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Bulls & Bears
This week’s Bulls & Bears: Tobin Smith; Pat Dorsey; Eric Bolling; Joe Battipaglia, and Marc Lamont Hill.
Trading Pit: Will Fears of a "New Cold War" Blow up Oil and Gas Prices?
Eric Bolling: Oil will go up if there’s a Cold War. Oil is like an international currency; it’s power. The Russians produce 9 million barrels a day, about 10-11 percent of world production. If they actually flexed their muscles, oil would spike and the price of gasoline go back over $4, maybe even $5 a gallon. It’s curious that the EU has stayed very quiet during this whole mess; a lot of oil goes from Russia into Eastern and Western Europe. If this controversy blows up, prices would skyrocket.
Joe Battipaglia: Supply and demand is going to trump the flux in energy prices on the short term basis. The Russians want a seat at the international table. They want a G8, not a G7. They want to be in the WTO. They’re not going to get there by knocking off Georgia or the Ukraine. Generally, the energy markets and international trade is not where they’re going to push the envelope.
Pat Dorsey: Short-term, the slow down we’re seeing in the global economy is clearly on the market’s mind, that’s why oil prices came down. Long-term, however, it’s a big deal if Russia does decide to flex its muscle, because oil is not growing in terms of production in most parts of the world. A lot of incremental supply was hopefully going to be coming from Russia in the next few years, and now that may not happen either by choice or by telling Western capital they don’t want help. By doing this they’re going to miss out on a lot of the technical expertise they need to explore a lot of their oil fields that are very difficult to get at. It’s going to be an expensive and cold winter in Western Europe if Russia decides to cut that pipe.
Tobin Smith: It’s not in Russia’s best interest for oil prices to go up because it kills demand. Their power is oil prices, their power is natural gas. Their production is down because they’re ticking off their partners, because nobody wants to do business with them, and because they don’t have the technology to drill in hard-to-reach places. High oil prices would kill them!
Will Obama-nomics Put the Middle-Class First or Last?
Joe Battipaglia: Essentially what Obama is doing is promising something that somebody else is going to pay for. He’s going to raise taxes on capital and capital formation. How is that pro middle-class, how is that pro-economy?
Marc Lamont Hill: The idea here is that people who make more than $250,000 will be the ones that pay the primary cost so that the average middle class person will have some relief. To be sure, someone is carrying the load here. Particularly in the last ten years, however, the middle class has been carrying the load, and now it’s time to divide it up in a way that is more just and fair.
Tobin Smith: It’s hard for the middle class to be carrying the load when the top 10 percent of the United States pays 75 percent of the taxes. The recipe for growth is to lessen the tax and increase the availability of capital to allow the entrepreneurs and the risk-takers to develop new jobs which helps the middle class. When you’re in a recession as the country is in now, the very last thing you want to do is, at the marginal rate, take more cash away from the people that are already paying the majority of taxes. That is a recipe for disaster, and that’s what Obama-nomics is.
Eric Bolling: John McCain wants to lower corporate taxes. He wants to make sure free trade stays and he wants to implement a lot of tax incentives. That creates jobs, it doesn’t send jobs overseas. When jobs are sent overseas to friendlier shores, the middle class loses out because they lose jobs.
Stock X-Change: 'Thunder' Stocks
Click here to watch the segment
Tobin Smith: Ciena (CIEN ); Friday’s Close: $18.76
Eric Bolling: Lockheed Martin (LMT ); Friday’s Close $116.67
Joe Battipaglia: Kimberly-Clark (KMB ); Friday’s Close: $62.92
Pat Dorsey: XTO Energy (XTO ); Friday’s Close: $45.79