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Monday, March 30, 2009

Why did Dylan Ratigan leave CNBC ?

Dylan Ratigan is no longer listed at host of CNBC's "Fast Money" nor is his picture on the Fast Money web page.

Dylan hosted the show Thursday March 26th and was gone on Friday March 27th with Melissa Lee as the fill-in host.

From TVNewser:
"More details are emerging about the abrupt departure of Dylan Ratigan from CNBC. We just got off the phone with CNBC spokesperson Brian Steel who says, "Dylan has told us he is leaving effective today."

In what was a mutual decision, Steel tells TVNewser, "Due to the serious economic times in which we live, we made a decision that it would be a distraction for Dylan to host 'Fast Money' today."

My Theory why Dylan left without a goodbye to his audience

Dylan Ratigan may have gotten too close to the truth with
this radio interview
where he compared the people making money at the major investment banks to the crooks at Enron. He gives very clear details how "people" sold insurance for faulty investment products, kept the fees for the policies but had insufficient reserves to pay the claims most anyone with a brain should have expected given they were making loans to people who we knew could not pay them back once rates adjusted up or housing prices fell.Marketwatch media columnist Jon Friedman writes Monday about the departure of “Fast Money” anchor Dylan Ratigan from CNBC based on an interview he had with Ratigan on Sunday.

Friedman writes, “On Sunday, 36-year-old Ratigan stressed three points:

“1) He had and continues to have great affection for CNBC, despite what some blogs say, 2) his goal is to communicate his concern for America’s financial mess and, 3) he hasn’t already arranged to jump to another TV network.

“‘I’m leaving CNBC in order to pursue this story with the broadest possible footprint,’ he said.

“He added: ‘People are going to jump to a conclusion that this is about CNBC. It’s not — it’s about me.
Dylan Ratigan, the host of CNBC's "Fast Money," had just stepped out of his apartment in lower Manhattan on Sunday afternoon when a stranger stopped him. Recognizing Ratigan immediately, the man cut short a cell phone conversation and extended his hand.
"Go get 'em!" he told Ratigan, who in turn smiled politely at his new friend, made some small talk and moved on.
"Ever since this started," he told me with a self-deprecating grin, "people think I'm some kind of (bleeping) Che Guevara!"
By "this," Ratigan was referring to the barrage of speculation that he will leave CNBC after five years. His contract with CNBC, a unit of General Electric (GE:General Electric Company
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For now, Ratigan smiles at the scuttlebutt. "If I don't know yet what I'm going to do," he says, "how can anyone else be so sure?"
Regardless of whether that might sound like a negotiating ploy, Ratigan has always been very ambitious. He once told me that his dream job was to be a late-night talk-show host. See previous column.
There seems little doubt that Ratigan will want to remain in television. CNBC might decide to play hardball and make it difficult for him to join another network right away. It certainly wouldn't want to see one of its celebrities go off to a different TV operation.
Ratigan's star could rise to even greater heights elsewhere -- and he might also bring his fans with him, something that could hurt CNBC's ratings.
CNBC is the No. 1 business-news TV network. But audiences can be fickle. The Fox Business Network (which, like MarketWatch, the publisher of this column, is owned by News Corp.) and Bloomberg Television are intent on pressing CNBC.
The CNBC-Ratigan affair is a fascinating game of high-stakes poker, being played by two very determined parties. And who will blink first? Both sides are trying hard to take the high road, at this point, but TV is a business driven by large egos and big money.
When he talked with me about his prospects, Ratigan used the phrase, "I'm leaving CNBC because ..." several times, indicating that he was headed for the door. Still, I suspect that if CNBC offered to continue the negotiations, he'd listen. It's possible a deal could yet be worked out.
Right now, the network seems to believe that Ratigan is about to depart. When I asked CNBC spokesman Brian Steel if he wanted to offer a comment to this column, he made it sound like Ratigan and the network were on the verge of parting ways.
"We thank him for all of his quality contributions and wish him well," Steel told me by email late on Sunday afternoon.
Ratigan would be the second high-profile CNBC figure to make headlines recently for leaving. It was widely reported that Jonathan Wald, the network's leading news executive, had a contract dispute with the network. Officially, Wald's last day is March 31.
Ratigan declined to discuss his contract in detail and insisted that another deal is not in place. CNBC would miss Ratigan, too, and so might many viewers. He stands out because of his ebullience and great knowledge of the financial markets.

