What a week! BlackRock boss Larry Fink and House budget guru Paul Ryan basically told us, "good luck retiring!" We also sliced and diced (pun intended) China's big move on U.S. pork. This is Talking Squawk—your backstage pass to "Squawk Box."
Golden Years in Peril?
Larry Fink runs BlackRock, which manages more money than the GDP of many sovereign countries. Paul Ryan runs the House Budget Committee.
Fink and Ryan each gave us an hour in the guest host chairs on Wednesday and did one joint segment on America's coming retirement crisis. Conclusions? Fix this problem fast or stop trying to live longer, healthier lives.
"We are going to have to start thinking about ways of creating a different type of mandatory savings policy," Fink said, pointing out that Social Security was never meant to be a savings plan. (video)
"Even the highest earner only receives $24,000 from Social Security, and yet 70 percent of Americans' income during retirement comes from Social Security," he said.
Ryan also called the revelations in the IRS scandal "chilling" (story and video), and agreed with Apple CEO Tim Cook that corporate tax reform is needed. (video) Some buzz on Ryan: He's already reaching out to his base in New York media circles for 2016. Here's the story on Page Six.
Fink also told us that this bull market for stocks has a long, long way to run! Dow 28,000 anyone? (story and video)
Warning! Party Poopers
Speaking of market rallies, Squawk co-host Joe Kernen goes off on the USA Today for putting the bull market in stocks and housing on its front page Wednesday. (Thanks a lot guys. It's a great way to kill a party.)
THE Jack Grubman
We didn't believe it until we saw it. But the former 1990s superstar telecom analyst, who famously fell from grace, reappeared on the Squawk set after a decade of silence. (video)
'The Other White Meat'
Virginia-based pork producer Smithfield Foods is being sought by a Chinese firm known as "Shineway" in what some say is an indication that the world's second-largest economy no longer trusts the safety or taste of its own pork lo mein. Congress plans to review this buyout on national security grounds in a late night session by ordering Chinese takeout. Joe got worried when he heard China has its own National Pork Reserve (video).
Talking about Tim Cook's comments at the D11 tech conference about "wearable technology," Squawk co-host Andrew Ross Sorkin mentioned he had an example of wearable technology on his left wrist. Joe then wondered about the other wrist. You know where this is going ... (video on our Facebook page)
It's been well-documented here on Talking Squawk that hosts Becky Quick and Joe love to play the word jumble in the paper after the show—seven years running, in fact, and Becky has the weekly handwritten scores to prove it!
On this holiday-shortened week, Becky won twice and Joe won once.
The word Becky "stumbled on when jumbled" was KAAILL=alkali. Joe had trouble with SIVINO=vision, ETOGOS=stooge, and ATAFOL=afloat.
Let's give them both a bonus word.
Joe's bonus jumbled word of the week: EILRIBATR
Becky's bonus jumbled word of the week: ROSEHAES
*Answers at the end
Hair Nation (courtesy of Director @pauldefabo and our "Twitterless" Technical Director Keith Falcone)
We try to have some fun in the control room. This week, we saw Joe auditioning to be Ryan's running mate in 2016. Check out that hair!
Overheard on the Set
The Wall Street Journal points out that we, as a society, have lost the ability to make eye contact. The biggest reason, of course, is we are too busy looking at our smartphones. Or, as Joe wisecracked during the commercial break, "It could be just because you are ugly!"
Tweets of Note
(A sinister plot perhaps for New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg to start a campaign to ban all cars and gas stations?)
Must Follow @benmezrich
The author of the book the movie "The Social Network" was based on is a good friend of the show. He stopped by the Squawk set this week to discuss his new book "Straight Flush," an inspired-by-a-true-story tale of American college buddies who build an online poker empire in Costa Rica, only to see it all fall apart (video). We also talked to the boss of America's first legal, real-money, online poker site (video).
Mark Your Calendar (or Set Your DVR)
- Monday: Larry Bossidy, former Honeywell CEO and former Apple CEO John Sculley
- Tuesday: Arthur Brooks, president of AEI and Bob Lutz, former GM vice chairman and former Chrysler president
- Wednesday: Ed Lazear of Stanford University and Robert Engle, 2003 Nobel Laureate Economics
- Thursday: Barry Sternlicht, Starwood Capital CEO, and Paul Reilly, Raymond James Financial CEO
- Friday: T.J. Rodgers, Cypress Semiconductor CEO), and Nigel Travis, Dunkin Brands CEO
Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
Don't forget, next Friday is the May Employment Report at 8:30 a.m. ET. Yes, it's super important and often moves the markets, but on Squawk we'll most certainly OVER-analyze it to the point of beyond nausea.
*Joe's Jumble Bonus Word answer: EILRIBATR=irritable
*Becky's Jumble Bonus Word answer: ROSEHAES=seashore