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It was a "Who's Who" of guests on "Squawk Box" this week—everybody from Buffett to Bowles, Tepper to Cooperman, and McCain to Corker. "Talking Squawk," the official show blog, covers them all with insights from the show's senior executive producer.
Win U.S. Back—our new call to arms
For the past few week, corporate America and the financial markets have been almost solely focused on the situation in Washington. CEOs and investors have been hanging on every word coming out of the capital. Many have said the dysfunction has paralyzed the business of business.
As our viewers know, CNBC has been leading the charge to "Rise Above" the partisan politics and do what's best for the nation.
But once again, Washington has kicked the can down the road for a couple months with their deal to extend the debt ceiling until Feb. 7 and reopen the government by approving federal funding until Jan. 15.
It's time to come together and do something meaningful. We need a real grand bargain. We need our leaders to "Win U.S. Back."
So we promise to do our best to ask the tough questions; move past the talking points; and get real answers.
We got off to a good start this past week ...
The Oracle of Omaha
He's the world's greatest investor and he spent three hours with us on Wednesday. Right out of the box, he gave us a classic "Buffett-ism," labeling the threat to not raise the debt limit a political weapon of mass destruction. But he didn't stop there. Buffett was full of advice on everything from Fed policy to Benjamin Moore.
We broke up the topics in these video clips ...
Buffett on stocks not selling at bubble levels
Buffett on why credit worthiness is like virginity
Buffett on why philanthropy is tougher than business
Buffett on why health care is the tapeworm of the US economy
Buffett on Fed policy and the economy
Buffett sides with Apple against Icahn's call for a buyback
Buffett on JPMorgan's woes
Buffett on his big mistakes
Buffett on Coca-Cola vs. Pepsi
Buffett on Benjamin Moore
Buffett on Berkshire's $1.1 billion acquisition
Buffett on why it's not a mistake to buy stocks now
The Bertolini Model
Whether you like the basic idea or hate it, Obamacare right now it's a mess. The websites to buy health insurance don't work; the public is confused; no one knows if it will work; or how much it will actually cost. So who do I know that would make me say, "I wish he was in charge of the entire health-care system in this country?"
Listen to our interview with Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini and then ask yourself, "Would you feel better about our health care system if he was running the show?"
The Bowles Model
OK, if you agree with us on the Bertolini example. Let's try it again. But this time, let's make it about the budget mess on Capitol Hill.
Listen to this week's interview with Erskine Bowles and tell me ify ou don't think the country would be better off if he was in charge of the budget.
The Parsons Model
So Bertolini becomes the "health-care czar" and Erskine Bowles is our "budget czar."
As long as we are handing out new government appointments to help change the world, can I name Dick Parsons head of the Federal Communications Commission?
Parsons was also outspoken about the situation in Washington—calling some elements of the Republican party "anti-democratic."
Tepper and Cooperman
As long as we are playing this game, let's name a few "Hedge Fund Czars" to help manage the nation's accounts and investments.
If "Squawk Box" got to make the call we might choose the team of David Tepper and Leon Cooperman. If we could bundle these two guys, we could make this country so much money in the market that the debt crisis would be a complete after thought. Both came to the "Squawk" set this week. Below are the links to some of their market insights and suggestions on how to make money.
Our advice? Take good notes…
Cooperman on stocks are no longer a bargain
Tepper on the Fed taper timing
Cooperman on D.C. "closing the circus but still paying the clowns"
Tepper on looking for normal stock multiples
Cooperman's top stock picks
Tepper on why it's not time to miss a debt payment
Nobel prizes don't grow on trees. Neither do "Squawk" laureates.
'Squawkward Moments' (with Sara Blakely, the billionaire Spanx founder)
Andrew Ross Sorkin to Sara: "Sara, I should take my shirt off but I am wearing one of your undershirts on right now."
Joe Kernen to Andrew: "Oh you are wearing one of her shirts? Not the original Spanx because your butt is looking real good right now."
"Squawkward Moments" didn't stop there. She also got into undershirt talk with Warren Buffett.
Here's the entire interview with Blakely (which was great) but you have to wait for her story near the end about her time in U.K.
It's one of the best "Squawkward Moments" of all time.
Tweets of Note
In the control room we love placing Joe's head on other people's body. Who doesn't want to see what Joe would look like if he worked for David Tepper at Appaloosa?
Call us immature. But three hours a day is a long time in the control room!
Overheard on the Set (in D.C. for Thursday's "Win U.S. Back" special)
Anchor one: "Washington is cold. This blows."
Anchor two: "How do I get to the train station from here?"
Anchor three: "I want a blueberry muffin!"
'Change the World' (our recurring look at charitable efforts)
The Robin Hood Foundation is built just for that reason. Here's a quick look at their plans to help end poverty in New York City with executive director David Saltzman and Tepper.
The jumble was kind of on hiatus this week as the government shutdown sent the anchors all over the place. But we gave Becky and Joe each a bonus word to keep them in practice until they get back to the competition next week. Joe's Jumble bonus word is SIOFSL and Becky's word is CEPILN. See the answers in the end.
Our economics guru Steve Liesman tells us the government shutdown-delayed September Jobs report will be released on Tuesday, Oct. 22; September PPI on Oct. 29; and September CPI on Wednesday, Oct. 30.
Earnings to Watch
'Corny-Sappy Motivational Business-BasedInspirational Quote' for the weekend
"Let every man be respected as an individual and no man idolized."
*Joe's Jumble Bonus Word answer: SIOFSL = Fossil
*Becky's Jumble Bonus Word answer: CEPILN = Pencil