tv Closing Bell CNBC March 3, 2014 3:00pm-5:01pm EST
they violated the nondisclosure agreement. >> yeah, dumb, and nobody can have 1,200 friends. >> i'm sure some of them are fake or friends of friends of friends. not real friends. >> the state of society now. three of my two friends are on facebook. thanks for watching "street signs," everybody. >> "the closing bell" is next. you know that saying march comes in like a lion, but for the stock market right now it's more like a bear. good afternoon. welcome to "the closing bell." >> i'm michelle caruso-cabrera in for kelly he was. she's back tomorrow. stocks rocked across the globe from the ukraine crisis and the united states is not immune. the dow jones industrial average is off of its lows down 158 points. at the worst moments it was down 250 points.
a decline to 16,163. a decline of less than 1%. the nasdaq also off of its lows when you look at the intraday pattern. it's lower by 29 points. a decline of 2/3 of a percent. the s&p is coming off the bottom. it's down 18 points. >> let's talk about everything driving the market lower with abigail doolittle, chris whalen is a new york based author and investment banker and an expert on soviet history -- the history of soviet politics. brian jacobson, david molnar and our own rick santelli monitoring all the safe haven plays. brian jacobson, you say you want to buy everything you can get your hands on on this dip. why are you not worried with the rest of the market on what's going on with ukraine? >> i think this is just an overreaction to what's going on
in lad, you wrote about national security issues and the soviet union. do you agree with that? is it okay to step into the markets here? because ultimately this isn't going to have a systemic effect on the rest of the global economy? >> i think, yes, i do. i think in a tactical sense this was just one of the headlines that no trader could predict, but on the other hand the russians have been trying to keep control of the ukraine for lun hundreds of years going back to katherine the great. they will not tolerate an independent ukraine. i saw an interesting note this
morning, there's energy in the ukraine that could supplant the russians as far as being a supplier to western europe. there's a lot of things going on here. we'll hear more about it. this isn't going to go away. >> david molnar, you point out we're hovering around the fifth anniversary of the beginning of this bull market from the lows of march of '09. it's getting long in the tooth. is this market just running out of steam. is this a good excuse to sell today? >> yeah, bill, i think that's exactly what we're seeing here is that the market is a little bit extended, a little bit tired after a big run here off the january lows. we needed to see something come along that would create an impetus for consolidation, even a short-term correction, and this happens to be it right now. i agree with the prior two guests that this is probably going to be a short-term correction. it's not necessarily, you know, a change in trend here, but i would point out we do have friday's employment report coming out that's going to dictate a lot about, you know,
the future direction of fed policy, the future direction or health of the economy, and so i'm not sure that the coast is clear yet. we'd like to see the data come through this week, but certainly this could be the time that we see a pull back. >> i think david is really making a good point but something i haven't heard everybody else talk about is volatility. this year is really all about volatility. when we look at the start of the year, we've seen this massive push towards safety. we've seen bonds, yen, and gold rally. interestingly this came right two weeks after the fed's taper, not the reaction you would expect. so i think that investors are telling us there ever worries out there. the ukraine situation is just one. the fact is whether or not if we keep it simple it was whether or not it will affect the corporate profit outlook. if it does, it will have a bigger impact on the stock market. if not, it's probably just a smaller blip but it's a piece of volatility and the fact we're seeing this shift towards safety really suggests that we're going to see continued volatile in the
risk assets and i wouldn't -- >> speaking of the risk toward safety, rick santelli, despite the concerns about the long-term debt of the u.s., when the world is terrified, what do they buy? u.s. >> if everybody has been willing all along to look through all the real fundamental news that affects stocks negatively in the united states and say, step in, keep a level head, and buy, then for sure that logic should be applied when the ukraine is the dynamic. you know, in an overleveraged every dollars margin sort of world in front of basel, in front of the european banks to get the ratios down, it makes perfect sense to see europe with ukraine in their backyard and some of their equity markets down, but for the life of me i haven't had a good conversation with any of the traders as to why the u.s. stock market is down or as to why the dollar index really hasn't been flight to safety. and treasuries, certainly yields have gone down and we can put it in that big bag that it's flight
to safety, but overlay an s&p chart or a dow chart onto the ten-year note yields and you will get the right impression. it really is trading tick for tick with stocks. now, having said all that, if we start to see some settlements under 2.58% which was the low yield on february 3rd and the only thing that separates us from comping all the way back to last fall, that would get more momentum. remember, all markets are trading an ol on algorithmic markets. >> chris whalen, obviously we worry about the impact any economic sanctions could have if there's retaliation. they have the handle on natural gas. they being the russia, on oil. the second biggest natural gas and oil producer in the world. >> right. >> isn't that enough of a worry to start selling stocks today? >> well, no, it is a worry. we could have a war between the ukraine and russians, but to
rick's point, what is important for the u.s. stock market is what's going on with the economy. you know, i was originally planning to talk about the housing sector which is slowing down. i think we could see housing prices fall this year. largely because of too much regulation, other factors, so this is a distraction. it's a very important one, but i don't really think we should take our eye off the ball when it comes to what's driving or not driving the economy right now. >> brian jacobson, what would you think if we saw yields drop as sharply as rick was talking about? would that be a good sign or bad? lower yields help the economy but at the same time it's because everybody is so frightened. it's not necessarily a good thing, is it? >> you can have yields that are too low and i actually think that that's the environment which we've been in. why are they so low? it's not because there's so much liquidity. it's because there's a lot of fear. the fed is beginning its tapering program but yet this flood of fears has overwhelmed the fed's withdrawal of some of its monthly stimulus. so i think that if we do see
yields go too much lower, it's all a question of why, and i think really the reason now is because you'd see a spike in fear, and that wouldn't be a good thing, but again it's the type of thing i think you can just sort of look through and actually think that maybe in a month from now we're going to see that this is actually -- we're on to the next story. >> rates are low because there's no demand for credit. >> i continue to think that rates are low. we've seen this rally in rates this year, 40 bits in the ten-year in two months because investors really are concerned about some sort of repricing of risk and this happened two weeks after the fed tapered. that's not a coincidence. >> there's no demand for credit on the consumer side. >> if you actually look at the consumers' balance sheet, credit levels have returned. it's stop declining. there's still demand for credit if you look at commercial and industrial loans -- >> how about mortgages? >> even on the mortgage side, what's going on there? the decline in the amount of
mortgages has effectively slowed according to the fed's recent figures. >> no, no, look at the fdic data. >> that's what i'm referring to. the decline has slowed. i haven't said it's come back but the decline has slowed. >> i disagree with that also. if you look at existing home sales, they're at an 18 month low. everybody is talking about the weather -- >> are we talking about economy instead of ukraine? >> the economy is a little more important here. >> thank you, folks. appreciate it very much. >> see you later. >> this market really has come back. the dow was down 250 points at the lows of the session. the dow is now down 167 points as we head toward the close, 50 minutes left in the tradesing session here. >> the conflict between russia and ukraine sparking a big sell-off on wall street. up next a top military expert tells us what the end game is for vladimir putin, what options president obama has, if any, and how long you could keep the market in turmoil. meanwhile, one of the
world's largest investors not fazed by today's stock slid >> warren, you wouldn't be selling anything today based on this 12 this? >> no, if stocks were cheaper, i would be buying them. >> coming up, we'll hear from one mega bear who says the dow is heading all the way to 6,000 in the not too distant future. and we want to know whether you are following buffett's advice and buying on this sell-off. your best tweets are coming up. announcer: where can an investor
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fears of military action between russia and ukraine sparking the largest stock sell-off in a month. >> nbc chief pentagon correspondent jim mcicklaszewsk is following the crisis. >> u.s. military officials at the pentagon continue to stress there are no viable options, no viable military solutions to this russian/ukrainian crisis. officials continue to stress that they have issued no orders to scramble any military assets, no ships, no planes, no military forces have been put on stand-by. the question is, if you did that, then what would they do? and the big fear is that it
could lead to some unintended confrontation with the russian military forces that nobody here wants. instead, they're going to take some small steps. they're talking about suspending or canceling a joint u.s./russian military exercise set for may and cutting off for the time being all military to military consultations and contacts with the russians. you know, the feeling is that the only viable weapons now in the u.s. arsenal are diplomatic and economic sanctions, which the white house has been talking about for some time now. and if there's any piece of good news in any of this, u.s. military says intelligence indicates there's no sign that the russian military forces now in crimea have any intention or are making any moves to move onto the mainland ukraine. bill? >> it's michelle here. is the sense when you talk to
