DISCLAIMER: THE FOLLOWING "Cost of Freedom Recap" CONTAINS STRONG OPINIONS WHICH ARE NOT A REFLECTION OF THE OPINIONS OF FOX NEWS AND SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON AS INVESTMENT ADVICE WHEN MAKING PERSONAL INVESTMENT DECISIONS. IT IS FOX NEWS' POLICY THAT CONTRIBUTORS DISCLOSE POSITIONS THEY HOLD IN STOCKS THEY DISCUSS, THOUGH POSITIONS MAY CHANGE. READERS OF "Cost of Freedom Recap" MUST TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR OWN INVESTMENT DECISIONS.
This past week's Bulls & Bears: Tobin Smith, ChangeWave Research; Eric Bolling, FOX Business News; Pat Dorsey, Morningstar.com; Matt McCall, Penn Financial Group, and Sarah Flowers, Democratic strategist.
Tax Hikes Could Be On Table to Pay for National Health Care: Is Wall Street Worried?
Tobin Smith, ChangeWave Research: There's no reason to worry… because tax hikes are coming. The government will start taking much more of the wealthy's income and begin giving it to the people who pay little or no income tax. But this won't work, considering the top 3 percent's income has dropped about 30 percent. Everybody will have to be taxed now.
Sarah Flowers, Democratic strategist: This isn't what's happening. We're finally seeing a little fresh talk from Washington. We have to look at the specifics here. Ninety-five percent of Americans are getting a tax cut as a result of the stimulus bill. If you're an average middle-class family, you appreciate the few extra thousand dollars in your pocket. If you are in the top two income brackets, then there's the chance they'll need to pay more of their fair share.
Eric Bolling, FOX Business Network: I do see tax hikes down the road; however it would be political suicide to do it before 2010. The Democrats need to keep that stranglehold on the White House and Congress. The thing to remember is that a substantial number of those in the top 5 percent tax bracket are small businesses.
Matt McCall, Penn Financial Group: President Obama has already changed two major decisions already in the first 120 of his administration. When the country is on the brink of a major recession, we start to talk about tax hikes. If tax increases get put in place, the recession could possibly get even worse. They couldn't come at a worse time.
Pat Dorsey, Morningstar.com: Let's take a step back. The market's action this week has absolutely nothing to do with taxes. The market does not necessarily go down every time tax hikes go up. There is more at work here in the market. But in terms of paying for health care reform, unfortunately common thinking says taxes will have to be raised to raise more revenue to pay for it. It's not that this country spends too much on health care; it's that we spend it in the wrong places. We spend more than any developed country in the world, yet get worse outcomes.
Will D.C.'s Spending Binge Drive Gas Prices to $3 Gallon?
Eric Bolling: I think $3 a gallon gas is a given this summer -- definitely on the West Coast. If you push massive amounts of government spending out the door from Washington, prices will go up with it. Its wealth redistribution and people will go out and spend with this free money. Retailers know people use gas every day, so they jack prices up.
Matt McCall: With all the free money coming out of Washington, somebody who doesn't have enough money to travel now can take a summer vacation. Inflation has a major effect on gas prices. Also, there will be more demand for gas, not just here but overseas too. At the end of the day, we won't see under $2 gasoline again. We're starting to see gas prices rise in accordance with demand rising again.
Tobin Smith: I don't think the government is going to do anything to alleviate gas prices. Look at California. Governor Schwarzenegger has effectively said that instead of tapping into the billions of barrels of oil and cubic feet of natural gas offshore, they should just tax marijuana. It's clear that federal and state governments do not intend to do what's necessary to offset rising gas prices.
Pat Dorsey: I think that gas going under $2 a gallon for an extended period of time is highly unlikely. That was under a period where demand was very low. The real reason for higher gas prices is fairly simple. Refineries are only operation at about 60 percent of capacity right now since demand has been so weak. In anticipation of summer and the high driving season, wholesalers and middlemen are buying more gas and restocking inventories. It has nothing to do with more spending coming out of Washington.
G.M. Closing 1000 Dealers to Save Money; Will It Cost You Money?
Matt McCall: Unfortunately, G.M. is closing down a lot of really good dealerships. You're going to start seeing a lot less G.M. dealerships, and thus people won't be buying GM cars anymore. The free markets should take control here. If a dealership can't make it, then let them go out of business. But for G.M. to cut all the jobs around 1,000 dealerships, some of them which are doing well, wasn't the right move.
