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Bulls & Bears

On Saturday August 8, 2009, Brenda Buttner was joined by Gary B. Smith, Tobin Smith, Eric Bolling, Pat Dorsey and Nancy Skinner.

Jobless Rate Drops to 9.4 Percent: Time to Stop Government Spending?

Gary B. Smith, TheChartman.com: I'm actually going to applaud the Obama administration. Here's why: Because of their ineptitude they haven't managed to get about 90 percent of the stimulus money distributed. Thus, they have not managed to damage the economy. In fact, lo and behold, the economy has bounced back on its own. So I say take the other $670 billion of stimulus we haven't spent and give it back to the American people! But of course they don't want to do that - but the stimulus should stop immediately.

Nancy Skinner, radio talk show host: I don't get it — the stimulus is finally working so we should stop distributing the money? Here's the analogy: We take a dying patient; we give him antibiotics; we give him IV fluids, and all of a sudden the fever starts to break. So why would we pull all of those things out and replace them with a cigarette and whisky bottle? It's just starting to work! We still have 9.4 percent unemployment. The rest of the stimulus is designated for shovel ready projects. Here in Michigan they announced $1 billion for new battery and car technology. It's just starting to work, so let it!

Eric Bolling, FOX Business Network: We haven't even talked about the $72 billion of TARP that banks haven't used. We're talking $800 billion that's sitting there with no real purpose. To touch on Nancy's point, we did not give the economy penicillin in the form of stimulus. We didn't give it antibiotics — we gave it a band-aid and aspirin and said call us tomorrow. Stop spending all this money and send it back to the taxpayer! If we don't, we may just inflate ourselves into another recession.

Tobin Smith, ChangeWave Research: The big news out of these unemployment numbers is that we only added 7,000 government jobs. That was the most startling number. If we stop spending money on just these new entitlement programs, that would be fabulous. We should be spending money on actual capital projects and things that will actually raise economic productivity. What we should stop supporting are state budgets and new projects and initiatives that are simply transfers of wealth.

Pat Dorsey, Morningstar.com: The economy is recovering slowly. The government is about the only entity spending money right now. The consumer savings rate is still heading pretty far north. CEO confidence is still pretty low. You're not seeing a lot of corporate spending out of businesses. But I think it's reasonable to say that the economy may be recovering faster than one would have thought back in March. People start to think that maybe we should put the brakes on all this spending. But I think that stopping things cold right now does not seem to be the right answer with 9.4 percent unemployment and an economy that still, unfortunately, only has one engine right now, which is government spending.

Clunkers for Guzzlers: "Green" Program Backfiring?

Eric Bolling: This "green program" is not so green. You can buy a Hummer; you can buy one of those big Tahoes, or a Suburban. For starters, cash for clunkers should have been applied to American cars only. But think about all of the carbon you're emitting when you crush these cars and shipping away their remains. By the way, a dirty little secret of this program was that a lot of these cars aren't being smashed. They're actually turning up on the road again in other places in this country going purely against the rules of the program.

Nancy Skinner: So far, the average increase in fuel efficiency is 10 miles per gallon — a 61 percent increase. I agree with Eric Bolling that they should have been all-American, but the Southern senators had to get the foreign companies in. Even with the foreign sales, 50 percent of the cars being sold under cash for clunkers are made in the United States. This program is indeed green. We're getting rid of old, polluting cars. These newer cars are going to have longer life spans, fuel efficiency, and better technology across the board. It's absolute genius.

Tobin Smith: This program is nothing more than giving $4,500 to rich guys to go and turn their car in. From a green standpoint, the only thing green is the money coming out of my checkbook going to dealers for cars that may or may not have sold. The U.S. government is counting cars one way, while websites like Edmunds.com count them another way. This program is fabulous as long as you want to believe a big fat lie.