these individuals, is the sense that ukraine -- it sounds like we don't have many options. russia is going to do what russia is going to do in ukraine and we're going to have to sit there and watch. >> they don't at this point, they've seen no indication that the russians are going to move beyond crimea, which many consider to be part of russia more than ukraine. of course, they have those military bases there, including their only warm water port in the world that according to officials here the russians obviously feel some need to protect. now, there is no excusing the russians for what the administration is calling an invasion by the russian forces in the crimea, but at this point they're sitting back hopefully thinking that this may be the only move that the russian military makes. and by the way, they say that these reports that the russians have set a deadline to the ukrainians to withdraw from some of the areas there in crimea or
they would launch a military attack, military intelligence says they see no indication, no sign that that order or that threat is true. >> we've been hearing that on wall street as well. good to see you. thank you. >> okay. >> nbc's jim miklaszewski at the pentagon. let's talk about possible outcomes with a man who knows a thing or two about conflicts like this. >> retired army colonel jake jacobs joins us. colonel, good to have you here. >> thanks for having me. >> do you take the same attitude as mick's sources, that hopefully they stop at crimea or is this chamberlin-esque? >> it sounds superficially like it's 1938 again, but at the end of the day it's vitally important to russia to keep that port. if we can remember what has happened over the past several months with thee esu trying to entice ukraine to come over to its side and the violence that occurred in ukraine after that, we can see the consternation that develops in the mind of a
guy like putin. there's an old saying, just because you're paranoid doesn't mean that people are out to get you. there's no question putin feels threatened by any move that would threaten their only year-round ice-freeport. if we notice their move is into crim crimea, it's a limited objective attack. it's not a good move, but at the end of the day that, i believe, is his objective. he's likely to stop there. in addition to that as we've heard, there's not a whole lot we can do militarily about it. >> to the spirit of michelle's question earlier, what realistically what options do we have right now other than just watching this happen? >> no military options whatsoever. even -- >> even if there are economic sanctions being discussed, would that even help? we're not talking about some small rogue state here. we're talking about russia at this point. >> i agree with you. i don't think it's going to have
much effect on what putin's objective is. you know, in conversations with germany over what to do economically, there's the notion that we're going to have a g-8 but it's not going to include russia. and the mere suggestion that there will be a g -- a g-7 instead got merkel all fired up. there are enormous relationships between germany on the -- between the eu on the one hand and russia on the other, including energy relationships that -- >> that's exactly what i was going to bring up. that's exactly what i was going to bring up, jack. the u.s. can talk all it wants, but it's got to get everybody else on board for economic sanctions and europe imposing economic sanctions on russia, i think there's zero percent of that because they get so much energy. their economies cannot handle even higher energy costs at this
point. >> one of the down sides of encouraging the kinds of -- the kind of russia we have today who is vitally involved in the economic world, there's great upside, but one of the downsides is you can't pressure it too much because there is too much interrelationship. we'll not find any support for long-term castigation of russia economically in europe. >> the objective is to get the incursion out of ukraine, off the crimea peninsula and let them govern themselves. what's it going to take to do that? anything? >> well, i think there's one interesting thing. it sounds like it's right off the map, but one of the ways in which russia will be satisfied is if there will be some sort of international compact to guarantee that russia will be able to keep it's warm water port on the black sea. that's going to require consultations with all of europe, the united states, and
then and only then i think -- if there's a guarantee that russia will get -- that it can keep its port, i think there might be some way of getting them militarily out of the area. failing that, we can yell at them and put all their business meb on lists and mess up their banking relationships, but that's not going to change the strategic imperative putin feels required to do. >> colonel jack cobobs, great t you on. the dow, this is a new seat. >> it's over there. >> there it is. lower by -- i can't even see. >> 180. >> thank you. we're a good team, right? >> you can borrow that. russia's conflict with ukraine spooking the markets obviously today, but we are off the lows as we're just itemizing here. stick around because anything can happen in this most important hour of the trading day. the next half hour will be very critical here. and those tengs in ukraine could have major impact on the supply of natural gas to europe. what that means for gas prices here coming up next. ♪
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little higher here so we're getting that rush to safety and away from risk in today's trade. >> investors should be keeping an eye on energy prices, too. also an understandable reaction with the rise of oil and natural gas. mary thompson is here to explain why. >> michelle, the reason you need to keep an eye on energy is russia is one of the largest producers of oil and second largest producer of natural gas. analysts say the risk right now is pretty low. a bigger concern is the flow of russian natural gas to europe. 76% of its nat gas exports go to the eu accounting for a third of the european union's supply. 50% of that natural gas gets to europe through a ukrainian pipeline system. back in 2006 and 2009 russia cut supplies to the system shown in gray because of a priss diswould you tell with the ukraine. the pipeline was russia's primary means of transported nat gas. prices in europe spiked.
since then russia built the nordstream pipeline shown in red to bypass the ukraine. it could maintain a flow of gas to europe while cutting supply to a rebellious ukraine. analysts say russia isn't likely to do this preferring to maintain an uninterrupted supply to european customers. this is key to russia. you could have an embargo cut, you know -- or push back on russian exports but that would have a negative impact on the eu economy. they can't afford to see price increases on the energy front increase anymore. >> we were discussing that with the colonel. just houp w much of a threat do russian aggression pose? >> the near-term threat is not
substantial but that could change if more troops are deployed on the ground. we're joined by willis sparks who is a global macro analyst. russia has used the threat of holding back natural gas as a threat in the past. >> there's a big difference between a threat and pulling it off. sure, they're going to threaten. the russians will use every piece of leverage they have to try to influence events inside ukraine, but in terms of actually interrupting the flow of natural gas from east to west, it's really a situation where no one wins, including the russians, and, frankly, if we get to a status quo situation where the russians really stop at crimea and we don't see an escalation, russian troops moving into the eastern provinces of ukraine, which we do not expect under the current circumstances, then the natural gas should continue to flow. there could be threats and even short-term stoppages here and
there but it's in no one's long-term interest to turn off those taps. >> right now ukraine gets cut rate deal of the gas it gets from russia. can we assume ukraine will now have to pay a lot more for natural gas when they do the next round of negotiations? i think it's april 1st. >> i think it depends where we are a week from now. the situation on the ground is so completely fluid. i think what a lot of people are waiting to see, and i think a very important sign post that we should underline, if you watch those cities in eastern ukraine, those cities where there is a heavier predominance of ethnic russians, if we see violence on the street there, not organized violence, but disorganized violence, and if ethnic russians start to become the victims of that violence, if russian people turn on their tvs and they see ethnic russians inside ukraine injured or killed, then we're in a completely different
environment. we have to rethink the natural gas question. we have to rethink every aspect of this, but that's not the likely outcome right now. >> where could prices go? what do you think? >> well, you know, if we get into a situation where russian troops actually move into ukraine, then we're in unknown territory, and, you know, that would be a serious source of the kind of uncertainty that is melting down markets. the u.s. market obviously is down substantially today. the russian market fell 12%. so, again, if we cross that red line, we're in a different area but we're not there. the russians have very good reason to stop where they are, and, you know, the real risk here is violence takes on a life of its own and then we're in a different environment. >> is there any chance that europe goes along with any kind of economic sanctions or are they too fearful of seeing their gas supplies cut off? >> again, i think it entirely depends on what the russians do next. we're already seeing great reluctance. you're previous guest pointed out the germans get a third of
their natural gas from russia. angela merkel is not looking to pick a fight from russia. reports from britain today that there are high level communications that say we don't want to interrupt the trade relationship with russia. the europeans will hold off as long as they can, but, again, you cross that red line, russian troops move out of crimea, we're in a different ball game. >> all right. willis sparks, good to see you. thanks for joining us. heading to the close, we have 30 minutes left. art cashin was just stopping by. the bias is now toward the down side as we head toward the close here and the dow is down 195 points. that's the low of the session around midday we were down 250. >> president obama threatening economic sanctions against russia, but does russian president vladimir putin even care sanctions could hurt his citizens and economy?
