Talking Squawk, the official "Squawk Box" blog, provides 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.
Upside down world
The government can't get the economy moving out of its funk. The Fed's estimates are still not matching up with reality (Google: "non-taper"). So why is it so hard to figure this economy out? Maybe it's because this economy just doesn't work the way we all learned back in "Econ 101."
Case in point: I don't remember reading in college about examples of major Japanese automakers building Japanese cars in the U.S., so they can export them to Latin America. But as Jim Lentz, president of Toyota North America, told us this week, that's exactly what is happening.
Under the minivan
Buying a car can be a very different experience for women than for men. TrueCar claims it can level the playing field. True or just sexist? Check out our segment with Jane Wells. (And notice 5:54 into the video how Becky throws her husband under the minivan on national television, and then backs-up to make sure she got him. I sure do feel sorry for that guy.)
No middle ground
Washington is a big problem? There's no longer room for the middle ground, according to Peter Orszag, former Obama OMB director and now vice chairman of global banking at Citigroup. He came on the show Thursday and summed up why our beloved government is so screwed up.
Banking on bitcoin
OK, is it bad to admit that we really don't get it? Bitcoin that's is. It's a digital currency, we think, sort of, maybe. Apparently there is a bitcoin fund. You can invest in "bits"? Help! Here's Barry Silbert, CEO of SecondMarket, trying to explain this product to us. Good luck!
Bezos: "Be interesting"
On "Squawk Box" Jeff Bezos means one thing: the old Bezos laugh track tape from the 1990s that we keep bringing out periodically. But our Jon Fortt caught up with him this week, and got more than just a laugh out of him.
Amazon's upcoming high-end tablet, the Kindle Fire HDX, won't make money, Bezos told Jon. "We think we're better aligned with our customers if we make money when people use our devices, not when they buy them." (Huh?)
Tom Lee ... market maestro
In past editions of Talking Squawk, we have pointed out how right JPMorgan's Tom Lee has been about the market (and what a good sport he is—remember that USA Today photo?). This week, he gave us some reason to feel OK about the Fed's recent lack of action. He views it as a market insurance policy for the upcoming budget battle on Capitol Hill.
Ribs for breakfast
We've never seen Joe so excited (and hungry) about anything we've done on TV, as when we had Evan Andrews from Ohio live in studio. So who is Evan Andrews? He runs the Montgomery Inn, home of the original "Ribs King."
Apple said it sold 9 million iPhones in three days. Just for you math geeks out there, follow me. There are 86,400 seconds in a day. Now, we can multiply that by three and you get 259,200 seconds in three days. Now take 9 million, and divide it by 259,200 and you get 34.72 iPhones sold every second. Conservative estimates have Apple bringing in about $5 billion in revenue over those three days.
Bye bye BlackBerry?
At the same time, BlackBerry has agreed to go private in a $4.7 billion deal. So Apple generated more revenue in three days than what the entire company of BlackBerry will sell for? Memo to Becky Quick: It's time to finally ditch the Dinosaur. (T-Mobile announced this week they won't even carry them in their stores anymore.)
Tweet of note
Fortune's @danprimack wrote about why BlackBerry canceled its quarterly results conference call.
Maybe $BBRY canceled the call because it was all prepared to brag about its T-Mobile store distribution numbers.
(This whole thing makes me sad. I loved my BlackBerry, too. But I also loved CDs, yet I finally converted to iTunes. I loved film, yet I finally converted to digital photography. Becky you can to it! Down with the keyboard!)
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, made it 21 hours, 19 minutes talking on the Senate floor in his protest of Obamacare. But he found time to read Dr. Seuss's "Green Eggs and Ham" to his kids as a bedtime story because he couldn't be home.
As we mentioned, a conservative estimate had Apple generating about $5 billion in revenues in three days selling the new iPhones. If we convert that into "Apple math," Apple could have generated approximately $1.35 billion in revenue during Cruz's very long speech.
Squawk on the Hill
BTW, in the middle of that 21 hour marathon, did anybody catch Sen. Mark Rubio, R-Fla., on the Senate floor referencing "Squawk Box?"
So @marcorubio considers @SquawkCNBC and my article on #Obamacare a must see! He said so on senate floor! Link: http://www.cnbc.com/id/101055088 Here's the story he was talking about
Here's the video of Rubio reading from Matt's article.
The rich and famous have homes for skiing, homes for sunbathing, boats bigger than homes, camps for flying fishing and hunting retreats larger than small states.
But now, in the latest trend for people who have too much money to spend, how about a home for the end of the world?
News tidbits you can (kind-of) use
Americans expect to spend less on Halloween this year. The National Retail Federation expects 158 million people to participate in Halloween activities this year. That's down from 170 million last year. We attribute the shortfall to CNBC's refusal to make official Becky, Joe, and Andrew's costumes (it's what all the cool kids want)!
Check out Jim and Joe diving into why the market has suddenly hit the pause button (Hint ... Think government shutdown).
Joe and Andrew out to lunch
Check out our own BFFs making the rounds at Michael's on Wednesday (FYI: Michael's is the New York City power lunch hot spot).
Joe and Becky love to play the word jumble in the paper. It's a seven-year grudge match that takes place after the show. Becky won this week: Three wins to Joe's two.
Here's Joe's bonus jumbled word of the week: RSOIEN. Here's Becky's word: LRTIAE
*Answers at the end
Must Follow Them @
Let's throw some Twitter love to some of this week's guests who tweet a lot including, AthenaHealth's @Jonathan_Bush, @porszag, @SenBobCorker, @MarkWarner, @GovEdRendell, @joelockhart, @Convertbond, @SteveRattner, @milesnadal, and @morningmoneyben.
Mark your calendar (or set your DVR)
- Monday: Steve Case, former AOL chief; Dan Gilbert, chairman of Quicken Loans
- Tuesday: Legendary Investor Bill Miller of Legg Mason
- Wednesday: James Millstein, CEO of Millstein & Co.; debt master Erskine Bowles
- Thursday: Hank Paulson, former George W. Bush Treasury secretary
- Friday: Jobs Friday with Greg Ip from The Economist
Next Week's Economic Calendar
- Tuesday: Auto Sales (Sept.)
- Wednesday: ADP Employment Report (Sept.)
- Thursday: Jobless Claims (week of 9/28)
- Friday: Jobs Friday! Nonfarm Payrolls Report (Sept.)
The "corny-sappy motivational business-based inspirational quote" for the weekend
"Only when the tide goes out do you discover who's been swimming naked."
*Joe's Jumble Bonus Word answer: RSOIEN=senior
*Becky's Jumble Bonus Word answer: LRTIAE=retail