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CNN IN THE MONEY
Nanotech New Hot Stock On Wall Street; Pakistani Caputure 100 Suspect Al Qaeda Near Afghan Border; Antiwar Protests Emerge Around World
Aired March 20, 2004 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR, CNN SATURDAY: Good afternoon. I'm Fredricka Whitfield in Atlanta. Here's the top stories at this hour.
In fierce fighting near the Afghan border, Pakistani forces captured about 100 suspected members of Al Qaeda. It's unclear at this point what they were fighting so hard to protect. There are Arabs, Uzbeks and Chechens and local tribesmen among the captives. So far no sign of Osama bin Laden's deputy, Ayman Al Zawahiri.
Thousands of people worldwide are marching today against the war in Iraq. Yesterday, was the one-year anniversary of the start of the conflict. New York organizers say they are hoping for at least 50,000 marchers today.
Thousands of marchers took to the streets of central London today, some of them carrying signs urging an end to the occupation in Iraq. The picture is much the same in Australia, where thousands are rallying against the Iraq war there.
President Bush is on the road in Florida today boosting support for the war in Iraq and talking about the economy with American voters. He is speaking at what his campaign calls a grassroots mobilization rally officially kicking off his reelection bid.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Oh, I know there are economic pessimists who refuse to accept good news about our economy. But I'm optimistic. I tell ya why -- I know what we have overcome. I have seen the spirit of the American people. I have seen Americans overcome economic challenges. And because of good policies, and the hard work of the American people our economy is strong, and it is growing stronger.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: President Bush concluded his speech just moments ago. More news in 30 minutes. IN THE MONEY with Jack Cafferty begins right now.
ANNOUNCER: From New York City America's financial capital, this is IN THE MONEY.
JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR, IN THE MONEY: Welcome to IN THE MONEY. I'm Jack Cafferty.
Coming up on today's program, moving target, catching Osama bin Laden is priority one for much of the civilized world. We'll try to find out if catching him or killing him would make the world safer.
Plus, rebuilding a life. Behind every casualty figure out of Iraq there is a human being. We will hear from a guy helping wounded soldiers after they come home.
Renovation tips for the harried homemaker. We will speak to a Wall Street scandal survivor who has been where Martha Stewart is going -- presumably that would be Danbury, Connecticut -- and knows how to make it back again when it's all over.
Joining me today as always, a couple of IN THE MONEY veterans, CNN Correspondent Susan Lisovicz and "Fortune" magazine Editor-at- Large Andy Serwer.
Stunning election results in Spain. The new prime minister announcing immediately that he was going to pull Spain's troops out of Iraq. The terrorists must be holding a celebration someplace for what they managed to accomplish in a matter of 48 hours, turning the pre- poll election results on their ear with those commuter train bombings that went off within a couple hours of the election over there.
ANDY SERWER, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, "FORTUNE": I don't dispute what you are saying. Obviously the terrorists had an effect on the election and they are probably gloating.
But, Jack, can you make a distinction between being against the war in Iraq and being against terrorism? Because there are a lot of people here in the United States that feel that way, that the war in Iraq is wrong. But, of course, they're against terrorism. Maybe that is where the Spanish government is going. It is maybe a subtle distinction, but it may be very important here in the United States.
SUSAN LISOVICZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT, IN THE MONEY: Even critics of the war have expressed dismay at the fact that Spain is going to pull its troops out of Iraq at a very precipitous time.
Tom Friedman (ph) who has written so many editorials critical of the U.S.-led war in Iraq said the notion that Spain can separate itself from Al Qaeda terrorism is a fantasy.
The end of his column quotes what Churchill said to Chamberlain, after he returned from signing the Munich Pact with Hitler, "You were given the choice between war and dishonor, you chose dishonor, and will you have war."
CAFFERTY: There you go.
Well, we don't have to tell you this, as figureheads for global terrorism go, they don't get any bigger or bolder than Osama bin Laden. It would not necessarily mean you could say good-bye to orange alerts or heavy duty searches at the airport if in fact he was caught or killed. For more about that let's check in with Faye Bowers, in Washington, D.C.; she's a national security correspondent for the "Christian Science Monitor".
Faye, it is nice to have you with us.
FAYE BOWERS, "CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR": Thanks. It is good to be here.
CAFFERTY: From the file labeled, "Be careful what you wish for because you might get it", give me the upside and down side of taking Osama bin Laden off the map and out of the mix, and out of the headlines and the front pages?
BOWERS: OK. I think the upside would be a quick psychological boost to both people here in the United States, and possibly even parts of the Muslim world because, you know, the U.S. promised to do this two and a half years ago. President Bush said we were going to get him dead or alive.
