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CNN IN THE MONEY
What is the Future of the Hummer; Middle East Peace Outlook Discussed
Aired February 12, 2005 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Christine Romans at the CNN center in Atlanta. IN THE MONEY is up next, but first a check of the headlines now in the news. Howard Dean is the new chairman of the Democratic national committee. The former Vermont governor and presidential hopeful was elected today at the DNC's annual meeting in Washington. Dean beat out a host of Democratic party members to replace outgoing chairman Terry McAuliffe.
Another suicide bombing in Iraq. Seventeen people were killed, 26 wounded after a suicide car bomber exploded at a police checkpoint in the town of Musaib (ph). Six Iraqi security guards were among the dead.
The death toll from Thursday's dam break in Pakistan has risen to 145. Dozens are believed to still be missing. The collapse and more than 100 other deaths are being blamed on heavy rain and snow soaking the country for the past week.
And a burst of color in the big apple. This is a live picture from New York's central park. The art project "the gates" opened there today, 7500, 16 foot high gates with orange fabric have transformed the park's foot paths. I'm Christine Romans at CNN center in Atlanta. More news at the bottom of the hour. IN THE MONEY begins right now.
JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR, IN THE MONEY: Welcome to the program. I'm Jack Cafferty. Coming up on today's edition of IN THE MONEY, moving the mountain. After decades of conflict, Israel and the Palestinians are giving peace one more try. We'll see if it looks like this time it might be here to stay.
Plus, the pope who redefined the job. John Paul II reached out to the world and boosted Catholic influence. Find out why the church matters to you whether you're a part of it or not.
And the road warrior. Get the story on the Hummer, find out how it went from the battlefield to Main Street USA despite being a really ugly looking little car. Joining me today, a couple of IN THE MONEY veterans, CNN correspondent Susan Lisovicz, "Fortune" magazine editor at large Andy Serwer. So we get that little weird dude in North Korea throwing another tantrum this week.
SUSAN LISOVICZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kim Jong-il.
CAFFERTY: What is his name?
LISOVICZ: Kim Jong-il.
CAFFERTY: Yeah. That's one name for him. First he announces, yes, we have the bomb. It's the first time they've publicly come out and said we have nuclear weapons. Then the day, in an interview with a South Korean newspaper, a North Korean diplomat insisting on bilateral talks with the United States as the only way to prove to the North Koreans that we don't have hostile intentions toward their country. What nonsense.
ANDREW SERWER, "FORTUNE" MAGAZINE: I mean, first of all, they don't like it when you call him a weird little dude by the way. But that's OK. You're entitled...
CAFFERTY: How would you describe him?
SERWER: I'll leave that alone. Two things. First of all, as far as the nuclear weapons go, we are not lying now. We were lying before. I mean it's not entire -- they probably have nuclear weapons but you can't trust them no matter what they say. That's number one. Number two, I think it's very interesting this whole multilateral versus bilateral. In some instances, it's the right thing to be bilateral or unilateral, one on one the United States with a foreign government. In some cases and I agree that I think this is not the case because you cannot offend China or Japan or South Korea. You need to involve them in discussions.
LISOVICZ: But everyone is offended, really and you talking about language. There was a reference, a specific reference to language, for instance, Condoleezza Rice's reference to North Korea as an outpost of tyranny. Of course, there was always the infamous axis of evil which preceded it. China has been one of the great powers that has been trying to seek a peaceful solution. North Korea can exist by itself. It gets the food and its fuel from China. So, it's upping the ante and you just have to shake your head and say, why?
CAFFERTY: Somebody used the phrase nuclear envy. Now, the fact that Iran was getting a lot of attention in the world press over whether or not they have a nuclear weapons program. And the other theory that was offered for -- what was his name again? Kim Jong-il?
CAFFERTY: That he wants to engage the United States in bilateral discussions in order to elevate the stature of his country as being on a par with the United States. They have nuclear weapons. We have nuclear weapons. We also have food. We also have freedom. We also have cars. We also have -- it's a whole long list.
SERWER: I think that Susan made a good point, Jack, though, about the relationship with China because we really don't understand fully China's relationship with North Korea and that's so important. I mean, what does North Korea mean to China? How does China use North Korea? Those are critical questions.
CAFFERTY: And has it changed since the Korean war when of course a lot of Chinese soldiers were found fighting on the side of the North Koreans but that was 50 years ago. More to come on that.
Israel and the Palestinians called a cease fire this week and they ran smack into a big round of the same old, same old. The militants took the truce as their cue to blast some Jewish settlements but this time the Israelis didn't shoot back and the new Palestinian president perhaps even more importantly, responded by getting tough on his own guys. He fired security officers who were supposed to keep the peace. All that after the first Israeli-Palestinian summit in more than four years.
