In an opinion piece for CNBC.com on Wednesday, Street Signs anchor Brian Sullivan argued: "...for the majority of the country, $4 gas isn't going to doom us or our economy....right now it just doesn't add up. After all, it looks like $5 is the new $4 when it comes to gas prices and the economy."
Sullivan cited new car sales being on the rise, with those vehicles having better gas mileage, and pointed to inflation causing $4 a gallon to actually be "somewhere in the $3.64 range in 2007 dollars today." In addition, he noted the payroll tax cut "mitigates much of the impact."
CNBC's Erin Burnett made a gaffe on Tuesday's Street Signs as she covered a new app for Apple devices which is aimed to assist Catholics to go to confession. Burnett wondered if the app, which costs $1.99 would bring the Church "back to the age of 'condolences' (sic), those things that Martin Luther so abhorred" [audio available here].
The anchor reported on the app, "Confession: A Roman Catholic App," just before the top of the 3 pm Eastern hour, noting that the new program had received the approval of Church authorities. Burnett gave a brief explanation of the app before making her historical error:
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Food-filled winter holidays will soon arrive. But the liberal news media have already spent recent days comparing soda to an illegal drug, promoting a toy ban in kid’s Happy Meals, and generally bashing fast food companies for giving customers exactly what they want.
CNBC’s Erin Burnett outdid food police groups on Nov. 8, when she compared soda to cocaine in a segment discussing a “fat tax.” After citing some claims about people being fatter and living shorter lives, Burnett asked a beverage company spokesperson: “Is your industry killing us?”
It is a curious phenomenon - the way the media have handled the economy since President Barack Obama has taken office. Generally the coverage has been on the optimistic side over the last 18 months. But could this blind optimism come back to haunt people that trade on economic metrics?
According to CNBC "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer, it will and in a big way on Aug. 27, when the new gross domestic product numbers are released. On CNBC's Aug. 26 broadcast of "Street Signs," Cramer predicted dismal numbers during his "Stop Trading" segment, which has been contrary to the way the market reacted.
"Look, I'm going to give you my forecast right now - I think we're going to get 0.5 percent GDP, OK?" Cramer said. "But, let's say we get 0.5 percent GDP. Everyone's going to say it's horrible. We're going to go track down economists, Nobel winners who think it's a double dip. And it'll be like shocker - 0.5 percent. And I'm telling you it's going to be 0.5 percent. It's like the housing number. On my show I said it's going to be declined 50 percent. We get 30 percent. It was like shocker. Whoever is making these estimates is just so wrong because you know, you piece these pieces together on a daily basis like I do and come up with something between zero and 1 percent growth."
Paul Krugman and Larry Kudlow - not exactly two guys you would associate with one another. However, they are two media figures Washington Post columnist Frank Ahrens thinks should be candidates for the same job.
In his Aug. 15 column, Ahrens wrote about some of the people that should replace outgoing chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers Christina Romer. He named several candidates including Pepsi's Indra Nooyi, James Sinegal, co-founder and chief executive of Costco, and Ford chief executive Alan Mulally. But he also named New York Times columnist Paul Krugman and CNBC's "Kudlow Report" host Larry Kudlow.
In his case for Krugman, Ahrens wondered that since Krugman can talk the talk, can he walk the walk as well.
"Outside the academic world, Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman is best known for his New York Times columns arguing that the $787 billion, debt-busting stimulus bill was not enough, so even moderate Democrats -- not to mention conservatives -- might lose their minds with this pick. But maybe it's time for Krugman to put his money where his mouth is," Ahrens wrote. "You think government needs to spend more to get us out of this funk? Okay, Paul. Here's the key to the car."
On CNBC's June 29 broadcast "Power Lunch," Rep. Paul Kajorski, D-Pa. made a pretty prediction about the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) should Congress be unable to pass financial regulation legislation.
"You know, I wish every one of them would ask the question and also the industry and media, what happens in this country if this bill fails?" Kanjorski said. "Do you think 236 points down on the Dow is surprising? Check 1,000 or 2,000 points if we fail to change the ways that caused this problem."
That caught the attention of CNBC's Erin Burnett, who played the clip for "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer. Cramer blasted Kanjorski and the entire institution of the federal government for being a drag on the markets for a myriad of reasons on his June 29 "Stop Trading" segment of CNBC's "Street Signs."
Reports are surfacing that BP is finally considering a suspension of its shareholder's dividend, but what could have been done differently to avert the public relations nightmare BP is facing? Two CNBC hosts had some ideas about that, and about what could have happened if BP chose not to play ball.
Jim Cramer and Erin Burnett shared their thoughts on the "Stop Trading" segment of "Street Signs" June 11. According to the "Mad Money" host, Obama could have set a foul precedent for multi-national businesses if BP (NYSE:BP) didn't agree to make some concessions on how it is handling its day-to-day operations in the wake of this ecological crisis.