So, I think it would be a huge boost for the perception of the war on terror if he were to be caught. The down side is that it could also cause a spike in attacks against the United States. There's a great deal of support for Osama bin Laden still throughout the Muslim world.
As a matter of fact, I just saw a poll released a couple days ago from the Pew Foundation, they found that although, you know, the perception of America has fallen throughout most of the Muslim world and Europe -- even since the end of the war in Iraq -- it has risen for Osama bin Laden and in countries from Jordan through Pakistan. For example, his favor ability rating is at 65 percent.
SERWER: That's sobering stuff, Faye. I think everybody realizes, of course, that if he is killed or captured this war on terrorism will still continue.
But I want to ask you a very elementary question, what is the war on terror? Who are we fighting, exactly? What do they want? It seems simple but is it really that simple?
BOWERS: You ask a very good question. And one to which I don't think there's a really easy answer.
I think, you know, if you look at all of the statements that Osama bin Laden and his number two Ayman al Zawahiri, have issued over the past, oh say, I guess almost a decade now, since their statements have become public.
They have routinely raised three issues. They don't want Americans in the Middle East, mainly in Saudi Arabia, the home of Islam's two holiest sites. They have always raised their ire about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and what they see the U.S.'s backing of Israel in that conflict. And they almost routinely raise Iraq, especially the sanctions against the Iraqi people, which they perceived as greatly injuring them more than they did Saddam Hussein. LISOVICZ: Faye, I will ask you a simple question, too. And it is a question that has been asked for several years, quite literally. Why haven't we caught Osama bin Laden? We have the Rover on Mars. You know, we have been hearing the Pakistani/Afghan border for years as well. Why hasn't that happened?
BOWERS: Another good question. I -- the people that I talk with inside the intelligence community say that that part of the world is the size of Texas, plus about a third of New Mexico. It's some of the highest mountains, most rugged terrain, and the kind of lawless no- man's land where the people there are not highly educated. And they're certainly not tuned into television, but they are tuned into Islamic loyalties. For those reasons they say it's hard.
The United States, like the Central Intelligence Agency, for example, has never had great assets in that part of the world, meaning they never made good human contact with the people there and created relationships with people that have helped them get really good information.
CAFFERTY: What is the answer? You suggesting that we just kind of turn a blind side to Osama bin Laden? He does not like the fact we are in Saudi Arabia, he doesn't like the fact that we support Israel, and he murdered over 3,000 people when he attacked New York City and Washington, D.C.. And the schools in Saudi Arabia that breed this kind of hatred, have kids in their classrooms everyday.
The president of the United States says we are at war, and the war will end when one side or the other prevails, which is how wars usually wind up. What do we do here?
BOWERS: Um-hum. Well, that's a very good question. And I think, you know, according to experts it's a three-pronged war. They have to get the leadership of al Qaeda, and they have to dismantle this network, whatever it has morphed into these days.
You know, you can see by the attacks in Spain this past week, it's more dispirit (ph) and loosely connected than ever. But you also have to get at the mindset of the people who provide the recruits for these organizations, and that is changing the education system in places like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, too. And getting after the reasons that people would want to join that kind of network.
SERWER: Faye, quick last question, we're running out of time. Suppose we pulled out of Iraq, supposed we settle Israel and Palestine and left Saudi Arabia, wouldn't these terrorists just want more?
BOWERS: That's a good question. I don't know. It's hard to tell now, I think, exactly what they have morphed into. George Tenet's testimony last week before the Senate Armed Services Committee and earlier before the Senate Intelligence Committee, where he gave his worldwide threat assessment; he said -- it was the first time I heard him refer to al Qaeda or, you know, the loosely connected groups as a global movement rather than a terror group. He said it's a global movement infected by radical jihad that you have to attack. CAFFERTY: That was similar to the comments made by the government in Washington, D.C. shortly after September 11th, that al Qaeda, to the best of their knowledge was active in 60 countries around the world. And that the war to defeat them would take several years.
Faye, it is nice to have you with us. Thank you for your time here today.
BOWERS: OK, it is my pleasure.
CAFFERTY: Faye Bowers, national security correspondent at the "Christian Science Monitor".
Up ahead on IN THE MONEY, battle on the home front. Soldiers wounded in Iraq can have a tough time getting help back in the United States. We spend almost a half trillion dollars a year on defense, are we spending enough on the people who are paying the ultimate price? We will talk to a veteran who is fighting to change that.
