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Bulls & Bears
This week Brenda Buttner was joined by Gary B. Smith, Tobin Smith, Pat Dorsey, Eric Bolling and Richard Goodstein.
Democrats Mulling Middle Class Tax Hike to Pay Down Deficit
Eric Bolling, Fox Business Network: This would be an economy killer, but unfortunately I think it has to happen. The top 1 percent of earners pay about 40 percent of income taxes, while the top 10 percent of earners pay about 70 percent. I think the administration and Democrats in congress realize they're running out of taxable money. They just have to ratchet down who's going to get hit by tax increases to make the math work. There's just no way to get deficits under control without all of us getting hit by higher taxes in some form.
Richard Goodstein, former Clinton/Gore campaign adviser: No one is really talking about a middle tax class hike. We have to realize that President Obama is responsible for the single biggest middle class tax cut in the stimulus of all time. What Democrats are talking about is not making the Bush tax cuts permanent. Most middle class taxpayers would not see their taxes hiked. What they're talking about is lowering the tax hike hold threshold down to $200,000 from $250,000.
Gary B. Smith, TheChartman.com: Not making the Bush tax cuts permanent is a tax increase! One thing we need to look at is the claim that President Obama cut taxes for the middle class. When most people think tax cuts, they think their marginal tax rate goes from say, 20 percent down to 15 percent. What President Obama did is the equivalent of sticking money in an envelope and sending it out to people as a kind of one-off payment. It's not an incentive to work or invest more. The Tax Foundation has done excellent work on how everybody would have to see massive tax increases in order to cover our oncoming deficits if we don't do something about them. Unfortunately, it looks inevitable.
Tobin Smith, NBT Media: I like to look at what Paul Volcker has said on the record many times recently. He's basically been saying a Value Added Tax, a federal sales tax, is not only inevitable, it's necessary. Now if you apply that to the 60 percent of Americans who pay less that $100 a month in income taxes, suddenly their effective tax rate doubles. That's going to be a tremendous burden for millions and millions of American taxpayers, and it'll have an effect on consumption and jobs.
Pat Dorsey, Morningstar.com: Someone in Washington is going to have to grow a backbone and start talking about the 75 percent of the budget that's for defense and entitlement programs. Unfortunately, I don't see it on either side of the aisle. If you want to call yourself a deficit hawk, no matter what your political persuasion, you have to cut defense and entitlement programs. No one is doing that, and as a result we'll have to see tax increases across the board.
Walmart Vote Days Away Could Create Thousands of New Jobs
Tobin Smith: This is a huge win for the job market. When Walmart comes into towns, it adds jobs. A $9 starting wage isn't bad these days in an inner city location, like the Walmart planned for Chicago. In pharmaceutical costs, we've seen Walmart drive down prescription costs by 30 percent for families, which is a huge help. This is a terrific win for workers and families.
Richard Goodstein: When Walmart opens, the character of the towns they open in gets compromised. Maybe that's a price people are willing to pay. But it's Economics 101 that a job created in a Walmart destroys a job at a local grocer, drug store, hardware store, etc. I understand there are savings from all the imports from China, but there's a feeling in some quarters that this isn't a trade off everybody wants to accept. Walmart certainly brings value to people, but it comes at a price.
Eric Bolling: All big box retailers are getting a potential green light to move into major cities. With this move to Chicago, there're estimates that up to 12,000 jobs and $500 million in revenue could be created. Now multiply that number nationally, and you're talking hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions in new tax revenues. Walmart doesn't close down grocery stores, it makes them more competitive. And local city governments are starting to realize the potential here by allowing stores like Walmart to come in and open up.
Gary B. Smith: The average full-time hourly worker is making $12 an hour. Maybe the character of towns changes to some degree. But the fact of the matter is, when Walmart has opened its supercenters, the localities have actually seen tax receipts increase not just from Walmart, but from surrounding businesses too. Small businesses actually spring up at a faster rate when Walmart comes in. On top of adding jobs, and spurring small business creation, they're one of the largest and most competitive health insurance providers out there.
Pat Dorsey: Walmart is the often maligned whipping boy that on balance has brought a lot of benefits to the people that work there, and shop there. If a city council votes to allow a Walmart in, then put it up. If they don't vote to put in a Walmart, then let that be their loss, and voters can hold them accountable.
