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.
Democrats Using America's Debt to Block Tax Cut Extension
Eric Bolling, Fox Business Network: Congress has to extend the Bush tax cuts. Look at what happened when two Democratic senators said we should extend the cuts. The markets took off 200 points on Thursday and 100 points on Friday. If you extend the cuts, businesses will have reason to start hiring and making new investment. It'll help turn around the economy and increase tax revenues, which will pay down of the massive levels of debt we're racking up.
Richard Goodstein, Democratic consultant: This is more like a religious argument. Supporters argue if the economy is doing well, give out tax cuts because we don't need new tax revenues. When the economy is doing poorly, don't raise taxes because it'll hurt the economy. The fact is that during President Bush's term, we had tax cuts. What did we get with it? Soaring deficits, flat wages, and minimal levels of job growth in the private sector. All we're talking about here is raising tax rates back to where they were under President Clinton. And I think most people would say things were pretty good during his time in office. The experiment with tax cuts for the wealthy didn't work.
Tobin Smith, NBT Media: This is an argument about how humans behave. I don't think it's even fair to compare tax rates and the economy with where they were 20 years ago. Today, about 20 percent of Americans pay almost 85 percent of all personal income taxes. If you want to take in more revenues from those taxpayers, you have to give them reason and incentive to make more money. If they make more money, then they pay higher gross taxes. Growth, over the long term, brings in more revenues than just hiking taxes.
Jonas Max Ferris, www.MaxFunds.com: We have to stop with this bending backward mindset with tax rates. By the logic tax cut supporters are using, if you had a 1 percent tax rate on the wealthy, we would have more tax revenues. That's absurd. There's a point where lowering tax rates on the wealthy stops working. It did work lowering them from 50 percent to 40 percent and maybe even from 40 percent to 35 percent to some degree. But we're at the lowest percentage of national income collected as taxes since 1950. Yet spending as a percentage of GDP is almost as high as it has ever been. You can't close this gap by hoping the extension of tax cuts will juice the economy.
Gary B. Smith, TheChartman.com: Given current economic conditions, it would not be a good idea to hike taxes on anybody. I'm not saying we need to drop tax rates even further than where they are right now. I'm saying the best thing is the keep current tax rates in-place. But I don't think we should be looking at cutting taxes as a bad thing. There are three examples in recent history of an administration dramatically cutting taxes—with Kennedy, Regan, and Bush. And each time they were enacted, the economy took off. Whenever the government lowers rates through income or capital gains, we see tax revenues increase.
President Obama: 'There Will Be No More Tax-Funded Bailouts, Period'
Tobin Smith: We still have the disasters known as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that weren't touched by the financial reform bill. There are estimates that total losses on those companies for taxpayers could go up to one trillion dollars. This story is far from over. The Federal Housing Authority is probably going to be in trouble soon enough. We just extended the unemployment fund by another 60 weeks that's run out of cash. States are borrowing the money to meet these obligations, and are supposed to pay the federal government back. You think that's going to happen? The idea that bailouts won't happen again is ridiculous.
Richard Goodstein: The bill says that there will be orderly liquidation for financial firms on the verge of collapse. Any costs associated with liquidating a collapsing firm are paid for by a fund that all financial firms pay in to. There would be no taxpayer money involved. On Friday, Sheila Bair was on Fox News, and she was asked what caused the crisis. She didn't mention Fannie or Freddie, and she's a woman with no ax to grind. What the President and Congress have done is create new provisions that would have prevented the chaotic collapse of Lehman Brothers and its ripple effects in 2008.
Gary B. Smith: I appreciate the President's rhetoric, and he can certainly turn a phrase. But I think this statement will be put in the same category as his "not raising taxes one single dime" line. The fact is that the Treasury Department can come in and bail-out any company it deems unstable. Where's that money coming from? Taxpayers. And honestly, I think our biggest risks are states going belly up, such as California and Illinois, or even a large metropolis. Do we really think President Obama is going to force them to cut teachers or government employees? Rather than force states and cities to make the tough choices to get their fiscal houses in order, they'll get bailed out.
Jonas Max Ferris: President Obama is specifically talking about Wall Street bailouts. The bill does not deal with Fannie and Freddie. But again, that's not related to Wall Street, those are government-owned companies now. This regulatory reform bill expands the government's ability to orderly liquidate non-commercial bank financial institutions. I do not think another investment bank will ever get bailed out while President Obama is in office. Lehman Brothers was the one company that didn't get bailed out in the financial crisis. That's what we want to happen with any investment bank that may get in trouble down the line—for a bank to be held accountable for its actions and not get bailout money.