Pat Dorsey: The far bigger impact of cash for clunkers is on a dealer's bottom line and Detroit's bottom line. Any environmental benefits, frankly, are just chump-change because the real goal of the program was basically to give another bailout to Detroit and auto workers. This is a cyclical industry and when consumers aren't buying, they aren't buying. We all knew that when the program was first starting up.

Gary B. Smith: One study shows that even if this program is 100 percent successful, the reduction in carbon emissions will be about .001 percent. That's also presuming people don't drive any less. But of course they are going to drive more. People are going to get out and go, "Wow! I've got this great new Ford Focus that gets 30 miles per gallon — I can drive a little bit more!" What's going to happen is that carbon emissions are not going to come anywhere near a reduction. In fact, this program might even increase the carbon footprint.

President Obama's Poll Numbers Drop, Stocks Pop: Is There a Connection?

Tobin Smith: The fact is: Stocks do better when a president's approval rating goes under 50 percent. This happened with President Reagan and President Bush. When President Bush's ratings were declining, the market was going up. President Bush's approval ratings peaked when the market was having a very rough time. There's a lot of stuff behind all this, but let's not argue the facts.

Gary B. Smith: I think part of this is that people are thinking that there might not be this huge new expanse of government size and power. President Obama's approval ratings go down and more and more people embrace small government and capitalism. This is a historic trend. Markets move up if a president's approval rating dips below 50. So maybe this is an Obama rally.

Eric Bolling: These two things are absolutely correlated. Regardless of who's in office, when nothing happens in Congress, Wall Street likes it. If a president's approval drops below 50 percent, stock return is over 9 percent. When their approval rating is above 65 percent, the return on stocks is about 2.6 percent.

Pat Dorsey: The study we're basing this conversation on looks at weekly gains in the stock market. So if you buy stocks and are holding them for a week, then this study is accurate. But if you're an investor that likes to hold onto stocks for longer periods of time, I'm skeptical of the correlation between higher return and declining presidential approval numbers.

Predictions

Tobin Smith: Dow 12K in 12 months! "DDM" runs up 40 percent

Gary B. Smith: Back-to-school boom for "TGT"; up 20 percent in 5 months

Pat Dorsey: Health care is a money IV! "BDX" jump 50 percent in 2 years

Eric Bolling: $100 oil kills recovery! "DVN" spikes 30 percent by next August

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Cavuto on Business

This week, Neil Cavuto was joined by Charles Payne, Dagen McDowell, Adam Lashinsky and Gary Kaltbaum.

Town Hall Protests Over National Health Care: "AstroTurf" or Real Anger?

Gary Kaltbaum, GaryK.com: Good American people do not leave their homes and go to town hall meetings unless they care and unless they are concerned. These people are concerned about a deficit that's skyrocketing into the trillions, and a health care proposal that will add tremendously to the deficit. I know Democrats are saying that health care reform is only going to cost $1 trillion. But we know government better than that. When it says something is going to cost $1 trillion, multiply that by four or five. It is stupid for these politicians to ignore these protesters or say they're insignificant.

Charles Payne, WStreet.com: This seems like "Animal Farm". Democrats had their successful revolution in 2008. Now that they're in power, anyone who protests their policies gets shut down. But these town hall protesters are real and they're not out of line. What's very alarming to me is that President Obama had promised to have an inclusive presidency, and it's proving to be anything but that. Any one who has any criticism of Democrats is being brushed aside.

Dagen McDowell, FOX Business Network: I think that in the abstract people are concerned about the deficit. In a recent poll, 57 percent said that would want Congress to give up health care overhaul if it increased the deficit significantly. These town halls are more about personal outrage. People are looking at the proposals in Washington and they see health care costs won't be reigned in, but could go up even more. Peoples' benefits from their employer might get taxed, and these tax increases may not cover the cost of it. People are starting to see their own care might be negatively impacted, and they don't like it.