Two Fed Agencies Cancel Trips to Ariziona Over Immigration Law
Eric Bolling: This is nothing short of the economic boycott of one of our own states, and it's deplorable. Is this not the United States of America? How could the federal government sue Arizona for a law put in place to only do what the federal government is supposed to be doing? It's ridiculous.
Richard Goodstein: This is not a boycott and I'll tell you why. The Department of Education is planning a convention is Arizona next week. But that doesn't exempt this Arizona law from being bad. If you get pulled over, don't have an ID, and look Hispanic, you could get put in jail.
Tobin Smith: A joint convention between Mexican and American federal agencies in Arizona got cancelled because Mexico threatened not to show up if it was held in the state. There's a very contrived method here to punish Arizona. For the federal government to punish Arizona for looking out for its own security and economic interests is callous.
Pat Dorsey: My strong suspicion is that there are businesses and other entities in Arizona still selling products, services, etc. to the federal government. So to call this a total boycott of Arizona by the federal government doesn't seem to stack up.
Gary B. Smith: I'm very pro-immigration. But unfortunately I think the federal government sets a dangerous precedent here. Whether they're being upfront about the boycott or being more devious about it, the federal government putting economic pressure on Arizona is very worrying. The country was founded on the principal that a collection of states made up the federal government. But when the federal government starts muscling and going after states, it's operating with an inordinate amount of power that it doesn't deserve.
Tobin Smith: Early bedtime good for environment! "SNY" pops 40 percent in 1 year
Gary B. Smith: Apple customers are loyal! "AAPL" hits $300 before year end
Pat Dorsey: Biotech is where it's at! "GENZ" diagnoses 40 percent gains in 2 years
Tobin Smith: "DO" strikes 30 percent gains when offshore drilling is allowed again
Cavuto on Business
This week Neil Cavuto was joined by Ben Stein. Charles Payne, Dagen McDowell and Adam Lashisnky.
Congress Rushing Agreement on Major Financial Reform Bill
Ben Stein, author of "Little Book of Bulletproof Investing": This isn't a terrible bill. In fact, it's a lot better than the original bill submitted by the administration. But we don't need it. There already are antifraud laws on the books in every state, there are common-law laws, and statutory laws. The heart of the problems, not all, but almost all were fraud problems. We already had these laws in place—we just needed to enforce them. Now we have a whole new giant level of bureaucracy, too. A lot of the problem was the creation and sale of derivatives. We don't need the endless new layers of bureaucracy.
Charles Payne, WStreet.com: We can call it what it was, a power grab, a giant power grab that had nothing to do with financial regulatory reform and nothing to do with too big to fail. It was just a huge power grab, and for the most part it worked, but it will not work for consumers. Wall Street will find a way to get around certain things and adjust. They will pay the 20 billion dollar levy/fine. I think the real problem here is that it will hurt consumers. We've seen a tremendous decline in access to capital, particularly revolving credit for consumers. I think they're victimized by this thing. A lot of Americans today will not get a credit card that would help their lives out.
Adam Lashinsky, Fox Business contributor: The congress worked on this financial reform bill for a year. So to say that it was passed in the dead of night and that it was a hurry-up job is sort of like saying that runners sprinting at the end of a marathon were sprinting the whole time. They weren't sprinting the whole time. This thing had endless hearings, endless discussion, endless debate in the light of day and this is how congress works at the last minute. There's plenty of good in this bill—including tying the hands of some of these financial institutions that got us in this trouble in the first place. This bill leaves regulation in the hands of the regulatory rule makers. Consumers were grievously hurt for the past three years under the previous regulatory regime. This is an attempt to put some order into things, to protect consumers.
Dagen McDowell, Fox Business Network: Senator Chris Dodd himself said no one knows how this will work until it's put in place. There are so many unknowns packed into this 2000-plus page bill that you're talking about uncertainty that hangs over every investor, including individuals. With the power of interpretation, you're leaving a lot of this in the hands of the very lawmakers to decide how to level-out punishment for years to come. Consumers bear no responsibility for all the lousy loans that were handed out and were shoved down everyone's throats. That is something that no one is learning here.
Congress Giving Oil Spill Commission Subpoena Power
Charles Payne: Maybe we found the first witness for the prosecution but unfortunately the person in question is the government regulatory that helped create the problem. The government is trying to use any excuse it can to expand its power. There are so many layers of bureaucracy already, but we don't talk about that. Instead, we take the spill and paint a villain out of BP. And then, we need the government on steroids to come to our rescue because we're so afraid. My biggest problem is that it's never government's fault. It's always the private sector that's entirely to blame. I think everyone is okay with certain regulation, but the regulations that we're talking about can be counterproductive.