Eric Bolling: Everyone is on the hook for G.M.'s bankruptcy. All of this should have happened months ago. That dealer network should be cut down now. The government should not spend another $30 billion to get G.M. down to size to get it through bankruptcy.
Pat Dorsey: It's not the free market preventing these dealerships from closing. Its state laws keeping profitable dealerships alive right now. G.M. had a fairly similar market share to Toyota, yet almost twice as many dealers. You don't need more dealers to sell more cars. When your market share drops as G.M.'s has over the years, you need fewer salespeople. Dealerships don't operate under free market principles.
Tobin Smith: G.M. used an odd matrix at the corporate level to decide who to cut out. There is a lot of politics involved here, and franchise laws prevent the free market from truly deciding which dealerships should stay or go. Whether we like it or not, we're going to have 3,000 less dealers here in the next six to nine months. It's a tragedy.
Tobin Smith: Pelosi needs shot of truth serum! "ABT " up 30 percent in 6 months
Pat Dorsey: Find profits in pipelines! "BGH " up 60 percent in 2 years
Matt McCall: Bye-bye auto dealers, hello auto repair! "ORLY " up 40 percent in 1 year
Eric Bolling: Summer BBQ season kick-off! "PEP " up 25 percent by Labor Day
This past week, Neil was joined by: Suzy Welch, author of "10-10-10"; Ben Stein, Author "How to Ruin the United States of America"; Charles Payne, WStreet.com; Dagen McDowell, FOX Business News, and Adam Lashinsky, editor-at-large, Fortune Magazine.
Washington Spending Spree: What's the Rush?
Suzy Welch, author of "10-10-10: A Life Transforming Idea": I think Washington is thinking about the 2010 elections. They're trying to get through this stimulus package so they can see what the benefits and costs are going to be. In the name of the Democratic agenda, the White House and Congress are moving as quickly as possible before the mid-term elections. They want to give the electorate more money and support from the federal government than ever before.
Charles Payne, WStreet.com: I don't think Washington is thinking at all. That's the big problem. Congress doesn't read or understand anything. It's embarrassing. And then Congress tries to embarrass people by calling them up to Capitol Hill for these hearings. All this commotion Congress makes is just to deflect their incompetence.
Ben Stein, author of "How to Ruin the United States of America": I think the inmates are running the asylum. The $787 stimulus package was a colossal sum of money. It was rushed through Congress to avert catastrophe. But it has been months, and only a few percent of the money has actually gone out. The whole thing was a fraud. It's an extraordinary level of incompetence and contempt for basic law and common sense.
Dagen McDowell, FOX Business Network: I'm not worried about the stimulus anymore. That's done. We're going to have problems executing it. Can we talk about education, health care, and energy reform? When it comes to health care, Congress hasn't figured out a way to pay for nearly half of what it's going to cost over the next 10 years. The President and Congress struck while the iron was hot, but that could change quickly once people see those budget numbers and where tax rates are likely to head in a few years.
Adam Lashinsky, editor-at-large, Fortune Magazine: At the end of the day, these incidents like the dead man getting a stimulus check are outliers. But there is accountability. We have the government accounting office. We're reporting on it right now. People are trying to stop these mistakes from happening. TARP, for example, was rushed, but it was the right thing to do. It saved the banking system from collapsing. The president acted quickly on stimulus and I think we should wait before thinking about another stimulus.
Neil's One-on-One With Former Vice President Dick Cheney
Fiat Executives to Go Around Government Pay Limits
Ben Stein: I don't know what the outcome of this will be. The confusion around this deal is unbelievable. I don't know where the government's legal right to turn the company over to Chrysler came from. I don't know where they get the right to freeze out senior credit holders.
Charles Payne: I don't know where this is going to end. We're taxing our companies to death and making them less competitive. It's absolutely amazing. If the government thinks Fiat's management will be any better than previous management, look at how Fiat handled the closing of the dealerships. Many of the dealerships being closed down were profitable. It's clear no thought was put into this.
Suzy Welch: We're going to start seeing a flight of talent from the most restricted companies--and this is the talent that could really turn these companies around. The best talent will go to where the most wide-open opportunity is. The economy will be in good shape in 10 years. But I think we'll see a total reshipping of which industry top talent goes to in this country.