Eric Bolling: The bottom line is that Democrats are bail-outers. Look at GM, Chrysler, or AIG. And it was all done with our taxpayer dollars. Democrats were all about putting billions into GM and Chrysler because of those supposed figures that said four million jobs would be lost if they went under. The idea that this bill completely prevents any future bailouts is ridiculous.
Poll: 76 Percent of Young Adults Don't Expect to Get Social Security
Gary B. Smith: This is great news for America. The whole Social Security system won't be responsible for paying younger people and accumulating that debt. Young workers aren't expecting to get this money—fine. Let it go to pay everyone else, and allow Social Security to become more solvent. It'd certainly be a solution to helping solve the Social Security problem.
Richard Goodstein: I think Social Security will still be around. But if politicians realize their voters, especially the younger ones, believe that Social Security payments aren't guaranteed, it may not be the third rail it has been for older voters. We all know that President Obama believes that some fixing to Social Security is needed, either through raising the retirement age, means testing, etc. I think Social Security is fixable; it's just a matter of getting enough voters behind the reforms necessary to keep it solvent.
Eric Bolling: I agree this could be a good sign. Young workers will realize they can't just suck at the teat of the nanny state and rely on a system that's going to fold probably before the time they actually collect a check. If this forces younger workers to save on their own, then that should be looked at as a good thing.
Jonas Max Ferris: This is a good thing in the sense that young people know and understand the Social Security system is going broke. It'll force them to plan for and save for retirement on their own. But it's not good that the government won't just adjust the payment formula and maybe pay a bit less to older Americans now to make sure Social Security stays solvent over the long term. Maybe people will get reduced benefits, but at least they'll get them.
Tobin Smith: This is going to be good because the younger generation is going to understand we need to get more highly skilled immigrants into the country to help grow our economy and create more opportunities for young workers. That way, they at least have a chance to succeed and save on their own for retirement.
Tobin Smith: Storm hurts oil spill! "EOG" storms up 30 percent by October
Gary B. Smith: Drink away a bad economy! "BUD" chugs 50 percent gain in 1 year
Jonas Max Ferris: Law won't stop fraud, IBM will! "IBM" cleans up 25 percent by November 2012
Eric Bolling: "Captain" Kerry's tax move helps "HRB" sail up 30 percent in 1 year
Cavuto on Business
SEC to Hire 800 New Workers to Carry Out New Wall Street Overhaul
Matt McCall, Penn Financial: It's obviously more cops, but do I agree that there should be more cops? Absolutely not. The cops that are there now are not doing their job. The problem with the SEC and the government is the fact they're reactive, not proactive. So, they're going to bring in these 800 extra police for the SEC. The same thing happened back in 2003, 2004. We brought in over 500 more SEC investigators after the WorldCom and Enron debacles and what did that do? Absolutely nothing. The problem is they looked at what happened in the past when right now Wall Street is cooking up something new. That's going to create the next financial collapse, unfortunately.
Charles Payne, WStreet.com: As a kid who grew up in Harlem, more cops aren't a bad thing, but, we already had the enforcement in place. It is a matter of communication. What the administration would like us to believe is that we need a gigantic government to get the job done—and not just on Wall Street. We wouldn't have the BP disaster if the regulatory agencies in charge did their job. We wouldn't have had the Toyota recall if the agencies in charge had done their job. We might not have had 9/11 if the FBI spoke with the CIA. All the power in the world is in the federal government already. We don't need any more regulations, any more rules, but they want a giant government and its going to back fire.
Kristin Bentz , Talented Blonde LLC: This is the wakeup call for Wall Street. I don't think we need more police or less police, but we need better police. We need to enforce the regulations we already have in place, and have adopted with the new financial regulatory bill. We have plenty of regulations in place. It wasn't risk that got us into this business. Risk made America great. It's the leverage that was the problem. So, again, we don't need more cops, but better cops.
Rob Stein, Astor Financial: I think we've got to wait and see. I would have liked 800 more cops, but 800 fewer new regulations. That's what I would vote for. We have enough regulations and rules in place. It's hard for me to comment on blatantly adding 800 new workers, let's just see what happens. If you get the right people, you can do the job with 20 of the right people. Just throwing more people at the problem isn't the answer; it isn't the solution to this. It's about getting the right people along with making the rules and regulations comprehensive and transparent.