Ben Stein: The notion that government bureaucrats are going to have superior knowledge, personality, character, wisdom, intellect, etc. is nonsense. They're just people. Many of them are fine people, I've been one myself and work with many wonderful people, but they're just people. We've learned over and over again in every situation, financial, economic, energy, regulatory, etc. that the government has a terrible track record of successfully regulating industry.
Dagen McDowell: Government gives us a false sense of security because we have seen how the government has performed in the instance of BP. The government has rightly been criticized about not being prepared to handle a spill of this kind. They used information and plans that hadn't been updated in years. Expanding power to these regulators can only make the problem worse, but that's exactly what it seems like Democrats are bent on doing.
Adam Lashinsky: Well, what's the alternative? We could ask the oil industry to self-regulate. I'm not sure that that's the best idea, considering how poorly that worked out with BP. Or we can try to get the agencies that are supposed to regulate things like offshore drilling and other safety issues throughout the country to do a better job.
Neil's Exclusive Interview With New Jersey Governor Chris Christie
"Second Half" Stock Winners
Charles Payne: Cyberonics, Inc. (CYBX)
Adam Lashinsky: Archer Daniels Midland (ADM)
Ben Stein: Ishares Msci Canada (EWC)
Forbes on Fox
On Saturday, June 26, 2010, David Asman was joined by Steve Forbes, Bill Baldwin, Neil Weinberg, Stephane Fitch, Mike Ozanian, Quentin Hardy, Victoria Barret, and Elizabeth MacDonald.
In Focus: Should Government Drop Its Moratorium Push to Save Taxpayers Money?
David Asman: Well, you think this looks bad? Just wait until you see what could be spewing out of your wallet. As the White House keeps trying to push its drilling ban through the courts, word today is the ban could cost workers $330 million a month in lost wages. That's a lot more than the $100 million BP handed over. So if taxpayers are on the hook for the rest, is it time for the president to drop this ban right now?
Steve Forbes: Drop the ban. It's illegal and was based on faulty science. It's hurting the economy and it's hurting skilled workers. While the president fiddles, workers go on the line and burn through their unemployment. So drop it right now. It would be good for energy for this country, good for the economy, and good for the taxpayer.
Quentin Hardy: You don't drop the ban. Look at Norway which produces more oil than we do and has a more sophisticated system. They had something like these problems and yet, they've got a ban on them right now. And you know something? The Norwegian oil company said that's great. It's so much cheaper than having another spill like this.
Bill Baldwin: Drop the ban and as bad as BP is, I don't think they should be paying unemployment. I think our sue-happy culture is going way off the rails when we start saying they're responsible for unemployment. It's Obama's problem. What's next? I have my car break down on the way to a job interview. Do I get to sue GM for unemployment? This is absurd.
Neil Weinberg: I don't think we need to drop the ban. Look, after 9/11 we had planes that weren't flying for three days. This was an abundance of caution. When you don't really know what's going on, the first thing you do is do no harm first. Let's figure out whether this is a real problem and then nothing says it has to be six months. In addition, I think given the bad political press that BP is getting, there's no way they're going to be able to dump the cost of this on taxpayers. Ultimately, there's a $20 billion slush fund and if nothing else, the unemployment will come out of that.
Elizabeth MacDonald: That's a serious threat and the facts are that many of these rigs did pass an immediate reinspection after the explosion. There were 33 rigs; a number of them did pass. They're owned by Shell. There are 21 rigs or so that are owned by BP that have these scary devices in there that could, you know, have led to that explosion a couple of months ago. Those should be tested. Those should be cracked down on, not the ones owned by Shell. And by the way, you're going to lose state and local taxes. You're going to lose toll payments that support the bond -- bonds that are offered in Louisiana. Two dozen rigs we should be talking about, not the others that passed an immediate reinspection after the explosion.
Flipside: Fastest Way to End Illegal Immigration: Do What Labor Department Wants and Pay Illegal Workers Fairly!
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LABOR SECRETARY HILDA SOLIS: You work hard and you have the right to be paid fairly. I'm U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis. It is a serious problem when workers in this country are not being paid every cent they earn. Remember every worker in America has a right to be paid fairly whether documented or not.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
David Asman: Say what?! That's the new taxpayer-funded ad by the Labor Department that has a lot of Americans outraged. But someone says here if you want to kick illegals out, that could be the best money taxpayers ever spent. Stephane, explain.
