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The Bad Economy: Blame a Democrat, Lawyers & Bureaucrats

Reported by Melanie - April 8, 2005

Today (April 8, 2005) on Your World w/Neil Cavuto, Cavuto hosted a roundtable discussion with three Fox News business reporters/anchors. The topic was what to expect from "the market" for the rest of the year.

David Asman, a host of Fox News Live and of the Saturday morning show, Forbes on Fox, began the discussion. Asman said "there are three things, lawyers, bureaucrats, and Eliot Spitzer," that are holding the market back.

Asman said, "without these three things, the market would be great. Lawyers and bureaucrats are taking care of the drug stocks and other stocks are getting caught up, and Eliot Spitzer seems to still be on a tear trying to get elected governor by suing all these, getting all these companies' records straight. Without those three things, the market would be great but those three things are still in the mix."

Degan McDowell said Pfizer was up yesterday after Bextra was pulled and that "once you get past Buffett on Monday, maybe that worry will be wiped away."

Brenda Buttner, host of the Saturday morning show Bulls & Bears said she didn't think we had "to worry with Buffett," but she thought "Spitzer will have some more [investigations], as he gears up his campaign, definitely."

Cavuto asked Asman how much higher he thought the market would go. Asman said he wasn't good at predicting that sort of thing but, "certain stocks, particularly pharmaceuticals have been beaten down because of the lawyers." Berkshire Hathaway and insurance stocks "have been beaten down because of AIG." (The SEC and Eliot Spitzer are investigating AIG.) (Here is a one year chart of the pharmaceutical index. The "lawyers" and "bureaucrats" aren't affecting the stocks as much as Asman implied.)

Buttner said pharmaceuticals were up today (as the above chart shows). Asman waived a piece of paper and said "this is my pathetic portfolio, the Asman portfolio, literally." He said he owns both Pfizer and Merck and he's "been kinda hurtin' recently." Asman said "the market so wants to do well," and that "all the fundamentals are there." (Asman's emphasis.)

McDowell said retail "held up" in March. Asman interrupted: "You had something interesting to say about Spitzer." McDowell continued: "If he gets elected as governor, maybe that's good for the market - gets him out of the way."

Buttner said oil was "really coming down though" but that didn't help since (Cavuto talked over her) "transports had a terrible day," so that was "one worrying thing." Buttner said, "If the housing market goes down, stocks could go up." She said she'd be discussing that on Sunday (on Bulls & Bears). (Fox's Saturday morning financial shows are airing Sunday due to the wedding of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles on Saturday.)

Comment: Fox News has a long history of blaming Eliot Spitzer, New York's Democratic Attorney General, for a whole host of things. It's my belief that Fox is trying to fence Spitzer in and paint a negative picture of him because he has his sights set on running for Governor of New York, a position now held by a Republican. Below are some old posts which reveal a bit of the history of Fox's "spin" on Spitzer. Also, "the market" is worried about inflation, oil prices and potentially low oil and gas supplies, as well as slow job growth. But of course, zeroing in on a Democrat and lawyers is a neat and simple explanation for what ails our economy, and it sure takes the heat off of George W. Bush.

Look Out - Eliot Spitzer's One of Them

Eliot Spitzer, Fox News & Marsh McLennan

The Fox News Hate Machine Has a New Target

The Hate Business

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