To see if we're watching the start of something real in the way of change in the region, we are joined now by Jeffrey Aaronson, who's the director of the Foundation for Middle East Peace in Washington, D.C. Geoffrey, nice to see you.
GEOFFREY ARONSON, FDN. FOR MID EAST PEACE: Happy to be here.
CAFFERTY: The world is very optimistic. Is the optimism misplaced or should we be really hopeful for a change? With Arafat out of the way, is there a chance for real progress here?
ARONSON: It's always important to be cautious when looking at the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, as we all know. Having said that, it's certainly better that they're talking to each other and not shooting or not shooting as much at each other as they have in the past. These next few days and weeks, certainly will tell if the declarations made yesterday with evident good intent by each party can be fulfilled on the ground.
LISOVICZ: Geoffrey, but we've been down this road before and every body's been disappointed. Besides the fact that they're new leadership for the Palestinians, the role of the U.S. president is different. Is that an advantage or a disadvantage, would you say?
ARONSON: Well, I would say first and foremost, it's a fact of life about which we can do little to change at this moment, so one has to live with the fact that the Bush administration in contrast to its immediate predecessor, President Clinton, has adopted a low energy, low involvement, low profile policy as it relates to getting Israelis and Palestinians to the negotiating table and keeping them there. We'll have to see, however, if this policy can stand the test of true implementation on the ground as we determine whether the good words that each leader spoke yesterday in terms of their commitment to not shooting at each other and talking to each other come to fruition on the ground itself.
SERWER: Geoffrey, immediately after the cease fire, Hamas declared that it was not participating. What leverage do the Israelis, the U.S., and the Palestinians have with Hamas at this point?
ARONSON: Well, in fact, in discussions that the new Palestinian president Abu Mazen has had with Islamist parties including Hamas over the past month, it's become clear that there's a general feeling within the Palestinian community, including groups like Hamas, that there's a need to recognize that a new era is opening in relationships between Israel and the Palestinians principally, because of Israel's intention to evacuate the Gaza strip beginning this summer.
Hamas was one of the first Palestinian organizations that understood that this was, in fact, a strategy that was going to be implemented. And, number two, one that they could take political advantage of first and foremost. So it seems as though Abu Mazen's efforts to, number one, to clear and enforce a cease fire on the part of Palestinian groups is in effect pushing against a door that's far more open than it has been in the past.
CAFFERTY: I suppose then the key question becomes whether or not they're capable of imposing their will on the militants. Can they stop the violence and if not, then what? We're back to square one or where do we go from there?
ARONSON: Well, certainly, the history of the last four years would require one to be hesitant about proclaiming the dawn of a new era here. However, it is clear that Abu Mazen is not conducting business as usual. On the other hand, his efforts to assert overall control over the Palestinian street such as it is may be a bumpy ride, indeed and we have seen evidence of this in the last two days where we have an effort by Hamas militants to bombard Israeli settlements in Gaza in response to what they consider to be a violation of an understanding to stop shooting. Then we see Abu Mazen saying, look boys, the game has changed. If anybody is going to give the order to shoot, it's going to be me and we'll see how this dance plays out over the next few days and weeks.
LISOVICZ: What if somebody, Geoffrey shoots Abu Mazen. I mean it's not unknown that Hamas may take somebody out if it doesn't agree with them. Are there other -- is there enough of a following among the Palestinians that his point of view is something that is widely shared?
ARONSON: Well, certainly in both communities, both in Israel and in the Palestinian areas, there is a widespread sense of exhaustion and a widespread desire to at least hold fire, reorganize. Some people will use this to prepare for the next battle on both sides but I think in general, popular opinion in the Palestinian areas is supporting this idea that we -- that the parties should stop shooting and start talking. So I wouldn't want to speculate what would happen if there was an assassination attempt upon the Palestinian leader or anybody else in this equation, but it seems that public opinion is squarely behind this idea.
SERWER: Geoffrey, quickly here, Sharon is pulling out of the Gaza strip. But is he really a peacemaker or just a pragmatist? After all, the birthrate among Palestinians is much higher than Israelis. What is his strategy?
ARONSON: Well, we'll have to see. Certainly, his past suggests that he has been anything but a peacemaker except insofar as the peace is seen through the barrel of a gun. However, his decision to depart from Israeli policy over the past 40 years almost and to actually physically withdraw, one hopes permanently, not only from the Gaza strip, but to remove Israeli settlements there and to remove the 7,000-plus Israeli civilians, some of whom have resided there for over two decades is itself the beginning of a new era and one which may create a dynamic that all parties can take advantage to meet their own fundamental interests.
CAFFERTY: Geoffrey Aronson, the director of the Foundation for Middle East Peace joining us from Washington, thank you, sir, very much.