Stephane Fitch: Yeah, this actually would be a great investment. If you're for immigration or against it, we should all be for this. Here's what this is about. It's not about the government setting wages or giving raises to illegal immigrants. It's about cracking down on really abusive practices. For example, not paying them extra for overtime pay; that's a classic thing that unethical companies do when they hire illegal immigrants. Right now, the government hasn't really played a really strong role and we've been leaving this to plaintiffs' attorneys to sue companies like Georgia-based Mohawk Industries, a flooring maker. They denied they were using illegal immigrants to keep down wages. They just settled an $18 million lawsuit that said exactly that. I'd be more comfortable with the government playing a good referee role here.
Steve Forbes: Yeah, that's where his logic goes a little awry. You pay them more, they're going to stay away. They're coming here because the wages, low though they may be, are far higher than what we're getting in Mexico and elsewhere. If we need the labor, why not have it in guest worker programs? We have it in high-tech, H1B visa's. If we need the people, bring them in legally.
Quentin Hardy: No, I think you've got it exactly backward, David. I do believe in the ad because the problem is right now, you've got a two-tiered system. Employers who obey the law have to pay minimum wage. Others don't pay minimum wage so they get to hire illegals. Illegals are attracted to the non-minimum wage jobs because people are willing to take the risk to hire them. The problem is two-tiered. Wipe out the minimum wage altogether and it's a race to bottom wages; it's not a really good outcome. But here's an idea, you can really enforce the minimum wage and double down on people who are already breaking the law by hiring illegals. Fewer will come because the word will drift down that you can't get hired.
Victoria Barret: You're kind of endorsing illegal behavior and you're also assuming that companies that are hiring illegal's illegally will suddenly be paying their wages above board. I mean, you're assuming that bad actors are going to become good actors all of a sudden. We should enforce the rules that we have now, which the past administration and current one have been doing, going after companies like Walmart, Tyson, and American Apparel, and we should revamp our visa system. I mean, fix the problem. This is just a short-term Band-Aid that ignores the actual issues that our society has to grapple with.
Bill Baldwin: Listen. If we've got an economy where the going rate for labor is $10 and if hungry immigrants are willing to pay $5, what happens to the other $5? Economists will tell you it sticks to the fingers of immigration lawyers, the coyotes who smuggle people in, document forgers, and of course to the unethical employers. I have a solution to all of this, a two step solution. Step one, get control of the borders with a national electronic ID card. Step two, auction work visas.
McChrystal Loses Job After Trash-Talking His Boss; What's So Bad About Workers Trash-Talking Bosses?
David Asman: Workers beware. Trash-talk your boss and kiss your job good-bye. This is a lesson General Stanley McChrystal learned hard way after spilling his guts about his very powerful boss, President Obama. Could trash-talking a boss sometimes boost your career? And just so no one is intimidated, we'll go to the boss last. Neil, first to you.
Neil Weinberg: Trash-talking is good for business and it's good for your career. I trash-talk my bosses all the time. And, you know, there's a couple types of trash-talking. One is the kind of trash-talking where you're having a beer with your colleagues and you're complaining. But there's a legitimate kind where you go to your boss. You raise questions and get in their face. If you're not willing to ask hard questions and to sort of go against the conventional wisdom, what use are you?
Elizabeth MacDonald: I tend to think it's not a good idea to trash-talk your boss to "Rolling Stone" magazine. By the way, it should be said that General McChrystal was an honorable warrior and had very bad judgment -- having underlings talk to "Rolling Stone" magazine. I say take it up the chain of command, don't break the chain of command, and go right to your boss. Listen, I've been at "Forbes" magazine and I've had some really wonderful prose edited that turned into room-emptying prose when I read it. It was like chewing tinfoil. It was annoying, those edits. "What did you do to my story there? Why?" You take it up the chain of command. Don't break the chain of command.
Victoria Barret: You know, trash-talking assumes that you're kind of doing it behind someone's back and it's very, very personal. And that's not useful and it shouldn't be in the workplace or in Washington. But criticizing strategy, vision… I mean, that's fair game. You want that in a company. I imagine as a boss, that's what you want. You want to hear what people are thinking about where the company is going.
Mike Ozanian: And I think better than actually criticizing them, is to offer an idea that you feel is better. I think that's constructive. I think trash-talking and outright criticism, especially when it's done in public, I think that's negative. It breaks down the chain of command.
