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A Discuss Of Osama bin Laden's Recent Activities; The Organ Black Market Is Filling A Gap Where Donors Are Lacking; College Football And Campus Funding: Linked?

Aired September 7, 2003 - 15:00   ET


ANNOUNCER: From New York City, America's financial capital, this is IN THE MONEY.
JACK CAFFERTY, HOST: Welcome to the program, I'm Jack Cafferty. Coming up on today's edition of IN THE MONEY: On the run and off the radar, nearly two years after September 11, we'll tell you about a startling report in "Newsweek" magazine all about Osama bin Laden, and where he's hiding, and where he is apparently very active, very much alive, and plotting nasty things against the United States.

Plus heart brokers: Demand for organs is raising fast, the number of donors is falling. We're going to tell you about a black market in spare parts, and how it's filling the gap.

Show them the money: Colleges out to boost their image, are throwing cash to their sports teams. We'll look at the link between going for the bomb and going for the bucks in college football.

Sitting in with me today, as always, CNN correspondent, Susan Lisovicz and back from a well-earned vacation for a couple of weeks of work before he leaves once again on holiday,


CAFFERTY: "Fortune" magazine editor at large, Andy Serwer. You get a lot of time off. What a sweetheart deal you have.

SERWER: You like to talk about it, too, don't you?

CAFFERTY: Yes, I do.

SERWER: You like to talk about.

CAFFERTY: So not, my, how times have changed. We've got President Bush, Colin Powell, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and the rest of the Kabala that got that Iraq thing coming on, lining up, outside the U.N. to say -- please, won't you come help us now, because we have a very bad situation and we don't know what to do.

SERWER: It's bad stuff. I mean, you talk about negotiating positions, negotiating from a position of strength. We are not negotiating from a position of strength right here, people. I mean, it's pretty obvious, I don't know what we're going to have to give up to get them to come in. The Polish army's in there now, we obviously had to help them out somehow, to get them there. And, you know it's going to be on and on and on with this.

SUSAN LISOVICZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And the British -- you know, the British have never really popularly ever been behind it. Tony Blair is taking a beating, but...

SERWER: The British people, you mean, right.

LISOVICZ: The British people. Diplomacy at work. Colin Powell in the hot seat, once again.

CAFFERTY: Well, and France and Germany came out the end of last week and made it very clear that whatever early overtures the United States had made to the U.N. were far from satisfactory...

SERWER: Oh, yes.

CAFFERTY: least to get them to sign off. Of course, France is a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council and can veto any resolution. And, basically what France and Germany are suggesting is, they want the whole thing, the rebuilding of Iraq put under U.N. control, and before they commit any troops, they're not even sure they want the troops to be working for a U.S. commander, so right now, the stakes are pretty high, if the United States wants any help over there, they may have to give a lot.

SERWER: And they really have to get it back.

LISOVICZ: By the time that's resolved, the -- you know, five years will go by. You know -- you've got a lot of different players with a lot of different agendas.

SERWER: It's just too bad it ever came to this. Because, you know, we should have gone in with them in the first place. That's my take. That's my take.

CAFFERTY: I understand. Would have, could have, should have, hindsight is always 20/20.

SERWER: Yes. Well, that's right, that's right.

CAFFERTY: And you're absolutely right, that's a find...

SERWER: That's how I was going on that.

CAFFERTY: A lot of people, at the time, agreed with the president, that it was a big enough threat that it had to be dealt with, with or without France or Germany and the rest of the world. And, now we're trying to figure out what to do next.

The U.S. campaign in Afghanistan was supposed to knock out al Quaeda's Taliban pals and take down Osama bin Laden. Well, today on the second anniversary of September 11, right on the horizon, they're still both very much in circulation. Bin Laden's in hiding, but he's on the loose. In this week, a great piece of reporting in "Newsweek" magazine has details about Osama's whereabouts and his plans for another attack against the United States, possibly using biological weapons. For more on that, we're joined now, from Houston, by "Newsweek's" Ron Moreau who wrote this piece.

Great piece of journalism, congratulations.


CAFFERTY: The conventional wisdom at the end of the war against Afghanistan, when Osama bin Laden was this failing man in ill health on kidney dialysis, who was barely alive, anyway. There have been numerous reports that he may have been killed during the war. We've had no videotape of the man, a couple of audiotapes that may or may not have been his voice. The Taliban has been, supposedly, wiped out. Many of bin Laden's lieutenants captured or killed. What's wrong with this picture? Your piece suggests something diametrically opposed to what the conventional wisdom suggests.