And saving Martha Stewart: An old school survivor of a Wall Street scandal has some tips for the homemaker. See how he would rehabilitate her public image.
Plus the construction site that you could fit on the head of a pin. Nano technology is the buzzword on the Street and elsewhere these days. We will all find out what it is. We will have a little lesson later and then find out if we can make money with it. Stay with us.
LISOVICZ: The war in Iraq began a year ago this week. We are still hearing almost every day about attacks on the U.S. troops there. We don't hear much about what happens when those servicemen and women are seriously wounded and brought back to the United States. A program called Wounded Warrior is trying to help them. John Melia is the founder. He joins us from Roanoke, Virginia.
JOHN MELIA, FOUNDER, WOUNDED WARRIOR: Thank you.
LISOVICZ: John, you know of what you speak. You, yourself, were wounded off the coast of Somalia in 1992. What was the single thing that you thought lacked most for wounded vets like yourself coming home?
MELIA: I think from my own personal experience the reason that I started the Wounded Warrior Project was because while I got incredibly great care from the military, when I was hurt, I saw that there was significant gaps or lacks in service; things like family assistance, and just basic things like clothing for soldiers that are coming back.
A lot of these guys are coming off the battlefield with just the uniform they have on. And the military really had nothing in place to clothe these guys. And non-profits like myself got together and put together, you know, backpacks full of gear so that these wounded soldiers and sailors and airmen and Marines would have something when they came off the battlefield. A little bit of home, but also the things that they needed.
SERWER: John, let me ask you, do you think it's right that organizations like yours and other private groups, non-profits are picking up the slack? Or do you think the Veterans Administration and the Pentagon should do more?
MELIA: Well, I'll tell you, you know, Wounded Warrior Project, through United (UNINTELLIGIBLE) we -- we are not upset at the administration in any way at how they're handling the troops coming back.
What we're trying to do is fill gaps that have been there for a long, long time. One of the problems is that we never seem, as a country, to learn from past experiences. These types of problems happened with veterans coming back from Vietnam and Korea, and even the first Persian Gulf War.
And the mechanisms are not in place. This is not a VA issue. This is more of a military DOD issue. VA, there's kind of a hand-off between the military and VA. It's kind of an invisible handoff. And what Vets First in the Wounded Warrior Project attempts to do is kind of make that hand-off as smooth as possible.
CAFFERTY: How would you change it? How would you change the DOD's role in preparing all exiting service people, wounded and otherwise for a return to civilian life? Is there a program? Is there an approach? Is there something that you would suggest be put in place that would begin to attack that problem? It goes back probably to the First World War. Combat troops coming back that were shell-shocked, and battle fatigued, and couldn't adjust to civilian life. What has to be done to fix it?
MELIA: Well, I'll tell you, there needs to be something done immediately to address, first of all, the issue of the guys coming off of the battlefield. There's no reason that non-profits and NGO's should have to pick up the slack that the military has kind of failed to pick up.
And there's a lot of ways we can fix it. Corporate America can be part of the solution to this problem of readjustment. One of the things we are concerned with is that corporate America is not stepping up to the plate to hire some Wounded Warriors, some of these brave men and women who have laid their lives on the line for the freedoms that we enjoy here in this country.
Corporate America should be begging, beating down the doors at Walter Reed and at Bethesda and at Brook Army Medical Center to hire some of these young men and women. They are very well prepared and very well trained, and there's no reason why they can't be incredible assets to companies.
LISOVICZ: Do you find any specific companies or industries that, in fact, are stepping up to the plate? Obviously, you know that we have a jobless recovery that is going on in the United States. There are millions of people who can't find jobs right now. But are there any special programs that have been incorporated recently to tap this group of people?
MELIA: Corporate America really, to be honest with you, they have -- they have given donations and things of that nature. There has been no -- no step-up to the plate, so to speak, with corporate America. They have not stepped up to the plate in this case. And there have been no programs put in place.
That's what Wounded Warrior Project is trying to do. We are trying to reach out and say this is a great group of people that you folks in corporate America owe a lot to. Why don't you look at them first put our Veterans First, put our wounded heroes first, and hire them into positions that will help them and their families.
When a guy comes back wounded, his first thought -- I know my first thought was -- if I'm not able to continue in military service, I'm hoping that I can get a great job so I can support my family. And I know that's what a lot of these guys are thinking as well.
CAFFERTY: You have a website. How can people who might be watching this program and want to help, lend a hand? What's the website and what can they do?
