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.
PRIVATIZING AIRPORT SCREENING AREAS: CHEAPER & SAFER THAN THE TSA?
JONATHAN HOENIG: Cheryl, the TSA has made travel less safe, less efficient and way more expensive. I mean, publish reports put their failure rate at seventy percent in terms of oh, I don't know catching the knives, the guns, the weapons that they are supposed to be detecting and of course they have spent massive amounts of money twenty million for example on that whole puffer system supposedly to detect explosives, doesn't work. And we as tax payers pay for it all $2.50 per leg surcharge for every time you get into a plane. It's going to rise to 15 and publish reports say private companies could do it much less expensive, much more effectively of course that's how we should be going.
WAYNE ROGERS: Well, I don't think is a question of safety or not, for example we privatize some prisons in this country and safety was never a question so I don't think it's a questions of safety now. They ought' to put it out for bid, yes and let private companies bid on it and the other thing they could do is they have states involved in on it opposed to having the federal government in on it, the federal government can't do anything right we all know that.
CHRISTIAN DORSEY: Well, of course not. We had private security at our nation's airports prior to September 11th and we see what happened there. So to argue that private companies are going to do a better job is silly and the other issue is cost effectiveness. We have pilot programs in place across about nineteen airports in this country right now and it costs on average 3-9 dollars more to have private security screeners than public ones. So, if it's not cheaper and it's not safer than why in the world would you do it?
TRACY BYRNES: If you want to hark it back to 9/11, which is crazy, I mean part of the reason there was governmental agencies didn't talk to each other and didn't have any idea that terrorists were boarding the plane, so whose fault is that there? Look, if you take this private you allow them to basically bid on it ... highest bidder wins. Airports would be out there bragging that they have safer security than others. All that is, is good for the economy overall.
JOHN LAYFIELD: I've got over 5 million miles accumulated on American Airlines alone so I know a little something about airline security, cause I go through it every single week. What Christian is talking about is 336,000 people are signed up in these nineteen piloted programs. This is going to expedite the system but wither this is private or wither this is government, I agree with Wayne, completely. This needs to be opened to bids and there is absolutely no reason that taxpayers should pay for this. I just paid $983 dollars to get down here to Dallas from Bermuda. Charge me an extra 10 bucks each leg, I don't care. I should pay for the security problems that I am causing the country, not the taxpayers. Now wither that's private or wither that's government, it should be funded somewhere by the people, not the taxpayers.
GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION IN HOUSING
JOHN LAYFIELD: Well, nothing has worked so far. Look, I'm not saying the banks with the robo-signing they had that there was not fraudulent activity mainly created by the securitization market because now these loan officers become car salesmen essentially. You have about 26 billion dollars in punishment going to these banks. About 80 percent of that will go to mortgage cram downs and refinancing. That sounds like a lot. It's about 20 billion dollars. It's only about nine percent total of homeowners that are underwater. This is not going to help on a significant level and the fact that the government says out there that millions of Americans are really stupid, I completely disagree with. I think a lot of Americans made bad choices, but to assume that it was all the banks, and I'm not condoning what the banks did, but to say all the banks is wrong. It's been going on since the great Depression and Hamilton and Jackson.
WAYNE ROGERS: Well first of all this is a legal question. This is not really about housing. This is about the fact that the banks apparently violated their lending laws and as a result of which are making a legal settlement. Otherwise, they're going to go to court and it's going to be a big trial and they could lose even more so put that aside. That has nothing really to do with the housing business per-say, but it does have to do with the fact that it's a warning going down the line that all lending has got to be legal and has got to be guided in a certain way. I don't think that it's going to affect the housing one way or the other.
CHRISTIAN DORSEY: You know, housing is the biggest market we have in this country and right now it is a huge drag on the economy and what we saw yesterday with the settlement, if this is the conclusion of a sprint, it was less of a settlement and more of a sell-out, but if it's the first step in a marathon then maybe it's okay, but I want to go back to Wayne's point for a minute. This is an issue about securities fraud, mail fraud, bank fraud and tax fraud. Those are serious, serious issues and the allegations that banks have systematically colluded to fraud Americans with such a huge market such as housing is a huge issue and it's resulted in 10 million underwater households to the tune of $800 billion.
