DISCLAIMER: THE FOLLOWING "Cost of Freedom Recap" CONTAINS STRONG OPINIONS WHICH ARE NOT A REFLECTION OF THE OPINIONS OF FOX NEWS AND SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON AS INVESTMENT ADVICE WHEN MAKING PERSONAL INVESTMENT DECISIONS. IT IS FOX NEWS' POLICY THAT CONTRIBUTORS DISCLOSE POSITIONS THEY HOLD IN STOCKS THEY DISCUSS, THOUGH POSITIONS MAY CHANGE. READERS OF "Cost of Freedom Recap" MUST TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR OWN INVESTMENT DECISIONS.
Bulls & Bears | Cavuto on Business | Forbes on FOX | Cashin' In
Bulls & Bears
This past week's Bulls & Bears: Gary B. Smith, Exemplar Capital; Tobin Smith, ChangeWave Research; Eric Bolling, FOX Business News; Pat Dorsey, Morningstar.comm and Larry Winget, author of "People are Idiots and I Can Prove It."
Let AIG Fail to Teach All Bailout Companies a Lesson?
Eric Bolling, FOX Business Network: Let them all fail. They're riding on bonuses and bailout money. AIG spent $100 billion to meet obligations they owed on garbage assets and $45 billion of it went overseas to foreign banks. This has to stop. Eight months ago I said don't do this. Now, I think the right thing to do is let them fail.
Tobin Smith, Changewave Research: It's too late to let companies like AIG fail. If we just got rid of these naked short financial contracts and any contract that covered capital in European banks, then the situation with AIG would be under better control.
Gary B. Smith, Exemplar Capital: We've given out over $170 billion to AIG so far, and it'll probably end up being $300 billion. We should cut our losses now and save the money. I'd like to see on paper how much the whole bailout of AIG is going to cost us. What I haven't seen is anyone come out with a plan that shows if we let AIG go bankrupt, how do we move on. Instead, we're locked into the too big to fail mentality. With AIG, the government has shown just how incapable it is at running a business.
Larry Winget, author of "People are Idiots and I Can Prove It": This whole mess is our fault. If we're in for a penny, we're in for a pound. We should have never gotten into this position by giving AIG money in the first place. It's our fault now. If you don't hold a snake by the head, it's going to bite you.
Pat Dorsey, Morningstar.com: The problem didn't start when AIG got its first bailout last fall. It started when we allowed the company to get as big as it did. It let the AIG Financial Products unit become an unregulated hedge fund. I do think it's too late right now. I wish it were as simple as just letting them fail. But letting AIG fail now would do tremendous damage to the financial system. I wish this weren't the case, but it is.
AIG "Bonus-Gate": Should Treasury Secretary Geithner Resign?
Eric Bolling: Geithner has generated 0.0 percent confidence. Every time he gets on the stage, he says absolutely nothing that reassures people. We're still waiting on a specific plan to save the financial system. He has given us nothing. Get rid of him.
Larry Winget: I've never been big on cutting people slack, but a position as important as treasury secretary can't look like a revolving door. If we throw this much money at a problem, we're going to see abuse. You can't just throw someone out because they've made a mistake. Look at Colin Powell's WMD presentation to the U.N. Leave Geithner in long enough to make this whole thing work.
Gary B. Smith: Geithner hasn't just made a mistake, he's made many mistakes. If you came up to your boss and told them you just let $165 million go through your hands, you'd be out on your rear end. Obama should have done a better job of vetting these guys. He's put a bunch of losers into these jobs. Put someone in that can get things right. You can't keep making mistakes when you have your hands on the purse strings of the country.
Tobin Smith: I would not fire Geithner. Part of the problem is there are not enough physical human beings at Treasury to deal with all the issues it's facing. It takes awhile to find, vet, and get these key undersecretary positions filled by good people. It makes it a tremendously difficult situation for Geithner. You can't just cut the head off at treasury this quickly. There has to be focus on getting these key undersecretary positions filled.
Pat Dorsey: Firing Geithner would be a huge blow to confidence. It would take months to get someone else in place. We can't afford to be rudderless right now. There's no one at treasury to answer the phones. This situation is not tenable. These undersecretary positions must be filled.
President Says Don't Pay Off Debt With Stimulus; Good or Bad Message?
Larry Winget: Paying down debt is exactly what we should be doing. It's the smart thing to do. We're too caught up with what is left and right, instead of right and wrong.
Tobin Smith: This stimulus money doesn't belong to the states. It's coming from the federal government. If states are going to take the money, it should go towards spending on various projects and programs. South Carolina would be paying down its debt courtesy of the tax payers in California, Texas, New York, etc. It doesn't make sense.
Gary B. Smith: States should be allowed to use the stimulus money in the way they see fit. Governor Sanford believes the best way to use his state's share of the stimulus money is to pay down state debt. It should be case closed.