MELIA: Absolutely. There's a number of ways they can help. First, we have a great program, the Wounded Warrior Backpack Program, where we give backpacks to soldiers as they are coming off of the airplane and as they are going into hospitals around the country. These things are loaded with CD players, calling cards, health and comfort items, sweat suits, sweat pants, underwear, socks, all the things they need.
They can go to our website at www.vetsfirst.org. You can actually purchase a backpack for a wounded soldier. It's really a great program, and we have had some great success with it.
SERWER: Great, great.
We commend what you are doing, John. Thank you very much.
John Melia, founder of the Wounded Warrior Project.
Don't be a stranger. We'll be right back after a quick break. Coming up, hold the champagne, Bank of America has the go-ahead with a match with Fleet, but the picture is not all pretty. We'll tell you why.
Also, ahead, Martha Stewart, the sequel. We will have tips for a comeback from a guy who has been where she may be going -- hint -- the joint.
And small world, nanotechnology could change your life without you noticing? See why Wall Street is excited about the tiny tech revolution.
LISOVICZ: ...job creation is still lagging here in the U.S.
SERWER: Thanks, Susan.
Bank of America spent a lot of time in the headlines. The financial powerhouse won shareholder approval for its $48 billion buyout of Fleet Financial.
But B of A also announced they would cut 13,000 jobs because of the merger and it also had mixed news on the scandal front. The company made a $675 million settlement with regulators to settle fraud charges in the mutual fund trading probe.
But it also faces new charges from Italian prosecutors in the Parmalot milk scandal. And, finally, documents filed in federal court said the bank knew of problems at WorldCom but failed to notify investors.
All of that, makes Bank of America our "Stock of the Week". Boy, their PR department must be busy.
You know it really is an interesting company, Jack, because it's the product of a couple big banks, NCNB, Nations Bank, with Hum McCall (ph) and Bank of America of California, going all the way back to back to AP Geonini (ph) in 1904. Founded the bank as the Bank of Italy and grew that bank all over California.
CAFFERTY: The FleetBoston merger is the perfect marriage of corporate and retail. Give them a presence in retail branches all over the country they didn't have before. From an investment standpoint it really makes them a big-time competitor with Citigroup and some others, does it not?
LISOVICZ: All I can say is I hope those 13,000 jobs don't include anyone in crisis management, because that's what certainly Bank of America is needing, Scandals "R" Us. One of the things you didn't mention is it recently paid a $10 million fine to the SEC. I'm sure you know that.
SERWER: Oh, that! The list was long, Susan!
LISOVICZ: Very long! But not because of the late trading activity, the illegal trading activity, that it had paid hundreds of millions of dollars for. The fact that it wasn't cooperating with the SEC, brazenly so, according to the SEC and people who are knowledgeable about the subject. You have to wonder what is going on at this point.
SERWER: This company, the stock has had a really great run. It's continued to go up even with all this stuff. The stock is at $55.00 18 months ago, it is now at $80. Ken Lewis has done a pretty good job. The big are getting bigger in this business, as you said, Jack. You have them, Citi and J.P. Morgan Chase, with that Bank One merger. The one thing about the Fleet deal, they did pay a very, very hefty premium. So what happens? 13,000 people out the door to cut costs. You can't deny that that's -- there's a causality there.
CAFFERTY: Buy the stock here?
SERWER: You know, I think over the long haul, this is the kind of stock, if you want a big bank stock, it will do really well. It's based on the American consumer, all those retail branches coast to coast, it's probably a good thing to have -- over the long haul -- scandals not withstanding, in your portfolio.
CAFFERTY: All right. Time for a break. When we return, she fought the law and the law won. Former federal prisoner says Martha should try a new strategy. Does contrition mean anything?
And the NCAA Tournament games have begun. That means work at your office and our office may have come to a standstill. We'll explain why that is.
FREDERICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. More of IN THE MONEY after a check of headlines. Fierce fighting continues along the Pakistani/Afghan border. Pakistani forces have captured about 100 fighters suspected of being members of al-Qaeda. Hundreds of other militants are holed up in mud fortresses. Officials say they may be protecting a high value target. They have been suggesting it's al-Qaeda's second in command, but now say it could also be a Chechen or Uzbek militant.
Thousands of people are at an anti-war rally today in New York. You are looking at a live picture right now of midtown Manhattan. The protest comes one day after the one-year anniversary of the start of the conflict in Iraq. Anti-war protests are also taking place today in other places such as London, Australian and Japan.
Six U.S. soldiers face chargs stemming from alleged prisoner abuses last year at an Iraqi prison. The Army says, the counts include conspiracy, dereliction of duty and cruelty. Sources say the soldiers were with the 800th Military Police Brigade
All the day's news coming up at the top of the hour. Now back to more IN THE MONEY.
