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Two-Way Street With Allen Wastler


  Monday, 11 Feb 2008 | 9:13 AM ET

Sound Off: Is the Yahoo Bid All about Ego?

Posted By: Allen Wastler

Would Microsoft walk away from a Yahoo takeover? Would Yahoo run into the arms of Google to fend Microsoft off?

Doubtful on both counts, I think. It's that ego thing. Others might think differently. (Do you? youropinion@cnbc.com )

But Yahoo working with Google on ads and search seems like science fiction. These are the two search titans ... competitors from the beginning. If Yahoo started teaming with Google ... wouldn't that be a capitulation of sorts? Google would be the winner and Yahoo would have to make the loser sign, right?

I'm not the only one thinking that way. "A lot of it has to do with egos, politics and personalities," Jeffrey Sonnenfeld of the Yale School of Management told the folks on "Squawk Box" this morning.

Now, would Microsoft walk away if Yahoo put up too much resistance. Well, I can't imagine CEO Steve Ballmer giving up. He strikes me as a man given to obsession. Remember the Monkey Boy video? I could easily see him going Captain Ahab over Yahoo.

Still, some folks think that Microsoft could walk away, especially since Yahoo is already in rejection mode . That puts the Yahoo board in a weird spot, since it's turning down quite a premium.

"That would incite a shareholder ... well let's call it a discussion," said Jordan Rohan, RBC Capital Markets, who also appeared on "Squawk."

And there aren't many alternatives to Microsoft . "Not that many people have $40 to 50 billion lying around," Sonnenfeld pointed out.

Questions? Comments? We want to hear from you: youropinion@cnbc.com

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  Monday, 11 Feb 2008 | 8:02 AM ET

Readers on Media Recession Hype: Guilty!

Posted By: Allen Wastler

Is the media fanning the flames of recession with all its coverage of economic turmoil? Yes, according to the majority of email traffic we received over the weekend.

Such much for my point that the coverage is necessary .

The media is NOT presenting a "balanced" view. You are hyping the recessionary viewpoint. How about giving equal time to "officials" and "gurus" with a contrarian opinion. I know there are plenty of credible sources on the other side of this storyline. -- Steve in Atlanta

I agree that it is the totality of opinions that serve the best interest of the public but it is the obsessive repetition of the recession scenario, by those who only have opinion and speculation, that makes matters worse. -- Tom K.

I absolutely think that the media has done a great job of scaring the hell out of this Country and World with all of their continuous talk of Recession starting out with how bad "they" perceived the Sub-Prime situation to be and when that started to settle down a little bit..."they" the media jumped on the Recession wagon. -- Alan R.

First wall street expects profit numbers to grow and meet expectations i.e. Retail. Then all they talk about 24/7 is recession, slowdown, folks not spending as much. Then the numbers come in ahead or slightly less than what they expect and they sell off the good companies. It's no wonder why no new cash is going into the market. It is a self fulfilling prophecy that the news and gurus cause, then they whine about it. -- James H.

Still, some folks think the media is just trying to do what it needs to do.

It is your responsibility to report on all the faces of the economy and quite honestly I know you try hard NOT to fuel what is about to happen. I wish you would caution more about the ensuing and necessary cleansing that is coming. -- Pat. B.

Those who think we're talking ourselves into a recession are, more than likely, the same people who talked us into a prolonged state of extreme optimism that created the current quagmire. -- Mutowsky

Stories about a recession help to prepare people who may not be feeling the effects of a recession to know what is going on in the world and what they can do to help themselves. -- Michelle D.

Questions? Comments? We want to hear from you: youropinion@cnbc.com

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  Friday, 8 Feb 2008 | 8:10 AM ET

Recession Talk Necessary, If Ugly

Posted By: Allen Wastler

If you've noticed, we've had several yearbook pictures front and center on the site this week. I hate them. The photos that is ... not the recession warning stories they go with. Those stories are necessary, even though some people claim such stories only make things worse.

Do you agree? (youropinion@cnbc.com )

The stories, and the photos, have to be there. It's the current recession obsession. When Fed folks like Janet Yellen and Jeffrey Lacker start laying odds on whether we are or aren't in a recession ... well, that's a lead story. And it's a lead story regardless of whether or not you agree with them, because the recession question is at the top of the market's mind right now. Certainly you'd want to know which way the folks who control the monetary levers are leaning.

That's a point some people writing in to us from time to time miss. If they don't agree with someone, they think their words shouldn't be seen or heard. At least not in our top spot. Indeed, some would argue we're just fanning the recessionary flames psychologically.