Taxpayers Worry as GM Buys Subprime Lender for $3.5 Billion
Charles Payne: You talk about hypocrisy, this is outrageous. After spending the last two years beating the reckless banks and saying "how dare they," the president picks up a subprime lender? It proves that we need subprime lenders in this country and auto companies need that. The hypocrisy of it is this is rampant; we won't let the free markets do it, instead we'll do it on the taxpayer dime, and back up that "reckless behavior." I've got to tell you, it's nuts what's happening out here but this whole subprime mentality is coming back. We're starting to see it.
Matt McCall: Let's put a dollar figure on this. Do you know how much the U.S. government spent bailing out GMAC? 17.2 billion dollars. So taxpayers spent that money to essentially get rid of GMAC, and now they want to bring subprime lending back on again. What are they thinking? We know the government shouldn't be running businesses and this is just another example of why we should not be in this business.
Kristin Bentz: I have to say, the one thing I do like about GM buying AmeriCredit, is if it enhances GM's upcoming Initial Public Offering, I'm all for it. The AmeriCredit acquisition could help GM expand into a valuable and profitable section of the auto market. It looks like a great acquisition.
Rob Stein: When you say "a company", I think you have to distinguish between a company, like Ford, and a company like GM that's in bankruptcy and owned by taxpayers. But it's extremely important for GM to have an opening into subprime market for auto loans. This is a key area for car sales. I'm not sure GM needed to spend $3.5 for the acquisition though. There are a lot of other potential relationships with banks GM could have set up that would have been cheaper.
White House Official: Gaza Flotilla Raid Hurting Our Economy
Charles Payne: Instead of the "G-force" it should have been the F-force, the fierce battle against business, the failed stimulus and the future bankruptcy of this nation. The only thing that Rahm Emanuel mentioned with a little bit of credence was Greece, and that's because it's like the ghost of Christmas future. We have an opportunity to look down the road and see the future if we don't get off the path we're on. Gaza was an absolute disaster. If it affected the market, it's because we've thrown our business ally under the bus. The fact is, the White House is deflecting the fact that businesses are afraid of this administration.
Kristin Bentz: Who knows what the White House is thinking? Obviously, the big "G" that I'm thinking of is government intervention, which what's scaring American business right now. They want to stay on the sidelines, they don't know what to do with health care, cap and trade is looming, etc. This is all about uncertainty and it doesn't make the United States a poster child for capital investment right now.
Rob Stein: First, businesses looking for opportunities. We're having a recession. And so, when you have a recession, you tighten your belt. Businesses are holding on to cash regardless of whatever the White House is saying. Consumers do it too, until they feel they have enough cash and the bank account or balance sheet is repaired. Then, you look for a good opportunity. I think the process takes long enough where you feel good about what you're spending it. But it might take longer than another six to nine months; it could take more than a year.
Matt McCall: Come the November elections, I think a lot of people and businesses are holding off of spending to see what happens with who holds power in Congress. If the House goes right, I think we'll start to see greater spending by businesses. When Rahm Emanuel talks about Gaza, are businesses like Microsoft concerned about a guy in the flotilla not going out and buying another version of Microsoft Word? Microsoft is sitting on billions of dollars; do we really think that's what a major company is worried about?
Christmas in July Stocks
Charles Payne: Cerner (CERN)
Kristin Bentz: Lululemon Athletica (LULU)
Matt McCall: Teekay LNG (TGP)
Rob Stein: SPDR S&P Retail (XRT)
Forbes on Fox
In Focus: Will Housing Reform Kill the American Dream?
David Asman: Goodbye, American dream. Hello, American nightmare. Housing said to be the next industry the President wants to overhaul. The plan will reportedly de-emphasize homeownership and some here say how they do it will crush your dream of owning a home. Are they right?
Elizabeth MacDonald: They plan to curtail the mortgage interest deduction. I feel like in this environment, the taxpayers must feel like they are being nibbled to death by ducks, with all the tax increases coming down. Yes, I'm at heart a flat-taxer, but it may never happen. The mortgage interest reduction is one-fifteenth of the President's stimulus package. It's turned off hundreds of billions of dollars in economic activity. In fact, many middle class people enjoy the mortgage interest deduction—about two-thirds of those in the $60,000 and the $200,000 income brackets. I think we should keep this one last vestige of what can protect people's income from taxation.