Adam Lashinsky, editor-at-large, Fortune Magazine: These town hall protests are totally appropriate. Health care reform is a major piece of legislation. It could change the way we live. So people raising concerns about its potential impact are totally appropriate. The American people are getting very involved in this debate and are expressing their displeasure. The media is doing a very good job of bringing these protests out. We should say out loud, and hopefully agree, that people carrying swastikas into a meeting and accusing the Democrats of behaving like Nazis is bad behavior. We should have a civil debate.

Is It the Government's Job to "Incentivize" Spending?

Charles Payne: I'm surprised that the government is so surprised about the success of "cash for clunkers." Any time you go out and just start handing $4,500 dollars to people, there's going to be a mad dash for it. We can't sustain this over a long period of time. We can't just keep throwing money at program after program. I'm happy that people were able to buy a new car; I just hope they can make the payments.

Dagen McDowell: I don't care whether you're a Republican or Democrat, everybody wants tax credits to purchase things. The government has a long history of giving incentives to consumers and workers — whether it's retirement savings, having kids, buying a home, getting married, etc. This has been going on for decades. When will it all end? Not soon enough.

Gary Kaltbaum: We are clearly seeing a major move in auto sales right now. It's doing exactly what the government intended it to do. And the auto industry is going to get an extra $2 billion boost. The question is: what happens when the program ends? I don't mind giving incentives in small doses. Politicians love their votes, and if you give voters money you buy their votes. My biggest problem is the growing pervasiveness of Robin Hood politics.

Adam Lashinsky: Originally, we were hard pressed to find many fans of "cash for clunkers." Gimmicks are generally a bad idea. Reducing inventories is critical for the auto industry. Clearly this program is helping to do that. I don't think the auto industry will crash after the program end those because there will be a number of cars reduced on the lots and on the roads.

Time for Permanent Tax Holiday for America?

Charles Payne: The more money people keep the more money they spend and more jobs are created. We're not talking about the government writing certain people checks — we're talking about people keeping the money that they earn. Despite all the criticism we hear about the Bush tax cuts, the first 33 months our economy expanded by 20 percent. To me, these tax cuts are the ultimate no-brainer. It is one of the fairest things we can do.

Dagen McDowell: The problem is that if you're a local or the federal government, you're stuck between a rock and a hard place. It would certainly help sales but we have to pay the piper. If we want tax breaks, we have got to cut spending, and that means cutbacks in government services. But the Congressional Budget Office said that 10 months into this fiscal year, we have a $1.3 trillion dollar deficit. That took my breath away.

Gary Kaltbaum: We can stop the deficit if we just oust all these guys in the next election. We need new people who are going to balance the books. Of course I know it's not going to happen. These tax holidays will have a minor impact. That said, I think all of the politicians have forgotten that it's our money in the first place. We've earned it and we're giving it to them. But we're just in this bizarro world right now where I don't think politicians understand it's our money in the first place. They're just using our money for other things and then taxing us later.

Adam Lashinsky: I totally reject the line of thinking that says this is all our money. We aren't giving money to politicians. These politicians represent all of us — it's all of our money and we get to give them feedback on how to spend it. Tax holidays are just another gimmick. Sure you can "cut spending," but we're not cutting the spending and increasing revenue. All you're doing with tax holidays is cutting tax revenues.

More for Your Money: Stocks That Win if Town Hall Protesters Win

Charles Payne: Eli Lilly (LLY)

Gary Katbaum: MedcoHealth (MHS)

Adam Lashinsky: Aflac (AFL)

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Forbes on FOX

On Sunday, August 9, David Asman was joined by Elizabeth MacDonald, Bill Baldwin, Kai Falkenberg, Quentin Hardy, John Rutledge, and Evelyn Rusli.

Flipside: Raising Taxes on Middle Class Still Won't Pay For Health Care Reform!

David Asman: The White House in damage control mode this week over worries that middle class taxes are heading higher to pay for its health plan. It doesn't matter if you raise them the folks at Forbes say it still won't be enough to cover the price tag for government care!

John Rutledge: The president, his staff, and all these guys are LIARS! The middle class taxes are going up. The top class taxes are going up. The lower class taxes are going up and it still won't be enough for the trillion dollar price tag. Stand by for inflation going up, for interest rates going up, and by the way stand by for standing in line for your health care.

