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Talking Squawk looks at Kid Rock calling out Madonna on Detroit, Carl Icahn's Apple obsession, and Greenspeak to avoid the next financial crisis. This is 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.
Our mission on "Squawk Box" is to give you access to billionaires, power players, gatekeepers, policymakers and power brokers ... one after another: Buffett, Bowles, Tepper, Cooperman, Greenspan Evans. Week after week, we keep delivering the goods (if I do say so myself)! That makes deciding who gets top billing in this blog downright stressful.
This week alone we had more than 10 Fortune 500 CEOs, plus Alan Greenspan, Chicago Fed President Charlie Evans and boom-and-gloom guy Marc Faber. So who gets the marquee spot? Who's the big cheese? Who gets their name in lights? Robert James Ritchie ... who?
Under the bus
OK, he referred to himself as Bob in the interview we did with him this past week, but everybody else knows him as Kid Rock, and the Detroit-loving musician wasn't shy in his criticism of another Motor City native, Madonna.
"Madonna ain't done nothin' for Detroit," Kid claimed, but then showed a bit of remorse. "I picture my mom sitting in front of her TV saying, 'Now, Bob, you don't have to blow someone else's candle out to make yours glow brighter.' "
(Watch the entire Kid Rock interview here—the Madonna comment is at 7:34.)
But perhaps in a sign to come, billionaire Dan Gilbert—the Quicken Loans founder and Cleveland Cavaliers owner who has bet big on the comeback of financially ruined Detroit—was quick to respond, "Don't count her out."
Earlier this month, Madonna tweeted about Detroit: "Its time for a renaissance lets bring back the motor city lets bring back."
I'm certainly thankful that I work on the only program in the world that can have Kid Rock and Alan Greenspan as guests on the same day!
For years, we didn't know what former Fed Chairman Greenspan was talking about, but he kept talking anyway and the markets listened. Then one day, back in the 1990s, he uttered those famous words "irrational exuberance" and suddenly both Wall Street AND Main Street started to hang on his every word.
In his new book, he uses words like "leverage" and "bubbles." Does he have your attention yet? He explained to us why it's the combination of both that led to the 2008 financial crisis.
We also had one of the current Federal Reserve bigwigs on: Chicago Fed President Charlie Evans. He told us that central bank policymakers may not begin tapering for months, because the government shutdown delayed the release of many important economic reports.
Gloom and doom
Marc Faber says some pretty crazy stuff. Keep in mind, he writes the Gloom, Boom & Doom newsletter, so it's in his best interest to frequently predict the Apocalypse.
But some of his predictions come to pass. For example, he told "Squawk" when the Fed had just started its bond-buying program, known as quantitative easing, that it would still be going at QE 99. We thought he was nuts, but sure enough, Faber was much closer to the truth than many other more mainstream economists.
So should we listen this time, as Faber predicts that tapering is off the table and he's waiting for asset purchases to start getting bigger? Read and watch, then decide for yourself!
This week, Caterpillar missed the mark—posting lower-than-expected earnings and cutting its outlook. We sure "dig" CEO Doug Oberhelman, so we had him on to ask what happened and where the weakness came from. Strangely enough, he blamed the results on not enough "digging."
Sounds like Jim is starting to smell what the automakers are cooking! Check it out.
'Squawkward Moments' from the anchors
Joe Kernen: "I use it (Twitter) for only one reason."
Becky Quick: "Yes, you like to watch!"
Joe: "Excuse me!?"
Tweets of note
Billionaire activist and big Apple shareholder @Carl_C_Icahn tweeted Wednesday, "Just sent a letter to Tim Cook. Full letter will be disclosed on my website, the Shareholders' Square Table."
(I am sure Apple CEO Tim Cook is thrilled.)
Followed by ... @Carl_C_Icahn: "SST has launched. Join to fight for true corporate democracy, read our letter to Tim Cook, and much more!"
Then on Thursday, Icahn went on CNBC—saying undervalued Apple should do a massive buyback of shares. He also said he could consider a proxy fight if the company didn't follow his advice.
(Mr. Cook, don't make any weekend getaway plans!)
We love putting Joe's head on the bodies of our unsuspecting guests. Usually, it's Joe as a famous billionaire, or Joe as chairman of a powerful committee on Capitol Hill or Joe as ... well, you get the picture.
But how many opportunities to we get to make Joe into "Kid Squawk!" Hopefully, the real Kid Rock will get a good laugh.
It's almost ski season (my personal favorite)! Check out our talk with the CEO of Vail Resorts—you'll be ready to buckle in and take a few runs by the end of the interview.
Must follow them @ ...
In honor of @VailResorts coming on the show this week to give us a preview of the ski/snowboard season, I'll pass on a few of my other personal favorite ski/snowboard areas.
So many to choose from but I'll single out @BigSkyResort in Montana (Steeps!); @JayPeaksNow in Vermont (Trees!); @JHSki (Jackson Hole, Wyo., Vertical!); and, locally, @Plattekill (Hidden gem!) for NYC-area day-trippers.
Netflix viewership soaring
Want evidence the media landscape is changing rapidly? Check out this interview we did with longtime media analyst Richard Greenfield. He calculated that Netflix is now the fifth most-watched "TV network" in the country.
The eight-year battle got back in full swing this week. And it was a disaster for Becky, whom Joe blanked, four to nothing.
"RDNOPA" is Joe's bonus jumbled word of the week. Becky's is "DLEDAP." Find the answers at the end.
Mark your calendar (or set your DVR)
Kansas In New Jersey
We love to plug shows of our favorite bands. Phil Ehart of @KansasBand is the official drummer of @SquawkCNBC. So we like to plug their shows every time they come to our home state. (Yep, CNBC is a Jersey Band!) So if you are in the South Jersey/Philadelphia-area Saturday night, head over to the Scottish Rite Auditorium in Collingswood. The show starts at 8 p.m. ET.
Corny-sappy motivational business-based inspirational quote
"Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning."
*Joe's Jumble bonus word answer: RDNOPA=pardon
*Becky's Jumble bonus word answer: DLEDAP=paddle