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Will New SAT's Help Create A National Curriculum?; International Perscription Drug Business Is Booming; Women In Business Still Aren't Used To Their Fullest Potential

Aired October 26, 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: Making the grade: The College Boards shaking up American education with the new take on the age-old SAT tests. Should one company have this much power over who goes to college and why?

Plus the mouse that scored: International traffic, dangerous prescription drugs is booming. We'll take a look at why users no longer have to hit the streets in order to get the goods.

And ghosts, ghouls, and dead presidents, with people spending more on Halloween these days, see why it's not just for the kids anymore. The reference to dead presidents had to do with currency -- money.

Joining me today, a couple of the regular IN THE MONEY veterans who just keep showing up to be punished week after week after week, CNN correspondent, Susan Lisovicz, "Fortune" magazine's editor-at- large, Andy Serwer.

So, Senator Joe Lieberman and retired General Wesley Clark say, we're not going to bother with Iowa or New Hampshire, two of the ten democratic candidates -- I guess it's nine now, since the one guy got out -- say they're going to bypass, historically, the two most important first stops on the road to 1600 Pennsylvania. The question is -- can they survive doing this?

SUSAN LISOVICZ CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well -- you know, who says most important?

CAFFERTY: Well, history says.

LISOVICZ: Perception is reality in politics. And, if you don't have the money or numbers and you want to hold onto what you've got, you pick more carefully, and perhaps that's the strategy that's behind Joe Lieberman, who's been a real disappointment so far.

SERWER: Yeah, Lieberman may be doing it out of weakness. Clark may be doing it out of strength in the sense that he can sit on the sidelines and wait until the end and duck in, which is sort of what he's been doing all along. But, you know, New Hampshire's such a dangerous place, I mean who can forget Ed Muskie in the snow with a tear in his eye.

CAFFERTY: Who can forget Bill Clinton?


CAFFERTY: He came out of there with the big moe and took it all the way to the top.

LISOVICZ: "60 Minutes" interview, everyone wrote him off as dead.

SERWER: And but the way, the guy who dropped out, of course, is Mr. Graham, lest you forget, of Florida, the man, I thought really had a real shot. And now, Kucinich man I'm watching closely.

CAFFERTY: Are you on the Kucinich bandwagon?

SERWER: Kucinich man. Kucinich man.

CAFFERTY: OK. Any room on that bandwagon? Come on.

SERWER: You bet. Yes, yes sir. Come on up.

CAFFERTY: You bet there is.

All right, it will be interesting to see what happens, because historically, he who wins or she the caucuses and then New Hampshire and probably more importantly, New Hampshire, tends to have the momentum, and assuming they have the bankroll they can go on and wind up with the nomination. But, maybe not this time.

They don't call higher education for nothing. A survey out this week found the average tuition at a four-year public college rose 14 percent this year. Now, inflation is about one percent -- one-and-a- half percent.

Mary Snow joins us now, with more of the details on skyrocketing costs to go to those ivy covered halls.

Hi Mary.

MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Jack. And, this is certainly the kind of report that makes parents very nervous, the College Board saying that state schools were hardest hit with states cutting back on education because they're strapped for cash. If you take a look at tuition and fees for private schools, four years, you saw an increase of 6 percent. This is the third year in a row we've seen increases like that and the College Board saying that hasn't happened since the 1990s, and a two-year public institution increases were up about 14 percent, and that does not include room and board. If you add that in, the average tuition price for a four-year state college is near $11,000 a year and for a private school, it is near $27,000 a year for tuition. All totaled, tuition, prices and fees up more than 40 percent in the last decade.

Now, the College Board is also saying, though, that this past year that student aid hit a record high of $105 billion, about a 12 percent increase in the last year, when you take inflation into account, and saying that students haven't been paying as much as you might think, that the average student gets aid to the tune of about $9,100, when you factor in work study programs, loans, and grants. The survey also find that, though, and this was a surprise, that the proportion of the financial aid going to students who need it most has declined -- Jack.

CAFFERTY: All right, Mary, interesting stuff. Interesting to me, I've been paying that tuition for four daughters for a whole number of years and the costs just -- they just go up and up and up. Appreciate it. Thank you.

