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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; Scott Bleier, HybridInvestors.com president; Tobin Smith, ChangeWave Research editor; Dr. Bob Froehlich, Scudder Investments; Marc Lamont Hill, Temple University Professor of American Studies, Matt McCall, Penn Financial.
Trading Pit: Wall Street Freak Out Over Possible Tax Hikes?
Tobin Smith: The main reason stocks went down was the jobs report. That being said, Wall Street cares a lot, because the narrative out of Iowa that stuck was anti-Wall Street, anti-Corporate pay package, and if that message fans across the rest of the country it will be impossible to put that fire out. Wall Street is hoping the adrenaline rush of under 30 year old first-time voters going for Obama, and the evangelicals voting for Huckabee, will be doused by a waterfall of desire to get the economy back on track.
Marc Lamont Hill: Both Obama and Huckabee represent a populist, anti-corporate message that inspires hope among everyday Americans. Obama promises to cut taxes and provide social provisions for the poor. Huckabee has challenged the big oil companies. All of these things threaten the power of the rich, which has gone unchecked for years. It is for this reason that the market is down: big business is shaking in its boots.
Gary B. Smith: I think the market thinks there is NO WAY Huckabee can win, and the Republicans are in disarray. Therefore, it's now a pitched battle between two communists who want nothing less than vast wealth redistribution!
Scott Bleier: In order to get elected, candidates must "suck-up" to the largest number of voters. An "eat the rich" mentality has been a populist strategy since capitalism was born! The bottom line is no; Wall Street is not too concerned right now about higher taxes because it has way too much bigger and more damaging events on its plate. Wall Street is bigger than any candidate and his/her policy. It can adapt and survive anything, and will create opportunity for those with capital.
Pat Dorsey: The jobs report sent the market down. That would have happened with the same jobs report and a different Iowa outcome.
Fat Cash for Getting Skinny!
Lose weight… and get a cash bonus! Businesses like IBM are now pushing workers to get in shape with cash incentives.
Good move from Big Blue or a big mistake?
Matt McCall: Why should IBM (or any other business) have the right to dictate how you live outside of the office? As long as I perform my job at a satisfactory level as outlined when I was hired, the company should have no right to push their health beliefs on me outside of the workplace.
Tobin Smith: Absolutely this is a good idea; especially since U.S. corporations are the only ones in the world who pay a majority of United States health costs. Chronic disease (obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure) account for over 50 percent (nearly a trillion dollars) in US health care costs. Any move by business to give incentives for behavior to deal with this is great for our economy.
Pat Dorsey: Health is a personal issue only if you pay for your own health care; if you get coverage through your employer, then your employer has a strong interest in your health, so a voluntary program like this one makes a ton of financial sense. Everybody wins. The employee (hopefully) takes actions that lead to a healthier and longer life, and both the employer and the employee spend less on health care. The U.S. health care system's greatest failing (among many) is that we pay for procedures rather than outcomes, which discourages preventative treatment (no one gets paid!) and produces expensive treatments after problems are diagnosed. Kudos to IBM for trying to rectify this problem!
Lightning Round… Election Style!
Click here to watch this segment in its entirety
Gary B Smith: Research In Motion (RIMM )
Tobin Smith: LDK Solar (LDK )