ARONSON: My pleasure.
CAFFERTY: When we come back on IN THE MONEY, that's not a church. It's a country. The Vatican says there are a billion plus Catholics worldwide and the numbers are rising fast. See what the church's influence means for you.
Plus, printer trouble. Carly Fiorina pushed out under fire at Hewlett-Packard. We'll look at the reaction on Wall Street. They could barely contain the giggling.
And follow the signs if you can figure them out that is. Stick around for our fun site of the week. Wastler explains this part.
CAFFERTY: Pope John Paul II ended his two-week stay at a Rome hospital on Thursday. The Vatican said the pontiff has been cured of the flu-related breathing problems that landed him there. But rumors continue over who will succeed him and when. So why does the non- Catholic world care so much? Here with a look is James Fisher, who's co-director of the Koran (ph) Center for American Catholic Studies at Fordham University. Welcome back Jim. Nice to see you.
JAMES FISHER, FORDHAM UNIVERSITY: Thank you. It's great to be here.
CAFFERTY: On the one hand, under the pontiff's travels and he's the most widely traveled pope in the history of the church, membership in the Catholic Church has grown in places like Africa. On the other hand, attendance at mass in places like the northeastern United States is down by two thirds, largely some say as a result of the sex scandal that the Catholic Church has been embroiled in and critics say the failure of this pope to properly address same. So is he the hero or is he the villain in the Catholic Church's history over the last several years?
FISHER: Well, that's an enormous question and it's very important because on the one hand, he's been tremendously successful on the global level. As you said, he has traveled much more -- more than all the previous popes combined. He had his really successful global evangelizing message that he's convoyed very effectively. But on the local level, in places like Ireland and places like the United States, the scandals of recent years have really undermined confidence in the leadership of the church. So you really have two things going on at once.
SERWER: Hey, Jim, you talk about the Catholic Church's role expanding more Catholics worldwide, but let me ask you, particularly with what we've been seeing going on in the world these days, is more religion in this world necessarily a good thing? Is there a way to have religion without the exclusivity, without the divisiveness, without people using it as an excuse to conduct war on others?
FISHER: Well, you know, since the second Vatican council, the church's message essentially has been that Christianity and particularly the message of the Roman Catholic Church, it's universal and it's really meant to apply across the world including to people who don't necessarily believe in it and it's not meant to be in any way coercive. In fact, one of the main documents of the second Vatican council was its declaration of religious freedom which insisted that all human beings have the right to practice their religion freely without coercion from any government and at the same time, the implication was that people were also free from any coercive power of religious authorities. So the church has a very charitable and universal message of Christianity which is grounded in peace and justice. It's just that in local conditions, it often times becomes part of a very divisive political culture.
LISOVICZ: James, since we're talking about peace and justice, there are millions of Catholics who have questions about some of the basic tenants of the Catholic Church right now, for instance, why priests can't marry. Why women can't become priests. Are we increasingly seeing two Catholic churches, that of the U.S. and that of the growing Catholicism in Asia and Africa which are more conservative.
FISHER: That's exactly right. At least two and some have even suggested that the Vatican may have decided to invest itself in a global church grounded primarily even in what used to be called the third world because certainly, North American and northern European Catholics have demonstrated a tremendous amount of independence from much of church teachings.
On the other hand, this pope basically using himself really as a center piece of the church's message, has been tremendously effective in evangelizing the rest of the world to the point where it's now conceivable to talk about the possibility of an African pope which is really quite extraordinary when you think of the European center of the church's history.
CAFFERTY: How many years it took for them to select someone who's not Italian to fill the post.
CAFFERTY: John Paul II was the first non-Italian pope in a very, very long time and that simple fact plays into a lot of what we're talking about. He was the one who took the message beyond the Vatican, beyond Europe and was willing to spread it to other continents in a way that had never been done by a pope before. Is this a trend that's likely to continue now that he's very close to the end of his time?
FISHER: There's no question the trend will continue. The interesting question is, will the next pope have the kind of charisma and the personal, spiritual authority that Pope John Paul II has? If he is not that kind of charismatic figure who can sort of personally embody the message, then it will be very interesting to see how a Catholicism grounded more in the teachings, rather than the person, how successful that will be.
SERWER: Let me ask you a question, Jim. You talk about the rise of Catholicism in Asia and Africa. Of course Islam is making tremendous inroads in Africa as well. But what about problems in South America, traditionally a huge stronghold for the church? Protestant fundamentalism, though, is making very strong inroads there. Is that a threat to Catholicism?