"I think that this is a, a stock that represents great value but you're dealing with the government," Cramer said. "I saw that Nancy Pelosi, she's the second most powerful person in our country, saying that they shouldn't be paying a dividend. I mean, this is one of those situations where I know, the president's approval ratings are down and what you got to do is you got to go after BP if you're the president. I'm not saying I would do it but I'm saying if I were the president of the United States, BP is public enemy number one and you're not even going to listen to what the British say. You just gotta say, ‘Guys, here's the deal, we're not, we're not going to have any dividends here. And just you know, take it or leave it, partner, because this is a company that needs U.S. ball play."
Back during the 2008 presidential campaign, then-Sen. Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee for vice president said it was "patriotic" for people to pay more taxes, in an interview on ABC's "Good Morning America." But what if you don't have to pay more taxes legally?
Biden's reasoning was simplistic - that we all need to "jump in, time to be part of the deal, time to help get America out of the rut." But according to CNBC's Jim Cramer, based on legal precedence, the Internal Revenue Service encourages people to pay as little tax as possible, as long as it is within the boundaries of the seemingly endless U.S. tax code.
"The government has made it very clear in a series of tax rulings since the income tax started - and I learned this at law school - that it is actually well within your patriotic right to try and pay as little tax legally," Cramer said on CNBC's March 12 "Street Signs." "See, tax avoidance is actually part of the IRS - says listen tax avoidance, you can do it. Tax evasion is against the law. Tax avoidance, the IRS has always said listen you have every right to try and have tax avoidance. And believe me, I'm going to take advantage of it."
President Barack Obama encouraged some business interests by mentioning nuclear energy and offshore drilling during his Jan. 27 State of the Union speech. Those less popular energy solutions joined the usual alternative rhetoric of wind, solar and bio-fuels.
But on CNBC's Jan. 28 "Street Signs," Jim Cramer, host of CNBC's "Mad Money" noted something was missing - an important onshore energy source, natural gas. And as for the nuclear energy signals - he wasn't convinced Obama was serious.
"I mean, I want to point out I thought the nuke thing was just the boilerplate nuke," Cramer said. "[Energy Secretary Steven] Chu is a research director, the Energy Secretary, really is more of a professor. Offshore oil and gas, the issue is onshore. Natural gas wasn't mentioned, got to be really careful about that."
Worried about a potential slippery slope with the Obama administration dictating what people are paid in the private sector - TARP bailout or no TARP bailout? Message from CNBC's Jim Cramer: Get over it.
On CNBC's Oct. 21 "Street Signs," the "Mad Money" host ripped into Wall Street executives that objected to the government dictating the rules of compensation. Opponents argue these pay restrictions inhibit Wall Street firms ability to retain the best employees possible - an argument Cramer says doesn't matter.
"Hey, there's no God-given right to work at those companies," Cramer said. "These people can go off if they want to. I know that [Citigroup Inc. Chief Executive] Vikram Pandit has kept 23 of the top 25 people with very severe pay restrictions. If you believe in your institution, you stay. See, a lot of Americans are looking at those pay cuts and thinking, ‘How do I get in on the action?' So I don't really care."
On CNBC's Oct. 15 "Street Signs," Jim Cramer, host of "Mad Money," was asked by fill-in host Melissa Francis what he thought about the outrage over Wall Street hitting its stride, while unemployment continues to rise.
"What did you think about [Morgan Stanley CEO] John Mack's answer to the big question of the day, which is the divergence between Main Street and Wall Street?" Francis asked. "We see Dow 10,000 - bonuses are back at the same time Main Street is in a shambles."
Cramer took a different and unexpected tact by explaining he was a Spartacist, one who believed in a Communism in his youth. But during that time in his life, he said he became very familiar with the teachings of Vladimir Lenin.
We've already seen CNN's Paul Begala, affectionately referred to as "The Forehead" by Rush Limbaugh, and one ESPN personality, Fred Roggin, taking shots at Limbaugh on the heels of news of his interest in the National Football League's St. Louis Rams.
But it was just a matter of time before the usual culprits on the left would attempt to make an issue of it, in what seems to be an effort to gin up some reason for the talk show host not to have an ownership stake in an NFL team. And, MSNBC's Ed Schultz isn't waiting for pointers from the left-wing blogosphere to set the "Stop Rush's Bid for the Rams" agenda. He took it to Limbaugh on his Oct. 6 program immediately.
"There's also some comical football news out there," Schultz said. "The drugster's talking about buying the St. Louis Rams. That's right, the leader of the Republican Party is bidding for ownership of a team that's been giving more money to Democrats than any other team has over the last 10 years, at least that's what the survey says. He'll have to do something about that I'm sure."