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Squawking with Wall St.'s big brains about Fed

What a week! Highlights include Stanley Druckenmiller, Jimmy Dunne, Lloyd Blankfein, Warren Buffett, Brian Moynihan, Meryl Witmer, David Tepper, Barney Frank, Chris Dodd and Captain Underpants! This is Talking Squawk, the official "Squawk Box" blog, providing tidbits, insights and some sarcastic reflections on the WEEK THAT WAS and the WEEK TO COME from the notepad of the show's senior executive producer.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, speaking at a news conference, is seen on a TV screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Getty Images
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, speaking at a news conference, is seen on a TV screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

Bernanke, what the ...

We all know the news by now. The Federal Reserve decided this week not to take its foot off the bond-buying accelerator, as most on Wall Street thought it would.

Here are a few paraphrased sentiments expressed on "Squawk Box" after the Fed's decision Wednesday:

The Fed misled the markets; the Fed's turning investors into QE addicts; the Fed's artificially propping up stocks; the Fed's paying for the party to continue with your children's college fund.

We're not taking sides. But this week, we got to ask some of the most powerful financiers and investors in the world for their take.

That's what we do best—give you access to the best investment minds.

Smart money thoughts

Take hedge fund pioneer Stanley Druckenmiller and investment banking legend Jimmy Dunne, it was fairly easy to figure out where they stood, as they bashed the Fed for not acting. Watch the video.

Of course, if that's not big enough world-famous-super-rich-investor-guru insight for ya, Becky Quick went to Washington to ask Warren Buffett and Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan what they thought about the Fed, the markets, and the economy. Read the full story. They also weighed in on the debt ceiling fight, Obamacare, and financial lawsuits. Read the full story.

Adam Jeffery | CNBC

No Taper, Tepper

Hedge fund titan David Tepper—the guy who started all this "taper" right here on "Squawk Box" back in May—sent us an exclusive update on his thinking Thursday, a day after the Fed's inaction.

Tepper wrote: "The Feds non-taper and forward guidance should give a clear message of what the Fed wants. They are not worried about inflation in the next few years and want growth first, growth second, and growth third. With the stabilization of Europe, the apparent pickup in China (note higher dry bulk index) and a U.S. economy still on reasonable footing, despite a slight slowdown in housing the Fed's apparent heavy leaning to a growth policy should lead to a pretty favorable environment for the markets."

VIP value investor

Meryl Witmer is on the board of Berkshire Hathaway and is a member of the Barron's Roundtable. She was taught by investment legends like Michael Price and Mario Gabelli. She may be one of the most powerful value investors in today's market whom no one really knows. So thank you, Jimmy Dunne, for persuading her to come on "Squawk Box."

Witmer said Thursday that the stock market "doesn't look so cheap" and may be a little bubbly.

Hair nation

We're big fans of hair fun, and we're also big fans of Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of newly named Dow component Goldman Sachs! Combine those two? And you have a real blockbuster: "Lloyd Kernen."

The real Blankfein was sporting that facial hair this week when our Andrew Ross Sorkin caught up with him in Chicago the morning before the Fed nondecision. The Goldman boss said it's time for the Fed to taper, but it should not be as big a deal as investors are making it out to be.

Scott McNealy
Getty Images
Scott McNealy

Dear Scott, tell us how you really feel ...

Scott McNealy, founder of Sun Microsystems, invaded the "Squawk Box" set this week (follow him on Twitter at @ScottMcNealy). The only problem is we had a little trouble getting him to go out on a ledge. Not!

Drawing from his Harvard economics degree, McNealy was all fired up about abolishing the Fed—calling it an "out of control branch of the U.S. government." He also argued that the wealthy should give less, not more, to charity and start businesses instead.

McNealy also talked tech, commenting on the planned Twitter IPO, the new company Wayin that he hopes will be his second act and the future of Silicon Valley.

Dodd Frank-ly

Five years ago this past week, Lehman Brothers collapsed and AIG was bailed out. We reflected on the occasion by reuniting former Sen. Chris Dodd and former Rep. Barney Frank—authors of the most significant legislative action to come from the near financial meltdown: the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

Lesson learned since then? Dodd and Frank said it wasn't Wall Street deregulation that almost sunk us but our failure to regulate in the first place.

Speaking of the 2008 financial crisis ...

Remember Dick Fuld? Maybe not.

But remember James Woods' character in HBO's "Too Big to Fail" (the movie based on Andrew's book by the same name)? Yeah, that guy!

Fuld was the CEO of Lehman Brothers who was convinced that everybody was screwing him over, while the investment bank crashed and burned.

Five years after the crisis, Andrew tracked down the story on where's Dick. Watch the video.

Janet Yellen
Andrew Harrer | Blooberg | Getty Images
Janet Yellen

Gelling with Yellen?