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welcome back. the tensions between russia and ukraine and the west, let's face it, have take an toll on the u.s. stock market as indeed they took a toll on the european markets this morning. the russian market was down 12%. you wonder, michelle, whether anybody wants to be long this market going into the evening just because of the unpredictabili unpredictability. >> we weren't sure if there were going to be shots fired at some point. we had these conflicting reports where ukrainian officials said they had been given an ultimatum and the russians said we did not give them an ultimatum. it looked like it we might see some sort of military face-off. >> as the crisis in ukraine continued to escalate, the european union said that the group's 28 leaders would hold an emergency summit on the matter this thursday. >> that will solve everything. sort of military intervention, are there any sanctions or punishments that would get the attention of russian president vladimir putin or does not he
not worry about the painful fallout on the russian people. >> steve liesman has spent a considerable time in russia, in fact, he speaks russia. steve, we were just talking about this. the russian market down 12% today, does vladimir putin care about the reaction of his own markets to what he's done right now do you think? >> not so much the markets but he does care about the elite. they're part of the governing coalition around him and the extent to which they put pressure on him to change policy, that would be helpful. what i think he manifestly won't care about is whatever pain sanctions are inflicted on the russian people. there's a long history and i don't expect putin to buck that trend of russian leaders not much caring about the pain inflicted on the people. >> when you look at what the ruble did today, it's reported the central bank had to spend $10 billion defending it. which means inflation for his people. it's not just the stock market, it is pure capital flight from
that country in every single situation. at some point he needs money to prosecute a war. >> sure p., but at some point t notion of fans the flames of nationalism will become more important for him to remain in power, in my opinion. >> congressman, as you know, speaker boehner told the cincinnati inquirer that it's time for congress to impose sanctions on russia, economic sanctions. but he didn't say what those were. what realistically could we impose that would have an impact do you think? >> i think things like travel visa bans. things like freezing putin's assets, working with our allies to do it. there's no doubt he's taking money from the russian states that the russians don't even know about. i'd go further. as a member also of the energy and commerce committee, we have a huge energy reserve in this country. we're talking about exporting natural gas. why don't we begin the long process. this is going to be a long fight with the russians. we don't we begin the process of talking about how we can be a
counter to russian energy production so that our allies in europe, our allies in eastern europe can begin to rely on the west and the united states to provide their energy needs. the tough thing here is as your previous segment was talking about, the fact that the russian gas supplies to europe are so important that in many cases stymies europe from acting, if we can look in the long game and make it clear to putin this is what we're going to doing, i think this could have some impact on him in the long term. >> you said you feel this is going to be a long battle with russia. do you know something that suggests this will not be resolved quickly 1234. >> yeah, look at georgia. russia moved in and took the northern third of georgia. we were hoping to have some sort of resolution. russia has militarized the northern border of georgia. i've called for bringing georgia into nato. the crimea situation, obviously
they will have a determination on where they want to go, and everything is thrown out if they march into any kind of ukraine, eastern ukraine for the mainland of ukraine. stalin changed the ethnic dynamics out of them, he starved them and populated them with russians. the idea he has a moral obligation to defend russians, they created this almost 100 years ago. >> steve was talking about this. >> stalin did a lot to make it first impossible or otherwise painful for the soviet to break apart and that involved shipping whole peoples around the soviet union. you see that in a lot of the conflict evident today. the trouble on the oil front, it's an interesting idea and i think the threat are things that will catch russia's attention. the experts think the best route is for putin to realize that
holding the crimea makes no sense for him. if the ultimate goal is having a crimea not looking to the west, if he holds on all he ultimately does is drive what remains of the ukraine to the west. the thinking is putin did not act all that rationally. >> by the way, certainly we have -- to the congressman's point, we have the surplus energy to make up the difference ft. russia cu -- if russia cuts but will we be able to replace that much energy? >> move it across the world? i think no. >> i think this is a long-term game but make it clear that's going to be our long-term inteng. the thing i will say to putin's credit, i think he thinks in long terms. i think his movement on the ukraine is irrational and i think that's great obvious but he thinks about the largess of the russian state. if we make it clear we are going to be a counter to his energy
monopoly in europe, that may not be the thing that gets him to pull out, but it may be helpful in this long game. >> you brought up something i thought was very interesting as well. seizing putin's assets. a lot of people think he is the richest man in the world at this point because they think he's ripped off the russian states. have you guys got any intel about what can be done? if he's hiding assets, there must be a network of thousands of individuals around the world helping him do it. >> yeah, absolutely. that's where from a congressional perspective, look, i can't give you the answer today on that, but that's something that i want to look at and explore as we're back here in washington. what can we do to shut that down. all you have to see is the former president of ukraine that has all these assets that he stole from the ukrainian state. the same thing has happened in russia. we all know this. >> congressman, something that would i think really -- the elites and the governments of russia would care about are visas. is there something that could be
crafted that would prohibit or make it difficult for russians to travel? how would you structure such a thing? >> they hate not being able to shop in new york. i'm not joking. >> that would tick them off pretty bad. i think that's it. as we come to d.c., let's talk about how we can do that. i think we have a hearing on ukraine coming up this week. i think having some strong measures including travel bans for the elite, that obviously gets it. they like coming to new york, like going to saks 5th avenue and elsewhere and this shows them we're not joking around. while we may not be able to use military nor should we in ukraine, we can make it very painful for them and make the costs far outweigh the benefits. >> congressman, thank you for your insights. appreciate it. thanks very much. you were in one of the ukrainian palaces. >> yeah. unbelievable. it's so strange. we only showed you the interior of the house, but the entire property, it was like he ran a conference center. we didn't have time to go see the garage, the galleon.
>> and that's ukraine. >> exactly. >> not even russia. >>he heading towards the close. the question is who wants to be long this market going into the evening and the dow is down 174 points. well off the lows of the day here. >> warren, you wouldn't be selling anything today? >> no. no, i would be buying. >> that's our becky quick. warren buffett gave his view on today's down market as well as a wide range of issues this morning when he helped co-host squawk box. after the bell, pfizer looking to take its blockbuster cholesterol pill lipitor from prescription only to over the counter sales. it could net the drug giant $1 billion in annual sales. how likely or unlikely is it it will get approved?
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ameriprise created the exclusive confident retirement approach. to get the real answers you need. start building your confident retirement today. so, of course of course all e eyes have been on the crimean peninsula. stocks lower, bonds higher, gold higher, dollar higher. all the usual suspects. >> it was red arrows across the
board from the outset. for a look at today, let's check in with morgan brennan. >> thank you. four companies with exposure to the russian market are taking hit. the pay pal of russian. the russian internet and tv provider, an internet search operation in russia. check out the market vector russian etf. fertilizer stocks are moving higher. they stand to benefit if the crisis leads to economic sanctions against russia. potash, and intrepid potash all in the green. darden restaurants, one of the worst performers on the s&p 500. this is as the chain projected third quarter earnings below street estimates blaming, what else, the bad weather for lower
sales. loral space movingi higher. seema mody join us with some highlights. >> warren buffett touching on a variety of topics. while the crisis in ukraine may have many investors on edge, buffett didn't seem discouraged. >> you're going to invest your money in something over time. the one thing you can be quite sure of if we run into a major war, the value of money will go down. that's happened in virtually every war that i'm aware of. so the last thing you'd want to do is hold money during a war. >> buffett also commenting on the keystone pipeline saying he'd vote yes to approve it even though it could take some business away from berkshire hathaw hathaway's rail subsidiary.
