Neil Cavuto was joined by Jim Rogers, president of JimRogers.com; Gregg Hymowitz, founder of Entrust Capital; Lis Wiehl, FOX News legal analyst and Ben Stein, economist and former Nixon speechwriter.
Stocks rallied when investors heard the president's economic team was hitting the road, but reversed course when they found out who the new Treasury secretary would be. Are these new money men up to the job?
Ben Stein says a few people in Washington are not going to change much at all. The only one who can change things around is Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan. If the money team is successful, Ben would continue to buy the Dow ‘Diamonds’ Trust (DIA). He owns it.
Lis Wiehl worries that investors may rightly perceive them to be less than aggressive in stomping out corporate fraud. William Donaldson has been targeted in a class action suit by Aetna investors accusing him of fraud for failing to disclose financial problems at the company while he was Chairman of the company in 2000-01. A decade ago, when he was chairman of the NYSE, Donaldson tried to persuade the Securities and Exchange Commission to loosen its accounting procedures. Hardly the type of record that instills confidence in that these guys are going to be tough on corporate crime.
Gregg Hymowitz is not all that enthusiastic about Donaldson either, but he thinks he is a good candidate to succeed Harvey Pitt. Gregg says to buy Microsoft (MSFT) and Cisco (CSCO) if the Bush’s economic team succeeds. He does not own either stock.
Jim Rogers is not convinced John Snow is anything more than a politician looking for a government job disguised as a businessman. William Donaldson is a good choice for SEC chairman but Jim questions if Donaldson is tough enough. He has never really needed to be tough so we do not know. If the money team is successful, Jim says to sell Fannie Mae (FNM). He owns it.
Gregg and Jim both think it is strange to pick Steve Friedman, an investment banker, as White House Economic adviser. But they both think the post is meaningless anyway.
The War Factor
It's the question of the hour: Are we going to war with Iraq? It sure looks like Wall Street thinks so.
Stocks retreating ever since United Nations inspectors hit the ground in Iraq. That's also about the same time our troops hit the ground in the region to conduct war games. Is Wall Street preparing for war?
Jim does not have a war priced in and will decline if one comes. He’s said it many times: It is overpriced and is trading on Greenspan's printing presses and Bush's deficit spending.
Gregg thinks we have a no war scenario priced in, but thinks Wall Street should be worried about war.
Lis says people will be less likely to support war spending if we can't show the necessity of going to war, especially if we do not have international and moral support to do so. Lis thinks Bush's team is busy putting together a plan for war, so we would be ready militarily to attack if necessary. Whether we as a country will be ready, depends on what the inspectors come up with.
Ben says we are going to war. He does not think we would have this big buildup unless Mr. Bush planned to use these forces. There is going to be war and once the war is over which will be very quick, a big uncertainly will be left in the stock market.
Last week a bunch of anti-war Hollywood types banded together to urge President Bush not to attack Iraq. Neil says not only are they out of their league, but they are putting our security and finances in jeopardy by pushing a point of view with limited knowledge and no expertise. Actress Janeane Garofolo is pro-diplomacy. She asks the Bush administration and Britain to extend the same kind of diplomatic intention they do North Korea. She wants President Bush to let the U.N. inspectors do their job.
FOX on the Spot
Jim says to buy Exchange Traded Funds, not mutual funds!
Gregg predicts the scud snafu helps Democrats look tougher on terrorism!