Dagen McDowell: Our jobs and executives will start going to foreign companies. The only reason Fiat is in business is because GM gave it $2 billion about four years ago. Fiat was on its knees. GM got a bad deal in the company, and ultimately had to get out of it.
Adam Lashinsky: iShares FTSE/China 25 Index (FXI )
Forbes on FOX
On Saturday, May 16, 2009, David Asman was joined by Rich Karlgaard, Neil Weinberg, Mike Ozanian, Quentin Hardy, Victoria Barret, Jack Gage, Evelyn Rusli, Elizabeth MacDonald and John Rutledge.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: There's no way to restore the middle class without organized labor.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
David Asman: From the vice president's mouth to your ears – strong unions equal a strong middle class. That just made a few mouths drop here. Is the vice president right or not?
Mike Ozanian: No, Biden has it completely backwards. From 1983 through 2004, the net worth of the middle class in this country increased by 79 percent. That's a period where union membership declined. It's the biggest gain by any middle class in any other country.
David Asman: Is the VP right or wrong?
Quentin Hardy: He's right. The 79 percent gain has more to do with two-income families. Things got so desperate, the other parent had to go to work. That's why you see an increase. But, it doesn't even match what they lost on the other side. And look, the unions are effective. Child labor laws, workplace safety laws, 40-hour work weeks… those are union effects. These are effective organizations. We wouldn't worry about them if they weren't. We're in a season where contracts have to be renegotiated. From Wall Street bonuses to yes, union contracts. But, unions are important players for the continued health of the American worker.
David Asman: He's right that the child worker programs were theirs. That was back about 50, 60, 70 years ago. What have they done lately?
Jack Gage: They are becoming less and less a part of the private economy in the United States. They are about 12 percent of the private work force right now. It's just not true to say the middle income earners haven't seen an increase in recent years. Over the past 8 or 10 years, they have seen a roughly 10 percent increase in their median income. They are on the uptick. They haven't been left behind as Democrats would have you believe. We're doing quite well over the last 25 years. The liberalization of trade without unions helps. It's declined roughly 12 percent. The private economy is moving on from union membership.
David Asman: In the past 6 years, everybody has been down. We still have a median income of $40,000.
Elizabeth MacDonald: That's right, David. Also talking about net worth, though. A lot of that was paper gains from inflated housing prices. You have to see what's happening with the unions themselves. They spent more time fighting about NAFTA, which was inexorable. The Democrats wanted NAFTA instead of protecting their own members for wage gains. What we're talking about is really that union membership is now mostly service employees that can be replaced… maids and janitors.
David Asman: Public sector.
Elizabeth MacDonald: That's right. They don't have a skill to withhold like a manufacturing worker on an assembly line. So, the unions themselves did it to themselves. They should have been out there seeing the trends, seeing the changes, and protecting their workers. But, they didn't.
David Asman: Victoria, is the VP right or wrong about unions?
Victoria Barret: He is absolutely wrong. David, you put your finger on something… a lot of union jobs are now in the government. What he is kind of saying is we all need to work for the government. And here, this is what's important: Our country needs jobs. Where does job creation come from? It's not from unions. It's not from government. In the last decade, 2/3s of new jobs have come out of small businesses. So, we should be doing thing to encourage new business development and growth in small and medium-sized businesses. That's how we're going to get out of the problems we're in today.
David Asman: The small and mid-sized businesses that Vickie is talking about are the heart blood of America.
Neil Weinberg: There are a lot of things not to like about unions: Mob ties, no-show jobs, distrseed companies like General Motors. There is a lot not to like. But, I don't buy this stuff about the US worker keeping up. I'm sorry. We have lost health care. Lots of companies are not giving health care. We have 50 million people in this country who are not protected with any sort of health care. We have lost our benefits for pension. We have workers who are not earning a living wage. I'm sorry. I think the middle class is mad as hell.
Forbes on FOX Debate
David Asman: President Obama still promising to hike income taxes only on the rich. But Maryland may have just proven that it's a promise he can't keep. The Free State was the first state to pass a millionaire's tax. Now, we just found out they have 30 percent fewer millionaires filing taxes. On top of that, the state's income tax revenue dropped by 17 percent.
Jack Gage: Absolutely. Look, we could raise taxes on the wealthiest 5 percent of Americans by 100 percent, confiscate all of their income and in 2006, at the height of the bull market, that would have been about $1.3 trillion. That's still only ¾ of the federal deficit in 2009. By the numbers, we're going to have to raise taxes to fund this spending program by President Obama. It's ridiculous and it's against what he said during his campaign.