CAFFERTY: Martha Stewart in all likelhood is going to go to prison. Now she maintains she has done nothing wrong, even though she was convicted on 4, count them, 4, felony counts in a federal courthouse. She has vowed to appeal, which probably won't make the sentencing judge too happy. Martha might want to start thinking about how to rehabilitate her image.
She has yet to say I'm sorry. She has sent out her underlings to try rehabilitate her image. On "AMERICAN MORNING" here on CNN we had her stylist on talking about what a great gal Martha was. I mean it was truly one of the most electric moments in television that I can remember in a good long while.
Now she has asked 100 friends to write to the judge about what a wonderful person she is. She has yet to say I'm sorry. Those words have not passed her lips. And there's a reason to believe that based on her nature, at least the reputation she has, they may never pass her lips.
But is she making a big miscalculation? We're giong to talk to a man who knows a thing or two about rehabilitation and white collar prison life. R Foster Winans used to write for the "Wall Street Journal's" "Hurt On the Street" column, then he was convicted of insider trading in the 1980s. Actually did a stretch in the federal prison up in Danbury, which has now been converted to a woman's prison. And if Martha Stewart goes, she will probably go there. And we are delighted to have Foster Winans on the show. Welcome.
R. FOSTER WINANS, FORMER INMATE: Nice to see you.
CAFFERTY: Is she making a big error by not at least displaying some sense of contrition?
WINANS: I think Martha Stewart would do well to stop giving the finger to the justice system.
CAFFERTY: There you go.
SERWER: Tell us what you really think.
WINANS: And she has been doing it consistently all along. I can tell you from personal experience, I had a really great lawyer, Don Buckwald here in New York, who right from the start said, shut your mouth, don't talk to anybody, let's get through this nice and quietly. If you get convicted you will do your time and get a shorter sentence.
Martha Stewart from day one, you know, calling the case ridiculousness, the whole thing. My recipe for her is to start out with not appealing her conviction, saying I'm sorry, go to prison, don't pay somebody else to do your laundry and make your bed and do your job. Attack the whole thing with gusto, then when she comes out she should do a couple things. She should do "Saturday Night Live" and make a total fool of herself.
LISOVICZ: Like Janet Jackson.
WINANS: Or the Janet Reno Dance Party.
SERWER: You can do a serious one on Diane Sawyer, too. The tearful one there, right?
WINANS: And then do who all crooks do, she should write a book. And she should donate the proceeds to charity and tell everybody exactly how she felt. But you know something, there's a serious problem with somebody who just does not get it. And every step of the way, just like you mentioned in your intro, they're on Larry King, they're on your show, these people are all over the place. Guess who is watching these shows? The judge. The probation officer. Guess who is going send her to prison...
CAFFERTY: Her daughter on Larry King said my mother is not a liar. She was convicted of lying. Hello?
WINANS: Well, she hasn't lied to her daughter.
LISOVICZ: Actually Foster, I wanted to ask you since you were in minimum security prison, does that also reinforce maybe the kind of reception she will get there? Women there, I would imagine, if she goes, are not especially violent, but if you sort of go in saying I did nothing wrong, I shouldn't be here, do you think that's going to create a worse situation for her?
WINANS: Well, you know, you know what people do in prison? They sit around and complain about getting caught and how the system is broken and it's a lousy. I think the problem that Martha takes with her to prison, if she does not have an epiphany between now and June 17, is she has an attitude and they're not going to appreciate that.
It's not a violent place. There are no walls, the guards don't have guns. The inmates run the institution. It's actually pretty collegial, but if she goes in there with a I don't belong here kind of attitude, she will find out quickly that she is there. It's not violent. I'm just talking about isolation, that sort of thing.
SERWER: Foster, I want to ask you about your own experiences and how that would relate to what Martha is going to be going through. You were one of the preemminent financial journalist in the 1980s, and you went through that experience. What was it like emotionally and what does Martha face?
WINANS: For me personally, my first reaction when this whole thing came out was I wanted to kill myself. Then I did the other thing that you do, I confessed. I admitted what I did. It's difficult. You -- you have to find sort of a way to rebuild your life, a way to redeem yourself.
It took me about 15 years really to kind of sorting through all the debris, if you will, to come up with kind of a philosophy for myself to continue to feel good about myself. I think -- I don't know if Martha is ever going to there.
SERWER: You think she can recucitate her career, though?
WINANS: I think she can. I don't know that she has that personality. I don't know, the public may forgive her.
SERWER: Right. Okay.
