What a week! Highlights include Warren Buffett, the latest jobs report, Apple bonds, a Facebook mobile ad boost, lingerie for men (gross!), Joe Kernen's new BFF Bradley Cooper, Simpson-Bowles 2.0, and billionaire financier Ron Perelman. We're "Talking Squawk"—the blog from the notepad of the senior executive producer of "Squawk Box" devoted to analyzing (sometimes sarcastically) the WEEK THAT WAS and the WEEK TO COME.
The Real Ron Perelman
Is that really "THE" Ronald Perelman on the Squawk set? We didn't believe it until we saw it for ourselves. He talked about everything from corporate earnings, to jobs, to Spotify, to why he turned on President Barack Obama. (story & video interview)
Warren Buffett: Stocks, Fed, Jobs
A big weekend for the so-called Oracle of Omaha. Tens of thousands of the Warren Buffett-faithful will make the yearly pilgrimage to Berkshire's hometown in Nebraska for the company's shareholder weekend.
He spoke to Squawk before the annual meeting about possibly more Fed bond-buying, his stake in IBM, and finally joining Twitter (story).
(Buffett will be live with Becky Quick for three hours on Monday's "Squawk Box" from 6 a.m. ET to 9 a.m. ET. Microsoft's Bill Gates will join the conversation during the third hour.)
Meanwhile, Buffett told us ahead of Friday's Employment Report that he didn't think we'd see a high number.
Though when the government released the numbers, they were better than expectations: Non-farm payrolls rose 165,000, while the unemployment rate dropped to 7.5 percent.
Simpson Bowles 2.0 (Courtesy of Squawk Producer @ColonelGlasses)
He's the "Destroyer of Debt."
The "Admiral of Austerity."
The "Deficit Doomsayer."
The "Colossus of Cuts!"
Joe just discovered the iPhone last month. Becky still uses a BlackBerry. They are technology dinosaurs. Thankfully, Andrew Ross Sorkin understands this stuff. Here's his interview with the CEO of VOX Media (video)
Tech Block: iBonds
Question: What's the No. 1 rule of any business news editor these days? Answer: Figure out how to get an Apple story into your product everyday.
So … Apple issued "iBonds" this week. It's probably going to be the largest nonbank bond sale in history. (There, I worked it in—happy!?)
Tech Block: Facebook Stock
It appears Facebook may have figured something out. In the world of business, if you learn how to bring in money, (revenue) life becomes easier (video)
Joe and Becky love to play the Word Jumble in the paper. Who can solve it first? (Geeks!) Becky left already for Omaha, so they only played three days this week.
Weekly scoreboard: Becky one win, Joe two.
Words Joe stumbled on when jumbled: GAUTOE (outage)
Words Becky stumbled on when jumbled: GUNYO (young)
Let's give them both a bonus word:
Joe's bonus jumbled word of the week: RDECGO
Becky's bonus jumbled word of the week: TPESRWINN
*Answers at the end
News Tidbits You Can (Kind-of) Use
1. The European Central Bank cut interest rates (I don't know if anybody believes it's going to help).
2. President Barack Obama nominated Penny Pritzker as Commerce secretary (I'm not sure if anybody really knows what the Commerce secretary does).
The Fed did almost nothing this week, unless of course you want to argue for hours about the definition of the words "or" and "may." (Where's CNBC's economy guru Steve Liesman!?) Sure, it looks like QE3 will be here for a long, long, long, long, long, long time. Get used to it.
On "Squawk Box," some of us believe a bad day fishing is still better than a good day at the office. (For the record, I would never say that, I love my work and can't get enough.)
But "others" on the show don't always show that same enthusiasm and want an outlet to display their triumphs over things that many scientists say have no "conscious awareness" with brains smaller than frogs. (Apologies to our family goldfish, Goldy 1 and Goldy 2)
Liesman (another shoutout?!) sent us in a picture of his first "keeper" striper of the year.
Table for Two?
We all know both Joe and Andrew live for good reservations on Friday nights. But to truly show you their desperation, watch them do a "double-team celebrity suck-up" to uber chef Mario Batali just to get a table at "Babbo" or "Eataly."
Squawkward Moment-Hair Nation Mashup!
Joe and Becky ponder the story about an underwear firm launching a lingerie line for men and the conversation goes straight downhill from there. (video)
Meanwhile, Joe and Andrew have a pillow fight in "men's lingerie." (photo)
Cramer and Kernen talk about the strong jobs number and the go-go stock market!(video)
Mark Your Calendar (or Set Your DVR)
- Monday: Becky has a "special secret guest" from a secret location in a state somewhere between Iowa and Wyoming. Tune in at 6 a.m. ET! (Yes, it's, Warren Buffett!)
- Tuesday: Stephen Rattner, chairman of Willett Advisors (guest host)
- Wednesday: James Woolery, Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft
Tweets of Note
@squawkstreet: Iron Man rings the @NYSEEuronext Opening Bell #RobertDowneyJr pic.twitter.com/1W0lnKhgkZ
(Tony Stark is the man!)
@USATODAY: Who knew a hurricane on Saturn could be so beautiful? http://usat.ly/YjqUoQ pic.twitter.com/7SRm5zm7y1
(Sci-Fi geeks like me love this stuff. The eye alone is 1,250 miles wide, with winds of 330mph!)
@joekernenshair: BREAKING: I still look amazing and Krugman is clueless.
(Sometimes this account channels Joe better than Joe himself.)
Must Follow Them @ …
(Ben White writes Politico's "Morning Money." My must read every morning.)
(One of my favorite restaurants on Long Beach Island, N.J. This week marked six months since Superstorm Sandy hit the Jersey shore.)
Best Friends Forever!
Joe's new BFF Bradley Cooper at the White House Correspondent's Dinner. Let the "bro-mance" begin!
Squawk Sports: Renovating Wrigley Field
Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts joined us with his plan to remake one of the most historic ballparks in the game. But really, they haven't won the World Series since 1908. So what's the difference? Ouch! (video)
Squawk Sports: College Football Playoffs or Bowls?
Listen to the commissioner of the Big 12 explain the model for developing a playoff system, while still keeping the Bowls. (video)
OK, time to type in my best "pucker up to the boss" language.
Our fearless leader, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts joined the Squawkers after the mother ship reported stellar first quarter financial results. It was easily some of the best business television we seen all year. (story)
How was that?
The "Corny-Sappy Motivational Business-Based Inspirational Quote" for the Weekend
"We are currently not planning on conquering the world." – Sergey Brin, Google co-founder
Here's to not selling in May, and not going away. See you Monday for three hours with The Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffett Live!
*Joe's Bonus Word Jumble Answer: RDECGO (codger)
*Becky's Bonus WORD Jumble Answer: TPESRWINN (newsprint)