Neil Cavuto was joined by Gregg Hymowitz, founder of Entrust Capital; Jim Rogers, president of JimRogers.com; Michelle Girard, vice president and Treasury specialist at Prudential Financial; Tom Dorsey, president of Dorsey Wright & Associates; and Lt. Col. Bill Cowan, FOX News military analyst.
If Saddam Is Alive, Are Your Investments Dead?
Neil Cavuto: Iraq's former dictator, Saddam Hussein (search), is said to be speaking out on a new audio tape, trying to create havoc and death for coalition forces trying to set up a new government in Iraq. If so, could that create havoc for our market and your money? Colonel, experts say odds are that that was Saddam Hussein on the tape. The war is won, but do they still need to get this guy?
Lt. Col. Cowan: The only reason we should be worried is if Saddam Hussein has a small band of loyalists that he still influences and who will carry out acts for him. But I don’t think that will ever happen.
Jim Rogers: I think he is completely irrelevant to the markets, unless we do something stupid to give him momentum.
Gregg Hymowitz: The economy needs peace and stability. It needs earnings and companies need to start planning so consumers can start buying. Saddam Hussein may be irrelevant, but the war on terror is still on the minds of people.
Michelle Girard: We had a whole lot of uncertainty at the beginning of this war, but all that is gone now. We were able to go in and get out fairly quickly. I think now we can start to look forward with more confidence.
Gregg Hymowitz: The thing that surprised people is that you didn't see the economic bounce after the war.
Jim Rogers: The profits are getting better. The economy is getting better.
Gregg Hymowitz: There's 10.5 million people unemployed today. Where is the economy getting better? I don't see that.
Michelle Girard: Spending numbers on the consumer side have hinted that they've gotten better. April numbers look like they're getting a bit better. Anecdotally, you go to the mall and you can't find a parking spot.
Lt. Col. Cowan: The Sunnis and Shiites despise Hussein. I don't think Saddam Hussein could really affect the reforming process.
Neil Cavuto: I agree with you that his loyalists are few, but they're still out there. Do you worry about this in the longer term?
Lt. Col. Cowan: Absolutely. We probably created animosity in different Arab nations and we're going to see these problems go on for a long time, regardless of whether Saddam Hussein is dead or alive.
Gregg Hymowitz: If it costs us $50-60 billion to reform Iraq, that means higher deficits in this country, it means higher interest rates and it means a slower economy.
Michelle Girard: No one thought that this was going to be easy. We knew that this was different than what we did in the Gulf War in '91.
More for Your Money: Can Rumsfeld’s War Plan Help You Win on Wall Street?
Neil Cavuto: Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s plan was to take the massive U.S. war machine and turn it into a smaller, faster, more high tech military force--one that rolled over Iraq in record time. Is that a lesson for investors, too? Can his successful war plan turn into a successful investment plan?
Tom Dorsey: Yes, I think the thing to take away from Rumsfeld's plan is flexibility. He was able to change his plan midstream. He was able to change his "shock and awe" strategy and it's no different for investors. When the tide changes, investors need to change too. Plus, right now, supply and demand signs in the market point to buying high tech and small to mid size stocks over non-tech and big blue chip shares.
Jim Rogers: Flexibility is the key. In any field you have to have flexibility. Rumsfeld's war plan can work on Wall Street and in this environment I'd buy and currently own Japan iShares (EWJ).