FISHER: Isn't that interesting? In a place that had been among the most Catholic places in the world --
FISHER: There's been tremendous evangelization of Catholics by Protestants, fundamentalists, evangelicals, however you want to describe it. And no one agrees on the numbers except everybody acknowledges it's huge and, in fact, some have suggested that Catholicism has tailored its own message in other parts of the world in order to appeal to a more evangelical style of piety. That is more a religion of the heart than of the head or the intellect. They have been successful in areas where Catholicism was not that big in the past, maybe not so much in places where the church was associated, as in Latin America, where the church is always associated with the ruling families and the elite.
LISOVICZ: I'm curious, James, also about political activism. One of the characteristics of this pope, John Paul II, is his own political activism, defying the Nazis, defying communism and a great inspiration to millions of people who are living in the eastern bloc. Do you think that the Vatican would go that route again, pick someone who could really speak out on very important issues that May not necessarily have anything to do with the church.
FISHER: That would be tremendously interesting. Of course, many would argue right now the huge issue is in fact interfaith dialogue and interfaith harmony. Everyone acknowledges that the world is increasingly diverse religiously and that at almost every corner of the world, there's inter-religious conflict which is threatening the political system every place and so it may be the next pope's biggest challenge will be dealing with other religious traditions.
SERWER: All right. We are going to have to leave it at that, very much in the news these days. James Fisher, co-director at the Koran Center for American Catholic Studies at Fordham University. Thank you very much.
FISHER: Thanks for having me.
SERWER: Coming up after the break, hot ink. We'll tell you about the news that put Hewlett-Packard in the headlines and check out Wall Street's take on it.
Plus, hard shell, soft center. Get the story on how the Hummer morphed from a war machine into a SUV on steroids.
And pray (INAUDIBLE) my lord. See why online dating can work better and when you get some tips from a classic novelist?
LISOVICZ: Now let's take a look at the week's top stories in our money minute. Former WorldCom finance chief Scott Sullivan pointed the finger squarely at former CEO Bernie Ebbers in the WorldCom trial. Sullivan described Ebbers as a hands-on CEO who knew about and sometimes even planned shady accounting practices that led to $11 billion worth of accounting fraud at the telecom company. Ebbers denies any wrongdoing but he hasn't decided whether he himself will testify at the trial.
Wal-Mart says it's closing a Canadian store where about 200 workers were close to winning the first ever union contract from the company. Wal-Mart says it's shutting the store in Quebec because of unreasonable demands from union negotiators. The union promises to fight the move.
Now you can dive into the dating scene with a click of your remote. Cable operator Comcast is launching a video on demand service this Valentine's Day that it calls dating on demand. Adults who want to broadcast their availability can do so by preparing a 3 to 5-minute video.
SERWER: The new song at Hewlett-Packard is Carly's gone and oh I love the stock price right now. Well, maybe that's kind of a lame attempt at an old Hall and Oates song, but shareholders were certainly celebrating Fiorina's ouster earlier this week, but where HP's problems -- were HP's problems really her fault? Despite the recent run-up, Hewlett-Packard shares are still well off their five-year highs. The post Carly Fiorina Hewlett-Packard is our stock of the week. And you know, I don't know whether it's her fault, but it is her responsibility because she was the one who fought tooth and nail to merge her company with Compaq for a $20 billion deal and what it did is it doubled down in a business that was a dog and in the process, she gave away 30 percent of the crown jewel HP business which is its printer business and take a look at me now. It's not a pretty picture and that's why the board said your strategy did not work; you are toast.
LISOVICZ: And Wall street immediately reacted. The stock was the most actively traded issue at the New York Stock Exchange. It rallied 8 percent, settled maybe about 7 percent. The point is, it's still way off maybe a third of what its all-time highs were five years ago.
CAFFERTY: It should be pointed out that your other employer, "Fortune" magazine, may have had a role in helping the board at Hewlett-Packard come to a decision that maybe they were headed toward anyway, but tell us what happened.
SERWER: I think that's right. I mean my colleague Carol Loomis wrote a really scathing story about Carly Fiorina and questioning the strategy of the Compaq deal. It is possible that board members saw this story and asked her, hey, what about this and she didn't have an answer because the numbers don't lie. It's devastating. And one other thing I think I should point out, a lot of people on Wall Street are hoping and praying that this company will split up. But let me tell you something. Splitting this company up into a PC business and a printer business might not be a panacea. And the reason is, not only is Dell its arch rival going after the PC business, which has done a remarkable job, but now it's going after the printer business, as well. There's no stopping Michael Dell when he gets his nose going on something and they're going to really go after this because it's a very high margin business and Michael Dell wants space.
CAFFERTY: I wonder if Michael Dell might just take them over one of these days.
SERWER: Well, I don't think he will, because why bother?
CAFFERTY: Why bother? He can get it anyway.