Stephane Fitch: Well, you know what? Good bosses know disagreements are ok, even disagreements over personal style. Let me demonstrate. Steve, the neck brace is ok. But dress it up, man! Get a tie on that thing! But, trash-talking is not good. It's different and we all know that's over the line. Trash-talkers ruin morale. Get rid of them.
Steve Forbes: It's one thing to have David kibitzing at the water fountain and letting off steam. It's quite another when you're poisoning the well and saying really nasty things. If you have a gripe, take it to the boss. As Liz says, if you have a gripe about the way some story has been edited and you don't think the strategy is working right, yes, you need feedback. That's how you make adjustments. But poisoning the well is a very different kind of thing.
Informer: Best Stocks for Second Half of the Year
David Asman: We're back with the best stocks for the second half of the year!
Stephane Fitch: Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF)
Mike Ozanian: Allete (ALE)
Neil Weinberg: Yum! Brands (YUM)
Bill Baldwin: Charles River Labs (CRL)
CBO: 40 percent of Tax Filers Pay No Income Taxes and Get Money Back
Jonathan Hoenig, www.CapitalistPig.com: 70 percent of its taxes are paid by such a small few, 20 percent of filers. 40 percent of filers not only pay no taxes but actually get money back from the government. We need to not only stop the spending stuff, the entitlements but get rid of this progressive Marxist notion from each according it his ability, to each according to his need and spend now because don't worry, some rich guys down the hill will pick up the tab for the rest of us.
Christian Dorsey, Democratic strategist: Certainly, people are paying taxes. It's just not that they have a federal income tax burden. When you factor in local taxes as well as the state taxes, you find that the poorest 90 percent are paying almost the same share of income taxes, total taxes as the upper 1 percent. So clearly, they're taxed at a higher rate and just because they're not paying federal income tax doesn't mean they have no tax burden.
Jonas Max Ferris, www.MaxFunds.com: There is nothing inherently wrong with the progressive tax code. However, they still need to pay some tax at the low level and right now that bush tax cut was unaffordable and it was unaffordable not just for people under $250,000, it should have been reversed after that last recession or have serious spending cuts to pay for it. Neither happened. It needs to go away for everybody, not just for the rich. We can't cut spending. That's the bottom line with the budget.
Wayne Rogers, Wayne Rogers & Co.: The reason why we aren’t taking the opportunity here as a country to change the tax code, change the system and get this country out of debt is because the congress is politically inept, because they're stupid, because they're bribed, and because they're people who lobbied the congress or more interested in them and the congressmen themselves are. It's a dumb system. This system has got to be replaced with some sort of a consumption tax. We need a national sales tax. Get rid of the income tax. That will cut across all categories. I'm not trying to necessarily balance the budget. I'm just trying to say that they tax question that we're raising today has got to be one that's more of a fair tax. You cannot have the top 10 percent of the people in the United States paying 71 percent of the taxes. You can't have the top 1 percent paying, you know, 35 percent of the taxes. Somebody has got to give here and you've got to have a fair tax where everybody pays their fair share and that's a consumption tax.
Tracy Byrnes, Fox Business Network: The tax code right now is basically a book of favors. That's what happens down in DC. People try to get favors and they do it through the tax code. Unfortunately, it’s become so convoluted but, yet, it’s necessary for business down there that it's not going to go anywhere. A flat tax, a fair tax, any kind of tax across the board would solve this problem.
No Budget Resolution From Dems Sparking Debate Over Deficit
Tracy Byrnes: Well, because the truth hurts. Nobody wants you to know what the real deficit is. Look, we got an election coming up. If they tell us the truth they're not going to get voted back in. What happened? We have a market that flat. Nobody wants to invest. We don't know where our money is going. No consumer spending because we don't know how the government is spending. Whole thing creates inertia and frankly I think people have a right to be skeptical.
Jonas Max Ferris: The more I worked on that, you know, pushing off the next budget isn't such a bad idea. It's going to be a tough one. There's going to be spending cuts and tax increases but investors don't want to see that this early in the recovery. In Europe, they're trying these cuts and these increases sooner and their stock markets are underperforming ours and others don't want us to solve the deficit problem in the next year. Long term definitely. But in the short run, we're a little shaky still to start kicking in with the major tax increases or major spending cuts.