SNOW: Sure.

CAFFERTY: Well, before can you pay for college you have to be able to get into college. The Scholastic Aptitude Test, the beloved SAT, has been this country's leading college entrance exam for more than 50 years, now. And now, it's going to change. The people at the College Board are hoping the new SAT will not only test kids better, but also help improve high school classes for everyone. But so far, the new test is mostly producing controversy.

The changes in the SAT are the subject of this week's "Time" magazine cover story, and joining us now with more is "Time" magazine writer John Cloud, who has taking close look at this.

John, nice to have you with us. Give us the real reason, John. I mean, they're all say it's going to be changed because we hope to do better, more, get more kids, treat them more fairly, yada, yada, yada. Why did they changing the thing? What's wrong with the old one?

JOHN CLOUD, "TIME" MAGAZINE: Well, they're changing it because the biggest client of the College Board, the University of California wanted the test to be changed.


CLOUD: The president of that system felt that the current test encouraged sort of rot learning of vocabulary and the math questions were sort of these weird games and tricks that students could game out in advance and so he claims that the new test will be better.

CAFFERTY: Why will it be better? Why is something different necessarily better, and what about the kids who have a particular aptitude for that -- if train one leaves Detroit at 8:00 in the morning going 40 miles an hour toward Salt Lake City and train two leaves Salt Lake City going towards Chicago -- I mean some kids can do that in a heartbeat. I never could understand it. But, I mean, what happens to them?

CLOUD: Well, that's a really good point. The students who are smart kids, who go to bad schools, are maybe left behind, because the new test is going to focus much more on classroom learning, those old types of math questions that you talked about are going to be replaced, in part by, algebra two materials. So, if you probably don't remember quadratic functions -- I don't and I spent six months doing the article, that -- negative exponents, things like that, that you learn in class and if you don't attend a great school -- you know, you're not going to be able to shine as much. One great thing about the old SAT, the current test, is -- you know, if you're in an inner city, a rural school, you're a smart kid and -- you know, your scores could stand out to a Harvard or a Yale, if you did well because -- you know, it showed that you had a real aptitude for that kind of verbal and mathematical reasoning.

LISOVICZ: John, I never want to see a No. 2 pencil in my life. I'm going to put out this disclaimer, I did not do well on the SATs. I did not reason well with the trains and buses going East and West at certain miles per hour. I -- I'm happy for all of the generations that follow, but what is -- what about if you're going to base it on curriculum, is the nation's curriculum that standardized? In other words, would not there be differences in many different school districts to reflect the curriculum?

CLOUD: Yeah, there definitely are, and there's one problem. Now, the College Board will tell you that most school curriculums teach the things they're going to put on the test, but -- you know, we don't know that all school curriculums do or that not all teach -- teach it in the right order or that all students, before the SAT -- before they take the SAT will have had the curricular material. I mean, what they're doing, in a way, is sort of idealistic. They hope that all schools will follow this curriculum and that all students, and that schools will improve, teach kids to write better and teach them write more essays, because the new SAT will have an essay component for the first time. And that's nice, those are great ideas. The problem is, the reality will be that a lot of schools aren't going to be able to do that. You know, they want schools to double the amount of time that kids spend writing. Well, who's going to grade all of those papers if you have 35 kids in your English class, you can't assign double the number of essays, because you just don't have the time grade them.

SERWER: John, Andy Serwer, here. By the way, I got a double 900s on my tests. Oh, it didn't go up that high.


SERWER: It seems to be the old test tested innate intelligence and the new test based more on achievement. You know, here's one thing here -- why can't they do both?

CLOUD: They can do both. They are saying -- well, they claim they can do both. I -- you know, and I wish they would do a little bit of both. The problem is, they -- what Richard Atkinson, who is the president of the University of California, what he really wants and what the SAT is really moving toward is just an achievement test, just a test of, you know, grammar, and literary terminology, and algebra. You know, and these reasoning questions, they're going to keep a few of them but they're phasing them out and the direction the test is moving in is toward an achievement test, and that will leave some students behind. CAFFERTY: We -- we got to leave it there, John. I suppose we could have a whole other discussion on how the president of a single university could exert so much influence on a test that has served the general educational needs of higher education in this country for 50 years. But, it's only an hour program, and we have to move along. Maybe you can come back and we'll talk about that one another time.