SERWER: Right. He can just get it anyway. One other interesting point I think is the whole question of is this a big story because she's a woman and I think it is a big story. The media picked up on it because she's a woman, but it didn't have anything to do with whether or not she was ousted. She was ousted because she didn't get the job done.
CAFFERTY: If you can make the stockholder's money, you can be a chicken and run the company. It doesn't matter.
LISOVICZ: That's right. She got a lot of initial press because she is a woman. Let's face it. The representation among Fortune 500 companies is abysmal for the number of women that are in the work force.
CAFFERTY: Maybe this is one of the reasons why.
SERWER: Oh now, see, that's the kind of stuff...
LISOVICZ: No, no. She was fired by a board that had a backbone and we haven't seen it lately and there have been plenty of other companies where shareholders are clearly dissatisfied.
SERWER: And no permanent successor named yet. We'll have to watch that one.
Coming up on IN THE MONEY, forget middle of the road. Whether you love to hate it or love to have it, everybody has a take on the Hummer. Find out how a military design wound up on Main Street.
Also ahead, love stories. See how a bunch of old movies could tell you just what you need to know about romance.
And signs of trouble. We'll show you some signs that say more than they mean on our fun site of the week.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) ROMANS: I'm Christine Romans at the CNN center in Atlanta. IN THE MONEY continues in a moment. But first, let's take a look at what's in the news now. Tech savvy one-time presidential candidate Howard Dean is the new leader of the Democratic Party. The former Vermont governor was tapped as the chairman of the DNC today. Dean replaces outgoing party head Terry McAuliffe.
Weather woes in Pakistan, the death toll has risen to 145 from Thursday's dam break caused by flooding from heavy rains and snow. Rescue efforts are under way to find dozens of people still missing. Pakistan's president today promised continued relief for the devastated area.
Meanwhile, several snow avalanches across northern Pakistan have killed more than 80 people. Officials in the nation say the inclement weather over the past week has led to the deaths of at least 290 people and in neighboring Afghanistan, bad weather has killed nearly 95 people.
He stood for integrity, grace, and power. Those words from Oprah Winfrey about legendary actor Ossie Davis. A funeral was held today for Davis at a church in Harlem. He died last week in Florida where he'd been making a movie. Davis was 87.
And a burst of orange can be seen in New York's central park. The art project "the gates" opened today, 7500, 16 foot high gates with orange fabric were placed along the pathways of central park. I'll have all the day's news at the top of the hour. Now back to IN THE MONEY at CNN.
ANDREW SERWER, "FORTUNE" MAGAZINE: All right. It's A long road from the battlefield to the little league field. But the Humvee known in ITS current form as the hummer made the trek to suburbia and it's managed to anger quite a few people along the way from environmentalists to consumer advocates. Automotive journalist Marty Padgett chronicles the rise of the Hummer in his new book, "Hummer, How a Little Truck Company Hit the Big Time thanks to Saddam, Schwarzenegger and GM." Quite a list, welcome, Marty.
MARTIN PADGETT, AUTOMOTIVE JOURNALIST: Thanks. Thanks for getting the big title right.
SERWER: I did it. Listen, I want to ask you. Isn't the Hummer a little bit kind of over at this point with gasoline prices rising and sales a little bit stalled?
PADGETT: Well, if you talk to the executives from GM, it is actually receding to a point that they expected but culturally, you might look around and see gas prices and see an anti-SUV backlash and you might think, yes, the Hummer is over and SUVs might be over, as well.
JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR, IN THE MONEY: Well, as far as I'm concerned as soon as they're all over, that will be fine. What is the attraction of this big, ugly looking, gas guzzling freak car? I mean, it is just -- you see them on the streets of New York. It is just mind boggling. Why would anybody want one of these?
PADGETT: I think it's uniquely American. These people identify with kind of a red state mentality which is very popular to want to take a piece of America with you on the road and off the road. And, GM did a very smart thing and realizing that there was a growing fascination with military culture and they hopped in it at the right point and took Hummer into something bigger than anyone ever anticipated.
CAFFERTY: But what is it that motivates people to buy one of these? Maybe I didn't phrase the question -- why would I go out and say, gee, I got to have a Hummer?
PADGETT: GM says that these people are self employed. They're self starters. They're patriotic and they see themselves as dare takers, the risk that they take might not be driving a convoy in Iraq. It might be making a huge stock sale, but they picture themselves in the same level of risk.
SUSAN LISOVICZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Marty, but I don't see that because, you know, and I don't mean to offend any Hummer owners, but the guys that I see driving Hummers wouldn't know how to put up a pup tent. They consider a hike, you know, walking from their car to the 7-Eleven.
CAFFERTY: Listen to you.
