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Bulls & Bears
This past week's Bulls & Bears: Gary B. Smith, Exemplar Capital managing partner; Pat Dorsey, Morningstar.com director of stock research; Scott Bleier, HybridInvestors.com president; Tobin Smith, ChangeWave Research editor; Matthew McCall, Penn Financial Group president.
Trading Pit: Wicked Winter Storms: Boost to Economy?
Talk about wicked weather! Snow, ice, and mudslides: Mother Nature hitting us hard, knocking out power, closing roads and shutting airports.
So how can all this weather actually be a good thing for the economy?
Tobin Smith: A lot of people have forgotten that there is this thing called winter! It usually comes once a year, and there's industries built around it! So if we have a normal winter we're going to have actual winter industries do well, which is good for the economy!
Pat Dorsey: You're less likely to leave your home to spend money! The data is clear that when the weather is really nasty outside, retail sales take a hit. It's the holiday season, so people are not going to stay home and not shop. But a really nasty winter will have an effect.
Gary B. Smith: The one industry that could be helped is the clothing industry. The stores have had winter coats in the stores for a while but we had a real mild fall so people weren't buying them. Other than that there is no correlation whatsoever between weather and the economy!
Scott Bleier: The only chill that this economy and markets care about is the chill of the credit markets. Weather is always used as an excuse for a company's poor performance. Weather is the least of our economies trouble…we have a recession coming!
Matthew McCall: Productivity goes down with winter weather. Oil prices go higher, and consumers are sitting home during the holiday season not going shopping!
$trip Club Tax to Help Pay for Health Care?
Strip clubs paying for health care! Starting January 1, Texas gentlemen clubs will be slapped with a special tax, part of which will help pay for medical care for the uninsured!
Good plan or bad idea?
Tobin Smith: This is stupid and insane! Why don't we just go and tax little league because kids hurt their arms and legs when they play baseball!
Matthew McCall: Why not?! If you have the disposable income to go throw singles around inside a strip club, why not another five dollars at the door to help people!
Gary B. Smith: It's a classic case of the government deciding how you should or not spend your money. Why is it the governments place to decide it should be a strip club?
Scott Bleier: You can't charge a sin tax to this because it's not a sin! Strip clubs don't kill people like tobacco does.
Ask the Chartman