CLOUD: OK, thanks very much.

CAFFERTY: John Cloud, writer of "Time" magazine, fascinating story on the changing SAT test.

Coming up on IN THE MONEY, feeling no pain. Scoring dangerous prescription drugs online is easy if you know where to click. We'll look at the surge in internet drug trafficking.

Plus, on the firing line: A new bill would block victims of gun violence from suing firearms manufacturers when someone gets shot. Do you blame the gun when that happens or do you blame the shooter, and what is the lawyer's role in all of this?

Plus, ladies first: Tom Peters says testosterone is not what it takes to succeed in today's business climate. Find out why the corporate guru thinks women rule. And, he's probably right, come to think of it.

Back after this.


LISOVICZ: The internet has become a fast and easy way for consumers to buy all sorts of things from books to cars to clothing, but the worldwide web has also become a pipeline for powerful pain killers and other deadly drugs. Those who want to, can now literally point, click, and medicate with little or no oversight from regulators or legitimate physicians. Joining us now, is a woman who's been looking into that story Mary Pat Flaherty is an investigative reporter at the "Washington Post."

Welcome Mary.

MARY PAT FLAHERTY, "WASHINGTON POST": Hi, thanks for having me.

LISOVICZ: I'm looking at this quote from a senior investigator for the Drug Enforcement Administration who says "They're like rabbits. Every day there are more of them. They're up, down, they're foreign and domestic. It has become a huge problem and a very short amount of time."

FLAHERTY: Anyone who opens their e-mail knows the truth of that, because you get spammed everyday by people who are offering you everything from Vicodin, which is a opiate, up to -- we found sites that were actually offering OxyContin, that had been closed down.

LISOVICZ: But is there any sort of acknowledgment, any efforts to curb this problem? We've heard a lot about, say, tobacco and other illegal substances on -- over the web. What kind of -- what kind of efforts are being done at this point?

FLAHERTY: There have been some discussion in 1999 on Capitol Hill of trying to do something that would make the sites more transparent, so you would be able to see whether the doctors there were registered. They would profess to put up an address, tell you a little bit about themselves, whether they were licensed, had a DEA license. That discussion went nowhere because at the time, it was seen as thwarting and stifling e-commerce. There is some renewed activity, even as recently as this week, frankly in the wake of our stories where some of the national boards of pharmacy and some major legitimate online prescription servers are trying to do something to let their patients and customers know they're a legitimate versus one of these rogue operations.

SERWER: All right, Mary Pay, can you explain how this works? I mean, you really can just go on the internet and buy all of these drugs without a prescription? Or get a prescription, but you really shouldn't have that prescription. Can you explain?

FLAHERTY: Sure. A legitimate site will work this way: You get a prescription from your doctor; you mail that prescription, most likely, or fax it somewhere to that legitimate site. That legitimate site has a full range of drugs. So, it would look like your drug store did, it wouldn't -- you would not go in and see just one product line, as do you on some of the rogue operations. The rogue operations are ones in which they overwhelmingly deal in painful -- painful -- powerful pain killers. 90 percent of their activity is that versus five or 10 percent being other kinds of drugs. You go, you click, you fill out a questionnaire. There isn't any kind of exchange for the most part with a doctor except a minimal questionnaire. There's no follow-up. You can get refills quickly, more quickly than you might be able to get even if you were at your real doctor's office or at a legitimate online site. So, it really is as easy as that.

CAFFERTY: How big are the alarm bells that are going off in connection with this Mary Pat? There are doctors here, in New York City that have been periodically hauled off to jail for writing phony prescriptions for this stuff, for the 25 years I've been in this town. How is the obtaining of elicit drugs on the internet any different than obtaining elicit drugs -- you know, on some street corner in some seedy neighborhood? People who want to elicit drugs are going to find a way to get them. I don't mean to minimalize the seriousness -- It's a hell of a piece of reporting. But, I mean, isn't it -- there's an appetite for this stuff in our society. They're going to get it somewhere.