MOREAU: Yes, I think both al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, and the Taliban are very alive and well in Afghanistan. And they are working very hard together, and separately, to create as much mayhem as possible in Afghanistan and beyond. And, bin Laden, it seems from the people we've been talking to, had a terror summit in the mountains of Afghanistan in April, soon after the United States had taken Baghdad, and said, basically, let's redouble our efforts and to try and counter the United States in Afghanistan and in Iraq. And that's when they started talking about use of biological weapons, and going as far as they can.

SERWER: Ron, it's really startling stuff in your piece, and disturbing stuff, as Jack said. But, I've got to ask you, how credible are your reports? I mean, you've got sources over there. Can you talk about that a little bit?

MOREAU: Well, I think they're about as credible as you can get. I mean, we've actually talked to fairly senior Taliban people who were in very close contact with al Qaeda. We talked to an al Qaeda individual up in Kunar Province, which is where we think Osama is hiding, up with perhaps 1,000 Arabs and with a lot of sympathetic villagers, up there. So, I think our reporting is very credible and the different people who we talked to all come back to the same conclusion, that Osama's live, he's well, he's living fairly comfortably. And, he's plotting as much revenge as he can against the United States and anybody who is allied with us.

LISOVICZ: Ron, to use your words, bin Laden is in a fiery mood. That may we will -- well be. He may be more enraged because of the war in Iraq. But the fact is, some of the funding for al Qaeda has been cut off. And some of his top lieutenants have been captured. So, is he just mouthing off? Or how credible, how realistic is it that al Qaeda can really strike again?

MOREAU: Well, I think it's very credible. I mean, they still have these cells operating all over the world. And, just take it back to Afghanistan, there's still a large al Qaeda-Arab presence there. And we've even had reports that, in terms of financing, that al Qaeda is involved in drug trafficking. You know, Afghanistan is the world's largest producer of opium, and now the world's largest producer of heroin. Now, we have very credible reports of al Qaeda actually buying the refined heroin and trafficking it into Central Asia. So, that's really big bucks, we're talking about -- you know, millions -- tens of millions, if not billions of dollars. So, there's plenty of money sloshing around on that Pakistan-Afghanistan border and Osama is also said to be, you know, paying 100 bucks to anybody who will -- you know, fire a rocket at U.S. soldiers.

CAFFERTY: I'm a little disturbed, as a citizen of the United States, that I can pick up "Newsweek" magazine and read your story and yet, my government hasn't said anything to me about any of this. Is it that my government doesn't know, or is it that my government knows and chooses not to tell me, do you suppose?

MOREAU: Well, I don't know. My personal opinion is, I think when we focused on Iraq, and when we started doing that, we took our eye off the ball. And, therefore, I think the heat sort of was taken off the al Qaeda, Osama, and the Taliban along the border. I think a lot of assets, although the -- probably the defense department would argue against this -- a lot of the intelligence assets, and some probably special forces assets, were moved from Afghanistan into Iraq. And I think that, and other reasons have allow the al Qaeda and the Taliban to reinforce, and I think they're certainly stronger now, than they were in Afghanistan at any time since the late 2001.

SERWER: And Ron, I mean, isn't Osama the real enemy here, No. 1? And No. 2, doesn't it just burn you up when you see a U.S. military leader say, "it's not important" to get him?

MOREAU: Well, I think that's kind of the line they have to take, since they don't really feel they have a bead on his whereabouts. But, I think that we -- our intelligence should be much better than it is. I meant, you've got a lot of people, they're talking to us about Osama being in Kunar Province, and the Taliban being in -- along the border, and in the major cities of Pakistan. I think, you know, we can find that out. I think the American intelligence community should be able to also.

LISOVICZ: Ron, you say that the U.S. took its eye off the ball. The U.S. did eradicate the Taliban officially from Afghanistan. There is a new government there, Hamid Karzai in charge. How sturdy is that government? And, how much of a threat is that if it falls to al Qaeda's continuing strength?