David Asman: Do these millionaire taxes work or not?
Elizabeth MacDonald: They never work. Jack is right. I don't know of any politicians who would have won an election by telling the American voters that truthfully, they were going to spend $3.6 trillion. They wouldn't have won if they told the voters that. The millionaire tax doesn't work. I don't know if Maryland is the right example. It was only 2,000 or 3,000 people.
David Asman: Quentin, forget about these millionaire tax increases – they don't work.
Quentin Hardy: The argument is built on sand, David. First off, the rich tend to file later in the year. Also, the markets collapsed in case you haven't noticed… that destroys wealth. There is no information from this study. I think something else you have to face… something we all have to face… is we over-consumed. We are going to have to pay for this. Nobody seems to actually ask for cuts in benefits or payments or services or anything else, and we re-elected spendthrift congressmen, so year, it's time for some tax hikes… probably more to the rich because they can afford it better, but for everybody, it's a reality.
David Asman: Speaking of rich, let's go to rich. The problem is that when we attack these millionaires, very often the revenue is not forthcoming.
Rich Karlgaard: Well, that's because when capital is under attack, it will always take evasive action. The rich can hire better lawyers than we can hire. The rich can also arbitrage different jurisdictions which is why the state of Virginia has more startups and more economic activity than higher-taxed Maryland. That's why in border states, Fargo, North Dakota is bigger than Moorehead, Minnesota… Omaha is bigger than Council Bluffs, Iowa. The fastest growing suburb in Portland, Oregon is a place with no income or state taxes – Vancouver, Washington.
David Asman: The millionaire tax kicks in at $250,000 which is far away from being a millionaire.
Evelyn Rusli: To bring it back to Maryland, there is no proof that higher taxes on the rich will lead to a mass exodus. Back in 2004, in my home state of New Jersey, they increased taxes on people who made more than $500,000. Guess what? There wasn't a mass exodus. Just a fraction of the 44,000 affected families actually left.
John Rutledge: Taxing the rich is like having sex with Angelina Jolie. It's not that it's a bad idea… it's just hard to get it done. To shift metaphors, they won a Nobel price for proving if you shock a giant sea slug, it will move out of the way. Rich people are not dumber than giant sea slugs. You won't collect the money. The real problem is taxes have never been more than 19 percent of the GDP, plus or minus 1 percent. The budget deficit this year is 12 percent of GDP. There is no income tax structure that will collect enough money to pay these bills, period.
Forbes on FOX Debate
David Asman: New information about the tragedy of Flight 3407… that deadly plane crash near Buffalo, New York. The airline revealed this week that copilot Rebecca Shaw made just $23,900 a year. Someone here says that is way too low for someone we trust with our lives… and if we want safer skies, we need to pay more for tickets.
Quentin Hardy: These are off-balance sheet airlines. They can offer cheap airfares by paying so little to their people and flying them non-stop. This woman lived in Washington state, hitch-hiked on a FedEx flight across the U.S. She couldn't afford a hotel room. She slept wherever she could.
John Rutledge: Low airfares making bad air safety is ridiculous. Look, don't go to Walmart, the prices there are really low. It could blow up. My god, don't go to Costco! Prices are even lower there. Low airfares to not make safety issues. Dumb managers and irresponsible boards of directors might do it.
David Asman: Kmarts don't fly or fall out of the sky and kill people.
John Rutledge: I understand, but the prices do not determine the safety standards. People in airlines do.
David Asman: Are airlines an exception to the rule?
Kai Falkenberg: Airlines are a common carrier. They are responsible for holding the public's lives in the balance. I would gladly pay more money to make sure I don't have somebody in the cockpit on a flight to Buffalo in the middle of February saying I have never flown in icy conditions. If I had, I would freak out. I would pay more money to avoid that situation.
David Asman: A lot of people at Colgan Air don't have the extra cash. Colgan flies commuter flights to smaller cities where people aren't that well off.
Victoria Barret: But again, it's a management issue. I also blame the lawyers because of privacy laws. The pilot who flew this plane had failed five hands-on tests… and the airlines only knew of a few of them. I think our privacy laws are getting in the way of managers being able to know who is a good pilot and who is a lousy pilot.
David Asman: We have a pilot who can tell us more.
