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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, and Larry Winget, author, "Your Broke Because You Want To Be" -- www.larrywinget.com
Trading Pit: Airline Chaos: Disaster for Economy?
The friendly skies? Hardly! Lots of turbulence there! The only thing going up: cancellations, fares, and bankruptcies. Thousands of flights canceled or delayed this past week, leaving hundreds of thousands of travelers scrambling. Could all the airline chaos end up grounding our economy to a halt?
Larry Winget: I'm not sure it's going to take down the economy, but it's not doing individuals any good. I travel 250 days a year. I've been in an airport every single day this week. People are frustrated, angry and upset. When they get that way, most people spend money - money they can't afford and on things they don't need or want.
Tobin Smith: This is a nightmare. We all have war stories but will the airlines take down the economy? They really can't. Remember FedEx and UPS? If you want to ship something, they're there for you. That's where most of the commercial side goes. Yeah, this upsets people, but this is an FAA issue. I'm a guy that flies every week. I'm glad they go out and do their job. It is going to be a painful sore here the next two or three weeks. I think we have bigger problems than the airlines.
Pat Dorsey: In all seriousness, the economy has bigger fish to fry right now. We are working through a recession. I think that's painfully obvious to anybody in the grocery store or watching the reports coming out. This is just a consumer issue it's frustrating and annoying. It's partially this issue in the near term because of all the safety issues, longer term is an issue with air traffic control and the system is 40 years old and hasn't been updated.
Scott Bleier: I think the airlines are like canaries in the coalmines for the whole U.S. Economy. Fuel prices are doing to the airlines what they're doing to the rest of the consumers. All this frustration, all these safety problems stem directly from costs being so high that corners are cut everywhere. When you go out, you spend less money because it takes you 80 bucks to fill up your S.U.V. I think this frustration and anger are seeping into the entire U.S. economy and can hurt us later in the year.
Gary B Smith: For the short-term there's going to be an impact on the economy. For the long-term I think this could be good. It points out just how flawed this FAA Gestapo oversight is because they're going to at the minimum have to be more efficient in how they give these airlines these checkups and regulate them. It's going to cause creative destruction amongst the airlines. Scott's points are eventually going to die off. It's going to give new industries a chance.
Will Tax Breaks for Foreclosed Homebuyers Tank Home Prices?
Buy a foreclosed home.. Get up to a $7-thousand dollar tax credit. It's part of a new $15 billion dollar senate bill looking to boost the battered housing market. But could it actually make foreclosures soar and home prices tank?
Scott Bleier: This is a ridiculous plan. $7,000 is not enough to get people into foreclosed houses. They're speculators. If you give them $7,000 more, if it falls in value in a year, we are right back to the same mess we were in before.
Larry Winget: A lot of people are going to use this as a real opportunity because people have been faced with inflated housing costs way too long. So for first-time home buyers, this is a real break for them. I think it's an amazing idea and I like it!
Tobin Smith: I think it's a great idea. We need to get these homes out of the hands of people that can't afford them.
The tax deadline is coming.. And so are millions of refund checks! Here's how to make even more money with that extra cash in the stock x-change.
• If you want to watch what each had to say about each stock, click here.
Gary B Smith: PowerShares DB Commodity Tracking Index (DBC )