Quentin Hardy: I say it's a setup. Look they're saying the taxes won't go up. Hold their feet to that and see if you can get some efficiency here. In a world where people on Medicare are saying there should be no government involvement in health care there is obviously a lot of irrationality out here. So is it irrationality or cynicism? We know that per capita we pay more than almost anyone in the world for our health care and we rank middle to low. We get nothing for it. Why are you saying we can't improve that?

Elizabeth MacDonald: No absolutely not. Taxes will not cover health care's price tag. By the way, the administration says it won't raise taxes on the middle class. First of all the interest on the debt alone is $170 billion a year which is enough for the budgets of about 13 government agencies. I like the comparisons to France's plan. France has been in the red. Everyone talks about how France has such a great health care model but that plan has been deep in the red since 1989 and they can't get a grip on their ballooning costs there that are running north of 11 percent to 12 percent of their gross domestic product. There is absolutely no way that tax hikes can pay for health care.

Bill Baldwin: Read my lips. We're going to get a tax increase. It's going to be on the middle class. It will be enough to pay for health care because it's going to be something big and nasty: VAT — that's a Value Added Tax. That's a national sales tax at 8 percent. We're talking about 100's of billions of dollars a year. It'll come out of your pay check indirectly within the next decade.

Kai Falkenberg: If you look at the tax proposals that are on the table, if you tax the employer plans, if you get rid of HSAs and FSAs, if you remove the deductibles and medical expenses, you're still not going to get to the $1.2 trillion that the CBO estimates that this will cost. It's not worth it to have all these increased taxes. You're going to have lower quality care. You're going to have fewer choices and health care costs are going to go up.

In Focus: Jefferson County, AL Faces Huge Budgetary Gap — Cutting Jobs and Services to Cut Costs; Sign Stimulus Just Isn't Working?

David Asman: Have you heard about the revolt brewing in the South? Folks in Jefferson County, Alabama up in arms over government services and jobs getting slashed to cut costs. Things are so bad that the sheriff's ready to call in the National Guard and Bill Baldwin says this proves the $787-billion stimulus package just isn't working.

Bill Baldwin: Jefferson County may have problems that no stimulus could ever solve. But think of the national issue here. The stimulus is build on a thesis that you can create wealth by taking $787 billion out of people's pocketbooks and giving it back to the but only to spend on politician's pet causes. Does that work? Maybe not. Look for example at the cash for clunkers extension that was just enacted by congress. This is a scheme to create wealth by smashing things.

Quentin Hardy: Let's get a few facts up here. Jefferson County spent money off taxes that were ruled illegal. They did bad bond swaps. The bond issuers were eventually downgraded. They're in a cash crisis. Now the Republican governor and the blue dog democrats are scrambling to raise taxes to pay for it. Nothing for this has anything to do with stimulus right?

Kai Falkenberg: Jefferson County got themselves into this mess by spending money on things like the sewer bonds that they could not afford but the stimulus isn't helping him any. The numbers are slightly better now – 9.4 percent unemployment. Less bad is still not good.

Elizabeth MacDonald: Guess what? President Obama has tax cuts in the stimulus plan: 40 percent of the stimulus are tax cuts. So will that work? I don't know. That's the issue that really needs to be talked about with the stimulus plan. In other words, do we need a marginal rate tax cut or these little one time gimmies that Obama has loaded into his plan.

John Rutledge: I think people should pay attention to this because Alabama here we come. There is $10 trillion worth of treasury securities that are on hold waiting to be sold. In the next decade governments all around the world are throwing up on the U.S. securities. The dollar is falling. This is an elephant in the bathtub. We all get wet. No state or local authority is going to be able to sell a piece of paper if the treasury is out there hogging all the credit markets. That's what is happening.