Rich Karlgaard: Within the first 10 hours of learning how to fly, you learn to push the nose down to add speed if you're nearing a stall point. The larger point is nearly 38 years ago this month that Southwest airlines launched the discount flying industry. Air safety has gone nothing but up and improved during that period. There is not a correlation between discount fares and safety.
David Asman: We're back with the stocks strong enough to make you money in this up and down market:
Neil Weinberg: Walmart (WMT )
Evelyn Rusli: Waste Management (WMI )
Jack Gage: ITT Educational Service (ESI )
Mike Ozanian: Clorox (CLX )
White House Wants to Control Pay at More Companies; Is Your Check Next?
Jonathan Hoenig, CapitalistPig Asset Management: Absolutely. The road to serfdom always ends the same way. Then they came for me. You know what? Now they are coming for me. I run a private company. I have never taken a cent of bailout money. Now the President is talking about regulating my pay. I think it takes a tremendous amount of chutzpah for somebody who has never worked in a corporate measure as the President has not to suggest that he knows the right way to regulate executive compensation. It's a shameful violation of property rights. I think another step towards total fascist rule.
Wayne Rogers, Wayne Rogers & Co.: Listen, the government should not be doing this, of course not. It should be a free market for labor just like there is a free market for everything else. If I have a certain expertise and I'm needed and somebody will pay me that money, then that's what should set the price. It has nothing to do with any regulation or anybody else setting those prices. That's the way it should be in a free system like you have where you have collective bargaining with union. Same thing. They sit down at the table and make those prices. If it doesn't work, they should go bust. Let the market set it.
Tracy Byrnes, FOX Business Network: This, again, is because these people took TARP money. They stuck their foot in the hole. They made a deal with the devil. You know what? There is something to be said about the fact that shareholders need to start waking up. If you're unhappy, pull up a proxy statement, read the summary of compensation. It tells you exactly what everyone is being paid. You bought stock in a company, you feel like these guys are being over paid. Sell the shares, get out. Go with good corporate governance. The government should not be the ones correcting corporate governance.
Mike Norman, Pitbull Economics: There are these funds where they are for investors and they are more proactive. I think what they are trying to do here is disincentivize the financial system in the current structure that it exists. There is no question that it garnered a huge am of personal income and it went to very few people with absolutely zero benefit to the real economy. I think it's a sloppy way to do it. It's an ugly way to do it. I think long-term it's probably the correct thing.
John Bradshaw Layfield, www.custommuscle.com: Look, I'm sorry to tell you this but the bat boy does not deserve as much money as Derek Jeter. Derek Jeter puts people in seats. He is Mr. Baseball. There is a reason he makes 1,000 more. Neither were the politicians supposed to watch him. They caught Eliot Spitzer with his good time money but they missed Bernie Madoff. You expect the morons who cannot run the government to run the financial institutions? They have a power grab here. It's offensive.
Jonas Max Ferris, www.MaxFunds.com: My pay has been regulated since the last banking panic in 1930 whatever because the government basically states how much you can charge clients and whether you can have incentive fees, etc. Even with those regulations which hedge fund managers like Jonathan, some of the richest people in the world run investment advisors and mutual funds. They are billionaires many times over. It's not like these regulations will restrict you from making hundreds of millions or billions of dollars as they now do with these restrictions. It has made the industry better in some ways because they weren't that low, the restrictions. As far as these rules, I don't see the government spreading out. The FDIC chairman said we don't even cap bank CEO's pay. The issue is do you pay a lot of bonus money and then need government
Social Security and Medicare Broke: How Can We Afford Obama-Care?
Wayne Rogers: There is no possible way we can. I don't understand this. Health care, yes. If we're spending 16 percent of GDP already on health care. Already we have certain county hospitals which you can go in -- anybody can go in at any time and they are going broke. Taxpayers are paying for that. I see no way this is going to work. You're asking legislators to draft a bill. The devil is in the details. It's the legislature whose IQ is minus 30 is going to try to draft a new comprehensive health plan when we can't even pay for Medicare. This is insanity. It's insanity gone berserk.
Mike Norman: It's functionally impossible for a country that spends in it's own currency that's not on a gold standard to run out of money. It's like every few years when you run into the debt ceiling, did we run out of money? No, Congress by decree says we raise the debt selling and you print more money. This argument is ridiculous.
Tracy Byrnes: We can't afford it. What's the rush? What is the rush with this administration, this whole notion that in five days we're going to cure cancer and solve every possible problem that the world has. What is the rush? They have other issues.