LISOVICZ: And then they're wearing these matching, you know, gym outfits. They just don't look like they belong trim and fit and ready to serve the country. So, it's sort of appealing to the fantasy, right? It's just a brilliant marketing campaign but where does GM go now if, in fact, they have to -- it has to offer incentives?
PADGETT: The good question is where they go now, obviously and where they're going is with a smaller, what they say is a kinder, gentler Hummer. It's based on smaller architecture. It has a five cylinder engine instead of a V-8 and it could get as much as 20 miles per gallon.
SERWER: Well, leaving aside Susan's little Freudian exercise there -- (UNINTELLIGIBLE) mention the women that buy them, too. Yeah and there are women that buy them. A good friend of mine got one, actually and he grew a goatee. I think he was having a mid life crisis, but he did say he was a hero in his neighbor because he towed all of the mom's cars out during a big snowstorm this past winter but what I'm wondering is, can this car really continue to sell? Can this vehicle really sell, say five years down the road? Is this really a legitimate model line for GM or is still thing just going to go by the by? It's just a fad?
PADGETT: Well, that's a good question. Gm has kind of built on their business plan that Hummer might eventually sell 100,000 vehicles a year and that would include all the different versions of the big H2 and the smaller H3. Nobody's sure. Nobody's sure if SUVs are already starting to evolve into smaller, more compact and more fuel efficient vehicles. I think if you look at the auto show coverage from this year, you'll see that manufacturers are really emphasizing these new crossover vehicles that are based on cars rather than the truck-based SUVs.
LISOVICZ: Marty, is there anything else on the horizon that sort of smacks of this kind of coolness or got to have, the hybrids, for instance. Some of the Japanese hybrids are -- have waiting lists. Do you see anything on the horizon that's going to rival this?
PADGETT: That's the interesting other side of the pendulum. For every red state buyer who wants to have a Hummer H2, there's a blue state buyer that wants to have a Toyota Prius. And hybrids make sense in cities and they even make sense on the highways, but again, it's all about image. It's about what you want to tell people about what you're driving and who you are. A Hummer says you're daring. The Prius says you're caring.
LISOVICZ: And Marty, so then, you know what question I'm going to ask you. What do you drive?
PADGETT: I have to say I have an SUV but I also have a Toyota Prius.
SERWER: He's daring. He's caring. He's everywhere.
LISOVICZ: He's got it all going on. Cool but caring, Marty Padget, author, "Hummer, How a Little Truck Company Hit the Big Time Thanks to Saddam, Schwarzenegger and GM." Thanks for joining us.
LISOVICZ: There's more to come here on IN THE MONEY. Up next, hot plots, this Valentine's Day weekend, find out how some literary classics could get your love life moving.
And the digital bloodhounds. Find out if the analysts think Google is a good place to park your cash after meeting with the search engine company.
LISOVICZ: Forget he is just not that into you. Perhaps the greatest advice on dating comes from an author who could have written a book called "He's Just Not That into Thou." We're talking about Jane Austen. Her influence on the literary world and Hollywood is still going strong nearly 200 years after her death. And our next guest says Jane Austen's books can also teach women how to date successfully. Joining us on this Valentine's Day weekend is author Lauren Henderson. Welcome. Hi there, Lauren. So does that mean that instead of kissing me on the cheek, that the man should -- the gentleman should kiss me on the hand, that he should be reciting poetry, that he should lay his coat down on the street when it rains?
LAUREN HENDERSON, "JANE AUSTEN'S GUIDE TO DATING": Well, that's all lovely, isn't it?
LISOVICZ: It is. We'd complain if someone did that. I do actually put in the book that a very good sign of a man being romantically interested in you not just sexually if he does things like kiss you on the hand or kiss you on the forehead when he says good night. That's very romantic.
SERWER: Lauren, you know, I think that my understanding is that you said that women should be more direct, more honest. This is startling stuff, that you should, you know, if you like a guy, you should call him back. You should tell him.
HENDERSON: Someone needed to say that.
SERWER: Yeah, I guess so.
HENDERSON: I really think someone need to say that. As you can hear, I'm English.
SERWER: Yes. I can hear that.
HENDERSON: I think it is obvious and when I moved to America, I was so baffled by the American dating rules that becoming single and dating again, and sort of learning to do it again and trying not to be too American about it was really the inspiration for writing the book and part of that is absolutely showing a man you like him if you do. It seems common sense to me.
CAFFERTY: Give me Jane Austenesque take on this Prince Charles situation. He's one of yours.
HENDERSON: Oh, don't get me started. Don't get me started. It's unprincipled, really.
CAFFERTY: No, no, no. It's all right.
SERWER: It's TV. So you can say it, instead.
HENDERSON: I think that poor girl is treated really badly. I think she thought that she was in -- Diana thought that she was in a wonderful love affair. She was only 18 and I think she was really taken advantage of and I think my book would have helped her tremendously in working out that Charles was not the man for her.
