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.
This past week's Bulls & Bears: Ann Coulter, author of "Godless"; Gary B. Smith, Exemplar Capital managing partner; Pat Dorsey, Morningstar.com director of stock research; Tobin Smith, ChangeWave Research editor; Scott Bleier, HybridInvestors.com president, and Bob Froehlich, DWS Scudder chairman of investor strategy.
Trading Pit: Paris: Proof You Can't Buy Privilege!
Paris can cry for "Mommy" all she wants! But she's back behind bars! Is this proof the rules aren't different for the rich and that money doesn't buy special privilege?
ANN: I am pleasantly surprised to see that America is revolted by Paris Hilton. But I think it is unfair—I haven't heard one lawyer say that anyone else would get this kind of sentence. It is because she is disliked and that isn't how the law is supposed to work. I don't see this as a liberal/conservative issue; I see it as a reality TV show. It is a fact that Paris Hilton is obsessed with attention and that upset the judge and her lawyers. Still it is very different to send Paris Hilton to jail because it disrupts the whole jail. Everyone is trying to take pictures of her and sell them to the National Enquirer—it's totally disruptive.
TOBIN: Judges give tougher sentences to celebrities. The whole issue boils down to how much television time the judge will get. At the end of the day this becomes a way for a judge to get a book deal or some other type of deal. Paris needs to go to jail and do her time!
GARY B: I disagree with Ann that America is revolted by Paris Hilton. When she's on the TV, we can't take our eyes off the screen! I will hand it to Paris. She's built this little conglomerate. But I still find it hard to believe, even though she is going back to jail, that she is being treated equally.
BOB: America thrives on controversy. But the facts in this case are pretty clear. I think the rich should be held to a higher standard. People on this show should be held to a higher standard because we influence people! To think that people of wealth don't run in different circles is false. I don't care if you're an athlete, a schoolteacher, anybody on TV, there are two standards and you have privileges. I think you have to be held to a higher standard.
PAT: She's a controversial figure and there is no doubt she will generate a lot of controversy. I agree with Bob's point. You would hope that people of wealth would see themselves as role models. Sometimes that is the case and sometimes it is not. In Paris' case…maybe not.
SCOTT: The Fort Dix terrorists were arrested for drunk driving many times and never went to jail. Paris is already in jail. Her money and influence would have helped her before she got into the jail system…before she screwed over the judge. The system is the great equalizer, and now her money and power can do nothing.
Will Hillary's 'Take From the Rich' Plan Get Her Elected?
Hillary Clinton wants to make us energy independent and provide universal health care. So how will she pay for it? She said it this week, "…taking things from some people," that's how. Could this "take from the rich" plan get her elected?
ANN: Well since the Democrats have settled that $200,000 is the definition of being rich, they're going to find there are a substantial minority of Americans who make more than $200,000. But my tax plan is to figure out how we only tax rich liberals!
GARY B: I think it's genius in a sort of Lex Luther way. I think Ann made a good point that it is really going to come down to numbers. There are people with salaries over $200,000 who went through twenty years of schooling, worked their butts off for some corporation or started their own business—employing thousands of other people. Under Hillary's plan their reward is giving what they've earned to the less fortunate. And the less fortunate say, "Yeah! Yeah! We don't want to work, we want everything to be given to us."
TOBIN: I can't think of any President that has won a national election by using a platform to socialize medicine by taking away from people who make a middle-class living.
SCOTT: It's absolutely not going to get her into the White House. Anybody who works for a living and makes any money is going to see through her plan easily. She's trying to play to the mass majority but no one is going to listen to her. People who didn't earn it, don't deserve it.
BOB: It worked for Robin Hood. I actually think that many of these people that are technically "rich" don't perceive themselves as rich. So they say, "Yeah, let's go after these rich people," until they realize that they are the rich people.
PAT: We've had progressive taxes for quite a long time. They're not that unpopular or Steve Forbes would be President now. The larger point that was being made, particularly from the energy independence angle, is that if you pursue a goal that benefits everyone equally, the costs are going to be assigned unequally. A higher fuel tax, for example, would hurt the poor more so than it would hurt people driving Mercedes SUVs.
Is Ann Coulter a risky or conservative investor? Are her stocks "right for you?
General Electric (GE )
JetBlue (JBLU )
New York Times (NYT )
Ann's prediction: End of "Melting Pot" huge threat to America and economy!
Bob's prediction: Forget this week's sell-off: Dow 15K by Christmas!
Gary B's prediction: New Harry Potter book boosts Scholastic (SCHL ) 40 percent
Tobin's prediction: Google (GOOG) Maps send stock to the moon! Hits $700!