Evelyn Rusli: We should look at Jefferson County as a cautionary tale for fiscal discipline. The problem with Jefferson County is that they clearly had too much debt. They had $4 billion in sewer debt. They were pretty much in a crisis long before the recession. That was a real problem here and you can't expect the stimulus package to solve all the budget shortfalls in the United States without spending another trillion dollars.

Goldman CEO Telling Employees Not to Flaunt Their Money: Wrong Message for America?

David Asman: The top dog on Wall Street wants his employees to cool it with their bonuses. Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein reportedly telling workers to avoid making big, flashy purchases right now but Evelyn Rusli couldn't disagree more.

Evelyn Rusli: This is a silly PR move by Goldman to undo their image as a "robber baron" of Wall Street. If you have it spend it and if you want to flaunt it. My message to Goldman bankers is if they want the Mercedes and the houses, you might, as well.

Kai Falkenberg: Right message for the Goldman folks. The CEO is telling his people to cancel their $3 million birthday parties and don't be ordering any $35,000 shower curtains. As soon as there is any conspicuous consumption, Congress is going to be right back to wanting to tax their bonuses at 90 percent like they did a couple of months ago.

Bill Baldwin: Right message for $10 million people, wrong message for America. If you want to spend your money, instead of the government, go out and buy something if you need to.

John Rutledge: This is the right message but he's not sending it to America. He's sending it to his employees. His message is, there's a lynch mob out there. Goldman may be the greatest company in the capital market. If you want a share in their success buy the stock.

Quentin Hardy: Look, Goldman Sachs was owed $6.35 Billion by AIG and they got it because the government rescued AIG. Then the government let them be a commercial bank, an accounting move so they can hide all their losses in the previous year. Now, they can't even say thank you by giving a little more money to America's hard working Ferrari dealers and tiara polishers. You call that gratitude?

Informer: $291,579 to Raise a Kid! Stocks to Pay for It

David Asman: Well here it is. The new price tag to raise a kid in America is nearly $300,000 and we're not including college into this figure so that's a lot of money. What stocks could cover such bills?

John Rutledge: iShares FTSE/Xinhua China 25 Index (FXI)

Evelyn Rusli: China Mobile (CHL)

Bill Baldwin: Supervalu (SVU)

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Cashin' In

Cheryl Casone, FOX Business Network: We warned you about czars. Here's why: new outrage over Americans snitching on their fellow Americans who bash government-run healthcare. White house is encouraging folks to do just that with a new snitch site under the new health czar. Is the government using our money to turn around and spy on us?

Wayne, you say the Web site is fishy, why is that?

Wayne Rogers: Well, the government encouraging the government to spy on people is outrageous! Remember the big stink about Bush with the telephones and all of this, you have to report this, etc…Anytime where the federal government is messing in the private world and the private citizens' rights to behave in a private way, you know we're protected by the constitution but the government seems to ignore that every now and then. By the way you always wonder where was the ACLU when something like this happens? Why aren't they up in arms?

Martin Frost: Oh come on that's not even close. I've looked at this Web site. What they're asking is if somebody hears something that sounds strange, to let the white house know so that the White House can give them their side of the story. There's nothing wrong with that. I have a Republican cousin in Texas who sends me all kinds of crazy things that she gets on the Internet and I try to respond to those. Sometimes I give her specific information; some times I don't specifically know what the answer is. But there's nothing wrong with the White House wanting to be able to respond when they hear something particularly charged about healthcare and trying to set it straight. That's being able to provide information.

Tracy Byres: Martin's right, it's not a violation of our rights, but man, oh man is the White House paranoid. This administration is on top of everything. What happened to this notion of freedom of speech? Let people talk. Let people express their opinions without coming in on them and saying, "You know what, you shouldn't be thinking that way." That, I think, is more of what this is. This administration doesn't just want to address these issues; they want to change your mind a little bit on them as well.