MOREAU: Well, unfortunately -- you know, I mean, Hamid Karzai, who is the president of Afghanistan, is a very well-meaning individual. He's a democrat, he's a terrific guy. But, he's basically the mayor of Kabul. He has no real power outside the capital and in the Northern and the Western part of the country, warlords are in charge. And, now in the South and the Southeast, the Taliban are coming back in a fairly strong way. I mean, we're involved -- I mean the American military forces and Afghan military forces are now fighting a force of something like 1,000 Taliban in Zabul Province, which is near Pakistan. Now 1,000 Taliban fighters in one area is hardly a -- you know -- shows that it's a dead organization. So, I think it's a very serious threat. I mean, the Taliban and the al Qaeda are not going to -- you know, regain power in Kabul. But, they're certainly going to make life very difficult. They're going to stop reconstruction, they're -- which is going to, in turn, make people very unhappy and very frustrated in Afghanistan. And, so I think the Taliban -- you know, perhaps can get a constituency to make a come comeback -- not to take over the country...


MOREAU: ...but, certainly to make their presence felt.

CAFFERTY: Ron Moreau is the a Southeast Asia correspondent for "Newsweek" magazine. Great piece in the magazine this week. Thank you for being with us.

MOREAU: Yeah, thank you.

CAFFERTY: Appreciate it.

Coming up, IN THE MONEY, have a heart, or a liver, or a kidney. It will cost you. On black market for baldy needed organs. We'll tell you who's behind the trade in organ transplant and who's paying the highest price.

Also ahead, burgers and (UNINTELLIGABLE): McDonald's is out to put a little bling-bling in the golden arches. Find out whether hiring a teen idol will help.

And the pigskin versus the sheepskin: Some schools pouring big bucks into their sports programs. See whether that means a cut in the quality of the classroom.

You're watching IN THE MONEY and we shall return.


LISOVICZ: Elsewhere in the news the week, keep a close eye on your credit cards, because I.D. theft is now one of the most widespread crimes in America. The federal trade commission says that one in eight Americans has had their credit card number stolen, their identity co-opted or credit rating ruined by ruined by identity thieves over the last five years. Last year alone, those crimes cost U.S. consumers and businesses more than $50 billion. But the trade commission also says banks are doing a better job of fighting I.D. theft than ever before.

SERWER: Entertainment industry experts say CDs and DVDs will soon go the way of vinyl records and eight-track tapes. A new report by the folks at Forrester Research predicts that within five years, CD and DVD sales will drop significantly. As more Americans use broadband connections to download movies and music at home. This comes just as universal music announced a major price cut on all its CDs, so buy them while you can.

CAFFERTY: The safer you are, the more difficult it becomes for sick people to find and obtain organs for transplants. Fewer Americans are dying, for example, in car crashes or from violent crime and that means that fewer organs are available from donors. That shortage is driving a surge in black market organs. For a look at the methods and money involved, we're joined now by, who's the Bernard Schoenberg professor of social medicine at Columbia University here in New York, and also chaired the Bellagio Task Force on the international traffic in organs.

Welcome, professor, nice to have you with us.


CAFFERTY: I didn't realize there was a black market in organs. There're a long list of things I'm not aware of. But, tell me a little bit about it and how it works.

ROTHMAN: Well, what's happened is that the number of people growing older, getting sicker, needing one or another medical intervention grows, and we and lots of other people, as well, are very reluctant to donate organs.


ROTHMAN: It's not clear. For some people, it may be a religious issues. Orthodox Jews, Orthodox Muslims, although the clergy is divided on it, think it's not appropriate. But ordinary Americans, without any kind of devout religious sense simply, apparently, think you oughtn't to tamper with the newly deceased.

LISOVICZ: Professor, I actually have an organ donor card in my wallet that I carry around, because so few people are aware of it. But, part of the problem for the black market is the situation where you have a lot of poverty, and then you have the technology able to do these transplants. Places like India and China, for instance.

ROTHMAN: Well, you've got it exactly right. What you need is a disparity great enough so there'll be a group of people ready to sell, and a group of physicians in pretty good clinics ready to do the surgery. That happens in India, it happens in China, it happens in the Philippines. It's happening more and more in Eastern Europe, and it is a thriving market driven by desperation and by greed.

SERWER: David, the waiting list to get organs in this country is agony. It's long. And anyone who's been in a family who has been waiting for organs knows that particular difficulty. I know, I've been through it myself. And, I want to get back to this donor issue. How can we make people more aware -- I really didn't know anything about it until my family became involved, there doesn't seem to be enough publicity about it.

ROTHMAN: The sad news is that there's really been an extraordinary amount of publicity. We -- several years ago the feds passed a, quote, "required request." Every hospital must ask a family who's just had a death, whether they would be willing to donate the organs of the deceased. There are programs, billboards, the word, I think the word's out there. What's so discouraging is that no matter how often you make the case, -- haven't you seen these car stickers? You know -- "Don't take your organs with you, leave them behind on earth." You know, Life through, you know, through death. Compensation. It doesn't seem to matter. And I'm more and more convinced that there's a kind of, call it a culture bias, a kind of fundamental irrationality which says to us, not only to exotic religions, so to speak -- but says to us, you know, don't tamper with the dead.

