pays his bills, he also pays his taxes--and he called to say thank you for sending his money to Mexico.
JOSH: Does he want me to call him back?
DONNA: Josh ...
JOSH: No, why don't you call him back? Why don't you call him back and remind him that the Mexican consumers who buy his textiles can't afford to buy them anymore. Frank will be laid off, which is no problem--there are plenty of jobs out there for a 48-year-old textiles worker just as long as he's trained in high-tech computers and/or medical research.
DONNA: Oh, like the 30 billion is going to make it into the pockets of Mexican consumers.
JOSH: Eventually it does. And we're not giving them the money, we're giving them our credit card and paying the bill. It's a loan. We did the same thing six years ago--the loan was paid back ahead of schedule.
DONNA: And we did the same thing four years before that too, right?
DONNA: And five years before that?
DONNA: AA's definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. I'm not cheap nor am I xenophobic, I just think it's time for some tough love.
JOSH: Well, not right here in front of everybody, Donna, but if you want to run home and get your equipment ...
DONNA: Go away from me.
JOSH: The telemarketing was a nice detail, but you should have said "scrubbed floors."
DONNA: I thought it'd be too much.
JOSH: Eh, probably.
JOSH: Did you confess?
DONNA: She didn't let me get to Whittaker Chambers and the Secret Pumpkin.
JOSH: You got a phone call while you were in there.
DONNA: From who?
JOSH: Europe, in 1939.
DONNA: Yeah ...?
JOSH: Yeah, I jotted it down. Apparently they're at war, but we've taken a firm stand as an isolationist nation and refused to get involved. Our resources are our own, and their problems are on the other side of the world--though, they do have problems. Sounds to me from what they said on the phone that France, Austria and England are getting absolutely pounded by the Germans and with no end in sight. They say that by 1941, they're going to desperately need our help if they have any chance of survival, but I just think they're being hysterical. This son of a customs agent with the Charlie Chaplin moustache ain't going anywhere, but there's no telling that to Franklin Roosevelt who's trying to convince his country they need to try to get involved. That's why he came up with this. (hands Donna a book)
DONNA: An eighth-grade social studies textbook?
JOSH: Turn to the page I flagged.
DONNA: The Lend-Lease Act.
JOSH: Yeah. Simply put, a loan of arms to Russia and Britain with the understanding that they'd pay us back when the war was over. He said this, he said if your neighbour's house is on fire, you don't haggle over the price of your garden hose. Frank Kelley in South Carolina wouldn't ... (beat) ... Look, too many things in the world we can't do. Mexico's on fire. Why help them? Because we can.
DONNA: Did they agree to the money?
(Donna hands Josh the book and smiles. He smiles back at her for a long beat, then she leaves)