Jonathan Hoenig: They're essentially monitoring for subversion, right? I mean, listen, I'm all for the White House monitoring the Internet, but maybe for like, I don't know, Islamic terrorists? Not folks who oppose the president's health care program. What I don't understand is, congressman I understand what you're saying how there is some confusion out there about the president's bill. Why is that? The president has a bully pulpit. He's been talking on this issue for, seemingly, months now. How come there is so much confusion about just want his plan for big government entitlement health care really is?

Jonas Max Ferris: I just got a ticket for driving through a red light with a camera that caught me. Would Judge Napolitano say my rights were invaded? As I said under the Bush administration, I'm for spying and I don't understand why they don't just spy in the e-mails themselves instead of doing the whole "turn-in" thing because that's the part that doesn't make any sense. It's not a secret tape, it's a blog that the White House has with an e-mail address to send them things that you got that you might not think are right and you want to check. That's actually not what I would consider spying, which I'm actually for because I think there are things the government needs to spy on.

John Layfield: Absolutely you have the right to do that under the Constitution! Look, we're going to see what this Congress produces when they get back from vacation in about 5 weeks. These pathetic, lazy morons are debating a bill that is the biggest bill since Social Security. It is leveraging our entire country's future that they are correct, and they are taking five weeks off and go pick it up some time in the fall? That's how important this bill is? And in the meantime they're setting up this blog? Here's the problem: You can't catch Bernie Madoff, you can't catch Mr. Sanford here in Texas, you can't catch any of this stuff but you want to snitch on the people that are messing with health care? You have got to be kidding me.

Report: $550 Million for 8 Luxury Jets in Defense Bill

Cheryl: Lawmakers who once upon a time blasted CEOs for using corporate jets now demanding their very own private planes to travel and the house reportedly taking over half a million dollars into the defense bill for not one, not two, wait for it… eight lavish private jets!

Tracy Byres: Come on! I get that every now and then you've got to upgrade the jets but is now the time to do it? Absolutely not! When I'm driving with a bent door on my minivan because I'm trying to save money and every other American is struggling, you're going ahead and going out to buy new jets? We get on planes, I can't even get a clean blanket for my kid, and yet they're going to have in-house service to go from state to state. It's just loony toons. It's a PR disaster!

Martin Frost: First of all, let's not confuse what's going on here. These jets are not being used for flights inside the United States, and they shouldn't be. The only time I've ever gone on a private plane inside the United States was on Air Force One with President Bush to go to a funeral. These are used for foreign travel. What kind of travel are we talking about? K. Belly Hutchinson, a Republican Senator from Texas, organized a trip to go visit the National Guard, the Texas National Guard, that was deployed in an e-mail. Now how do you think you get to Bosnia? You go on a government plane. My late wife was a general in the Army. She said, Martin you need to go to Iraq and see what's going on after the war started. We took one of these planes and we went to Kuwait. That was started when Dennis Hastert was speaker, not Nancy Pelosi and it was done for security reasons. No other member of congress flies on a government private jet inside the United States unless they're going with the president of the United States. Now there's a perfect justification for being able to take these out on trips outside of the United States. Maybe we don't need eight, maybe they only need four. But there is nothing wrong with having government planes to take members of the government all over the world to see what is going on.

John Layfield: I'm shaking my head no. This is absolutely insane. I've been to Iraq eight times. I've never flown private. I got on a C-17 or a C-4 and flown with the military. I've flown back with Paul Bremmer who flew back with the military. You're talking about spending $550 million on private planes for these guys to fly overseas when that's not the only way to get to Bosnia.

Wayne Rogers: Congressman, do you think it's all right for Nancy Pelosi to fly back and forth to her constituents every week or every two weeks? Do you think that's right?

Jonathan Hoenig: Private jets are OK. I mean, honestly, private jets are OK, Wayne. I want to have a private jet one day, Sheryl. I'm working to try to get one. I think that for the private sector they're OK and I think, for government, they are OK. In high-security situations when you're talking about high-ranking officials on state business, I do think that government probably should have some access to private jets.