CAFFERTY: Was she treated unfairly? I mean you got the Tyco jury looking at Dennis Kozlowski accused of ripping off the company for $600 million bucks. Martha Stewart wasn't even tried for the insider trading allegation, in which she allegedly saved herself $40,000, $50,000, by front running the stock trade on ImCone. Did they try to make an example out of her? How did you read the prosecution?
WINANS: There were two principle mistakes made. I think Martha was not honest with her first lawyer. And I think, when he took her in to be interviewed, that's when the lying started. The second mistake was she didn't come clean. She had opportunities.
I don't think that the -- I don't think she's being made an example of. I think she put herself in this position. What the prosecution will do -- Jeffery Toobin in "The New Yorker" writes, the prosecutors, what are they going to do, walk away? You can't unring a bell.
SERWER: All right. We're going to have to leave it at that, Foster. Thank you for that very singular perspective. Foster Winans, author and former "Wall Street Journal" columnist. Thank you.
Coming up on in the money, the little engine that might. Nanotechnology promises a way to build stuff from things as tiny as atoms. See why Wall Street is putting it under the microscope.
And the basketball showdown that the copier repair guys hate. Find out why the business world is loading up the toner for the NCAA playoffs.
PETER DE SAVARY: The people you meet on the way up, will be the people you meet on the way down. So treat everybody the way you would like them to treat you when the boot is on the other foot.
ANNOUNCER: Millionaire Peter De Savary uses that philosophy in all of his endeavors, whether it is trading oil in the Middle East or sailing in the America's Cup Race. His current passion is building extravagant international resorts. Exotic indulgences, like Falconry are a specialty at his club. He said his greatest asset is taking responsibility when things go awry.
DE SAVARY: Don't make excuses, don't run for cover. Face it and be very honorible. And that gives you the chance to live and fight another day.
SERWER: The science of nanotechnology is all about sweating the small stuff. That is small, as in atomic. Nanotechnology is the hottest new topic in tech investment with the potential to change everything from medical care to the clothes you wear. But it can be hard to tell where the hype ends and the hope begins.
To help us understand what nanotechn is about, and whether you can make money on it we are joined by Josh Wolfe. He is the editor of the "Forbes/Wolfe Nanotech Report" and a managing partner in Lux Capital, which invests in nanotechnology. Josh, the first question is very simple, what the heck is nanotechnology?
JOSH WOLFE, FORBES/WOLFE NANOTECH REPORT: It's always a good one. We are talking about nano, which is a a billionth of something. In this case we're talking about technology on a nanometer scale. So, everything that you've heard about for the past ten years about bits, zeros and ones, as the fundamental component of all the great changes in our lives, now it's about the fundamental bit being an atom. So, we are talking about manipulating matter at the atomic scale to change every industry that we could possibly think of.
CAFFERTY: This thing to somebody who knows absolutely nothing about nanotechnology, that would be me, has bubble written all over it. It sounds like the next quantum spectacular leap forward, could change our lives in many, many ways, it also sounds like something that people could tack on to the front of their plumbing company and suddenly go public with an issue and guys like me would buy the stock, the Nanotechnology Plumbing Company Inc or something.
What should people thinking about trying to get in on the ground floor that could make a lot of people wealthy, be aware of here?
WOLFE: Jack, you are 100 percent right. Not only is it possible, it is happening. You have some companies that are taking this Nano prefix, same phenomenon as with the dotcom suffix. Same phenomenon. And they slap it on to their name, stock prices are up 300, 400, 500 percent and none of these guys have nothing to do with nanotechnology. Like you say, investors don't recognize this.
Here's the way I look at it. We call these guys the nano pretenders. I will give you two examples of these companies that people should stay far away from in our opinion.
One is called Nanosignal. Now these guys changed their name four or five times already. Their most recent change went from Microsignal to Nanosignal, more name changes than Prince. And they have about as much to do with nanotech, they're about as related to nanotechnology as Andrew Jackson is to Michael Jackson. Nothing to do with nanotech there. Stock price being bid up.
Another company you want to stay away from is Nanopierce Technology. There's a whole host of these guys, these nano pretenders that we talk about in our report. Nanopierce, nothing to do with nanotechnology. The admitted it. Investers thought they did, bid the price of the stock up, allowed them do a secondary, raised more money. And get this, the CEO says, we are intending to use that money to get into nanotechnology and exploit investor demand.
But let me tell you something, the only people that will get exploited are investors naive enough to go into the stuff.