Scott's prediction: Health Net (HNT) helps fix health care; up 30 percent by 2008
Pat's prediction: Angiotech Pharmaceuticals (ANPI) doubles in next 2-3 years
On Saturday, June 9th, Neil Cavuto was joined by Ben Stein, "Yes, You Can Get a Financial Life" author; Charles Payne, "Be Smart, Act Fact, Get Rich" author; Laura Schwartz, laura.gather.com; Ben Ferguson, radio talk show host; Cheryl Casone, FOX Business correspondent; Mike Norman, BIZRADIO host, and Tracy Byrnes, New York Post business writer.
Neil Cavuto: Democratic Representative William Jefferson has been arraigned on 16 corruption charges, including using his position as a member of Congress to solicit bribes. Jefferson has not yet resigned. And, he's not being forced out yet either. Would this fly on Wall Street, Ben Stein?
Ben Stein: Well, any corporate CEO indicted on 16 counts would be out in an instant. But, I think Jefferson's mindset – make as much as you can as quickly as you can -- would fit in beautifully on Wall Street. And, he would be going for multi-million dollar deals instead of $90,000 ones.
Charles Payne: This is really outrageous. Anybody with any self-respect would resign. And what I can't understand is why the Democrats aren't saying anything! Where's Pelosi on this thing? This is so important. We're talking about the Congress here.
Neil Cavuto: Laura, why isn't the leadership doing anything?
Laura Schwartz: I think there's a lot more rallying going on behind the scenes, Neil. For example, Jefferson stepped down from one of his committee posts. The ethics committee is doing a 30-day investigation, but I think Jefferson will resign before then.
Ben Ferguson: On Friday, you saw him say, "I'm not going to step down. I'm innocent." This coming from a man who's Party ran on cleaning up Washington. How many times have you seen Nancy Pelosi say we're going to clean up Washington? There are six Republicans under investigation.
Laura Schwartz: Seven!
Ben Ferguson: There's a big difference between being under investigation and being indicted.
Charles Payne: Also, there's a big difference between getting caught on camera with a suitcase and having $90,000 in the freezer…
Laura Schwartz: You're right, Charles.
Neil Cavuto: Tell me you have never kept some cash in the freezer.
Charles Payne: Not $90,000!
Cheryl Casone: I respectfully disagree with Mr. Stein. We have 170 companies that are under some sort of federal or internal investigations for stock options.
Ben Ferguson: But, indictments are different.
Cheryl Casone: But, these guys are still running these companies.
Mike Norman: It's a political environment. It runs under different set of fundamentals. It's apples and oranges. And the very fact that Jefferson is still in office shows that some people are still getting a political benefit from it. Maybe those on the left are saying he's a scapegoat. Maybe those on the right are saying he's a criminal.
Neil Cavuto: Ben Stein, let's talk about the options. CEOs who are forced out generally come from companies that are under some pressure. So, you wouldn't see that at Apple right now. The company and its products are rock stars. Would there be a different story for Steve Jobs if the company and its products weren't so hot?
Ben Stein: There might be, but the main difference is that the Grand Jury gave a public indictment. Jefferson has a rock solid hold on his voters. I'll probably be the only person to say it, but the Democratic Party does not want to offend the African American voters. I think the Dems under-estimate the African American voter…
Neil Cavuto: Here's an interesting point: When Jefferson was in the election, he won in a landslide.
Charles Payne: Ben makes an interesting point, but look at Marion Barry in Washington, DC. I was in DC this week and the cab driver told me he loves Marion Barry. When black politicians or any black person is in trouble, the black community typically rallies behind them and believes they're being a scapegoat.
Ben Ferguson: The race card gets thrown out there. Look at Herald Ford, Sr and the House Banking scandal. He got re-elected.
Charles Payne: A better example would be the guy from Comverse Technology who's trying to buy a country now. When you're indicted on these things or you know you're guilty on Wall Street, you either resign or run away.
Mike Norman: Now, wait a second, Charles. There's a long list of scoundrels on Wall Street.
Charles Payne: And when people find out about them, they leave.
Mike Norman: No they do not. They stay and then they make more money!
Ben Ferguson: Name one company that has survived when they have someone out there that has this many indictments…
Neil Cavuto: Laura, let me ask you. This goes back to a very basic point Ben Stein made earlier. I don't care if you're Republican or Democrat or run a Fortune 500 company, when you're indicted, you go.