Steve Forbes: You should only get rid of it as part of a flat tax where you get rid of it all below rate, have generous exemptions for adults and children, and combine it with a tax cut. You will see this economy take off like a rocket. The deduction doesn't really help home ownership. Canada has no deduction and their ownership is the same as the United State's. It's in there and people expect it, so let's get rid of all this stuff and have a low rate, like 17 percent.
Victoria Barret: You don't want to get rid of it. You want to keep it. The mortgage deduction applied to housing has been around since the 1920s. It wasn't the intent but it kind of ended up that way. We had this housing bubble and it was awful, but for all those decades, we were just fine. So the deduction isn't the problem. There are lots of other problems that need to be addressed before the deduction.
Bill Baldwin: I'm all in favor of rewarding homeownership. There is a clever way to do that. You exempt from income taxation the rental value of the home you own. That is a great idea. That's been part of the tax code since 1916, too. The mortgage interest deduction is not a reward for ownership. It's a reward for being in hock. That's a bad thing. That has caused a nightmare. That has caused hundreds of billions of dollars of chaos on Wall Street and elsewhere. We do not need to reward indebtedness. It's evil.
Neil Weinberg: It's a sinful thing to have this perversion of the economy, but just don't make me a saint today. We can't afford to become saints today. Right now, we have over 2 million homes sitting out there. This is above the average inventory. This is over a year-and-a-half worth of inventory just sitting there empty. If you impose another reason not to own a home on this economy, you're going to crush the housing market.
Quentin Hardy: This isn't a dream. It's a con job. Most people should own houses, some shouldn't, but really it's just a choice among many financial choices in this life. In this case, the idea that everybody should own a home was behind the hugest bubble we had in financial history. Why do we keep doing this? I don't get it. It's forced savings and that's good but there are lots of ways to have a savings now. This is middle class welfare. It's not like poor welfare or corporate welfare, but its welfare.
Should All Public Sector Salaries Be Capped?
David Asman: Here is why the folks in Bell, California are so angry. The city manager of their small town, roughly 38,000 residents, is bringing home $800,000 a year in salary, and it's one of the poorest cities in Los Angeles County. This is happening all across America—maybe not to this extent, but this puts the issue in the spotlight. Rich, you have a plan to put a stop to all of this. What is it?
Rich Karlgaard: This is just an outrage. Cap the salaries or cut them before you cap them because if you cap them, you're going to cap them too high. It goes deeper than just the city manager: the police chief makes $500,000, the assistant city manager makes $380,000, and their pension funds imply net present values of about $20 million for the city manager. It's just an outrage. They are out of control. They have to be capped.
Quentin Hardy: What are you going to cap them at? $800,000? We have to benchmark them to see if they do jobs like people in other industries in the private sector and elsewhere in the country and the government. Just get it to a standard so we know how to operate. This is a particular outrage. Bonuses on Wall Street we heard about this week are $1.6 billion, after we bailed them out. That's just as bad. People have to have standards.
Steve Forbes: Yes, they should be capped and they also should be capped in terms of property taxes. If the town wants to increase property taxes more than 2.5 percent like in Massachusetts, you have to have voter approval for it. Have it out in the open. The voters approve it.
Victoria Barret: I don't think the answer is to cap them any more than it's the answer in the private sector, which we have debated and opposed for the most part. I think one answer is transparency. If you think of publicly traded companies, for example, shareholders know the salaries of the top executives. That should be the case here too, and it should be widely publicized when it comes to government.
Elizabeth MacDonald: It's coming more and more to the forefront because there is growing public awareness about this issue. I think you cut them and cap them. I agree with Rich and Steve. Quentin makes a good point about the comparable pay that you would get in the private sector. 850,000 federal workers are basically being over paid to the tune of $22 billion. That comes out of taxpayers' wallet. So if you outsource those to the private sector for comparable or better pay, you could save taxpayers money.
Neil Weinberg: This is an outrage. The bigger problem, however, is really the fact that you have the seniority system all over the public pension world and all over the public sector. You have people who get these salary increases just for being there. And a lot of them are incompetent. I don't think we need a hard cap, because I do think we need for the public sector to be competing for talent. If we have a really great person to lure from the private sector, pay them very well.
Flipside: Privatize Jails!