CAFFERTY: If there is such a shortage, and if the lines are so long, and people waiting for transplants, why shouldn't a person go to the black market in order to try to save their life?

ROTHMAN: Well, there are two black markets that we better distinguish between. One is, the black market that may be taking place around cadaveric organs, organs of the deceased. But the real flourishing black market is the black market that's really focused on kidneys, and is focused on using the poor as the supply for the kidney organ. You can make it certainly in a developed country; you can make it very well with one kidney. And families, relatives all the time donate in, quote, "living donors." But, suppose you don't have access to a living donor, and you are -- you know, desperate for the kidney. Then you get the black market which says -- OK, we're going to go buy a kidney. The only people that will sell kidneys are the desperately poor, and that becomes the market.

LISOVICZ: I was astonished to read that some bio-ethicist actually say it's OK.

ROTHMAN: Well, not only are there bio-ethicist, but you're probably not as astonished that there are economists that say it's OK. Right, the market should be the solution. You've got a big shortage, let's therefore...

LISOVICZ: But, it doesn't solve poverty or help the impoverished person -- jeopardize his health...

ROTHMAN: Exactly.

LISOVICZ: ...and they don't necessarily help the family get ahead, either.

ROTHMAN: What you've just done is undercut the major rational for allowing the sale. It was supposed to be win-win. Right? You get your kidney, and the poor get, you know, good income, good -- a good source of money.

LISOVICZ: How much do they get?

ROTHMAN: It'll vary place to place. Anywhere from $500 to $5,000. It varies enormously. But supposedly -- and that's why the bio-ethicist joined it. Win-win, everybody's going to profit. Well, it turns out that's not what happens at all. In fact, most of these desperately poor people are deep in debt, and they get the funds, they escape get -- debt for a short period of time and then they're back in debt. A really shrewd economist would understand that if you're really going to end the abuse, what you've got to do is give credit to the poor.

CAFFERTY: But, is it somebody else's responsibility to make that decision for the poor person? And I don't mean to play devil's advocate with you. But if I've got something and I want to sell it, and I take the money to use it and go gamble in Atlantic City, that's really not your business or hers or his, and if the kidney I give up saves someone else's life, what's the problem?

ROTHMAN: It's a fair question. The problem, though, is that it presumes a kind of ability of that poor person to make a -- what we would say, you know, make a -- consent satisfying decision. When you're -- I mean, it's the old Hugo line, right? The poor have the right to sleep under the bridge.


ROTHMAN: That kind of position of desperation, I think, is so acute, that we don't want to take advantage of it. We really don't want the -- I really don't think we want a social practice that says, the purpose of the poor, after all, is to give the well-to-do their organs.

CAFFERTY: Point well taken. We're going to have to leave it there. It's a fascinating subject. I thank you for being our guest on the program.

ROTHMAN: Thanks for raising this, it's a good subject.

CAFFERTY: Appreciate it. David Rothman, professor of social medicine at Columbia University here in New York City.

Coming up on IN THE MONEY, as we continue, move over Ronald McDonald, using a new face to chase a younger crowd of customers. We'll look at whether Justin Timberlake can bring back the sizzle for the burger giant.

And, if you want to tell us what's on your mind, send us and e- mail, the address is We're back in a minute.


LISOVICZ: Let's take a look at the other top stories of the week in our "Money Minute." There's a new media giant on the block. The one-time French water company that became a big media player, named Vivendi, agreed to sell its U.S. entertainment assets to NBC in a deal valued at more than $14 billion. The agreement combines NBC's broadcast and cable networks with Universal Studios. NBC, of course, is owned by General Electric.

Oil prices finally cooled off a bit. But, don't expect it to last. Industry experts say the peak summer driving season is over, but soon the home heating oil market will drive supplies down, as well. Gas prices remain near all-time highs across the nation.

And, New York state attorney general, Elliott Spitzer, is now targeting some mutual fund managers. Spitzer says some mutual funds allow preferred investors to buy and sell shares after the market close. Spitzer says, that's like betting on yesterday's horseraces. One New Jersey-based hedge fund has already agreed to pay a $40 million settlement and Spitzer is also probing Bank of America, Bank One, and (UNINTELLIGIBLE), in other words, some of the biggest players in the business.