>> you always wonder about the creation of jobs. energy and job creation -- pipeline is an energy renaissance is what jim is pointing out. >> i don't believe in the keystone pipeline because of the jobs you make building it. you can build anything and create jobs. but i believe it's a useful pipeline. >> the billionaire also weighing in on what he thought of bitcoin, the digital currency, and he didn't seem too interested. >> not a durable means of he can change. it's not a storer of value. >> and you said yourself you wouldn't be surprised if it's not around in ten years. >> i would not be surprised. i don't know that, but it's interesting to me -- i mean, it's been a speculative, a very speculative kind of buck rogers type thing, and people buy and sell them because they hope they go up or down just like they did with tulip bulbs a long time
ago. >> obviously referring to the tulip bulb craze in the 1600s and prices skyrocketed and then collapsed. >> the billionaire talking about buck rogers. who is buck rogers? i knew it. >> don't do that to her. of course she wouldn't know who buck rogers is. that's okay. >> that's a positive, seema. >> thank you, seema. >> it's 12 minutes before the closing bell. the industrial average lower by 167 points and the nasdaq is lower by 37 points. >> who is buck rogers? >> used to watch that tv show when my dad was little. >> russia, of course, denying ukraine's claim that the super power handed an ultimatum to surrender crimea or face military action. coming up, the former u.s. ambassador to ukraine john h herbst joins us. and make it right. some people think the kind of accountability
nine minutes left in the trading session here. the dow holding steady. the whole stock market here we've found a level here, right, bob pisani. we're down 178 points and the question i have been posing is who wants to remain long going into the evening here? >> not a lot, but not a lot of selling. the volume is moderate i would say, and if you watch the vix,
there's your fear indicator. the vix is 16. i'd barely pay attention. that's up, but i'd barely pay attention to it when it's below 20 and it's not even above the longer term contracts. so the fear is very short-term in the market and the question is does this turn into some longer term thing where that risk-on trade, bonds, gold, et cetera, play into it in a big way. >> could it be just the opposite? it starts to roll on and on and people get used to it? >> the bigger question is what happens if we win. >> you give them even more money. >> they're reportedly asking for $15 billion. the im f cut them off four years ago when they wouldn'ted adhereo the terms of the deal. they wouldn't cut gas subsidies, they wouldn't do spending reforms. they have done a terrible job of managing their economy and now in a way this is the fallout from it and now they're going back to the imf and saying give us more money. what are you going to do at this point? you have to. >> i think they'll get the money
anyways. >> we have a whole panel of analysts with us earlier money managers saying i'd buy this dip. >> every single one. >> it's incumbent on me to say are we too complacent about this? >> right now the complacency level is very high. if the vix was at 25, i would say now people are starting to get really worried, but there isn't a rush to go out and buy protection right now. >> so you're answering my question. >> there's high complacency i think right now. i think this potentially can roll on for a long time. i don't see how russia can back out. >> to your point, ukraine is not a meaningful economy. >> it's not a meaningful economy but it's impact -- look how it dropped the polish stock market, wheat prices are going up, corn is going up, and we've already had these commodities go up because brazil had a very tough month in february. their weather was bad. so commodity prices are going up globally. this is feeding into that concern. >> very good. >> good to see you, roberto.
>> we'll come back with a closing countdown. after the bell you have more on warren buffett, what he said today. whether it's a good buying opportunity. you can tweet us if you agree with the oracle of omaha. the up all-nighters. and the ones who turn ideas into action. we've made our passions our life's work. we strive for the moments where we can say, "i did it!" ♪ we are entrepreneurs who started it all... with a signature. legalzoom has helped start over 1 million businesses, turning dreamers into business owners. and we're here to help start yours.
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trading session. a quick recap of this day in response to what's going on between russia and ukraine. equities lower today, the dow, this is representative of our markets today, and european markets were down 2% and 3%. the russian market was down 12%. we're going to finish down about 1%. so the selling wasn't quite as bad. at the low we were down 250. we're down 170. what went up? some of the safe haven plays today. the ten-year note, up in price, so that brought the yield back below 2.6%. almost back to the low we saw on february 3rd. price of gold up sharply today, a $30 gain there. and bob pisani pointed out the fear indicator was up 16%, a gain of two points to 1626. peter costa, the kind of market response you would expect -- >> absolutely. >> for what's going on. >> i'm a little surprised we rallied back.
if investors are really looking at this realistically, this could be a much longer situation than we'd hoped for. >> does that make you less inclined to want to buy this dip right now? >> yes, as a matter of fact it does. you know me. i love buying on dips. this one i'm going to lay out of and i will probably not be back until i have some sort of -- i don't need closure, but i have to know there's some sort of end in sight. i don't see that. i think the russians, you know, putin he's one who can wait things out, he doesn't care about his people. you can put all the economic sanctions on the table you want. when he's hell bent on something, it's going to take a while. >> what about the money managers that were with us at the top of the hour who said, i'm buying this dip. this is a distraction, this doesn't have an impact on our own economy right now. this won't affect fed policy and all of the things that have pushed stocks higher? >> i think that you don't want to underestimate the depth of where this could go, and i think we have to be very concerned about that. you know me. i'm never pulling -- putting the
caution flag up, but i really do. the play right now is gold. i have never said that and i've been down here 33 years. i have never said gold is the play. i think gold is the play. >> are there opportunities you'd try to take advantage of in the equity market that might have a response to what's going on? you know, whether it's energy stocks or fertilizer stocks, those kind of things? >> the play would be energy only because i think there's going to be a ramping up of production in the u.s. there's going to be a ramping up of production across the board to alleviate whatever we're not going to get from russia. i think the energy play is probably the best one, and they are high priced stocks now, but i think there's some room on the upside for them. if i was going to jump back into something, that would be where i would go. >> i said earlier who wants to be long going into this evening. >> not tonight. maybe in two weeks or three weeks. we'll see where it goes, but i think we have to really wait and see what's happening overseas. >> nice tie, by the way. >> thank you. university of tennessee.
>> in honor of his alma mater from tennessee. thanks, peter. see you later. so we go out well off the lows of the session, but the situation in ukraine certainly took its toll on the u.s. equity markets. we'll keep an eye on that, see what's going on overseas and what happens in asia tonight. all coming up now on the second hour of "the closing bell" with michelle caruso-cabrera. i'll see you tomorrow. >> welcome to "the closing bell." i'm michelle caruso-cabrera in for kelly evans. she's back tomorrow. ukraine crisis sending stocks tumbling, but it was a lot worse earlier in the day. here is how we're finishing the day on wall street. the dow lower by 15 poin5 point. it had be down 250. nasdaq lower by 31. the s&p lower by 13 points. not a single major average declining more than 1%. let's bring in today's panel.
we have cardiff, rebecca. tim seymour follows emerging markets and russia in particular extensi extensively. tim, let's start with you. the u.s. market sold off, but russia got punished even worse. justified? >> no, no. we said last night on emerging money we expected things to open down 5% to 10%. the problem with russia right now is clearly that, first of all, you could have -- not a military mistake, i think you could ultimately have a mistake within the ranks that means we're in a very tense situation. we've seen this stuff before in russia. it's interesting to me, a lot of guys are asking me when to buy, when it buy. it's usually days like today that are definitely not the time to buy and i'm surprised that people were looking to buy this dip. i don't think many did, but ultimately it's a very, very tenuous situation. >> you're talking about buying the dip in russia or buying the dip in the united states? >> in terms of russia, i think it's way too early to buy the
dip. in terms of the united states, if you look at where some of the risk factors are going, look at a ten-year that's starting to get to 2.50%. if gold goes $1,400, it's time to be concerned. until those things happen, people are looking for an opportunity to buy, are lining up their pad and getting their list ready. >> what are you hear in ting in markets? >> everybody is still trying to figure out exactly what's happening with the u.s. economy. economic indicators including this morning's on income, construction spending, are still really quite mixed plus we have a big employment report coming up later this week and people don't know what the fed has in mind. i recognize that today there was the big flight to safety and that in global markets things were really quite chaotic. at least in the u.s., the fallout is going to be limited. >> rebecca, what did you do in this market? anything? >> we're holding steady.