David Asman: Well, don't blame Lindsay Lohan's fame and fortune for getting her off easy. Blame the overcrowded government jails. That's why the movie star might only serve two weeks of her 90-day sentence. Rich says it's time to make Lindsay and all convicts serve their full jail time by putting private companies in charge of all prisons. How would it work, Rich?
Rich Karlgaard: You let private companies bid for prison services. Why couldn't Walmart do a better job than the government? As long as you guarantee health, safety, and put in bonuses to lower the rates for recidivism, I don't see why it shouldn't be open to private competition
Bill Baldwin: If you want to privatize my garbage collection, go ahead, but don't privatize the military, don't privatize the police, and do not privatize prisons. Then you get Blackwater. You get abuses.
Kai Falkenberg: Private prisons do a better job for less money. When there's competition, they lower the cost of the state prison. You need them to get around things like the prison guard union that is sucking all the money out of the prison budget in California. 70 percent of the prison budget goes to the astronomical salaries and benefits of the prison guards. Only 5 percent go to vocational and educational programs that prevent inmates from coming back from prison.
Victoria Barret: California and Texas lead the nation in private prisons yet suffer from overcrowded prisons. The answer isn't privatizing prisons. It's rehabilitation. I did a story on a great company in Arizona called Televerde that trains women in prison how to make sophisticated telesales calls. Their recidivism rate, the rate of women who return to prison within three years, is under 10 percent. Nationally, it's 50 percent. We need to look at that. That is the problem. It should not be half. That's just too high.
Steve Forbes: Why not have competitive bidding? If the state prison can do a better job, they can win the contract. Other cities have done that. The nice thing about private is if they mess up, they can fire them and find somebody else. You try to change the government prison system—good luck!
Informer: Best Funds for Your Savings and Retirement Accounts
Victoria Barret: Vanguard Small-Cap Index Fund Investor Shares (NAESX)
Bill Baldwin: Tweedy Browne Global Value (TBGVX)
Neil Weinberg: Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US ETF (VEU)
This week, Liz Claman was joined by Wayne Rogers, Jonathan Hoenig and Tracy Byrnes, Julian Epstein and Erica Payne.
Worries Mounting Massive Financial Overhaul Will Hurt Jobs
Jonathan Hoenig, www.CapitalistPig.com: It hurts profits. The profits are, of course, used to create new jobs. We already saw it this week, companies reported much difficulty raising money, higher cost for borrowing. Bank of America said it will cost them $3 billion in the third quarter. Companies are having to sell whole profitable units in order to comply with the completely arbitrary rules. Yes, it costs the companies profits and that costs the economy jobs.
Erica Payne, founder, The Agenda Project: Absolutely not. We are not going to lose jobs. There is nothing more important for the future of the economy than having a stable financial system on which to build our economy. We obviously didn't have a stable financial system before. This is trying to put some rules in place to straighten that out so we can build and go forward.
Wayne Rogers, Wayne Rogers & Co: It has nothing to do with jobs and I'm laughing at Erica's response. Shows naivety of what Congress did. We had a very successful banking bill from 1939 to 1999 called the Glass-Steagall Act. The Congress abandoned that bill and now, that is what caused the financial crisis. That's exactly what caused it. This reform bill does nothing to do that. Nothing to do with too big to fail. It will happen again. The congress moronically, Dodd and his whole gang, they don't know what they're doing. They didn't pass any bill.
Julian Epstein, Democratic strategist: This has very little to do with jobs. To make the argument that we shouldn't be regulating credit fault swaps where banks are betting against the loans they make. Or that we shouldn't regulate the sub prime market lending. The recession today is related to one thing. We can break this down to simple terms. It's related to the fact that consumers are not spending. That's basically the issue.
Tracy Byrnes, Fox Business Network: If you start hitting my checking account you think I'll come out and spend? You might not see it on a national level but start looking at the smaller pockets. We are already seeing it this New York City. You are taxing hedge fund incomes. Those guys are going to move the heck out of New York State and go to a state that has a lower state income tax. This will absolutely have an effect on jobs and its going to move over seas.
Seven More Latin American Nations Fighting to Block Arizona Immigration Law
Wayne Rogers: What is outrageously ridiculous about this, here is the federal government on one hand saying to Arizona that we're suing you and we'll cut off our funds to you to help you with the boarder if you go through with this. At the same time, they are giving money to South American countries that are going to support the federal government in this whole thing. Are they more interested in the foreign countries than they are in our own states? That is what's so outrageous about it, that our own government is defeating our own states. It's dumb.