LISOVICZ: Josh, those are companies that investors should avoid. But let's talk about the economy as a whole. We've heard so much about high-tech jobs going to India and elsewhere. Is this at least an industry where the U.S. rules? WOLFE: That's a good question. In our view, right now the U.S. is spending the most amount of capital, meaning that the government has started a $4 billion initiative that President Bush signed into law over the next four years for nanotech. Every other country is following suit. And they kind of got this field of dreams mentality, it we spend it they will come.
But it's also the first time since World War II that the United States has not definitively lead in some are of technology. So, you see fierce competition in industry expertise as it relates to countries, meaning Germany in the material science sector, Japan in microelectronics, trying to scale down to the nanoscale. So, it's a really feverish race. We equate it to a metaphorical poker game, where people are anting up right now and the stakes are pretty big.
SERWER: Josh, let me jump in here. Because I'm still a little bit lost about exactly what nanotech is. What do you do with these little things? What happens?
WOLFE: If anybody tells you that nanotech is just about scaling things down from microtech, they are wrong. The reason that nano is exciting at that scale you get all new properties of physics, and Jack used the word before, quantum physics, and things just start to completely change.
You can take those effects at the nano scale and introduce them into bulk matter, into the clothing that I'm wearing, so that my fabrics will never get wet, I can pour wine on it, I can pour coffee and it just drips right off off.
Those are the mundane advances, but the real stuff coming down the pipeline that are being developed in private, venture backed companies today are things like solar cells, that basically are in a glass of water that you can pour on to a surface and get better efficiency, cost competitive with natural gas and oil, or targeted cancer therapy.
You think about the way we treat cancer today, you are basically doing what we did 100 years ago, leeching people. In the future, in the next 5, 10 years, we are going to see targeted cancer therapies that don't do what we do today with poisoning people chemo or radiating them, we will have nano particles that are able to go into the body and kill a just the cancer cells.
CAFFERTY: Give us the names of a couple companies before we run out of time here that are legitimate in this area? That if people want to take -- I mean, you don't sell grandma's shares of Exxon oil and put it all in one of these, but maybe you take a fly, you put a few bucks in one. Gives you a couple names.
WOLFE: Sure. Well, here is the intelligent way to play this, any industry, let's take it back to 1992 or '93, what are some names that you guys might have wanted to own: Cisco, Sun, the guys providing infrastructure, the tools, the picks and the axes. In nanotech, those are guys that would traditionally would be classified as semiconductor capital equipment, guys like Veeco Instruments, the ticker there is VECO, or FEI Company. Well, they are doing lots of nanoscale work. They provide the tools to actually let researchers work at the scale. Veeco's got about 300 million in sales, about one-third of it specifically allocated towards nanotechnology, growing at a double digit rate. So, buy into the tools, the picks and the axes, we like those guys a lot.
CAFFERTY: Do you own any of this stuff yourself?
WOLFE: We do not own any public companies. As a venture firm, strictly private equity assets.
CAFFERTY: If people want more information they can get in the "Wolfe Nanotech Report" from "Forbes," correct?
WOLFE: Correct. You go to forbesnanotech.com
CAFFERTY: There you go. Josh, thanks for being with us. I appreciate it. Josh Wolfe.
Coming up next as we continue, get your brackets out. We will talk about the NCAA basketball tournament and why it eats away at corporate profits. First, Susan has this week's edition of "Money and Family."
LISOVICZ: If you are thinking about selling your car, you may want to grab a pen by following a few selling tips from Edmond's.com you can easily increase the sales price of your car. First of all, check the classifieds. Compare the listed prices for your car year, make and model. This will give you a good idea how much your car is worth. Remember, prices may vary depending on mileage, wear and tear and features.
You can also check the blue book value of your car by logging on to Web sites like KBB.com. Blue book values come from pricing reports generated by nationwide consumer and retailer feedback.
Second, touch up the appearance of your car. Buyers will know within the first few minutes if they are interested or not. Have your carwashed, waxed and detailed. And consider making any needed low- cost repairs.
And finally, when posting a sale price, leave room to negotiate. Your asking price should be slightly more than the amount of your anticipated sale. That way you will be likely to get the amount you want and the buyer will walk away feeling he or she got a good deal.
I'm Susan Lisovicz for "Money and Family."
CAFFERTY: The NCAA basketball tournament is under way, but you probably already knew that because you have not gotten work done since Wednesday, right. Webmaster, Allen Wastler has more on the price of March Madness. He also has our fun site of the week. How are you doing big fella? ALLEN WASLTER, MONEY.COM: To American business, $1.5 billion wasted because of March Madness. Now this is an estimate put together by Challenger Gray and Christmas.