FLAHERTY: It's true that they're going to get it somewhere. I think the question though, is, you have somebody looking at the street corners. That was the other set of quotes from the Drug Enforcement Administration.


FLAHERTY: This gives you a protection and a secrecy that you don't normally have, because you don't have to leave your home to shop for it and secondarily, I think that it makes kids, in a way, more vulnerable. We had a number of incidents where parents, despite doing everything that everybody suggests, putting the computer down in a family room, not leaving it in the kids' room, you have children -- literally children, high school kids going online, and we had a couple examples of people overdosing from drugs that they were able to have mailed to the house.

Where the parent...

CAFFERTY: Does it go to the issue of this spam? Because, there is blocking software that keeps kids from being able to get at certain parts of the internet. But with spam, the junk just appears out of nowhere. Is the ultimate solution to unwanted illegal drugs, pornography, and all of the other stuff some sort of a way to regulate or control spam?

FLAHERTY: Do you know, I don't know that can I'm -- can give that you answer, because I don't feel comfortable doing that, but I do think that spam certainly presents the opportunity in front of the kid, but there are also chat rooms that we'd looked at, where if you go two, three layers down into the room you find kids talking about I mixed this with this and it was a great high.

LISOVICZ: Mary Pat, we know the demand is great, but also know this is in a black market. Do we have any sort of statistics, any numbers of people who've done this and the kind of consequences from taking these dangerous substances?

FLAHERTY: We were able to put together a fairly decent toll of people who either had their addictions fed by this or overdosed and had a fatal overdose. We probably ran -- if my memory is -- about a dozen set of stories where we looked at people's deaths in detail and four of those we had, probably, three or four standing behind that we just didn't have enough room to get into the paper. We also found though, that it's a pretty easy way to get into business. Once you're up and running, there was a site in Nevada as an example, got its license to be an online pharmacy, had written only six prescriptions -- 17 prescriptions in the six months before it opened. Gets its license under the internet site, writes 1,000 scripts within a month and was writing 5 million doses within a year, so the demand is enormous.

SERWER: OK. We're going to have to leave it there, Mary Pat Flaherty, investigative reporter for the "Washington Post."

Thanks very much.

FLAHERTY: Thank you.

SERWER: Just head, is this "Penthouse" headed for the outhouse? We'll have the latest on one of the best known names in porn publishing.

Plus congress is looking to give gun makers a lawyer-proof vest. Find out why some folks think it's a first shot against frivolous lawsuits.

If Halloween is taking a scary bite out of your wallet, you're not alone. We'll have the details on the haunting costs.


Let's take a look at the week's top stories in our "Money Minute." Immigration agents a sweeping Wal-Mart stores across the country looking for hundreds of illegal workers. The feds are looking into charges that subcontractors who work for the world's largest retailer are hiring illegal immigrants, mostly from Eastern Europe. The immigrants in question work on cleaning crews at the stores. Wal- Mart says it requires all of its subcontractors to hire legal immigrants. Wal-Mart is the nation's biggest private employer.

If you think all the good American factory jobs are just going overseas, maybe you should think again. A new study by a group of New York economists shows millions of factory jobs have simply disappeared completely since 1995. Technological advances are a big reason why, as manufacturers are able to make more with fewer employees.

And if you're interested in becoming a major player in the smut business, have we got a deal for you. Creditors are forcing "Penthouse," creator Bob Guccione to sell his publishing empire. "Penthouse" has seen sales shrink thanks to the booming internet porn industry and trendy men's magazines, like "Maxim."

SERWER: All right, shifting gears here, Susan. In what could be signed as a real -- seen as a sign of economic recovery, the nation's biggest transport and shipping companies are reporting strong profits. United Parcel Service had a jump in earnings in the third quarter and expects domestic shipping to pick up considerably over the next few months. And, that news is pushing UPS shares close to their year high and not far from where they were when the company went public in 1999, and that makes UPS our stock of the week. So, what do you think, guys? Big brown's coming back, but it's a very competitive business.

LISOVICZ: Yeah, and FedEx is coming on strong, that's for sure, too. So, you have to consider that, the competition is strong and some folks looking behind the numbers saying it was actually an easy comparison. One analyst actually putting a sell rating on the company saying that the people there -- the culture there, that they've been there their whole lives, but one thing you have to remember is that this is a company that is owned by the employees, 90 percent of it.