we're looking at our base case that the global economy is continuing to slowly heal. business confidence in the u.s. better than expected today. european business confidence better than expected. >> you're looking through ukraine? >> we're obviously keeping a close eye on it. you have to keep an eye on what could make your view wrong, but for the moment it doesn't change our base case. this is i think a relatively regionalized event for the moment. >> there were stocks in the u.s. market hit hard because of their connection to market? >> yes. you talk about names like yandex, russian companies listed out of russia but have a very big presence in places -- and this is day one. peter costa mentioned maybe not wanting to get in. you have a sense a lot of tra traders want to see if this settles back out before they jump back in. >> even some of the u.s. companies like citigroup and bp have exposure to russia in terms of their general business. you're seeing some of those
stocks trade down. traders were saying they were looking for any opportunity to start taking some money off the table in a year when stocks have gone up with very little reason to keep going up. >> the rally has gotten long in the tooth, right? >> all-time highs or near them right now. >> and if we're on the verge of a war, down 150 points -- >> doesn't seem like that much. >> exactly. >> that's a key, right, guys? it doesn't seem like there's panic. that wasn't panic on friday. you get the sense people wanted to go into a weekend a little bit less long. not that they're getting out of the market wholesale but just the idea they want to pare back some risk. that's maybe intuitive for some traders who have seen a rally to record highs for the stock market. >> look at what also happened last month. the year started, everybody said the u.s. stock market was probably if not fairly valued then a little overvalued. it crashed on the emerging market sell-off and everybody started getting worried and then it inched back with a lot less fanfare. today it's down a percent. i think it's important not to read too much into what's
happening. there's still just a lot of uncertainty. i don't think we can say that today's reaction to what happened over the weekend necessarily indicates all that much. >> yeah. and i would agree. verge of war is a big statement here, and i don't think we have any clue which way this is going to go, if it's going to turn into a military confrontation that escalates or if it's just something like we've seen before out of russia with georgia or -- i mean, russia went into the crimea before years ago to hand out russian passports. >> and they're doing it again. >> this didn't suddenly happen overnight. >> everyone stay right there. we'll bring in mark chandler. mark, good to talk to you. first, we're going to get to the ruble in particular in a second, but the overall impact on the currency markets in the medium term as a result of the situation in ukraine between russia and ukraine, what is it? >> i don't know if there's a medium term impact. immediate knee-jerk reaction has been to buy dollars, buy yen, and maybe buy a little swiss
francs. >> talk to me about the russian ruble in particular because today it got hammered and there were reports from reuters that traders in that market say they spent $10 billion, the central bank there, trying to defend it. do you believe that? >> i think it did look like they are intervened. the ruble has been selling off for quite some time, and the ruble is trading at five-year lows already. i think this just compounds it. i think russia needs capital inflows. it's been having capital outflows and this is the problem with it. it's not going to stop because of 150 basis point rate hike. >> as a former currency guy, they're not the most liquid instruments out there to trade. are there more liquid pairs you would look to? are you looking at the y yen/aussie? >> clients tend to be medium term investments. they don't respond to the
headline developments we've seen. there are other ways people have been expressing their discomfort or uncertainty and that's been buying the yen which strengthened against the dollar. they've been selling some of the high-risk central europe pen currencies. >> mark, it's rebecca. do you think anything will change the ecb will do. but i might have been wrong about something they could do. it looks like the germans aren't going to oppose as much as i thought they would efforts to stop sterilizing the past bond purchases. a token rate cut is possible. in general i think the path is known. they're going to be easing on the side of accommodation. they're going to avoid having these nuclear options like a negative deposit rate or an outright qe. at the same time i think the federal reserve's path is
well-known despite the uncertainty about the weather impact on the economy. i think we're still looking at $10 billion a month worth of tapering for as far as the eye can see. >> rick santelli brought up a point earlier today and we were talking about flight to safety. he didn't think the dollar move was as strong as you might expect considering the circumstances. what do you say to that? >> i kind of generally -- my attitude as this weekend was unfolding was that the market tends to exaggerate geopolitical issues. however, many of the hedge funds i talked to were talking about a 4 cent decline in the euro after russia invaded georgia back in 2008. that also proved to be a relatively short-lived as far as the markets went. the euro had peaked at $1.60. had a double top and was selling off on any event as europe was heading for a deep recession. >> a yes about the emerging market asset class more generally. earlier this year there were a lot of worry that is investors wouldn't be able to differentiate between countries that had obviously unsustainable balance of payment situations and that had current account deficits and that needed to have
some kind of sell-off to rebalance and other countries where the fundamentals were fine. frankly, it seems like those fears weren't born out. i'm wondering what you think of the dynamic now give whatn what happening and in particular whether or not you think that this is going to have contagion effects elsewhere. >> this is an important question. the emerging markets are in the middle of a major capital outflow. i think some of the data shows that there's been money leaving emerging markets for over 15 weeks already now. >> 18. >> 18 weeks. and i think that we shouldn't expect this to change the matters very much. i think rebecca's question was spot on. how much has the russian action over the weekend really changed the macroeconomic situation and i think very little. i think that applies to the emerging markets as an asset class as well. >> but let me say something. it hasn't changed the macrosituation but it has changed the approach to risk. look what's going on with commodities. russian controls most of the world's palladium. look at the price of oil.
oil will spike higher. europe gets 25% of their gas from russia. this is a place where people have to be thinking about volatility. today was not a day to be selling volatility. it may not have been a day to sell everybothing, but i think we're in the middle range of a spike you should not be ignori g ignoring. >> the vix didn't move all that much considering, right? >> it would be silly to be selling volatility here with russia in a place where a small military spark could create a crisis that's difficult to come back from. >> all right. mark, thanks so much. >> thank you. >> all right. don't move, everybody. we'll stick around and catch tim and the rest of the crew coming up on "fast money" at 5:00 p.m. eastern time. talk more about the ukraine crisis roiling the global markets. russia denying reports it has issued an ultimatum for ukrainian forces in crimea to surrender. the lateers on tst on the escal tensions coming up. plus john herbst, see how he sees this playing out. up next, harry dent says
today's losses are just the beginning. even if ukraine prices went away tomorrow, he's at odds with none other than warren buffett telling cnbc this morning that he'd buy in today's downturn. we want to know if you're following warren buffett's lead and if so what did you buy? imeml you outlive your money? uhhh. no, that can't happen. that's the thing, you don't know how long it has to last. everyone has retirement questions. so ameriprise created the exclusive.. confident retirement approach. now you and your ameripise advisor can get the real answers you need. well, knowing gives you confidence. start building your confident retirement today.
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the ukraine crisis sending stocks sharply lower. mar go morgan brennan is rounding up the movers. >> reynolds american is exploring a possible bid for the tobacco make maker in excess of billion. gold miners rose as investor look for a safe haven as the ukrainian crisis intensifntensi. oil companies fell. now that's despite a rise in roil prices. they could be hurt if relations between the u.s. and russia deteriorate further. hertz moved lower after it delayed its 2013 financial statements, and fire eye fell after the security company said it was planning a $1.1 billion
stock sale. lastly, astrazeneca lost ground after merrill lynch, bank of america downgraded the drugmaker to underperform from neutral. michelle, back to you. >> thanks, morgan. was today's move a buying opportunity for investors or is it a sign of more of what's to come? ron insana says u.s. stocks are still the safest environment in the world while harry depth, author of "the demographic cliff" are warning that a dangerous period is just ahead for the stock markets and the economy. harry, you see the dow approaching 17,000 and then what happens? >> i think we see another correction crash that is larger than the last one. every bubble, and these are bubbles, have taken us to new highs, and every crash has taken us to new lows. so this is hitting right at that trend line about 17,000, maybe several weeks from now where we would hit this and then the next downside target would be around 6,000. >> 6,000? by when? >> it's easy to spot.