John Bradshaw Layfield: With all due respect as my good friend Wayne says, nothing wrong with the economy? You have to be kidding me. Foreclosure up 2 percent year over year. Unemployment is at 9 percent. This economy is the worst since the Great Depression. The worst weakness of the Bush administration was fiscal irresponsibility. They have put that on steroids.
Jonathan Hoenig: Well, I mean, a government can only provide benefits, can only provide goods and services that have actually been produced by productive people. And the fact of the matter is the government is a protector of rights.
Jonas Max Ferris: They are announcing plans and they don't have plans to pay for them. There is nothing wrong with these plans. There is nothing wrong with social security. You can afford it if you pushed the age up.
Oprah's Pro-Capitalism Speech: Right Message for President and America?
John Bradshaw Layfield: No doubt about it, it is Oprah. We had a black kid who grew up when there was a lot of segregation in our country, he became President. He had a woman running against him. I don't want to tell a child regardless of race, sex, or anything else there is a limit to what they can do. I don't want to tell a middle-aged person this is as high as you can get. There is a glass ceiling. If you want to make money in this country, you should be allowed to pursue it as long as it's legal and proper.
Wayne Rogers: It's a terrific story, a story everybody can look up to. I think she has done a remarkable job for herself and she is representative of the country. She is the kind of person that you want to have in this society. She is also a very generous person. She is very charitable. She gives away a lot of money. All of those things are good. Besides which my son went to Duke and I hope one day he is rich enough to get a jet so he can take care of me.
Jonathan Hoenig: What is the White House's message, Terry? You should aspire to self-sacrifice. What does Obama say? Don't go to Wall Street… go teach at some fleabag school? Oprah is saying aspire to be rich, aspire to be successful. It's wonderful to live a prosperous, successful life. As you pointed out, god bless her for it. She is a totally self-made woman. That's why she is so respected the world over.
Tracy Byrnes: All around there are a lot of people disappointed. I just it just adds to the Obama administration's contradictory statements that are coming out left and right. Perfect example is the CEO pay. He wants to decrease CEO pay but yet he wants to raise taxes on the rich. You decrease their pay enough, they are not rich anymore. Where is your tax revenue? Even with Oprah, in the beginning she was so supportive of him and everything he had to say. Now you see her turning, you see Whoopi turning. There is all this contradiction going on. I think it sends a mixed message out there to people.
Jonas Max Ferris: This is America. People like being rich. We like to look up to wealthy people. We don't have wealth taxes. However, there is a difference between earning a jet and making the world better. What Oprah is really saying is helping other people as you help yourself get rich, providing a service, it can be good. It doesn't need to be charity necessarily. All the people who have all this lavish lifestyle, they have done no good. They have done evil. I think Americans think that way.
What Do I Need to Know?
Tracy Byrnes: Believe it or not, the President has declared next week World Trade Week. In cities all over the country, there is going to be seminars, places for small business to go to learn about how to increase and improve your world trade. Again, Obama contradictory, but nevertheless, this is great for the economy. Open the borders. Unions are totally going to suffer from this if this be the message.
Wayne Rogers: I think you need to know that the financial situation has gotten much less -- much more simplified. A lot of it has been solved. Therefore there is going to be a lot more trading. Certainly in derivatives and those kind of instruments and but Intercontinental Exchange (ICE). I think that is a good buy.
John Bradshaw Layfield: The market took the consumer down first. Now the consumer is taking the market down. I think the consumers slows because of credit contractions because of the government getting involved in credit cards. Buy DXD (Ultrashort Dow30 Proshares). I don't even own it yet but I may buy it this week. It's the inverse of the Dow.
Jonas Max Ferris: Next week the housing market index comes out. It's going to be another day that shows that this economy and housing market has stopped the death spiral and the panic. I'm not saying we're going to recover. I think we're going to have a permanently low plateau. The death spiral has ended in most markets. That's kind of an amazing thing. You want to go with a phone that writes options, writes calls. JSN (Nuveen Equity Premium Opportunity Fund). It could deliver.
Jonathan Hoenig: Next Monday the president is meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House. End of the month he is going to be going to the Middle East. I'm actually taking a look at some of the funds that invest in the Middle East as contrarian marketing opportunities. One to keep on your radar screen is MES (Market Vectors Gulf States ETF). It's a fund that own stocks all through the Gulf. Could make a move.