Erica Payne: I don't think it is their business to tell us how to run our states but that's not really the question. This question here is how do you solve the problem that we have coming over our borders. George Bush put in place a program for $1.6 Billion that helps to deal with the drug cartels in Mexico and some of these other countries. And doing that will help us over the long-term stop our illegal immigration problem because we'll have fewer people leaving these like hell holes they live in and wanting to come to our country. I understand the sentiment doesn't emotionally make a lot of sense but it's the best financial decision and it's the mature decision to make.
Tracy Byrnes: Wayne said it, you don't support us, and so you don't get our money. It should be very black and white. This whole notion of how the United States just throws money out all over the place without even thinking and quite frankly, as he pointed out, completely contradicting itself makes us look like a bigger joke. Stop it! Stop giving out money.
Jonathan Hoenig: You thought giving them $1 billion a year was okay before Mexico filed the amicus brief and you thought the aid was okay? That is the point. We shouldn't be giving this aid to anybody. Let the Red Cross dig latrines; let business men make investments in these emerging economies. The notion that the government should be handing out billions of dollars world wide to get political support from any one country, I think, is an unbelievable waste of taxpayers' money.
Julian Epstein: I think these are dumb filings by these countries. I don't think they will actually ever have any standing. Foreign aid is something that is supported by both republicans and democrats. Republicans will agree, if you look at George Bush's plan in Africa, it probably saved 10 million lives from aids and got drugs to 2 million people. Republicans agree it's doing critically important work in Afghanistan, Iraq, and all over the world.
Trial Lawyers Using 'Mob Laws' to Go After BP's Cash
Tracy Byrnes: It's crazy. Racketeering influence and corrupt organization act was created to get in on mail fraud, wiring, and false documentation. This is right out of the Soprano's. If this goes through, anything is on the table. That means they will come after anything. Open your checkbook and basically hand it over.
Julian Epstein: They've been using it on other companies for twenty years and look under the environmental laws B.P.'s going to have to pay for the cost of this mess. I side with the conservatives on this because I do agree civil Rico was designed for racketeers and mob-like characters. The problem is under civil Rico you get triple or three-time the damages. If trial lawyers are able to use it there will be less money for victims because of the size the damages they get. Three times the damages. Independent voters love it when incumbent presidents stand up to their favorite interests. This is an instance where Obama should take a stand against trial lawyers.
Jonathan Hoenig: I think that part of the reason the stock dropped so much is fear over impending lawsuit. The Rico one is dead on arrival. They have to show B.P. had criminal intent that B.P. would have wanted it to happen. That is how I understand it. We'll ask Judge Napolitano. It's hard for the company, but I think it's ultimately something the company can get by because they've been taking responsibility from day one of cleaning up and those who are affected, unlike all the president's responsible homeowners.
Erica Payne: This is one of the best ways victims can go get money. If you think of one of the favorite movies "Erin Brocovich" she used the law to stand up for regular people who were poisoned by a company and B.P. has ruined the lives of people up and down the coast. I grew up in North Carolina and seeing the coastline down the south destroyed is probably one of the worst things I've seen in my life. So this is a way to stand up to them. Rico charges are mail fraud, it's bribery, etc. Use the laws at your disposal to go after people who have ruined the lives of normal people.
Wayne Rogers: Well you see I'm this guy Rico and I'm a little confuse about what he is doing — no. The real, the real danger here is not Rico at all. The chances of them prevailing in a Rico act are ridiculous because you have to prove criminal conspiracy. It's not going to happen. The real thing that's going to happen here is the class action suits against B.P., rightfully so, many of them, are going to cost B.P. a lot more money than any Rico act could ever cost them.
What Do I Need to Know?
Tracy Byrnes: The U.K. government is telling parents the kids are fat. Don't be surprised if it doesn't come to the U.S. It's already in the health care law. You're going to get charged for a chubby kid. How dare they?
Wayne Rogers: I've been saying this for weeks that the economy is doing much better than the stock market. Finally the stock market caught up with us the last week. I like an ETF called the IBT, which is the home building index.
Jonathan Hoenig: Well, the White House released last week a comical piece of propaganda explicitly blaming Wall Street bankers for causing the entire financial collapse, going to casinos as they put. No mention of Freddie, Fannie or any government involvement. Look for business to continue to drop the president and he lays at their feet the entire blame for this financial collapse, which the government played such an important role.