LISOVICZ: But, hey, I mean, the prince, I think, knelt down on one knee. Wasn't that romantic? There's going to be a civil ceremony. Love prevails after all.
HENDERSON: Well, yes. Over the body of that poor woman he got sacrificed to make two heirs for the country.
SERWER: Well, that's true. And then there's Prince Charles' love letters to Camilla which those I think we should probably not talk about right now.
HENDERSON: Gosh, I think it was the phone conversations tapped by MI-5 that were the really bad ones. SERWER: Yes. Those were the really naughty ones, weren't they? All right. Listen, what can an author from the 19th century possibly have to say to people today in terms of actual practical romantic situations? Come on. We are talking about people flying around with feathers and capes and all this sort of stuff.
HENDERSON: Well, first of all, I recommend some Jane Austen if you haven't read it.
SERWER: Apparently, I haven't read that much.
HENDERSON: Second, great love stories are timeless. They really are. The ones that -- Jane Austen has never been out of print since the books were published. Two are two versions of "Pride and Prejudice" coming out this year alone so she obviously still has a great deal of stuff to tell the modern generation.
SERWER: It's sort of like you want these women to act like Gwyneth Paltrow or something. I mean she's kind of a big Jane Austen kind of a gal, isn't she?
HENDERSON: Well, Gwyneth Platrow hasn't done so badly for herself. It wouldn't have been my first role model, but I have to say she seems to be happily married with a lovely baby. So you wouldn't...
SERWER: She married a Brit. But go ahead.
HENDERSON: There you go. I'm very happily dating an American. So I'm a fan of American men right now.
CAFFERTY: I didn't catch the last part. What did you say?
HENDERSON: I'm a big fan of American right now.
SERWER: Including Jack. There he goes.
LISOVICZ: Brought a smile to Jack's face.
CAFFERTY: What is it about the way people are currently date and romance one another that's not working so well? Why should they look to this book as an alternative? What's wrong with the way they're doing it?
HENDERSON: They're game playing. That would be the single thing I would say. And that's the single piece of advice I was given when I moved to America about successful dating was you have to game play and I really disapprove of that. And I would not be with my lovely boyfriend today if I played games.
LISOVICZ: We're very happy for you but a lot of us people are overworked, have very few times, lots of obligations and they have very little time to try to meet new people so there's something in the 21st century called speed dating, where you sit down and you talk to someone for a few minutes and you decide whether you want to continue the relationship or not. Is that something that Jane Austen would approve of?
HENDERSON: Well, rule four in the book is trust your instincts. I think that I wouldn't -- I'm not sure if I would want to do it myself because it's very high pressure. But I think in the first three minutes of meeting somebody, you can get a very good sense of whether you're on the same wave length. You can get a sense of their sense of humor and you can get a sense of physical attractiveness and after that of course, you have to learn more. But it's not a bad start.
SERWER: Last quick question Lauren. So are American men sexier than British men?
HENDERSON: Gorgeous. They're infinitely superior in every way. Do you want more or is that enough?
SERWER: That's a good start. If you want to leave it there, that's fine. I think I get the picture.
HENDERSON: They are more romantic, actually. The nice thing about American men, they are a lot more romantic when you bring it out in them.
LISOVICZ: And when I think of Andy Serwer and Jack Cafferty, I think of romance.
HENDERSON: You are a lucky girl.
LISOVICZ: I am. I am.
SERWER: Lauren, she sits right between us.
LISOVICZ: Lauren Henderson, author of "Jane Austen's Guide to Dating." I'm trying to say this with a straight face. Thank you for joining us.
HENDERSON: Thank you.
LISOVICZ: Coming up, making Google eyes. Find out whether stock analysts are clicking with the search engine company.
And if you're fired up about the stories we've been covering on the show or you just want to sound off, send us an e-mail. The address is firstname.lastname@example.org. But first, this week's money and family.
LISOVICZ: Whether you like it or not, there's still few more weeks of winter left and you may have drained your bank account paying for your heating bills this winter. Here are some ways you can save money on heating your home until spring arrives. Start by setting your thermostat to a comfortable temperature. Don't turn it above the desired one. It won't heat your home any faster and will only make your furnace work harder. Make sure to clean or replace filters on furnaces once a month or as needed. Vents should be clear of obstructions. Use kitchen, bath and other ventilating fans wisely. In just one hour, the fans can pull out a houseful of heated air. Turn fans off as soon as they have done the job. And when you buy new heating equipment, make sure it's energy efficient. Your contractor should be able to give you energy fact sheets for different types, models and designs to help you compare energy usage. I'm Susan Lisovicz for money and family.