Jonathan Hoenig: They're petrified. The deficit is a kitchen table issue now in a way that it hasn't been at least in recent memory. Certainly in my lifetime. And you're right, they're petrified. They see that entitlement spending leads to total collapse. They see that the Democrats believe free market is destructive and government spending is the only means to create wealth and I think to your point, Tracy, rightfully, it's scaring them about making serious investments not only on in this market but in this economy. It's why they're hoarding gold.
Christian Dorsey: On the scale of 1 to 10, one being no deal and 10 being a big deal… this is a negative five. They have failed to pass the budget. And the Republic still stands. This is clearly not something that concerns consumers or investors. It's not a huge deal. Do people know there's a deficit out there? Of course we know that. That's not going to change. What Democrats are trying to do is in this election year, not give Republicans the political theater of talking about the deficit as if it's Obama's creation. Remember, it's a deficit that he inherited and they're not going to give Republicans the satisfaction of claiming that it's all his responsibility.
Wayne Rogers: Christian is right about one thing: the fact is they push it off. The budget doesn't mean anything. They don't care. A budget is to be exceeded. They've never had a budget yet they've lived up to much the budget is a farce. It's a farcical thing the congress goes through to present to the people to fool them. That's all it is. It has nothing to do with anything else. Financially, reform as far as the budget goes and all of those sort of things. Listen, there is only 25 percent of the budget that’s discretionary anyway. The rest is given away in entitlements. Half of it is going to social security and Medicare. They can't do anything with it anyway and then you have the interest on the budget that's also increasing it so there is no way that you can possibly do this.
Outrage as 1,300-Plus Inmates Get Homebuyer Tax Credit
Tracy Byrnes: My God, is it insanity not to mention 270 of those inmates are in for life. Where is this system? Look, all the credits do is promote fraud. You'll see they've done this to prevent the housing market from finding its true bottom. Back away! That's what the government needs to do. Back away. Let the housing market find its bottom. Stop giving away the farm.
Wayne Rogers: What amuses me is every time you do something like this, when you put in a regulation the people are going to gain the system. When you think it's nine million of these convicts because of the tax credits on housing look at all the other tax credits that people steal from. You have the dumbest people in the world. Regulators are dumb. The SEC couldn't even manage Bernie Madoff for god's sakes. He stole billions. We should extend the tax credit. I'll tell you why, it's an investment in hard, tangible assets in this country. It's a home. That's what people can invest in. It also spends up all those other ancillary things that have to do with housing. You're going to spend for furnishings and all the other things. It's always good to extend this credit. This is an investment, not a credit.
Jonathan Hoenig: You don't see that as being the same type of intervention that caused the boom to bust in the first place, Wayne? Fannie, Freddie railed against it. The community investment act you railed against. All these programs designed to boost up housing, at the tracing point, just prolonged the crisis. I mean, we don't want prices to be high. We want them to be accurate and you don't get that feeling from renters and savers --
Christian Dorsey: Clearly, there's something wrong with this as our housing policy. I don't think the tax credit ought to be extended because we've already hit a bottom in many places. What's needed now is targeted relief. That means tax credits for specific communities that are still struggling but more importantly, putting more resources into mortgage modifications for those people who are in danger of defaulting on their mortgages.
Jonas Max Ferris: Don't hate the player, hate the game. This is what's going to happen. We needed the credits at the time. We don't need it again. Jonathan's point, they don't give me credits to buy stocks. Home prices have stabilized. We don't need more credits to buy homes. If they tank, we can talk about bringing back the credits. For now, let them go.
What Do I Need to Know?
Tracy Byrnes: Strippers in Louisiana say they're losing money and business due to the oil spill. The fishermen are not coming for lap dances. Working girls need to get paid so they’re filing a loss claim. That $20 million will be drained faster than you think.
Jonas Max Ferris: Icing bros phenomenon just cracked down by the lawyers at the Smirnoff company. Making people drink liquor that used to taste bad but that punishment is great for the makers of Smirnoff. Buy Diageo (DEO)
Wayne Rogers: The financial reform bill that came out of Congress this week is not a financial reform bill at all. It's a disaster. The people who crafted it, Barney Frank and Chris Dodd don't know what they're talking about. Too big to fail is still too big to exist. And we will have this crisis again sometime in the next 15 years.
Jonathan Hoenig: I think a lot of people are sitting on cash right now waiting for interest rates to go up but I've noticed a lot of the stronger securities have been as closed in municipal bond funds. Check out an ETF, An exchange fund that holds a number of different municipal bonds called (TFI). It will do well.