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'Talking Dead' with Michonne; whassup; and blame the NFL

Thursday, 20 Feb 2014 | 12:50 PM ET

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.

WhatsApp screens for Android
Source: Google Play
WhatsApp screens for Android

Whassup?!

So $16 billion to text for free on the Internet? That's what Facebook is spending to buy WhatsApp in a huge bet to capture and keep young people on a Facebook-owned platform.

We eventually did plenty of analysis.

But of course the first thing we thought of when the deal was announced was not the $16 billion price tag, or the future of Facebook or of mobile.

For us, the only thing we could think of was ... Whassup?—you know, that catchy slacker phrase from those old Budweiser commercials.

Of course, we played that sound about 500 times Thursday. We also got serious and started asking top analysts for their thoughts on the shocking price and what's really at the heart of the deal for Facebook.

It's the NFL's fault!

You've got to check this guy out.

CNBC's Michelle Caruso-Cabrera interviewed Jillert Anema, the Dutch speedskating coach, from Sochi on Thursday.

Talking about why the U.S. didn't win any metals in the sport, he said it's not Under Armour's fault for making a bad suit but blames America's "narrow-mindedness" and obsession with football.

Medal envy: Football Joe vs. Dutch coach
CNBC's Michelle Caruso-Cabrera talks with speedskating coach Jillert Anema of the Netherlands about whether the disappointing performance by the U.S. team, and "Squawk Box" host Joe Kernen challenges the coach's assertion that America devotes too much time and money to football.

Simply put, Anema said, football is "a sport ... that sucks!"

But it got better. He then came on the air live with "Squawk" co-hosts Joe Kernen, Becky Quick and Steve Liesman to debate the issue, which almost created an international incident.

Michelle wrapped it all up in a neat little bow.

Here's some background: Anema coached his team to 21 speedskating medals in Sochi—the most a single team has ever won in a single sport in a single Winter Olympics.

Bush Brothers

Michelle talked on Wednesday with Billy Bush of "Access Hollywood" and his brother Jonathan Bush, CEO of athenahealth, about their experiences at the Winter Olympics. They also got into Billy's investment in Jonathan's company, which is up 19,200 percent. These guys were hilarious together. Maybe we'll give them their own show!

Squawking Dead

OK, maybe it's better to just admit it and come clean. So here we go.

Yes, we love "The Walking Dead" and yes, maybe, just maybe, there is a very loose inspiration that ties the name of this "Talking Squawk" blog to "Talking Dead" (the show that follows "The Walking Dead," where guests talk about what they just saw on that night's episode).

In fact, we love it so much that Joe was actually a guest last week on "Talking Dead."

And this week, we had on actress Danai Gurira (aka the sword-wielding Michonne) along with AMC Networks President Charles Collier to talk about why "The Walking Dead" has become a TV-watching phenomenon.

Gloom, doom & boom

The long-running bull market in U.S. stocks runs the risk of ending badly. That's according to Marc Faber, publisher of The Gloom, Doom & Boom Report.

If you want to hear more "end of the world" predictions, click here!

'The truth about the 1 percent'

Barry Knapp, head of U.S. equity portfolio strategy at Barclays, discussed wealth distribution and his Wall Street Journal op-ed "The Truth About the One Percent."

Today is your birthday!

Well, not today. But on Wednesday, it was Andrew's big number 37. His twin boys called in to wish their daddy a happy birthday!

Earnings on tap

Hair Nation (courtesy of director @PaulDeFabo, Technical Director @Keith_Falcone)

Joe got into the Olympic torch spirit this week.

Word Jumble

It was Joe with two wins and Becky with none in this past week's Word Jumble contest. Joe's bonus Jumbled word of the week is OCOCKC. And Becky's is PLEAOR. Get the answers at the end of the blog.

Mark your calendar (or set your DVR)

  • Monday: Ron Baron (Baron Capital CEO), James Grant (Grant's Interest Rate Observer), Scott Black (Delphi Management) and James Paulsen (Wells Capital Management)
  • Tuesday: Fred Tomczyk (TD AmeriTrade CEO), Harold Ford Jr. (Morgan Stanley), Jeremy Siegel (The Wharton School) and Craig Barrett (Former Intel chairman and CEO)
  • Wednesday: Russ Koesterich (BlackRock), Kevin O'Leary (Shark Tank Host), John Bogle (Vanguard) and House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.)
  • Thursday: Thomas Friedman (New York Times), Stephen Roach (Yale University), Joseph Tanious (JPMorgan Asset Management), Neil Hennessy (Hennessy Funds) and Donald Marron (Lightyear Capital CEO)
  • Friday: Mark Mobius (Templeton Emerging Markets Group), Wilbur Ross, James Bullard (St. Louis Fed President) and Gerry Lopez (AMC Entertainment CEO)

Next week's economic calendar

  • Monday: Chicago Fed Index (8:30 a.m. ET), Dallas Fed Survey (10 a.m. ET)
  • Tuesday: Consumer Confidence (10 a.m. ET)
  • Wednesday: New Homes Sales (10 a.m. ET)
  • Thursday: Durable Goods Orders (8:30 a.m. ET), Jobless Claims (8:30 a.m. ET)
  • Friday: GDP (8:30 a.m. ET)

The Corny-Sappy Motivational Business-Based Inspirational quote

"Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm."
—Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

*Joe's Jumble bonus word answer: ocockc = CUCKOO

*Becky's Jumble bonus word answer: pleaor = PAROLE

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FB
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UA
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AMTD
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LOW
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BARC
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M
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MS
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LYV
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MSO
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PZZA
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ATHN
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INTC
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ODP
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TGT
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THC
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BLK
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TMUS
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TASR
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AMC
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BBY
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SAM
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TOL
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CQB
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VSI
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CAESARS
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ANF
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DWA
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KSS
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DPZ
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ADSK
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ROST
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SHLD
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BKS
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CVC
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FWLT
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JCP
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LMCA
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BID
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  • Joe Kernen is co-anchor of "Squawk Box," CNBC's signature morning program.

  • Becky Quick is co-anchor of "Squawk Box," CNBC's signature morning program. She's also a columnist for Fortune.

  • Andrew Ross Sorkin is a co-anchor of "Squawk Box," a financial columnist for "The New York Times" and the editor-at-large of NYT's DealBook.