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CAFFERTY: Remember all the moaning about the price of Google shares when it went public six months ago? Well, since then, the stock has more than doubled, almost tripled. This week, Google revealed part of its closely guarded business plan and joining us now with that and the fun site of the week is my dear friend Allen Wastler.
ALLEN WASTLER, MONEY.COM: You know what's interesting about it? What Google said, did not say that, it won't get into. Everybody has been saying, oh no, Google's going to get into the browser business. Google said no, we're not interested in the browser business. Oh, they're going to get into selling domain names. Nope, not interested in that either. Telephony, Internet telephony. Nope, nope, not going to do that. We're actually going to concentrate on search, what we do best.
CAFFERTY: And fees.
WASTLER: Search fees that pays for advertising.
SERWER: What's that word, Jack, Benjamins isn't it?
WASTLER: It's all about the Benjamins, baby. Now here's where I've always said that Google is a Greek tragedy waiting to happen. But every time I say that and stuff, they just keep doing it better and better and better. But this time, maybe this time, they're going to trip on themselves. Because they said that they might make a move toward registration of users. That's where when you go to use what you've always used for free, all of a sudden -- tell us who you are, with that and the other. You can charge greater fees. You can get to know your customers and then you go to the advertisers and say, hey, we can give you all the white males between 20 and 55. We can give you all the people in New York and this and this and this and you can segment it more to sell your advertising.
CAFFERTY: Was it you Andy last week on AMERICAN MORNING had a story about they can't find enough workers? They're desperate to hire people.
WASTLER: That's right. And that's another thing they got into, some of the limitations that they are on. With people, they have like a six-step interview process and very high standards.
CAFFERTY: Kind of like CNN. WASTLER: Yes. That's right.
SERWER: I thought they gave them an IQ test. If they failed, they got hired.
CAFFERTY: Maybe that was -- sorry, sorry.
WASTLER: So they got some impediments, there, too. They also need to add more technology to enable the search technology. But generally, the analysts walked away with a pretty feeling positive feeling and since this is a company that won't give you profit guidance, that's the best you can walk away with.
CAFFERTY: But the two quarters they reported so far have been gang busters.
WASTLER: And the stock has basically doubled.
SERWER: The search is getting more commercial, though, isn't it? I mean it's getting more and more paid sites, more and more stuff is --
WASTLER: That's because everybody's looked to Google and said, hey they figured something out here. If you can deliver the results that the advertisers want, give them that an argument or that audience, you can pay a good dollar for it.
CAFFERTY: You know what we want right now? Fun site.
SERWER: You want some fun. Give us the fun.
WASTLER: ... found a fun website that has signs that, well, the signs didn't say what they meant to. Anyway, let's look at the first one, a little problem with spelling here. Oops. You know, you're writing it on the road there and --
SERWER: Sotp. All right.
WASTLER: All right. You'll really like the dry cleaners here. Drop your pants here and you will receive prompt attention.
SERWER: That's so great. I like that. I like going...
WASTLER: Got one more for you. This is a battle of logic here, OK, you ready folks? Put your mind on this one. Entrance only, do not enter. Things that make you go, hmm.
SERWER: I'd just stand there and look at that for a long time.
CAFFERTY: For a long time. Yep. Leave your car in neutral. Contemplate. Thanks, Allen.
Coming up next time IN THE MONEY, time to hear from you as we read some of your e-mails from the past week. You can send us an e- mail right now if you're so inclined. Get up off the couch and go in there and type something, email@example.com. Back after this. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CAFFERTY: All right. Time now to read your answers to our question from last week about what retirement savings plans you have other than Social Security.
Matt wrote, the best retirement plan is one where you get dividends and interest from stocks and real estate. The only better plan is the one the congressmen have.
Patricia wrote, I was a teacher. I get a pension that's reliable. More people should consider jobs that offer a pension. They may not pay much in salary, but they become a lot more valuable in your retirement.
And Suzanne wrote this. My plan is to get married. That way I'll have financial support and plenty of company when I get old.
LISOVICZ: Dream on.
CAFFERTY: Now for our Valentine's Day inspired e-mail question for this week. How did you win the heart of your significant other? Please tell the truth and keep it clean. Send your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You should also visit our show page, money.com/inthemoney, which is where you'll find the address of our fun site of the week. You can while away a few moments reading them silly science. Thank you for joining us for this edition of IN THE MONEY. Thanks to CNN correspondent Susan Lisovicz, "Fortune" magazine editor at large Andy Serwer and money.com managing editor Allen Wastler. Join us tomorrow at 3:00 Eastern when we'll tackle the Federal budget by asking an expert what he would do with $2.5 trillion. We'll see if his priorities are the same as the president's. That's tomorrow at 3:00. Hope to see you then.
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