CAFFERTY: Let them buy and sell mutual fund shares after the market closed.

SERWER: Nice work.

LISOVICZ: Yeah, after all the information is out.

CAFFERTY: Man! I want a part of that deal.


CAFFERTY: The state of Oklahoma finally decided to take matters into its own hands after waiting good long while for somebody else to do it and seeing nothing happen. And they have charged some four WorldCom executives with fraud. Former CEO Bernie Ebbers pled not guilty in the case that stems from the biggest accounting fraud in bankruptcy in U.S. history. CNN financial correspondent Allen Chernoff's been covering the story and joins us now, with the latest.

Allen, nice to see you.

ALLAN CHERNOFF, CNN FINANCIAL CORRESPONDENT: Thank you, Jack. And more than a year after WorldCom did declare bankruptcy; Bernie Ebbers appeared in court to face criminal charges. It all happened in Oklahoma City on Wednesday, where the state attorney general charged Ebbers with 15 counts of violating Oklahoma securities act. At his arraignment, Ebbers had his mug shot taken, he was finger printed. He then gave $50,000 in bail bond, in cash, and he declared his innocence. The hearing has been set for October 30. Outside his attorney said he looks forward to seeing the state's case against Ebbers.


REID WEINGARTEN, EBBERS' ATTORNEY: We know of no evidence, whatsoever. No deposition, no witness statement, no document, no e- mail, no facts, no evidence whatsoever, which links Bernie Ebbers to securities fraud.


CHERNOFF: Ebbers has been able to evade federal chargers even while five of his former employees have been indicted and four have actually pled guilty. In those cases, the smoking guns were e-mails, just like these, between executives at the company. But, Bernie Ebbers was a low-tech executive. He rarely used e-mail. Even though WorldCom was the No. 1 provider, and still is, of internet telecommunications service. That's presented quite a challenge to prosecutors.


CHERNOFF (voice-over): Do you actually have evidence that Mr. Ebbers engaged in anything illegal?


CHERNOFF: exactly what?

PAZ: I'm not at liberty to discuss evidentiary matters with you at this time.


CHERNOFF: So, the big suspense in this case, does Oklahoma really have a smoking gun? Can Oklahoma, in effect, trump the feds -- Jack.

CAFFERTY: Now, they don't mess around down there in Oklahoma. If they find him guilty, he could be doing a stretch in the joint. That is, we're not talking about a couple of weekends here, are we?

CHERNOFF: Well, the charges do carry, actually, up to ten years in prison per count. But, of course, let's keep in mind, those are theoretical numbers.

CAFFERTY: But, theoretically he could go away for 150 years, theoretically?

CHERNOFF: Theoretically, that's correct. In practice, that is very unlikely.

CAFFERTY: I understand. Allen Chernoff, thank you very much for the latest, I appreciate it -- Andy.

SERWER: McDonald's says things are looking up for the most part, these days, the fast food giant had better U.S. sales figures in August, and the steep declines in its restaurants were suffering in Europe have eased a bit.

This comes as McDonald's is launching a new global ad campaign aimed at younger customers. That's why pop star Justin Timberlake, a favorite of Jack's, is being featured in many of the new commercials which will air in 188 countries.

Shares of McDonald's have been on a roller coaster all year. And they're now just about where they were a year ago. McDonald's is, therefore, our stock of the week. And it's not just a year ago. You go back two years, three years, five years, this stock has really gone nowhere over those time periods. And what are they doing?

LISOVITCZ: But, well, of course, McDonald's in the past year posted its first ever quarterly loss. This is the world's biggest restaurant chain. But it's had improvements. There was an investor conference this week, and McDonald's executives were saying that they are seeing substantial improvement in the U.S., and slow improvement in Europe. They're making a lot of big changes.

CAFFERTY: Let's talk about Justin Timberlake, because he is one of my favorite people. Wasn't he married to Jennifer Lopez? SERWER: I forgot. No, I don't think so. You got that wrong.

LISOVITCZ: She had several husbands but...

SERWER: Did you hear that they're creating a happy meal for adults? That McDonald's is rolling that out?

CAFFERTY: A happy meal for adults?

SERWER: You get a little prize in there? Seriously, these guys will try anything. Jack, we talk about McDonald's a lot on "American Morning." and all the various things, like getting involved in fat campaigns, salad dressings from Paul Newman, they tried all the different restaurants with Boston Chicken and pizza parlors.