So the stories are necessary, folks. It's the pictures I hate. No, the officials aren't ugly. It's just the type of shot. It's not that energizing. But our lead stories need a picture to go with them. It's a web site design thing. But with a speech story, you're kind of stuck art-wise. Anybody got any ideas?

Oh yeah, and if you don't like my thinking, I don't mind hearing about that either.

Let me hear from you: youropinion@cnbc.com

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  Thursday, 7 Feb 2008 | 8:29 AM ET

Sound Off: Cell Ads for a Price

Posted By: Allen Wastler

This is surprising: I didn't get as many of the irate, outrage filled response as I expected. Sure, some of you hate the idea of ads coming to your cell phone the moment you pass a store as much as I do ...

It would not be a pleasant experience for the employees or owners of a business, if I were to receive a cell phone ad for a business that was in my proximity. I assure you that I would explain to them how I felt about such annoyances and liberties on their part. I don’t think they would do it twice!! -- Bob

I will scream as loud as humanly possible if I was to start getting that crap. I might even rebel against a store or company that sends me that kind of unwanted crap. It’s one thing to send me crap at home since it doesn’t cost me anything or to mail me crap since I don’t have to pay for mail, but if I have to pay for a call that I didn’t ask for, I will scream. -- Bruce

But some of you will tolerate if it cuts the bill ...

Sure everything has a price to it. I'll listen to the "phony" ads on my cell phone, in exchange for them subsidizing more of my monthly bill. Mike N.

I would be OK if cell phone ads were an option to the cell phone service. If you get the ads, you get a reduced monthly rate. -- Walt

And of course ...

Ads are everywhere else...if you have a cell phone deal with it. -- Steven

Questions? Comments? We want to hear from you: youropinion@cnbc.com

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  Wednesday, 6 Feb 2008 | 11:24 AM ET

Cell Phone Ads: Do You Think They're Evil?

Posted By: Allen Wastler

Can you think of anything more annoying than getting an ad on your cell phone? And what if you get an ad when you are just walking down the street minding your own business, and happen to pass a particular store?

This type of "targeted advertising" will happen. Not yet...but CBS is experimenting with the technology, according to this nifty piece from the New York Times. But where there is an experiment there usually comes implementation. And since retailers are getting a little desperate, I imagine some of them will seize on it. I wonder if that would be wise from a business standpoint or not. Would love to hear your take on it:youropinion@cnbc.com .

To me, such ads would probably be down around the third or fourth level of annoyance hell. But I tend to be grumpy about things. I hate my cell phone. It buzzes at the wrong time and it is rarely good news. But, like a tetanus shot, you got to have it.

And I hate ads. Okay, Super Bowl type ads are funny...but those are the exception, not the rule. I certainly don't want to be bugged by them on my cell phone. Luckily in this particular experiment, you have to opt in to get them. but I'm not sure it will stay that way.

From an investment viewpoint though, I could see them working for particular types of retailers, like Hot Topic or Pacific Sunwear. Those that cater to the teen crowd, for example. Most teens I see these days have a cell phone firmly attached to some part of their anatomy. And they are very fashion conscious.

From parent and consumer viewpoint though, it makes me want to scream. How about you?

Questions? Comments? We want to hear from you: youropinion@cnbc.com

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  Tuesday, 5 Feb 2008 | 10:22 AM ET

Sound Off: What's Your Money Issue?

Posted By: Allen Wastler
What's your most important money issue in the election? More to the point, especially on this critical Super Tuesday week, are the candidates addressing it? »Read more
  Friday, 25 Jan 2008 | 12:33 PM ET

Readers on Stimulus Plan: Bad Candy

Posted By: Allen Wastler
Well, a bunch of you weighed in on the stimulus plan. And of course, you hated it ... »Read more
  Thursday, 24 Jan 2008 | 4:54 PM ET

Stimulus Plan: Cotton Candy or Oatmeal?

Posted By: Allen Wastler
The government's new economic stimulus plan? Whaddya think? Is it just going to be an economic sugar high? Or will it be the nutritious, high-fiber oatmeal needed to get our economy going again? »Read more

About Two-Way Street With Allen Wastler

  • What’s happening at CNBC.com? Two Way Street is the place to find out. Managing Editor Allen Wastler writes about the latest goings on - technical and editorial - at the Web site and at the Network. He also answers your questions (well, some of them – just don’t ask about the cigar: a man needs a little mystery and at least one vice) and points out some of the media issues hanging in the headlines.