>> by when? >> by 2016. it takes two to three years for a major crash. >> that is soon. >> yeah, it is soon. and i think it will be the most dangerous period in people's lives in investing. >> well, obviously harry and i have not agreed on this topic for quite some time. he was predicting a crash last fall if i recall correctly. but i'm a secular bull on u.s. stocks. obviously i think this year is going to be more difficult than last. i think we'll probably face a 10% to 20% correction somewhere along the way. when you look at the economic fundamentals of the u.s. both in relative terms compared to the rest of the world and in absolute terms where we're seeing the carbon revolution, manufacturing renaissance, technological innovation, i think in the longer haul, the u.s. looks good. >> you're based on a demographic opini opinion? >> demographics have been peaking in one country and the next. we called it in japan. it hit the u.s. after 2007 and
we're still fighting that. what i'm looking at, i'm looking at countries like germany and other countries in southern europe that have demographic cliffs and spending just as bad or worse than japan's -- >> hold on. i want to explain what a demographic cliff is. you're saying that the working population, the size of it peaks, and then after that you have an economy that's dominated by people who are elderly and, therefore, living on social security, not actually producing hand productive members of society, right? >> it's actually earlier than that. people enter the workforce age 20, spend more until age 46 when their kids start to leave the nest and then they start saving for retirement and then they retire. so the peak in spending -- the boom from '83 to twuv2007, was 46-year lag. it's that simple, generations spend and then they don't. governments are fighting that with massive stimulus and it shows why the economy is so weak with so much stimulus. demographics is the only way you can explain that. the fundamentals are not good.
i agree with ron, they're better than in a lot of other countries but they're not good. >> ron, what are you doing right here? >> well, you know, as i say, would we're in a secular bull market i'm in the process of building out a longer term portfolio that is comprised of equities i like. >> how much cash do you got? >> i'm still in the process of building out a portfolio. it will be about 60% cash deployed only in equities, 40% for other things in the type of portfolio that's being run. so there's some opportunistic trades and hedging that we keep cash for, but over time i still think, you know, i'm not in the crash camp in any way, shape, or form. i think this year could be frustrating, choppy and sloppy. i don't do demographic analysis. harry and i have always di disagreed on that point. it's going to be a struggle to make money or beat the s&p but i
think we're in a secular bull market that ultimately reasserts itself. >> it has been a very long rally. great to have you on. thank you so much, harry. thank you, ron. ukraine's future could be determined by a handful of very healthy and very powerful people known as oligarchs. robert frank is up next on who they are and what they want. plus, former u.s. ambassador to ukraine john herbst with the best and worst case scenarios. so our business can be on at&t's network for $175 a month? yup. all 5 of you for $175. our clients need a lot of attention. there's unlimited talk and text. we're working deals all day.
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how this ukraine crisis pans out may be influenced by the uber wealthy in ukraine. they call him the oligarchs. robert frank joins us now to explain. >> hey, michelle. in russia the oligarchs are ruled by the president. in the ukraine the politicians are ruled by the oligarchs and they hold the real keys to the power. the wealth of the 50 richest people in the ukraine are equal to half of the country's gdp. akhmetov is the richest man in the ukraine. he's come out against russia saying, quote, lawless actions from outside are unacceptable. now, the new government in the ukraine has apoupointed two oth oligarchs to fend off the russians but many fear europe and the competition and reforms they would bring just as much as russia. while they would help the new government now, many of the
folks would hinder the anti-corruption efforts later. the new government doesn't want to leave these guys out but by bringing them in they set themselves up for a tough fight in the next few months. >> you brought up the richest guy worth about $15 million, he has bought this condo in london for how much? i mean, some of these guys are so -- show off their wealth in a way i think has got to be politically damaging to them, no? >> a lot of money has moved offshore. he reportedly bought this place in london for over $200 million. there's other oligarch who bought a place in london for over $100 million. a huge art collector spending millions. it's a little sad. a lot of this money has gone away. a lot of their wealth has gone abroad and may not come back. >> don't move, robert. we want to bring in the panel to weigh in on this as well. we talk about unequal wealth distribution in the united states, guys, but ukraine, when
you saw those numbers robert pulled up, the net worth of the top individuals worth 48% of the economy whereas in the united states the equivalent number is only 4%. you wonder why people are protesting, right? >> that's haves and have nots. and you look at a system like that and i wonder if it isn't much more different or any different than a feudal system that may have been in place in russia or in europe in the 1500s, 1600s. robert, i guess the real question i would have here is of these oligarchs who are assigned the regions to patrol over and govern, how effective can you be doing that if you're the rich guy controlling all these other people around you? >> well, you know, the reason they're brought in is they employ so many people in those regions, they have the resources, and, look, a lot of these oligarchs, unlike russia, a lot of them in the ukraine are in government, they're in the parties, they're in the parliament, and so it's very natural for them to step in and take regional political roles.
again, the danger is that this new government has pledged to tackle corruption. very difficult to need at least $15 billion to make its external debt payments. to the extent that these guys are running the government or had been running the government there, it seems like they have to be held somewhat responsible for it and it also seems like they're going to have a lot to lose depending on what happens
next. is that the right way to think about it? >> that is absolutely the right way to think about it. and the other thought is does the west tie any aid to some kind of condition that says, look, none of these companies that have gotten so many contracts over the years, none of them can get this money. it's very hard to do that in an economy that is so tightly controlled by these guys that, you know, they run just about every company, but will the west tie any money with reform efforts that cut these guys out? >> a lot of people are asking that but -- >> something that would be the equivalent -- the way to think about it would be enforcing some kind of sherman antitrust act in some way. >> yeah, that's right. >> which would break the concentration of power. >> that's right. that's what a lot of these guys fear from europe is a lot of those regulation that is would open the market to competition and require things like anti-monopoly behavior. they don't want that just as they don't want the russians coming in and taking their pieces of the pie as well. so they really want just the status quo. >> robert, what, if anything, is there to be said for the fact that 46% of the country's wealth is tied up in a limited number of people, but if the economy crashes, then they do have the most to lose. so what incentive do they have to restore some of these economic talks to actually stabilize the country even if it is on a short-term basis and you can't really stop corruption in the short term?
>> they want enough growth so that they can keep the spigot going, but, again, they don't want the reforms from europe. they don't want russia coming in, and they've done very well in a very dysfunctional economy. so, yes, it would be nice to have faster growth, but they've done great without it. really, it's the result of these government contracts where you don't need a lot of economic growth. >> and also the history of poorly done privatizations, some of the greatest wealth creation has come from private san diegos all over the world. carlos slim in mexico. that was a huge privatization of a telecom company. >> the early days of poland, the czech republic, you just had four or five guys taking all the state-owned assets. we thought russia was bad with a small group of guys owning everything. ukraine, 46% number is the one number, that chart today i think is the most powerful chart. people e-mailing me saying this is the best chart they have seen all day on ukraine, and it tells you so much about where it's >>here's an awkward twist to
this though because we can feel uncomfortable about the wealth and the disparity but america has benefited quite a lot from some of the flight of capital out of places like russia and the ukraine. i was down in florida last week. there's an area called sunny isles near miami where some of the buildings are pretty much fully dedicated to russian buyers. american have benefited from house prices rising, particularly in arizona, texas, california, florida, and to a degree new york. so how important are the russian buyers for us or the ukrainians for that matter? >> were you both in sunny isles together? should we disclose to the audience that they're married? >> separately i was in miami late last year and while we were sort of shadowing two groups of mation buyers for a shoot and both groups of mansion buyers happened to be ukrainians. this money has left a long time ago. it's clearly benefited the art market, the diamond market. these are people that just want to put their wealth anyplace
portable as quickly as possible. there's to question real estate has benefited. >> also in a place with rule of law. it's not just ukrainians. it's chinese. wealthy people all over the world will pay up rouge fhuge f estate in the united states because no one will seize it for them. >> they don't like rule of law when they make their money, but they like it a lot where they put their money. absolutely. >> thank you, robert. >> high stakes conflict, russia denying reports it issued an ultimatum for ukraine to surrender for face a military form. john herbst weighs in next. ♪ like, really big... then expanded? ♪ or their new product tanked? ♪ or not? what if they embrace new technology instead? ♪ imagine a company's future with the future of trading. company profile. a research tool on thinkorswim. from td ameritrade.
