DISCLAIMER: THE FOLLOWING "Cost of Freedom Recap" CONTAINS STRONG OPINIONS WHICH ARE NOT A REFLECTION OF THE OPINIONS OF FOX NEWS AND SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON AS INVESTMENT ADVICE WHEN MAKING PERSONAL INVESTMENT DECISIONS. IT IS FOX NEWS' POLICY THAT CONTRIBUTORS DISCLOSE POSITIONS THEY HOLD IN STOCKS THEY DISCUSS, THOUGH POSITIONS MAY CHANGE. READERS OF "Cost of Freedom Recap" MUST TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR OWN INVESTMENT DECISIONS.
Bulls & Bears | Cavuto on Business | Forbes on FOX | Cashin' In
Bulls & Bears
Brenda was joined by: Gary B. Smith, RealMoney.com columnist; Pat Dorsey, director of stock research at Morningstar.com; Tobin Smith, founder and chairman of ChangeWave Research; Scott Bleier, president of HybridInvestors.com; and Bob Olstein, president of The Olstein Funds.
Trading Pit: Tsunami Relief
If you are interested in making a donation to Tsunami Relief, please click on this link: http://www.usafreedomcorps.gov/
The toll of the tsunami catastrophe is almost beyond comprehension. But just because it happened half a world away doesn't mean it won't have a major impact here at home: both on Wall Street and Main Street.
As compassionate citizens, but also as capitalists, do we have a vested interest in helping those hard hit by this disaster?
Bob: It is easy to relate to the terrible destruction. My daughter left Phuket two weeks ago. I feel that it is my obligation as a successful businessman and investor to help the less fortunate. I gave a significant contribution to 9/11 and I plan to give to the tsunami victims. But that's my personal opinion. I am not motivated by any business reason, nor will I judge if others do not see it my way. That said, the rebuilding of Southeast Asia is positive for the domestic economy, earnings, and the stock market.
Gary B.: I think America is doing its part. The more we can help other countries, like Thailand, Sri Lanka, and India get back on their feet, the more it helps everyone, and benefits the entire world’s GDP. These are some of the fastest growing economies in the world. If we can help them grow, it will benefit Wall Street’s bottom line.
Tobin: Our government made a very smart move by allowing people to make a donation for tsunami relief in January and write it off on their 2004 taxes. It’s good for the world because Americans are givers. But I’d like to see the Saudi Arabia and Muslin countries stepping up like the rest of the world. The U.S. has always led in efforts like these since the Marshall Plan.
It is incumbent upon us to lead. Wall Street should lead too because the market just had a great year and people got huge bonuses. It’s the right thing to do and feels great to do it.
Pat: Being generous is an individual choice. It’s the morally right thing to do and that should be the motivation, whether you’re a CEO or a private citizen.
Scott: Any donation should be unconditional. There should be no quid pro quo. These people are in dire need. Wall Street should step up. But after the relief effort, there’s an obligation to help these economies because these economies are some of the fastest growing in the world. They’ll need more than the compassion of the clean up, they’ll also need our help to get back on their feet.
Gary B. and Bob answered if investors should buy stocks of the companies donating the most to the victims of the tsunami in Southern Asia?
First up, Coca-Cola (KO). The soft drink giant has donated $10 million, is matching employees’ donations, and donated thousands of cases of bottled water.
Gary B: Coca-Cola has been sliding down for nearly 6 years. But it recently bounced off a support line and looks like it will start heading higher. I think it is headed to the high $40s. (Coca-Cola closed on Friday at $41.16.)
Bob: I think Coke is slightly undervalued and would like it better if it were in the mid $30s. The company used to grow 8-10 percent, but now it’s about 2-3 percent.
Next, Citigroup (C). The financial giant has donated $3 million to aid victims of the tsunami and is also matching employees’ donations.