You know, it's very tough when you're that big. You're going to grow the same as GDP to try to outstrip the other guys. The burger market is mature and probably saturated.

LISOVITCZ: Well they've had a lot of problems on the core basic.

CAFFERTY: Wait a second, did you say the burger market is saturated?

SERWER: Saturated.

CAFFERTY: I thought that's what you said.

LISOVITCZ: That is what I said. Pun intended. Quality, service, food. They've had to make changes in all three areas. The $4.99 happy meal for adults, I know you're dying to know, the new salads, bottled water and a stepometer. That tracks distances walked and walking program developed by.

SERWER: Jack is getting out of his seat right now to get one.

CAFFERTY: I don't want to hear anymore.

SERWER: He's headed for lunch.

CAFFERTY: If you take a party of six, Justin Timberlake will come to your house and serve your meal to new a French maid's outfit or something.

Just ahead a look at just how much the nation's college spends on their football programs. We'll find out whether it's paying off or not.

Just because you're not selling a home, doesn't mean you can't get in on the real estate market. We are going to tell you how to buy real estate without buying any real estate. Stay with us.



CAFFERTY: The 2003 edition of the college football season is up and running. College football can generate millions of dollars for schools through ticket sales and television deals. And according to critics, that's the problem. They say the lure of the big bucks makes universities pour too much cash into their football programs at the expense of that other thing called an education. They also say only the biggest football programs make any real money at the end of the day anyway.

Here to look at what's fact and what's fiction when it comes to the college grid iron, Jennifer Lee, staff writer with the "Sports Business Journal." And Jennifer joins us this afternoon from Charlotte, North Carolina. Jennifer, nice to see you.


CAFFERTY: Conventional wisdom is the top six or seven teams, the ones that wind up in the big ball games at the end of the year, the ones that have the highly publicized programs, make a killing from television and other things and that the rest of the school's football is a lost leader. True or false?

LEE: I think it depends on which schools you're looking at.

CAFFERTY: Well I just said the top five or six rated schools in the country that wind up playing in the big bowl games at the end of the year, the ones with big names, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio, those kind.

The rest of the schools, they have football programs, but they don't ever make any real money. And some say it drains resources away from other perhaps uses on those campuses.

LEE: I'd have to say false on that.


LEE: Mainly because football for division 1-A schools is a revenue generator, no matter how you slice it. Sure, the top programs are generating more revenue than the smaller programs, but it's still a revenue generator. And I think for the most part, revenues generated from football programs exceed the expenses for those same programs.

SERWER: Jennifer, first of all, I want to report that Ohio State is totally out of the race now. The Maurice Clarett situation is a real problem. And USC is going to win the national championship. But what I want to ask you is this. Why is it on the one hand you've got the University of Michigan, the University of Virginia, Duke, North Carolina, Stanford, and then you've got the Baylor's of the world on the other side. How come some schools can do things right and some schools just screw it up?

LEE: Well, Baylor is in the Big 12 so they're definitely still getting a big chunk of revenue from the Big 12.

SERWER: Yes, but look at what's going on there.

LEE: I know.

CAFFERTY: Well, that's what it's all about. I mean, you know, running a program. It's a university, right? Isn't it supposed to have a reputation?

LEE: They have a reputation, but these are also kids you're dealing with, I think. And I think a lot of people forget that. And, you know, kids make mistakes. and unfortunately the light shines brighter on those that are part of these big programs.

LISOVITCZ: Well there's a lot of big kids in pro sports, I'm afraid to say.

LEE: Exactly.

LISOVITCZ: Talk to me, Jennifer, about corporate sponsorship. A lot of us sports fans have been horrified at these stadiums being renamed for Enron, for tech companies that no longer exist. Is it true that Louisville's stadium is now named for Papa John's?

LEE: Yes, Papa John's paid, I believe, it was a $5 million figure for naming rights indefinitely.

LISOVITCZ: Is this going to catch on?

LEE: I think...

LISOVITCZ: Is nothing sacred?

LEE: I think it will catch on. But I think it also -- I think for college football, in particular, it's a little tough since a lot of the stadiums out there are named after donors and individuals. And I find it hard to believe that a school is going to step in and call, you know, the donor or the family of the donor and tell them they're going to be taking their name off the stadium in favor of X company.

CAFFERTY: What ought to be done to improve things? Nobody would suggest that it's a perfect world when it comes to college football. How would you change it for the better?

LEE: I think they need to focus -- try to focus back on the academic side of things.