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let's send it back over to cnbc headquarters to morgan brennan. she has a quick market flash. >> thanks, michelle. check out vip shop. this is china's leading only discount retailer. the stock surging in the after hours after the company reported better than expected fourth quarter results and raised first quarter earnings guidance. the stock currently trading -- and i actually can't see that board so i'm going to give it back to you to let us know where it's trading. >> it's higher by 20%, up another 25 bucks to $153.25 a share. thank you. crisis in ukraine looking
more tense. john harwood has the latest developments from washington. john? >> michelle, the president of the united states has a lot of pressure because he's getting a lot of criticism over the fact that vladimir putin has invaded ukraine and the united states hasn't been able to do much about it. the reality is there isn't a lot we can do. he's trying to rally the international community behind some limited political pressure, diplomatic pressure, perhaps economic sanctions although those haven't happened yet and the president made the argument when meeting with the israeli prime minister netanyahu that russia has to realize it's chosen the wrong course in the crimea. >> i think the strong condemnation it's received from countries around the world indicates the degree to which russia is on the wrong side of history on this. >> of course, the president's critics at home including his 2008 rifle john mccain say the failure to act is precisely the problem and has emboldened vladimir putin. >> this is the ultimate result
of a feckless foreign policy where nobody believes in america's strength anymore. >> now, we've got secretary of state john kerry going to kiev tomorrow. he will meet with the new ukrainian government. try to assess the aid needs as other members of the european community are going to be doing, and then the question is going to be are there going to be sanctions implemented? john kerry is scheduled to meet with the russian foreign minister on wednesday. don't know if that meeting is going to take place, and the willingness of the european union which has stronger economic ties to russia than the united states does to go along with economic sanctions remains in doubt. guys? >> yeah, you raise all the key issues, john. let's bring in john herbst, the former u.s. ambassador to ukraine. ambassador, good to have you here. >> my pleasure. >> you say it's time for nato to take a stance. why and what do you mean? >> i think it would be very useful if nato were to decide to move additional assets to the
east in the baltic states which has ethnic russians there as a way to show moscow that they will defend the alliance and that they will defend countries which have ethnic russians because the government in the kremlin uses as an excuse ekt nick russians to take territories from other people. >> we are nato. when you talk about nato and who contributes to nato, the united states is the biggest contributor when it comes to money and weapons and everything else. do you really think that the american public has the stomach to militarily support ukraine? >> what we'd be doing with this and showing the russians that their strategic position has detier yalted as a result of their invasion of ewe krukraine. >> but you can't threaten them unless you're going to use it. if obama puts anything in that part of the world more than is already there, does putin really believe obama would do something? >> what it does is it represents a strategic threat to the russians, and it's a threat they would have to take seriously. we're not saying we would use
it. we would have it there in order to protect our baltic allies, but it's something that could be used against the kremlin if it was necessary. so their invasion of ukraine would turn out to be a strategic loss and maybe they'd reconsider what they've done. >> what about europe's failure to spend enough on their own self-defense? they have subcontracted out all of their defense to the united states assuming we would come to their aid. if they were stronger militarily, would putin be able to make those moves? i don't think so. >> i think it would be useful if europe spent more on its defense and i would not lump all the european nations together. i think france and great britain spend a fair amount on their defense. it would be useful if they spent more but i don't think that's the key to resolving this crisis. >> how far -- keep going. >> it would also be useful for the european union and individual european states to levy sanctions on russian leaders. russian leaders keep their money in europe. that would be a strong
disincentive for aggression. >> on vladimir putin? >> yes. >> when he decides he's not going to send them all the natural gas, one-third of which they consume from russia, and they are paying through the nose and their economy still isn't recovered, why would they do that? >> that's a fair question. keep in mind if putin doesn't sell it to europe, he doesn't sell it. russia needs to sell it to europe as much as europe needs to buy it from russia. >> you think it's symbiotic enough that would never come to pass? >> i can't rule out putin playing a game but it's not something he can sustain. look what happened to the ruble today. >> it's gotten punished today and we've asked the question many times, when you look at the capital flight that happened today in just one day, the capital markets have been able to punish putin in a way that diplomats have not and with a speed and alacrity that could never occur but does he care? >> this happened during the georgia crisis, but it was not sustained. but keep in mind what the russians are doing in ukraine is much more dangerous than what they did in georgia. what they did in georgia was
wrong. what they did in ukraine is wroge and more dangerous. >> why? >> because ukraine is a major power. because we have seen the russians do it once before. we're onto their methods. >> how far would putin go westward if he could? >> well, i think we've seen ukraine rallying. the fact that you have these oligarchs becoming the heads is a warning to putin he has no real allies in eastern ukraine. he has a few thousand people who he can pay for who his special services can organize and pay to demonstrate but that's all he's got. and ukrainian military i think will respond if russia invades in the east. they've shown admirable restraint so far but i'm not sure they would show restraint if russians forces launch into gdansk. >> we've been watching reporters from the ukraine showing all of these pro-russian protests. it sounds like you think the vast majority of those are faked or paid for? >> i think in crimea where there
is an ethnic russian majority, they may be legitimate, but i think when you see them in other areas, there's russian special services organizes those demonstrations. >> we've had jim miklaszewski earlier from nbc news and he's talking to military sources who think they that ultimately putin is probably just satisfied with crimea because it's got a warm water port which is so crucial for them because they have to be able to ship all year. most of the country is cold. in the winter they can't ship up le unless they have a warm water port? do you believe they're satisfied with the warm water port? >> i'm not a mind reader. actions putin has taken suggest he would like more than crimea. it doesn't mean he will try to take it because he may realize the cost will be toogate b grea there are reports that the russians are preparing refugee camps close to their border with
ukraine. that may be psychological warfare. putin is a master at that. but it may be an indication of a bigger appetite. >> let me say this, let me play devil's advocate in defense of vladimir putin. what i have heard from some sources in the market which is the deal when they came to the agreement on february 21st was that they would have this settlement, there would be no retribution on either side and suddenly the next day the parliament decides they're going to oust yanukovych and then prosecute him as well and then putin was embarrassed in front of the whole russian community because he was in theory the guy who convinced yanukovych to step down or to sign the deal at least, not to step down. >> i think that that interpretation has no basis in fact. let's keep in mind that the russians were there as the deal was negotiated. they refused to sign it. they only embraced the deal after yanukovych left the country and after he was impeached.
so they cannot claim they are -- they were party to that deal. they never were. >> okay. >> they are looking for an excuse to impose their influence in ukraine. >> why do they want it so badly? >> there were good historical reasons for this. russia and ukraine were united for a long period of time although many ukrainians did not like that unity. russian history traces its roots to kiev. historically the two peoples have been very close in terms of language and religion and culture. this can explain russian attitudes towards ukraine. but it's also true that putin has established a firm authoritarian regime in moscow, in russia. he doesn't like the fact that his fellow slavs are leaning towards democracy. he sees that as a challenge to his style of police rule. >> yeah. sir, it's been great having you on, mr. ambassador. really insightful and your long look at the past for ukraine has been so helpful to us.