Laura Schwartz: The US Attorney that filed the paperwork against Jefferson said this is an indictment, not a conviction. What did Majority Leader Boehner say last year about Bob Ney after he pleaded guilty? He said, "Oh, it's up to the family. We really shouldn't pressure him to resign."
Ben Stein: But for heaven's sake, he resigned! The final point is the Republicans have some decency and they resign when they're indicted.
Laura Schwartz: Oh my gosh, Ben Stein. Ney did not resign after he was indicted. He resigned after he pleaded guilty. Same thing with Tom Delay.
Ben Stein: But, he resigned within days.
Laura Schwartz: Yeah, after his mug shot was taken and shown around the world. And the Democrats just passed an Ethics Reform bill in the house, so we're on our way.
Head to Head
Neil Cavuto: The immigration reform bill seems dead, at least for now. Is that the best thing for the stock market and the economy?
Charles Payne: I think so. The bill was really dumb to begin with. Listen, we're going to ship 12 million people out of the country and we're going to still function when we need workers in the first place? Obviously, they committed a crime when they came over here, but there has to be a better solution. Sending them home would be disastrous for our economy.
Ben Stein: Well, it's an interesting thing. I don't think it'll have any affect on the market in the short-run. But, in the long-run, the fundamental character of America is going to change dramatically. By the time my son, who's 19 now, turns 62, this will be a predominantly Latino country. That said, the affect on the stock market will be slow in coming. I don't know what the solution is.
Neil Cavuto: By the time your son is that age, he'd be a multi-millionaire.
Cheryl Casone: I'm sure there are a lot of companies, especially security companies, out there that were gunning for government contracts. A government contract can rock a stock for bad or good. The government doesn't do anything halfway. When they spend, they spend! So, that's money that won't be spent now and that's bad news for stocks.
Neil Cavuto: The flip side of this is if you argue that the illegals help the economy, not doing anything to address illegal immigration could actually help the economy.
Ben Ferguson: Yeah, I think short-term, Wall Street likes this because it doesn't like change.
Charles Payne: We need immigrants here. Not illegal ones, but legal ones.
Neil Cavuto: Laura, it's a moot point because it's a dead point right now. What I'm wondering if it's back to Republicans and Democrats fight with each other again.
Laura Schwartz: Well, you made a good point. But, the bill is going to come back again. I think Wall Street would be happy if we could secure our borders.
Cheryl Casone: I think an immigration bill is going to be re-visited with the election coming up.
Ben Ferguson: Yeah, I think the politicians on both sides want this to be an issue in '08.
More For Your Money: "Soprano" $tocks!
Neil Cavuto: On Sunday night, the world finds out if Tony Soprano lives or dies. So, in honor of the big series finale, we tell you which stocks can help you make a killing… in the stock market!
Tracy Byrnes: Activision (ATVI )
Mike Norman: Pfizer (PFE)
*Mike owns shares of this stock
Charles Payne: General Dynamics (GD )
Ben Ferguson: Dell (DELL )
Ben Stein: Goldman Sachs (GS)
*Ben owns shares of this stock
FOX on the Spot
Ben Stein: Gas Gouging Bill is insane; Bush should veto!
Tracy Byrnes: The Immigration Bill isn't dead; it becomes law!
Mike Norman: One-week stock blip: Only media can kill the "Bull"!
Laura Schwarz: Bush will pardon Scooter Libby
Charles Payne: Russia, China, North Korea ignite new arms race
Neil Cavuto: "President" Putin taking Russia toward dictatorship
In Focus: Will Wall Street Vote For the Party "Toughest" on Terror?
Steve Forbes, Editor-in-Chief: It's going to be GOP, because Wall Street knows without security you're not going to have markets. Look what happened in the late 1970s when we were seen as weak, the markets took a nose dive. That's the foundation on which everything else is built.
Quentin Hardy, Silicon Valley Bureau Chief: It's about fear and hope and the Republicans are addicted to selling fear and it's worn everybody down and it's not working. The Democrats are selling hope and it's a winning strategy. The fear that the GOP is stirring up just helps the terrorists because it keeps you afraid to the point of terror.
Steve Forbes: In the 1970s Jimmy Carter said we had an inordinate fear of Communism and nearly lost the Cold War which Reagan came in and turned around.
Elizabeth MacDonald, Senior Editor: I think the War on Terror is an overstatement. This is really a police action. But it is on Wall Street's mind. This is an important issue. It's about who has the better strategy to deal with it: the Republicans or the Democrats.