CAFFERTY: Another thing -- excuse me -- they're spending a lot of money to change their logo, I'm not sure it that's necessary. I mean it's UPS, everybody knows who UPS is. And you mention they think that shipments are going to pick up. Once we get passed the holidays season, what exactly are they going to be shipping, I wonder?

SERWER: Well, it's not stuff from the Internet. Of course, they were kind of Internet stocks, they and Federal Express and what I'm seeing right now, is these two companies getting into each other's business. I mean, UPS dominated the ground business.


SERWER: FedEx, air. Now they're both competing against each other. And -- you know, they really are sort of tied to the economy. You're right, Jack, absolutely. FedEx has been pretty good story over the past 20 years and -- you know UPS has not been that great in terms of its stock price performance since 1999. It kind of went down and then came back up and it's basically right where we started.

LISOVICZ: Well, that's terrific, though. They had a huge IPO when it went public a few years ago.

SERWER: Some trouble with that IPO, I think.

CAFFERTY: The other conventional wisdom is, you want to know what the economy's going to watch the truckers and the people that shift the stuff...

LISOVICZ: Exactly.

CAFFERTY: ...and if their order books start to fill up, things are on the mend big time. So, maybe that's an indication of where we're going.

SERWER: And UPS actually, I don't know if you saw it recently, they just cut back on the number of days that you get stuff delivered. Remember we talked about that, Jack.

LISOVICZ: One whole day.

SERWER: Why does it take five days? You order a bowling ball from Texas, takes five days, so now they're cutting back. Because again, their competing against...

CAFFERTY: The other question is: Why would you order your bowling ball from Texas?

SERWER: They got good bowling balls down in Texas.

CAFFERTY: And the third question is: Why would you order a bowling ball at all?

SERWER: Did you ever see the movie "Big Lebowski?"

CAFFERTY: I missed it.

SERWER: It's a bowling movie. You should rent it this weekend. It's a very good one.

CAFFERTY: I'll get it this weekend and we'll talk next week. Or not.

LISOVICZ: Doesn't it come from Buffalo, though?

CAFFERTY: Coming up as we wander forth here into the wilderness, a new bill in Congress looks to sock it to the lawyers, but it could be giving the gun makers a free pass.

And for all of the talk of women's progress in the corporate world, some say most companies are not getting the most out of their female employees. We'll tell you why or at least what some people think is the reason just ahead. Stick around.


CAFFERTY: You might want to think of this as a bulletproof shield for the companies that manufacture firearms. A bill that would protect those companies from lawsuits over gun violence is looking set to clear Capitol Hill. Supporters say the gunmakers should not be held responsible for how their products are used.

Joining us from Washington with the counter-argument to that is Dennis Henigan, who is the legal director of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

Dennis, nice to have you with us. Thanks for joining us.


CAFFERTY: This is not a thing that would grant blanket immunity. And to the degree that we can decipher this into plain English, exactly how will it work?

HENIGAN: Well, it really is sweeping unprecedented immunity to this industry. It gives this industry an exemption from probably the oldest principle of our liability law, which is that if someone or some company behaves negligently, and that negligence leads to the injury of an innocent person, that victim has the right to recover damages in court.

CAFFERTY: Does that mean, then, that the golf club manufacturer of the golf club that was used to kill Martha Moxley could be sued by her family because that club was used in the commission of a crime? I mean, I'm not sure I get the logic of this.

HENIGAN: Well, the lawsuits that we're talking about here against gun manufacturers and sellers do not allege that all gun manufacturers and sellers should be liable simply because guns can be used in violent acts. If that's all they said, they would lose. And, in fact, it would be easy to legislate against that kind of frivolous lawsuit.

The lawsuits that are affected by this bill talk about specific negligent conduct that leads to violence. For example, we represent the victims of the D.C. sniper shootings in a lawsuit against a gun seller, Bull's Eye Shooter Supply in Tacoma, Washington. Now, that was the gun seller that had the Bushmaster assault rifle used by the snipers in its inventory.