What do you think? Why would he vanish without a word or a farewell party?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Rick Wagoner asked ( From Obama Administration ) to resign from GM ? On Monday ?

GM CEO Rick Wagner has agreed to resign at the Obama Administration's request. Wagner was not the best choice for CEO of GM at this time and his departure will be celebrated by many in the auto industry. The other half of the problem is UAW President Ron Gettelfinger. Will the Obama Administration call on Gettelfinger to resign? Would he be half the man Wagner is if his resignation would help?

GM CEO resigns at Obama's behest

The Obama administration asked Rick Wagoner, the chairman and CEO of General Motors, to step down and he agreed, a White House official said.

Wagoner's departure is one of the remarkable strings attached to a new aid package the administration plans to offer GM.

The White House confirmed Wagoner was leaving at the government's behest after The Associated Press reported his immediate departure, without giving a reason.

On Monday, President Obama is to unveil his plans for the auto industry, including a response to a request for additional funds by GM and Chrysler. (excerpt) read more at

Saturday, March 28, 2009

When will the Recession be over ?? 2009,2010,2011,2012,2013 ?

The economy has got to turn around soon. But how the heck will we know when the turn has come?
Here are five key signs that we at MSN Money will be watching for, plus some extras from experts and a couple from just plain folks eager to see some evidence of a recovery.
1) Indexes start rising
There was a flicker of good news in February, when the Economic Cycle Research Institute's Weekly Leading Index rose for the first time in six weeks.
Expert: Is a recovery coming?
The index, a composite of daily and weekly data on economic drivers of the business cycle, including corporate profits and housing activity, is still looking pretty weak, said Lakshman Achuthan, the managing director at ECRI, but it has stopped falling, and there has been some stabilization since mid-December.
"When these leading indexes begin to start rising, that will be a very clear and, as importantly, a very objective sign of a recovery," Achuthan said.
Detailed information about the institute's research is available only to subscribers, but the leading index is frequently mentioned in news reports and is worth following as a reliable indicator of key changes in the business cycle.
Talk back: How will you know the recession is over?
Another statistic worth following is consumer spending. That is already showing some signs of life. Consumer spending constitutes about 70% of the U.S. economy. When consumers spend, the economy grows. Consumer spending rose 0.6% in January, after a 1% decrease in December and a 0.8% drop in November.
2) Cardboard boxes are in demand
Cargo and cardboard are two heavy-duty industrial signals to watch.
The Baltic Dry Index is an assessment of the price of moving raw materials on cargo ships around the world. When the world economy is fading, shipping gets cheaper. When growth returns, shipping costs more. The index has shown some improvement this year, after sinking to a 22-year low in early December.
"In terms of a glimmer of hope, a tap has been turned," said Michael Gaylard, a derivatives broker at Freight Investor Services.
"The fundamentals -- the raw materials needed that are paramount to infrastructure rebuilding and investment around the globe -- they're starting to move," Gaylard said. "Once the flows that we've seen in the past few weeks start to have some continuity to them, then the market will rebuild. The turnaround has started, but it's going to be a long and slow process."Then-Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan used to watch the cardboard box business as an indicator of industrial production. About 75% of all nondurable goods are shipped in corrugated cardboard boxes; when demand for boxes is high, that's a sign that the economy is doing well.
3) Diamonds are forever . . . again