The they do it, is they figure there's about 39.5 million college grad types in the work force, OK. They will probably spend about ten minutes a day arguing about the games. Multiply that out over 15 days for the tournament, you figure an average hourly wage of $15.56, multiply it all out, you get $1.5 billion.
Now, there's a problem with that. There's two issues with that. People waste time at work regardless of whether or not the basketball is going on.
LISOVICZ: With our exception.
WASTLER: Of course, because we are dedicated journalists. But you get people saying "Sex and the City," last episode, Super Bowl. So, it's not like you are working from total productivity, boom, all of a sudden, here March Madness.
Two, the Internet. You know how you spend all the time on the brackets or you used to just with the pencil and okay, let's see, Duke 1 here. They will play Kentucky.
CAFFERTY: You have done this before.
WASTLER: Usually you have a geek in the office...
LISOVICZ: Guilty as charged.
WASTLER: You are behind in the pool but you could catch up if Gonzaga wins, right? Now, you have Web sites that do that for you. So it's a productivity improvement there. You go, zap, zap, zap.
SERWER: The other thing, Allen, is a lot of other businesses do very well during March Madness. I was at a bar in Atlanta Hartfield Airport the other night, and a whole lot of people were drinking and watching those games. So the bartender liked it very much.
LIFOVICZ: For journalistic purposes again.
SERWER: Oh, yes. I was doing research again.
CAFFERTY: Fun site of the week?
WASTLER: It's tied into that. One of my favorite offshore betting places is Tradesports. You can go there and bet on all the games. But I like it particularly, because you can get a line on other current events, like Martha Stewart for example.
Right now the betting -- the betting is an over, under on 14 months. So that 64 percent of the bets are going, she will get more than 14 months. They also have lines on Kobe Bryant. Heavy money, 80 percent saying he will go to trial, but only 15 percent saying he'll get convicted of anything. CAFFERTY: Interesting.
WASTLER: It goes on. One near and dear to your heart...
CAFFERTY: They have jackson?
WASTLER: They do. They have Michael Jackson, too. A whole series on whether or not -- right now the money is running low on that.
They also got Osama bin Laden. When he'll be captured. Heavy trading in that this week. Moving it up to A june cutoff or September cutoff. 90 percent saying he will get caught before December. It's that little election play that the money is going to. So, that's your fun site of the week. And you can just figure out what's going on basketball, current events, anything you want.
CAFFERTY: Sounds good.
Allen "the Greek" Wastler.
Coming up, we will read some of your e-mails and ask you the new e-mail question of the week. Remember, our email address is inthemoney@CNN.com. If you have issues in which you guys like to discuss.
CAFFERTY: All right. Time now to read your stories about how rising gas and oil prices are affecting your life. Sherry from Maryland writes this, "as a veterinarian who works on horses, rising gas prices effect me immediately and hard. In this highly competitive business, I have to charge the same for a 3 mile trip to a farm as I do for a 30 mile trip. And this is the worst time for this to happen, as spring is the mating season."
S.W. from Maine wrote, "higher gas prices are good for me since I am an environmentalist and I want to see the demand for gas dampen, then, maybe, we will halt the dangerous human contribution to the world's climate change." Don't bet on that.
J.C. from California wrote this, "when you spoke of higher gas prices, Andy suggested people might start selling their Hummers, but who's going to buy those Hummers? And if you sell it, then somebody else will be wasting the gasoline. Better yet, just drive your Hummer off a cliff."
SERWER: Yes, OK, right. That's a good idea, too.
CAFFERTY: Why didn't you think of that?
SERWER: I'm sorry.
CAFFETY: Time for the e-mail question this week, which is as follows: "is America doing enough for our wounded veterans?" In a word no, but give us your thoughts on that. We have almost a half trillion dollar defense budget, you think they could dig a few more dollars out for the people who have gone over there and done the deal.
Send your answers to email@example.com. Also, check out our show page on the web at money.com/inthemoney, which is where you'll find more information about the program and the address of the fun site of the week.
Thank you for joining us for this edition of IN THE MONEY. Thanks to the gang, the regular folks, CNN financial correspondent Susan Lisovicz, "Fortune" magazine editor at large, Andy Serwer and Money.com managine editor, Allen Wastler.
Join us tomorrow at 3:00 Eastern time. Skip those ball games, this is more fun than round ball. Tomorrow we will focus on the presidential race and the electability, or lack thereof, of the two main candidates. We will talk to one observer who says the reason has absolutely nothing to do with the issues.
Thanks for watching this one. Have a nice weekend.
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