thank you. >> thank you. bye-bye. >> all right. a second life for blockbuster drug lipitor. up next, we're going to discuss pfizer's plan to sell an over the counter version of its popular cholesterol drug. getting it without a prescription. and the chances of overcoming concerns that consumers could safely take the drug without guide freance from doctors. plus warren buffett telling cnbc he would buy today's downturn. why? because selling their funds makes them more money. which makes you wonder. isn't that a conflict? search "proprietary mutual funds". yikes!! then go to e*trade. we've got over 8,000 mutual funds and not one of them has our name on it. we're in the business of finding the right investments for you. e*trade. less for us, more for you. the fund's prospectus contains its investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses and other important information and should be read and considered carefully before investing. for a current prospectus visit www.etrade.com/mutualfunds. comcast business built for your company. your customers. your... sales department
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so listen up if you take statins for your cholesterol or if you're a pharmaceutical investor. pfizer is in clinical trials right now for a new over the counter version of the popular job lipitor. if approved it could help pfizer recapture a key part of the market but it may not be that realistic to get these pills without a prescription. barbara ryan is with fti consulting and focuses on the biopharmaceutical sector. >> good to see you. >> what's the likelihood of them getting approved by the fda? >> well, i think it's a very uphill battle. this was the largest selling drug in the world, lipitor, with peak sales of $13 billion. but it was not the first statin into the market. merck had that one, and they tried unsuccessfully several times to get tt over tit over tr onto the market. i think the challenges are
really -- sorry, go ahead. >> over the counter drugs, i mow when i have a headache, i know when i have aches and pains, i know when i have a cold, how do i self-diagnose cholesterol? >> well, that's exactly the issue. so the issue for any drug to basically switch from prescription to the over the counter is obviously, one, safety. but i think these have been very widely used and demonstrated pretty safe drugs, but the second is self diagnosis. how do patients diagnose high cholesterol and that they're at risk for cardiovascular events down the road. that's what pfizer is testing in this study. can patients and will patients do that? but the other is most over the counter drugs are for episodic use, not for chronic use. >> right. >> when do patients stop taking these drugs? >> i want to make sure i understand this. the idea is that people would test their own blood, read it, and then adjust their dosage over time depending on the outcome of that test?
that they would read themselves? >> so the issue would be if you are at risk of cardiovascular disease, if you have high levels of cholesterol, then you can treat yourself with a statin rather than going to a doctor who would give you a statin chances are. the issue is how do you know -- will you test that your cholesterol goes down. if your cholesterol goes down to a normal level, will you stop taking the drugs? and will patients feel complacent and lulled into complacency that they're not at risk because they're taking a statin over the counter and not going to see their physician to check for other risk factors of cardiovascular disease. >> but is this the type of drug he can make a standardized dosage of. when you have a headache adults should take two tylenol. that's the standardized recommended dosage but these problems, cholesterol is such a bespoke issue that it seems hard to believe there would be a standardized dosage to actually recommend here. >> so are possible side effects. that's the other thing. >> yeah.
so you raise a good point. i mean, patients can take 20 milligrams of lipitor, 40 milligrams of lipitor. what's being proposed here is 10 milligrams. so if patients are at high risk and they have very high cholesterol levels, that's not going to be enough to get them down to goal. and will they stop going to their doctor and will they be taking inadequate doses? those are all the questions that have to be answered. now, in terms of safety, the statins do require liver enzyme monitoring for increases in levels, and that's another thing that wouldn't take place if patients were self-diagnosing. >> it seems like financial markets are pricing in the demise of these products quickly when they know the generics will come after the patent expires and the pharmaceutical companies in turn are looking for multiple levers to pull to keep growth going, to extend the revenue from those different product lines. is this the most successful lever? are they better off focusing on
mergers and acquisitions? if this is a hard road to go, what other way could they go? >> yeah. so i think, you know, the best road is innovation, right, to reinvent yourself every ten years and have new products to offset those that lose patent protection. we have automatic generic substsu substitutio substitutions, so 90% of revenues when they lose patent protections will go away in a month. that's why investors expect that, and then additionally otc is a way to have a longer life cycle. a product called motrin, i mean, was a prescription drug is now advil and obviously has a very long life. if you can pursue that strategy, it certainly has validity, but in this particular case, it's just going to be an uphill battle. >> how much would it cost for the consumer? sometimes when a drug goes from being prescription based to over the counter it actually becomes more expensive for the consumer because they were being subsidized when they bought it as a drug via the prescription
and now they're paying full price over the counter. >> well, it's a great question. one, they're subsidized because they have a prescription drug benefit. more importantly, it's generic so patients either have a zero co-pay advil versus store brand ibuprofens, it's a lot more expensive. and chances for consumers, it would probably be, in the short run, more expensive. they wouldn't have physician office visits. >> that's true. they wouldn't have the co-pay. or the hassle of going. >> thank you. what's going on our website right now? "the hot list" coming up next. we want to know if you followed warren buffett's lead today. he would buy today's dip. if you followed him, what did you buy? tweet us. tdd#: 1-888-648-6021 there are trading opportunities tdd#: 1-888-648-6021 just waiting to be found. tdd#: 1-888-648-6021 at schwab, we're here to help tdd#: 1-888-648-6021 bring what inspires you tdd#: 1-888-648-6021 out there... in here. tdd#: 1-888-648-6021 out there, tdd#: 1-888-648-6021 there are stocks on the move.
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about 40,000 people have read that already. throughout the day, more than 300,000 people have come in and check our market coverage. what made the market go down? ukraine and russian coverage. we've been all over. we have a live blog going on every little bit that was coming out. it got 97,000 visitors. all-told, we got about 250,000. we got spike alerts all day when we put up something new going on. spike alert is when one story is outperforming all the others. and our doo dads tell us that's happening now. on the positive side, we had the buffett interview on "squawk box" this morning. we sliced and diced it. all different takes on what he sees in the world. one now, our leading one, five don'ts. one of them, don't let world events, like the ukraine, rattle you on your investing decisions. that's our yen to the yang today, so to speak. it's been wild on the website.
>> putin and buffett, two big personalities, very different way on the website. >> you would never think that, would you? >> right. thanks, allen. see you later. get those tweets in. warren buffett telling cnbc this morning he would buy today's dip. we want to know if you followed his lead. and what did you buy? ♪ [ male announcer ] how could a luminous protein in jellyfish, impact life expectancy in the u.s., real estate in hong kong, and the optics industry in germany? at t. rowe price, we understand the connections of a complex, global economy. it's just one reason over 75% of our mutual funds beat their 10-year lipper average. t. rowe price. invest with confidence. request a prospectus or summary prospectus with investment information, risks, fees and expenses to read and consider carefully before investing.
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dow finishing down triple digits today. and today, warren buffett said he would buy this dip. did you do the same? and with if so, what did you buy? jeffrey tweeted us, i'm 100% cash for now. ken tweeted, letting the dust settle before tipping toes into the water. david tweeted, without a doubt, any dips off the russian situation should be bought with both hands. new highs coming. i have to tell you. three tweets, two were negative. but the vast majority of the guests we had on today said this was a selling excuse, ukraine. they were buying. >> there's no panic in this right now. and the last time we had a big correction, was it a month and a half ago? it was 7%.
and there were was selling pressure then than what we had right now. >> we were down 326 points, double what we saw today. and that was on general fears in the emerging markets. not even a crisis situation. >> and i think what we saw today, multiples have come down from the highs at the end of december. and economic expectations, at the end of the year, the city surprise index, which is a great gauge of market sentiments, was at a multimonth high. a huge correction. and some of the frost and economic and market expectations has been tempered. >> i was hardened by those tweets. people shouldn't be buying on one-day dips. and they shouldn't act like they're warren buffett. most people should have an allocation they're comfortable with. they should rebound every once in a while. and they shouldn't be paying attention to a lot of this stuff. >> and don't be upset when stocks go down. warren buffett's tip number two. it's chicken soup for your investing soul.
>> you were a great panel today. thanks so much. "fast money" is coming up in a few seconds. melissa lee, don't be upset when stocks go down. >> why not? there's always a way to make money. you know that as much as i do. tonight, we're going to focus, everybody is looking at what is going on the with russia and ukraine. we're going to trade that. but also looking at a potential hot spot in the emerging markets. one that could come to a head this week. you want to find out what it is and how to trade it. >> sounds great. "fast money" starts right now. at the nasdaq market site in new york city's times square. our traders are tim seymour, brian kelly, karen finerman and guy adami. apple has taken over your phone, your computer and your tablet. now, it's moving into your automobile, as well. we have details coming up. our top story tonight. stocks rebounding after hitting section lows midday. the crisis in ukraine, weighing heavily on troops. russia is denying