Jewelry sales are a leading indicator of recovery in the retail sector, according to Mike Niemira, the chief economist at the International Council of Shopping Centers. So what better store to watch than Tiffany (TIF, news, msgs)?
Sales of engagement rings have been down in recent months, said Mark Aaron, the company's vice president of investor relations.
"It's not that people don't fall in love during a recession," Aaron said, "It's whether they're making that commitment and buying a $10,000 engagement ring and making wedding plans.
"When people start to feel a little more secure about their jobs, when the stock market starts to stabilize, that might be enough to help restore confidence. If we see greater interest in the big-ticket items and a pickup in store traffic, that will be encouraging."
4) Restaurants are bubbly
There was no obvious sign of a recession at BLT Steak in New York City on a recent Thursday night. The tables were full, and the bar was packed.
But co-owner Keith Treyball said he has seen some pullback among his customers. He said he'll know the recession is ending when the most-affluent diners stop ordering the $150 bottles of wine they've been drinking lately and start ordering the $300 bottles they drank when the economy was stronger.
The wine indicator
Some restaurateurs have already seen signs of recovery.
Valentine's Day, traditionally a big one for restaurants, was even bigger for Wolfgang Puck's restaurants this year: Sales were up 25% across the board, said Tom Kaplan, the senior managing partner of Wolfgang Puck's Fine Dining Group.
Some in the restaurant business see sales of Champagne as a leading indicator. If you buy that, there's hope, as bubbly remains very popular at hip bars, nightclubs and hotels, said Stephen Brauer, the general manager of wines and champagnes at Pernod Ricard (PDRDY, news, msgs).
"You have the 25- to 35-year-olds who do not have mortgages and children in college who continue to spend money and enjoy themselves," Brauer said. "You do not have to go to the bank and get a loan to enjoy a great bottle (of Champagne)."
5) Little splurges are back in style
Here's another sign of life. Murray's Cheese Shop in Greenwich Village was packed on my last visit. I'd never seen it so crowded.Some glass-half-empty folks might say people were buying cheese for a night in, instead going out to dinner, but Murray's, which Forbes named the world's best cheese store, does not sell Kraft (KFT, news, msgs) singles. Cheese lovers end up spending $20 for a hunk of cheese. I did.
And people are still lining up for cupcakes at New York City's Magnolia Bakery. The bakery, which recently opened two more stores, has seen sales of its $2.50 cupcakes continually rise.
Strong sales of small indulgences demonstrate Americans still like to treat themselves and may soon be ready to move on to bigger treats.
Our own economic indicators
So what are other people watching?
Mike McLaughlin, an Asics sneaker salesman and an avid golfer from New Jersey, said he'll know things are improving when tee times become more expensive and harder to get.
Jen Sundstrom, a pharmaceutical sales representative in Philadelphia, will know when she finds herself back at Whole Foods Market (WFMI, news, msgs) for all of her grocery shopping.
Eric Goldberg, a regular at BLT Steak's bar, said his indicator is "the amount of time it takes to get a seat at the bar at BLT Steak." It's been easier to find a seat because fewer people have been out, he said.
Readers, take note: Goldberg stood the whole night.
Other people said they'd know a recovery was coming when they:
Upgraded to a bigger flat-screen television.
Saw lawyers working until 2 a.m. again.
Replaced generic dog food with organic brands.
Bought Starbucks (SBUX, news, msgs) lattes again.
Rejoined a gym and purchased sessions with a personal trainer.
Had more trouble catching a cab in New York City.
The taxicab indicator
David Zelman of housing research firm Zelman & Associates says he'll know the recession is over when he stops watching CNBC all day.
Where's the remote?

Monday, March 9, 2009

what company will replace CITI on the Dow Jones ?

