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Bulls & Bears | Cavuto on Business | Forbes on FOX | Cashin' In
Bulls & Bears
This past week's Bulls & Bears: Gary B. Smith, Exemplar Capital managing partner; Pat Dorsey, Morningstar.com director of stock research; Tobin Smith, ChangeWave Research editor; Scott Bleier, HybridInvestors.com president; Patricia Powell, Powell Financial Group president, and Adam Lashinsky, Fortune Magazine senior writer.
Trading Pit: Madmen with Oil
The showdown between Iran and Great Britain hitting home and causing oil prices to soar. Madmen with oil — as those in Iran and Hugo Chavez in Venezuela — how much of a threat are they to Wall Street and Main Street?
Gary B.: They are a horrible threat and this has disaster written all over it! Chavez and Ahmadinejad are two power hungry dictators that despise the United States and control resources vital to our economy.
Tobin: They are not nearly as big of a threat as people may believe. When Hugo Chavez started his regime, Venezuela produced about 3 million barrels of oil a day. Now they're down to only 1.8 million. He talks a good game but doesn't have the oil to carry through these threats. Iran is importing more gasoline than anyone else because they can't create it! Ahmadinejad is smart and knows that the right price for oil is $65 or $66 a barrel.
Patricia: We should be worried! The supply and demand of oil is very tight worldwide. If you take out a major supplier, you could easily get a spike to over $100 a barrel or even a super spike topping $200.
Adam: There is no comparison between Venezuela and Iran. Chavez is an annoyance! He's somebody who is hurting his country by degrading their ability to produce oil. There is no way he can or will cut off oil to the United States. It would be the worst thing for his economy. Ahmadinejad is the one we should really be focusing on. Iran is a very big, scary country in a dangerous part of the world.
Scott: The two are devastating to world economies. They are jawboning the price of oil, by saying they can turn it off. Iran is a behemoth that can devastate world economies. This is why America needs to develop alternative energies.
Pat: Venezuela is just a fly in the ointment. Iran is the much bigger issue. Chavez and Ahmadinejad have set themselves up as regional leaders, which allows them to have bigger effect then if each acted alone. The longer these guys stay in power and keep selling oil, the more dangerous they become. They are the new leaders of South America and of the Shiites — neither of which are our friends.
Obama Charges President Bush of Social Darwinism
Senator Barack Obama, D-Ill., is accusing President Bush of what he calls "Social Darwinism". Here's what Obama had to say, "It's a strategy that we've seen this administration pursue over last 6 years, that basically says government has no role to play in making sure that America is prosperous for all people not just for some."
But is it the government's responsibility to make sure all of us are prosperous...or just that we have the opportunity?
Gary B.: I don't know what he's talking about — this "Social Darwinism". We already spend more per household than we ever have in the history of the United States. This entire country was founded on the belief that people make money on their own. Didn't we try to get away from the tyranny of the British government? This whole thing about the government "being our Mommy and Daddy" is just idiotic! It's going to kill this economy and kill the spirit of entrepreneurship that makes this country great.
Adam: Barack Obama did not say that it's government's job to make every citizen prosperous. He said that it's government's job to make a prosperous America for all of its people. That's exactly the same as, " life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness". What Obama said is not such an outrageous thing to say.
Pat: He may have a point. The left-wing Democrats believe in a large social safety net, unlike the bulk of the Republican Party. I think that the answer is somewhere in the middle.
Tobin: Government has a very important role: keep us safe, build the infrastructure, and encourage risk. Obama is a guy who has never created a job or a business. The biggest risk he's taken is running for office where he raised money from other people to elect himself! If he understood that taking risks is what made America he wouldn't spew such garbage.
Scott: It's not the government's job to make everyone prosperous. It is the government's job to create a foundation of opportunity that allows people to succeed. People are supposed to work toward success and climb up in society.