Victoria Barret, Associate Editor: Terror really comes down to a gnarly question no one has the answer to. That is, if we pull out of Iraq, will it be more stable and is the world a safer place? The Republicans say no way. The Democrats say yes! Wall Street doesn't know the answer. They are going to focus on trade, taxes and regulation.
Dennis Kneale, Managing Editor: We forget that Wall Street is comprised of human beings. Those thousands of people were shown true terror and fear during 9/11. They haven't forgotten that. And if Democrats were the toughest party on terrorism they might have a chance of getting Wall Street's vote for a change. But being that Republicans offer a better economic policy for capitalism and they're tougher on terror, Wall Street is a lock.
Mike Ozanian, Senior Editor: If you look at some of the people who made the most money on Wall Street like John Edwards and George Soros, they're the ones that want us to surrender to the terrorists. They're a lot of staunch liberals on Wall Street who want us to surrender.
Flipside: The Mafia Is Great For Our Economy!
Neil Weinberg, Senior Editor: If you believe in free markets, you have to believe in what the Mafia is doing. They started out with prohibition and running booze. Then they went into cigarettes, prostitution, gambling and subprime loans. They are providing services that are underserved. It's simple supply and demand.
Steve Forbes: Real free markets means rules of law. People know what the rules are.
Mike Maiello, Associate Editor: All economies have black markets. That's how economies function. That's because certain people are legally excluded from participating in the overall economy. They have to get in somehow.
Michele Steele, Associate Editor: The mafia was a huge drain on the Italian economy for decades if not centuries. If the mafia was good for the economy we should be developing one in the U.S.
Mike Ozanian, Senior Editor: The mafia is bad for small businesses, which are the driving engine of our economy. It ads that extra layer of cost for protection and doing business.
Victoria Barret: We recently saw the guys involved in the plot to blow up JFK use images from Google Earth to see the layout of the airport and to see where the fuel lines went so they could inflict mass damage. This is information you can't get in the physical world. You can't go to the airport and ask for this information, but on Google Earth, it's there in plain site. I think Google needs to scramble those types of security-sensitive locations or have the government ask them to do it.
Quentin Hardy: Even the FBI said these guys weren't close. I mean should they ban subway maps because they show you how to get out to the airport?
Michele Steele: I don't think that they should censor Google. Google already censors itself for a lot of sensitive areas, like the vice president's mansion and the rooftop of the White House. But Google should censor more for those sites.
Elizabeth MacDonald: Google is already doing self censorship. The information is already out there. Plus you can trace these terrorists through their Internet searches.
Steve Forbes: It's like saying we have the technology to tap phones but it's an issue of privacy. Certain things should be illegal. If Google doesn't censor this on its own there are rules and laws that should be passed to keep people from using these services to harm people.
Informer: Stocks That Could Help Cure Cancer
Dennis Kneale: Myriad Genetics (MYGN)
Elizabeth MacDonald: Genentech (DNA)
Michele Steele: Bayer (BAY)
Neil Weinberg: Whole Foods (WFMI)
Our Cashin' In crew this week: Wayne Rogers, Wayne Rogers & Co; Jonathan Hoenig, CapitalistPig Asset Management; Jonas Max Ferris, MaxFunds.com; Dagen McDowell, FOX Business News; and Rebecca Gomez, FOX Business News.
No More "Enemy" Oil?
The latest GOP presidential debate featured tough talk from Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney about America's dependence on foreign oil. Should we stop buying oil from our enemies?
Wayne: These candidates are right! We should stop buying oil from our enemies. If we took the money that is being wasted in Iraq right now and devoted it to alternative fuels, we would be way ahead of this. All that money could be going to something that is good rather than dividing and upsetting the balance of power.
Jonathan: Do you think not buying Iranian oil will keep us safe from Iran? Is that a defense strategy?
Terry: We don't buy oil from Iran.
Wayne: No, but we shouldn't be there. Let the Sunnis and Shiites knock each other off.
Jonathan: Iran unfortunately wants to kill us. We didn't win WWII by not buying German bratwurst. That's not how you win a war. Giuliani is dead wrong on this one.
Dagen: This is about gasoline, gasoline prices, and how much we consume. The talk at the presidential debate was not blunt enough because politicians will never say what energy independence means. It means higher gas prices and cutting consumption. Americans are going to have to pay a lot more for gasoline to ever wean us off the foreign oil.
Jonas: I'm all for conservation, but the bottom line is, keep your oil friends close and oil enemies closer. It seems a little backwards, but let's use up the oil from these dangerous countries. If we look forward, the oil will keep getting more valuable. We want to own the last of the oil. We don't want to use up all of our oil and then have to rely on Iran and Russia in 30 years. These countries are willing to sell it. Let's buy it, use it and then focus on our own reserves.
