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.
New Focus on Potential Market Fallout over Investigations in Washington
Ben Stein: I don't think it's going to be repeating itself in a Watergate way. One, republicans had an enormous disadvantage in Congress then, and the democrats could push them all over the place in Congress. Two, there was no Fox News then, and I don't get paid by Fox News so I'm not just saying that. Three, there was a very, very sensitive person in the White House then named Richard M. Nixon, who was liable to fold up if you yelled at him too much. Trump is not the same kind of guy.
Danielle McLaughlin: We're seeing some short time volatility, but over the long term I don't have immediate concerns. We're in the middle of the longest bull market since, you know, for decades. And I think that makes a big difference in terms of investor confidence.
Charles Payne: When Trump had the meeting with the President of Colombia, that is what the republicans want to see. Those are the republicans who are rallying around Donald Trump. They want to see the strong, concise answers, "no, no, let's move on," and no early morning tweets that would suggest that something is bugging him and he's got to get something off of his chest.
Charlie Gasparino: There are some similarities with Trump and Nixon in terms of the paranoia. Did he really have to get rid of Comey now? I mean he's afraid of something. But we should point out that the markets are looking at it this way, they're saying the economic policies of Trump are very sound, he has good people in place, maybe to carry that out, and the republicans control Congress.
President Trump Visits Saudi Arabia as Kingdom and Russia Agree to Extend Oil Production Costs
Danielle McLaughlin: If Trump could do what he said he would do in 2008 in the darkness, and force the Saudi's to the extent he can, or convince the Saudi's to keep oil prices low, that's absolutely great for US consumers. It means manufacturing is cheaper, it means our goods are cheaper, more money in the pockets of consumers- meaning they spend more and they save more.
Charles Payne: Its nuts, I mean really. Remember when oil crashed a year and a half ago, it did nothing for our economy, zero. Any savings people had at the pump they put in coffee cans. We have too many Americans who make a lot of money working in oil fills from North Dakota to Texas to Pennsylvania. The natural gas phenomena, the fracking phenomena, we need crude oil between fifty and sixty bucks minimum.
Ben Stein: I don't think Saudi Arabia and Russia, even acting together, have the capacity to control or fix the price of oil. They can affect it, but they cannot fix it. There is an awful lot of oil coming online from this great United States of America, there is an awful lot of oil coming from Canada, there are a lot of sources of oil now. It is not like the days of OPEC in the early '70s where what Saudi Arabia said was law.
Charlie Gasparino: The problem is that there was a divergence of reality from a lot of Trump's rhetoric, particularly from the campaign trail. Donald Trump called China a currency manipulator, are they really a currency manipulator? He's found out now somehow that they're not, so he's backed off. And by the way, Donald Trump was going to have a healthcare plan that was going to make your head spin, Neil. Where is that? I think what he's great at right now, and what he should be sticking to and tweeting about is his economic policies, and immigration, which needs to be reformed.
U.S. Hits Syria with New Airstrikes as Lawmakers Hit Nation with More Sanctions
Charles Payne: I think it's a good idea to have both but to be quite frank with you, economic sanctions alone never really get the job done. You need to hammer someone like Assad, and you need to hammer him hard. I love what Mad Dog is doing; I'd like to see more of that. There are so many ways in a global economy, and black markets, to get around these economic sanctions, but you start to wipe out the military, and the military capacity, that is when you start to get their attention.
Danielle McLaughlin: Sanctions certainly have the effect of getting a leader, a despot, to double down, to get further entrenched. But to Charles's point, the massive humanitarian effect that we are seeing in Syria comes back to what we saw during the first Iraq event invasion between 1990 and 2004. The institutions of civil society were decimated, people were hungry, and we didn't get rid of Saddam Hussein. So, if we're voting today, I am voting for targeted strikes.
Ben Stein: I hope it's not going towards war with Russia and I don't think the airstrikes are going to work. I don't think the sanctions are going to work. We dropped 180,000 tons of explosives on Germany during 1944 and their war production actually went up, not down. Aerial strikes, except for nuclear ones, have never worked to end a war. Sanctions are not going to work against the outlaw regime like this, with friends like Russia, I don't think we can straighten this out.
Charlie Gasparino: Nixon dropped tons and tons of bombs on Vietnam, and their will to resist and fight us only increased. I will say this though, there was once a presidential candidate, I can't quite remember his name, who said it was a horrible thing if President Obama would ever go out and bomb Syria. He said it would be horrible. Oh, I remember his name. His name was Donald Trump. And yet another 180 on Donald Trump.