Friday, May 29, 2009

Charles Payne, FBN Commentator Warns Against the Kool-Aid

Every morning I'm switching between CNBC's Squawk and Fox Business Network's first spot. So far as business news goes, there's a regular parade of stars on both channels. I know it's weird to call business commentators "stars" but these people are certainly more talented than motor-mouthed hacks like Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann who freely comment on all and sundry matters without knowing a single thing.

So I like Quintanilla, Quick, and Kernan, but I also like Jenna Lee, Alexis Glick and Charles Payne and the rest of their crew. It's Payne I want to praise today. I'm so tired of wussy types like over-pressed political commentator John Harwood who comes on CNBC by dictate of the producers.

Charles Payne breaks the mold and he's big enough to break most anything. Yet, he has an easy, matter-of-fact manner from which hype is conspicuously absent. One of those gentle giants who was brought up to tell the truth by his mama, a guy unafraid to go his own way, whether it's Wall Street or Mean Street.

Payne is able to praise the accomplishments of singularly talented and courageous African-Americans but doesn't deride the rest of the world when he does it. It's all matter-of-fact, straight, honest, good natured, sardonic, and best of all, he's a man in control of his ego.

The buzz on Wall Street today is how the Fed may be pushing up interest rates in its program of "quantitative easing," shorthand for pumping tax dollars into the economy. The big worry is that the sharply rising rates will negate the "stimulus" effect and that appears, for today at least, to be what is happening. People are looking for signs to justify whether the stimulus plan is working, or whether it is not working, and will mortgage the future in cheap dollars, high prices, sharply increased inflation, and a further depressed economy. It's easy enough to find signs that will support your "side" to play against the other "side."

Pro-Obama types tend to point to the market which is about 1500 points higher than its March lows as a sign that things are improving. Jenna Lee mentioned this to Charles Payne, my hero du jour.

"People can always make money in the market," says Payne (no matter what it is doing) "but don't drink the Kool-Aid," he cautions.

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