Rebecca: Giuliani and Romney want to get all the votes. This talk is a good way to get the votes, but what are the specifics? How are they going to do this? These candidates need to get to the heart of what they are proposing.
Wayne: If a nation like Brazil can wean itself off oil, then why can't we? Brazil is 90 percent on ethanol now. We should get on alternative fuels so we do not have to depend on foreign oil at all.
Dagen: Wayne, I agree, but we are also going to need a heavy hand from the U.S. government.
Jonathan: Both Giuliani and Romney are saying that an energy strategy is a national defense strategy. Those are two very different animals. Not buying oil from our enemies does not make our enemies go away.
Terry: It might hurt them and make them need us less.
Jonathan: Do you think sanctions are going to make Iran love America?
Terry: We haven't bought oil from Iran since 1979.
Jonathan: We're talking about economic sanctions. Are economic sanctions a valuable tool in winning America's war?
Terry: If we buy less oil from around the world and oil prices go down to $30/barrel, yes that will hurt Ahmadinejad.
Jonathan: I strongly disagree. I think it hurts our productivity to be honest.
Rebecca: I agree with you Terry. This is the money our enemies use to fund terrorists, to fund cells here and in other countries, and to fund their nuclear power plants.
Jonas: The oil is going to go somewhere. If it's at a high price and China buys it, it's still going to our enemies. It's irrelevant if you can lower the price.
Rebecca: America is a big part of the market.
Jonathan: The president's job is to keep us safe from those that want to kill us. If these candidates' solution is to stop buying oil from our enemies, we are screwed. That is not a national defense strategy.
Paris Hilton Jail Me$$: Did She Kill Her Career?
Paris went to jail, but she reportedly was such a mess they sent her home for "medical reasons." Then after major public outrage, the judge sent her back. Did this mess hurt her career?
Jonas: Paris did hurt her career. It would have actually helped her career if she served her time like a regular inmate. Someone like Paris doesn't have movies coming out like a big time star. She has to rely on publicity stunts to keep her in the public eye. This prison thing did that for her. Her fan base will dwindle because this whole mess.
Dagen: We're a very forgiving nation. You've got to pay for your crimes. Take a look at Martha Stewart. She served her few months behind bars, served her home confinement, and her star rose higher than it had ever been. I think people are fed up with Paris because the media coverage has gone so over the top.
Rebecca: It's quite the opposite. By pulling this whole stunt, people are more outraged and more interested and more media outlets are covering it. It's definitely going to help Paris out.
Wayne: These kinds of things are so frivolous. The legal system should treat everyone equally. We are all equal before the law. It sends the wrong message if this woman gets privilege over some poor down and out person just because she is who she is.
Jonathan: In five years, Paris Hilton‘s career is going to go from hot laughing stock to laughing stock. She's got nothing else to do right now and she's an embarrassment to her family. Paris did the crime; she should do the time.
Does America and Wall Street Want Rosie Back on "The View"?
Record-setting viewers for The View in May as Rosie and Elisabeth went toe-to-toe. Now, Rosie is gone and so are a lot of the viewers. Would America and Wall Street be better off if Rosie were still with The View?
Jonas: Many more people were watching The View when Rosie was on. Ratings will now plummet. The public has changed in the last few years - people are more tolerant of extreme viewpoints. Big media is losing a lot of viewers to the Internet, where there are more extreme viewpoints.
Dagen: This is good for the Internet. Rosie's outlet right now is her website. I check it out every day to see if she says something outrageous. Big media is not going to suffer in the long run. FoxNews.com's Roger Friedman has said that NBC is interested in bringing her on board, maybe for primetime. Big business still wants Rosie.
Wayne: If ratings are what it is all about, then yes, it doesn't matter what the person says or does.
Jonathan: This whole thing was so compelling because the debate between Rosie and Elisabeth is the same debate that is going on in living rooms across America. It's going on in editorial pages across the country. I celebrate it because political talk is good. Many countries like Venezuela, Iran, Korea, etc. don't have that. The more talk, the better.
Jonas: There needs to be a reason to watch a show when it airs. The View was giving you that reason.
Rebecca: It was also good for cable networks, newspapers and for all of traditional media.
Best Bets: Stocks You Can't Refu$e!
Jonathan: MarketAxess (MKTX) (Friday's Close: $18.00)
Wayne: Central European Distribution (CEDC) (Friday's Close: $33.92)
Price: Janus Enterprise Fund (JAENX) (Friday's Close: $53.22)