Squawk Pod is a daily, guided curation of the top moments and takeaways from CNBC’s flagship morning show, “Squawk Box”, anchored by Joe Kernen, Becky Quick and Andrew Ross Sorkin. Each day, the podcast includes news making interviews, perspective and analysis from iconic guest hosts, and slices of debate and discussion—from the heated to the hilarious— all wrapped with exclusive context and color from Senior Producer Katie Kramer.
Warren Buffett’s Annual Letter; Johnson & Johnson’s Best Shot
Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky discusses the drugmaker’s single dose vaccine as it begins distribution across the United States. 4 million vaccines are en route to Americans across the country, solving the logistical and administrative challenges posed by the dual-dose, refrigerated Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. In his annual letter to shareholders, Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett admitted mistakes, commented on the markets and offered some folksy wisdom. The legendary investor said, “despite some severe interruptions, our country’s economic progress has been breathtaking. Our unwavering conclusion: Never bet against America.”
“It’s exactly like the 90s”: Blodget on Stock Speculation; Etsy Crushes Estimates
GameStop shares continue to climb today, keeping alive a rally that restarted this week. In a history lesson soaked in 1990s-nostalgia, Henry Blodget, co-founder and CEO of Insider, says “the entire market is actually at an extreme level relative to all history, including 2000 and that’s because of interest rates.” Etsy blew past earnings estimates. The online retailer has been one of the big pandemic winners with shares up 300% over the past year. Etsy CEO Josh Silverman discusses the company’s quarterly results and its outlook for 2021. Plus, awaiting the newest Covid vaccine from Johnson & Johnson and the latest on the debate to increase the federal minimum wage.
Gamestop Game On (Again); David Rubenstein; AB InBev:This Bud’s For You
The online-driven trading frenzy around retailer GameStop ignited again following the announcement of next month’s departure of Chief Financial Officer Jim Bell. CNBC’s Jim Cramer questioned “are prices real?” on Wall Street anymore, as he exasperatingly tries to make sense of GameStop’s renewed rally. Democrats are set to advance President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus proposal on Friday without Republican support. David Rubenstein, a co-founder of the Carlyle Group, discusses the potential economic impacts of the legislation and the fight over the $15 federal minimum wage. Anheuser-Busch InBev reported better-than-expected revenue for the fourth-quarter, but AB InBev CEO Carlos Brito says consumers are itching for bars to fully re-open. Plus, vaccines, variants and the investing wisdom of 97 year old Charlie Munger.
A Drama Trio: Robinhood on the Barstool, Minimum Wage on the Hill, & Theranos in the Courts
Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev and Barstool Sports’ Dave Portnoy streamed a candid conversation on social media this week, and Wall Street is reacting to their exchange and the continued fallout of the GameStop short squeeze drama. House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is pushing back against President Biden’s stimulus plan and its minimum wage plan, but President of the U.S. Black Chamber of Commerce Ron Busby says the sooner consumers have more in their pockets, the sooner small businesses will recover. Plus, Elizabeth Holmes is back in the news for yet another development in the unraveling of Theranos, and Michael Bolton is back in the sound booth for a comical ad that’s taken the businessworld by surprise.
Bitcoin Turbulence, Stimulus Pressure, & A Waning SPAC Sparkle
Former Senior Advisor to President Obama and current President of the Barack Obama Foundation Valerie Jarrett discusses President Biden’s first 100 days in office, the metrics by which Americans will judge his success, and the latest iteration of the stimulus package. Bitcoin’s wild ride continues, catching the attention of Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. Plus, a former Tesla employee’s electric vehicle SPAC could be the tipping point for the hyped listing process, highlighting all that could go wrong in any public debut.
JAY-Z & Ace of Spades Partner with Moët Hennessy
Music mogul and entrepreneur Shawn “JAY-Z” Carter is selling half of his Armand de Brignac “Ace of Spades” champagne to the Wine and Spirits arm of LVMH, Moët Hennessy. JAY-Z and Moët Hennessy CEO Philippe Schaus discuss the deal, the alcohol landscape, and the impact that both Moët Hennessy and JAY-Z have had on the world of luxury liquor. Plus, Bitcoin’s roller coaster continues, and former FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb considers Dr. Anthony Fauci’s projection of mask-wearing through 2022.