CAFFERTY: About winning national championships. The alumni don't care about academics, they care about going to the Rose Bowl or Orange Bowl, you know, and spending a week in New Orleans for a week in the Sugar Bowl and having a good time. And getting the best high school recruits to show up for freshmen next year's football team.

When you say focus on academics, how do you do that without impacting the football program?

LEE: I think it would be up to the -- well, to the university to decide, first, where they want their athletic program to be. Do they want an athletic program that is successful only on the field and not successful in the classroom? If that's their choice, obviously there's ways of going about that. But I think most universities would say, they want a program that is balanced, both on the field and in the classroom. And you know, I think it's up to the administrators, the coaches, to teach the students and to encourage the students in that direction.

CAFFERTY: All right, Jennifer. We are going to leave it there. I appreciate you joining us on "In the Money."

LEE: No problem.

CAFFERTY: Thank you.

LEE: Thank you.

CAFFERTY: Jennifer Lee from "Sports Business Journal" joining us from North Carolina.

Just ahead, how to invest in real estate without buying any real estate. This is a magic program you're watching here.

A little later we'll open the e-mail bag and get your stories about the dumb things your bosses have done over the years. I have my own list, I'm sure you have yours. Stay with us.


LISOVITCZ: You don't have to be a homeowner to cash in on the still-hot real estate market. You can invest in a real estate investment trust or REIT. REIT's allows investors to basically buy stock in a landlord's business.

Joining us now for more on REIT's and whether they are good move right now, is Stephan Fitch of "Forbes Magazine." Welcome.

STEPHAN FITCH, "FORBES" MAGAZINE: Hi there. How are you?

LISOVITCZ: I'm fine, thanks. And you think REIT's are fine as well. But...

FITCH: Well, yes, it's been an interesting year, because they've performed so well. and I'm never a fan of buying, you know, stocks that are rising but there's still value here.

LISOVITCZ: Do you separate them from commercial versus residential REIT's? For instance, there's plenty of vacancies, as we are well aware in Silicon Valley, Silicon Alley here in New York City. FITCH: Absolutely. And that's important. I definitely separate them. You've got office REIT's, and shopping mall REIT's, and strip center REIT's, and then there are apartment REIT's, and apartment REIT's are the more residential REIT's obviously, and they are probably not doing as well as everybody else because the housing market has been so hot, that in a lot of ways, you know, the customers for apartments are buying homes instead. So it's -- that sector is a little out of favor. Maybe those stocks are a better deal now, if you're looking at the future.

The way that REIT's work is they can handle a little short-term vacancy and not crack up. They're not over leveraged and they've got long-term leases in place.

SERWER: Stephan what's the sector that you like the most in this area? I know about one like Chelsea REIT that does the Woodbury Commons thing there, which is sort of up scaled discount malls. You've got the micro sectors. What do you like now?

FITCH: You know what, I'm a little bit of a contraire. I mean hey it's "Forbes Magazine." I like buying stuff that is maybe a little beaten down. So I kind of like the apartment REIT's right now.

You've got to be careful and you have to be cautious, and you have to pick the best names going in, but a couple of them are like Avalon Bay out in San Francisco. Who would be buying apartments in San Francisco right now? It's a bad time for that. But, you know, my theory is that stocks are a little bit more beaten down. Avalon Bay, is a very well managed company, its funds from operations are pretty strong. It ought to be able to get through this tough time. And maybe there's an upside later.

Another one is, I like the office REIT's. We've got an economic recovery coming, and, you know, we're sort of seeing the worst of the vacancies, then office REIT's will do fine.

And there are some very good companies, you probably know a couple companies, Boston Properties, run by Zekman. You've got to love him, very smart guy. And he's been through some downturns. He knows what he is doing. He and his partner Ed Lindey, I like Boston Properties in the office sector.

CAFFERTY: How much attention should investors pay to that, one, interest rates have begun to rise, and there is probably we are off the lows in interest rates, won't see them again for who knows how long, and two, we've been looking at 15 percent, 20 percent escalation in real estate prices, almost across the board in this country for the last several years.

Has the sweet spot already faded into the woodwork here? How should individual investors take a look at those conditions?

FITCH: I'm glad you're asking that question, because, you know, when you see stocks going up for a long time, and now, jeez, you start to see those vacancies, and interest rates rising, it's not going to be as easy these next couple of years. But I'm a long-term person. I hope your viewers are as well. And so you kind of dip your toe in, and you spread it around a little bit. A good way to maybe deal with, well, I don't know which company's going to come out on top, hire a professional. Get a REIT mutual fund. Let the mutual fund manager sweat the details. He'll spread you better around in 20, 30 stocks. And get ready for a little bit of volatility in the next year or two.