Remember last week's "JA-NET YELL-EN!" chant (see last week's blog)?

Well, it may have worked.

Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers took his name out of the running to become the new Federal Reserve chairman—paving the way for a market rally and the JAN-ET YELL-EN tailgate party. (President Barack Obama hasn't made a decision yet, but Yellen, the Fed's No. 2, is now seen at the new front-runner for the top job.)

So far, no known runs on Janet Yellen football jerseys on eBay. But there's still time!

Cramer Clip

Here's Jim's take on the taper delay, Tepper, Druckenmiller, gold, and more. Watch the video.

Earnings on Tap

Captain Underpants! (aka our very own @andrewrsorkin)

Andrew promoted this article on Twitter:

(Five years ago, he wrote "Too Big to Fail." It's the bible of the financial crisis. Then he joins "Squawk Box," and now he's writing about men's underwear. Hmmm?!)

Squawkward Moments (discussing Andrew's above underwear column)

Andrew: "I have it on now."

Joe: "Can I touch it?"

Andrew: "Sure."

Must follow them @

I forgot her last week. So now she gets to shine all by herself. Our very own news associate, "freshly minted" Bowdoin grad @melodyhahm. Melody does a lot of our @SquawkCNBC show tweets and facebook.com/SquawkCNBC posts in addition to her TV job. (Please follow her fast before she bolts on me and decides to go back to grad school!)

Tweets of note

@Carney wrote:

Geez those @CNBCNetNet guys really know how to get crazy! The must have been really popular in high school.

(But seriously, thanks guys for giving our Web producer @Matt_SquawkCNBC some props last week on his story, TARP didn't save banks, it ruined them: Kovacevich.)

Meanwhile, @beckyquickcnbc tweeted:

Sorry, John Carney and Jeff Cox, I take it back. The "Squawk" anchors are just as bad!

Finally, from @SeemaCNBC:

Joe points out they must be very excited about it. Why else would you unveil your new flagship product on a Wednesday in Kuala Lumpur?

Overheard on the set

Anchor 1: "Penthouse filed for Chapter 11?"

Anchor 2: "I guess sex no longer sells."

Anchor 3: "Of course not, want me to show you how to get it for free on the Internet?"

What's a Mooncusser?

Steve Liesman is Squawk's official economic guru (like for over 10 years now)! But he's also the show's official fly fisherman. We let him post his pictures here from time to time (it keeps him happy).

But lately he hasn't been doing much fishing. He's been too busy with the "Mooncussers." Yes that's the name of one of his bands. So now I also have to plug his gigs to keep him happy.

Watch video of Steve doing his thing on stage.

So here we go…

This Saturday, "Steve Liesman and the Mooncussers" (nice name) head back to one of their favorite places to usher in the fall. It will be an eclectic, acoustic and electric evening at MTK Tavern in Mt. Kisco, N.Y., with the Mooncussers on a double bill with The Shaves. Music starts at 9. Food is great. Mooncussers open, followed by The Shaves and then a third set with everyone.

Click here for the Facebook event page.

Fish stories

So in place of Liesman's usual contribution to our fish stories, we'll give ya a look at another Squawker's fish pics. This one courtesy of 7 a.m. ET "Squawk Box" producer Matt Greco (follow him at @MGreco27).

Last weekend, Matt had "an epic day" of porgy and fluke fishing. He captains the 17 foot "4-Reel" out of Raritan Bay (between New York and New Jersey). She's a mighty fine vessel and a Superstorm Sandy survivor!

Word Jumble

Joe and Becky love to play the word jumble in the paper (seven years running after the show when they're not too busy or somebody's off). Joe won three times to Becky's one. Joe's bonus jumbled word of the week is FCEADH. Becky's is ZBREYE.

*Answers at the end

Mark your calendar (or set your DVR)

  • Monday: Steven Rattner, former Auto Czar
  • Tuesday: Michael Price, Evercore Partners; and David Darst, Morgan Stanley
  • Wednesday: Harry Wilson, MAEVA Group CEO
  • Thursday: Saira Malik, TIAA-CREF
  • Friday: Barry Knapp, Barclays

Next Week's Economic Calendar

It's going to be a quiet week on the economic front. Things really don't get going until Wednesday with August Durable Goods. Thursday brings weekly Jobless Claims for the week ending Sept. 21 and the third estimate of second-quarter gross domestic product. Friday, we get August Personal Income and Spending reports. It's all scheduled for 8:30 a.m. ET each day.

The "Corny-Sappy Motivational Business-Based Inspirational Quote" for the weekend

"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."
—Thomas A. Edison

—By CNBC's Matthew Quayle. Follow him on Twitter @matthew_quayle.

*Joe's Jumble Bonus Word answer: FCEADH=chafed

*Becky's Jumble Bonus Word answer: ZBREYE=breezy

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