With Citi shares trading below $1, the first time since 1970 that a “penny stock” traded on the Dow Jones Industrial Average, it is widely expected that it will be removed from the index.
“The company was added to the Dow in 1997 when it was still known as Travelers, and the last company to be removed from the Dow was AIG last September (when its stock hovered above $1) and was replaced by Kraft Foods.
“It’s also expected that General Motors may be removed from the Dow. GM shares are trading slightly above $1 and there’s speculation it may be headed toward bankruptcy.
“There are other stocks in the Dow that are now a part of Wall Street’s Dollar Menu. In fact, there are currently five Dow stocks trading in the single digit range.
“Who will take their place in the Dow? Mostly likely, another company whose stock is faring better or relatively better in this recessionary environment.
“There aren’t too many of those but if I had to guess, I’d say it would have to be a company with a strong brand name and one that is viewed as influential. Also, one whose shares aren’t trading in the single digits.
“On the technology front, Apple and Google are possible contenders. In the pharmaceuticals/biotech world, perhaps Abbot Labs, Amgen, Bristol, Genentech and Gilead Sciences could be considerations. If terms of other industries and companies, perhaps Monsanto or Amazon?
“Some might argue about the relevance of the Dow as it doesn’t accurately depict what’s happening in the markets because of its limited number of stocks and because it is price-weighted rather than market-value weighted like the S&P 500.
“However, there is still a prestige factor involved in being part of this elite group and any company added would see a boost in volume and possibly price.
“The top editor at The Wall Street Journal, which is published by Dow Jones, decides on changes to the index. It was reported (by Reuters) that they are currently monitoring the situation ‘closely.’
“Who do you think should be included in the Dow and why?”

USA Economy Falls off a Cliff ? Warren Buffet States on CNBC ! Watch Here for free !

Friday, March 6, 2009

Recovery Signs from the recession, now here ?

3 of 5 recovery signs in place
D. Pett, Financial Post

With North American markets down more than 50% from their peaks, talk this week has turned again to the possibility that stocks are ready to rebound.
On Tuesday, Barack Obama, the U. S. President, declared that stock markets have bottomed and as indexes bounced on Wednesday, market analysts the world over jumped into the discussion, claiming a "bear market rally" was under way.
But based on yesterday's broad-based retreat that saw Canada's top exchange fall almost 200 points and the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 both drop more than 4%, prognosticators may have spoken too soon.
In fact a report from Credit Suisse this week claims a recovery, even in the short term, appears unlikely until certain conditions are in place.
"All in all, three of the five preconditions for a bear market rally are in place," said U. K.-based analyst Andrew Garthwaite in a note to clients. "Ultimately, however, we believe all five preconditions are needed."
The first building block to a bear market rally that appears to be in place is the presence of high cash levels sitting on the sidelines. Mr. Garthwaite noted that U. S. money market mutual funds are worth roughly US$4-trillion currently and account for 40% of total market capitalization. And for the first time since 1993, they represent a greater value than U. S. equity mutual funds.
Second, the analyst is encouraged by a turnaround in the best U.S. lead indicators.
Third, credit spreads appear to be stabilizing and improving, with corporate bond issues picking up over the past few months.
Holding back the bear market rally, on the other hand, is the pending peak in U. S. housing inventories and the all-important point of investor capitulation.
Mr. Garthwaite says existing home inventories will likely peak in the second quarter.
As for investors reaching a capitulation point, Mr. Garthwaite says technical indicators remain mixed. NYSE stocks trading above their 10-week average seems to have capitulated, the analyst says, while the VIX index, a measure of market volatility, earnings breadth and market breadth all indicate a lower level of stress than three months ago.
Equity risk appetite, equity sentiment and insider buying, three other key indicators, have not capitulated, however.
Despite Mr. Garthwaite's belief that a bear-market rally is not imminent until all of the preconditions mentioned are satisfied, he remains confident that governments and corporations have the right policies in place to help turn markets before they get much worse.
"We are reluctant to be negative on equities when the market is more oversold than at any time in the last 70 years and has experienced the biggest peak-to-trough decline since the Depression (in real and nominal terms)," he said
"While the outlook for GDP growth is the worst it has been since the 1930s, this does not mean the equity market has to be as cheap as it was in the 1930s

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