But long term, you know, this sort of temporary moves in interest rates and stuff, I mean over the next 20 years, people are going to forget there were interest rises this year.

CAFFERTY: Good stuff. Stephan thank you for being with us. I appreciate it. We are going to have to leave it there. Stephan Fitch of "Forbes Magazine," thank you for joining us from San Francisco.

FITCH: You bet.

CAFFERTY: As we continue. No, he was in Chicago. Where was Stephan?

LISOVITCZ: He was in Chicago.

SERWER: He was in a America.

CAFFERTY: The windy city. Still ahead as we continue here, we'll tell you about a guy when looking for work and found a whole lot of trouble instead, courtesy of the government.

And if you've got a hard luck story of your own, here's where you can offload, boys and girls. Think of us as your therapist at a discount. Or if you have ideas about the program, or story ideas you would like to see us cover, send us an e-mail, our address is We shall return in a moment.


CAFFERTY: Bureaucrats, everybody hates them and yet the world seems not to be able to do without them. Here's a little story that might get your attention just for a moment. Unemployed man in Buffalo, New York, he decided to pay a local radio station $1,000 to buy some air time. So he could go on the air and show case his broadcasting talents. He did a short thing on a Saturday sports show. He paid for the time. The State Labor Department said that the unpaid radio gig, he didn't receive any competition, he paid for the time, the Labor Department said it qualified as work, and, therefore, disqualified the man from getting his unemployment benefits. They're all hard, aren't they?

Now, not only has the State put a halt on his unemployment future benefits, but asking the man to return the $605 in benefits that he had collected before he went to the radio station.

LISOVITCZ: My question is, is the guy any good? Can he say, let's go to the videotape? SERWER: Listen, you know, obviously the state, the bureaucrats spend more than $605 trying to track this case down. They should all be tanked, canned. This guy should have the job. They should give him the job in the unemployment office. These people are just crazy, they're whacked.

CAFFERTY: They're whacked. Andy Serwer's view of the...

SERWER: It blows my mind.

LISOVITCZ: I bet he gets a better job.

CAFFERTY: We're helping him. Call the Buffalo radio station. Get that guy a job.

SERWER: Bring him up. Bring him up here.

CAFFERTY: You can be a guest on this program. We'll talk what it's like to be unemployed. Which he may be, if I don't get on the e- mails.

Time to check your answers to last week's question when we asked, what's the dumbest thing your boss has ever done? We got a lot of e- mails. Kathleen in California, "in the early 1980s my boss was in charge of inviting 1800 people to a newspaper launch party in Los Angeles. He thought it would be classy to send the invitations by telegram. The trouble is he forgot to put the time of the party on the invitations. He had to resend all 1800 of them. It cost $5,000."

Bob in Illinois writes, "my boss once ordered me to cheat a customer. I refused and quit. He did it and the owners demoted him when they found out."

Jack wrote, "the dumbest thing my boss ever did, was tell my coworker that he would get me to marry her. Now he no longer has his job and my coworker is still a psycho."

Drew in Ontario wrote, "the dumbest thing my boss ever did was hire me."

Time now for our e-mail question of this week, in light of our earlier discussion on college football. Think about this for a moment. Do you think the college athletes of the day should be paid to play their sports and do away with all those rules about you can't take a tie or a t-shirt from an alum? Or all of that -- yes. They're not supposed to be. Some of them, I guess, are. Some say it would just be better to pay them. Send us your thoughts on that to What do you think pay them?

SERWER: Yes, absolutely. I think so.

CAFFERTY: What do you think?

LISOVITCZ: I think they should go to school to graduate. I would like to see better return on the graduation rate.

SERWER: And basketball, there's some minor leagues that should be paying these people. Blow up the NCAA. It's worthless.

CAFFERTY: There you go.

And that's it for this edition of "In the Money." Thanks to our panelist as always, CNN financial correspondent Susan Lisovitcz, and "Fortune Magazine," Andy Serwer. Join us next week Saturday at 1:00 Eastern time, Sunday at 3:00.

And Andy and I are available for your viewing pleasure Monday thru Friday on the tidy little morning show, "American Morning" on CNN beginning at 7:00 eastern time. Get up and join us we will help you through your bowl of banana wackies. See you Saturday or tomorrow.



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