Jonas Max Ferris: I think I'm going to come out more pro-business than Jonathan on this because I thought you get an MBA and that was my fast-track to a corporate jet but now it's like you're not supposed to have a corporate jet when you're a captain of industry, but a private servant gets to have a top of the line Gulfstream? I think they deserve to have the planes, fine, but it's the kind of plane they bought. That's the problem. Why?

Home Ownership to Plunge in the Next Decade: 'Good News?!'

A new report is predicting the percentage of Americans owning a home will plummet over the next decade and John Layfield, you say this is actually a good thing?

John Layfield: In a Machiavellian way it is good for the economy because the national home ownership rating is around 64-65 percent with the CR Act enacted by Carter. The Home Owner Act inflated that to about 70 percent that created all of the wonderful crazy financing that has gone on in our system. It all started because those 5-6 percent of people should not have been in homes. It's terrible if you're one of these people, but for America overall, it's what has to happen.

Wayne Rogers: The fact of the matter is that one of the great things about free society is that you have a stake in it. Everybody who has a stake in the society, the success of the society, it helps the adhesion of the society and it helps its freedom. If you own a home, that is your stake. That represents your stake in society. That's something people defend. That's something people care about. You want as much homeownership that is possible and financially feasible to have.

Tracy Byres: I don't think homeownership is a right in this country. I get what Wayne is saying. I love the fact that I own a home but, at the same time, I do think to John's point, everybody has got to take a step back a little bit. We overextended, let's face it. It wouldn't be so bad to have some people rent for a while. Not to mention, it will fill up the apartment buildings and the people that own those places will start to do better again. I think that we all need to just reassess our situation before we all jump into "McMansions," especially with these rates so low, it's not hard to see that that happens again.

Jonathan Hoenig: Wayne is right. There is a philosophical achievement to private ownership, right? I mean there was no owning a home under the czars, under the kings. America is great because you can own a piece of property. But is it good, is it bad, I think depends on peoples' individual circumstances. I've got to tell you, John is absolutely right. Government intervention into the real estate market, whether it's CRA, Fanny, Freddy, the ultra-low rates, I mean homeownership became something for Bush and Clinton to crow about. So that level does need to correct and the government just has to get out of incentivising anything, let alone homeownership.

Jonas Max Ferris: I was never that into the ownership society from day one because it's philosophically sound, but at any price with no money down — that's not achieving the thing. Wayne is right with what he's talking about, but if you don't have any money in the game ad you're just speculating, that's not a stake in society, that's gambling with the entire system backing you which is ridiculous. You can't just pay any price for a home. You can't just have no savings and no money down. That's the achievement that people thought wasn't part of the equation, and that's why we're having trouble right now.

What Do I Need to Know?

Tracy Byres: New York magazine has its hot waitress index. Basically beautiful people are in sales. They all got let go. They took jobs as waitresses. The more hot waitresses, the worse the economy. My theory, though, is more that they need the hot chicks to bring you in the place in the first place regardless of what they did beforehand. But you will continue to see hot chicks selling everything from burgers to coffee because the economy has a ways to go.

Wayne Rogers: Everybody is talking about how we're going to run out of oil in the next 10 years but I don't think so. I think you've got a long way on oil to come. I like Chevron and there are going to be alternative sources available for energy. Don't worry about it.

Jonas Max Ferris: The bottom line is Checkpoint (CHKP) software's technology makes software to prevent this glitch that happened to Twitter from happening to your social network and next week you're going to see a lot of Web sites knocking on their door.

Jonathan Hoenig: It's a good time for real estate, Sheryl. Sharers are cutting their prices. It's painful but it's necessary. Even Hugh Heffner slashed $10 million off the price of their L.A home. They listed it at $28 million. They sold it at $18 million. It hurts but a necessary and ultimately bullish sign for real estate.

John Layfield: Unemployment just recorded its 19th straight month of being down. That is a record. Real unemployment according to the government's U-6 is about under 16 percent. I would stay out of stocks in the short term because I think that's going to affect the consumer.