TRACY BYRNES: Okay, well that's all it is. It's a bunch of allegations that a bunch of attorney generals took and decided to run on. They just want to come down on the regs. Basically what you're doing is taking money from the banks and paying people off for moral hazard. You have no proof of any of this whatsoever. This is politically driven from top to bottom because all you're going to do is hand out money. You know what this is? This is a stimulus package that congress didn't have to approve. You're going to hand out a little bit of money in order to garner some votes next year. This is not going to help the housing market one iota. Prices will continue to fall; people will continue to sit on their hands because nothing is working as long as this government is involved.
JONATHAN HOENIG: Well in fact, it's that government involvement that's causing the problem. I mean, government involvement, Cheryl, fueled the housing boom and the government involvement has prolonged the housing bust. I mean this settlement, it's not like it's the only thing that government's done. I mean, whether it's Making Homes Affordable, FHA Secure; it's been years now. Oh I forgot the ongoing bailouts of Freddie and Fannie. That's like not even talked about anymore. We've done everything to help housing; it's done nothing to actually improve the market. In fact, look at commercial real estate; Simon Property Group; Boston Properties; these stocks are doing very well. Those markets are doing well. Those are ones in which the government doesn't have a starring role and that's the model we should follow.
FACEBOOK PRESSURED TO ADD WOMEN TO BOARD
TRACY BYRNES: Because, you sit on the board because you deserve it; you have the merit to do so; you are qualified to do so. It has nothing to do with the fact that you have a skirt on all day long Cheryl. I would not at this point want to be handed anything as a woman. We've worked too hard to prove how smart we really are. Don't hand any woman a seat on that board unless she deserves it.
WAYNE ROGERS: Look, it's a free market. You can buy the stock or you can sell the stock. It doesn't matter. They happen to be an institutional investor and Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) those people have certain rules. If they say, we want to politicize something or we want to make a statement about whether you have a woman on the board or whether you don't have a woman or this person, that person. They can do whatever they want to and by the way they don't have to buy the stock. Nobody's compelling them to buy the stock. So Zuckerberg can appoint whoever the hell he wants to and he can say to them, go fly a kite. I don't care don't buy my stock.
JOHN LAYFIELD: No, and she is probably the best tech executive in the world. I think the job she did at Google and Facebook proves that. It's shameful to me that these tech companies; it's like a bunch of tech geeks build a tree house and put a sign up that says "no chicks allowed". I mean, I am for shareholder value, but if you're saying that the only people that are qualified are white males to be on that board I have to disagree with that. It's year 2012 and I think we should no longer discriminate on race or gender. I'm not for forcing women in, but I am for opening up opportunities that are not there in Silicon Valley and on Wall Street.
CHRISTIAN DORSEY: Well it absolutely would (be a good public relations move). Almost 60 percent of Facebook's users are women. It would kind of make sense to at least have some female representation on the board and to suggest that there are no qualified women is a complete farce. He doesn't have to do anything, but a huge investor has the right to tell them what they think they should do.
JONATHAN HOENIG: To Wayne's point, they make a voluntary choice to either buy or sell their stock. I think this notion that we need a woman on the board is a real insult to business people, specifically to female business people. It really likens women to some kind of barnyard animal where they all think alike, they all act alike. I think that it's an insult it's terrible. I think like someone's race, someone's gender is just about the least important thing. Like Wayne said, get Meg Whitman so suggest a woman.
WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW?
TRACY BYRNES: Taxpayers paying $1.6 billion for cell phones for the poor. Audit showing many are abusing the free cell phone program
WAYNE ROGERS: Corning regaining its luster, (GLW) to shine
JOHN LAYFIELD: Wal-Mart (WMT) says good-bye to greeters but hello to profits
JONATHAN HOENIG: Stick with shipping and (DSX) in this choppy market