When they confiscated that rifle from those snipers, they traced it back to Bull's Eye. At that point, Bull's Eye became aware for the first time that the gun was no longer in its inventory. It had no idea what happened to that gun. It had no record of selling the gun, no record of a background check, it had not filed any report of a missing and stolen gun.

And sure enough, when the federal law enforcementation agency, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, audited the gun shop, it found that in the last three years alone there were 238 guns mysteriously disappearing from that gun shop.

LISOVICZ: So Dennis, then shouldn't that gun dealer be held responsible for not only what happened with the D.C. sniper attacks, but also for the past three years of negligent recordkeeping and just overall negligence? Not necessarily the gunmaker.

HENIGAN: Well, but this bill doesn't apply simply to gunmakers. The immunity bill now pending in the Senate, S-659, applys to gun sellers and would prevent the victims of the sniper shootings from suing that gun dealer even though a court in Washington state has already held that that case should go to a trial.

As to gun manufacturers, what we're saying in that case is that Bushmaster, the manufacturer of that gun, which sold not just any kind of gun, it sold military-style, high capacity assault weapons. It sold 40 round ammunition magazines. It advertised one of the accessories to go with the gun as the ultimate sniper grip.

We're saying, if you're going to engage in the sale of that kind of military-style gun, you ought to do the minimum to assure that you are dealing with responsible retail gun sellers. And if they had even been the slightest bit interested, they could have found out from Bull's Eye that it was continually being cited for violations and could have taken some action. We think gun manufacturers have a responsibility to know who they're dealing with and not take this attitude that it's not our problem.

SERWER: All right. So that's your point, Dennis. Because I was going to ask you, I mean, how in the world could you suggest that a gun manufacturer, since it's legal to make guns right now, could they be responsible? But you're suggesting the way they might be culpable is because they're selling to an irresponsible dealer.

HENIGAN: That's right.

SERWER: I mean, shouldn't we just -- I agree with you that I think that people should be allowed to sue the gun manufacturers. I don't think they'll get anywhere, and I think we should let the free market decide this so people will sue the gun manufacturers, those cases will continue to be thrown out of court, and then they'll just give up. I mean, as long as people are still allowed to make guns, how can you possibly say that you can sue them?

HENIGAN: Well, you're absolutely right that it should be left to the courts to decide. But what you're wrong is suggesting that these cases necessarily always lose. That's not true at all.

In fact, we have achieved major appellate court rulings in states like Ohio, Illinois, New Jersey in the last few years that have basically said, yes. If you can make a case that a gun manufacturer has been negligent in dealing through irresponsible gun dealers, then you can have a jury trial. So we're not -- we're not losing these cases. In fact, if these cases were hopeless in court, the gun industry would never be seeking immunity from Congress. CAFFERTY: You know, there's a mentality in this country, and I jut want to get your take on it, that says, if I choose to smoke cigarettes and I die of lung cancer, it's the tobacco company's fault. It I eat three Whoppers a day and die of clogged arteries, it's McDonald's fault. If a gun dealer sells some guy a gun and he uses it later to go out and commit some kind of crime and he wasn't honest, then that's somebody else's fault.

What about the fact that the stuff people do in this country is maybe their own fault? And the responsibility stops there, and the solution to every wrong created in the society is not to rush into a court and see if we cane shake somebody down for a bunch of money?

HENIGAN: You know, I don't understand that point of view at all. Nobody is suggesting that the snipers who murdered all of those people should not be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. This is not a matter of shifting the blame from them, but it is a question of why in the world would you want to let Bull's Eye gun shop off the hook, when neither of those snipers was a legally valid buyer of a gun?

They were both prohibited from buying guns. The only way they could get a gun was through the negligence of a gun shop like Bull's Eye. Why do you want to let them off the hook?

CAFFERTY: That's not the only way they could get a gun, but I hear what you're saying. But that's not the only way they could get a gun. Come to New York; we'll show you a place on the street where you can buy all those guns you want.

HENIGAN: Yes. And where do you think those guys come from? Do you think they fall from the sky into the hands of criminals? They start with gun dealers.

CAFFERTY: Most of them are stolen.

HENIGAN: Well, but the fact of the matter is, many of them are stolen from gun dealers because they don't have sufficient security. And that actually may very well have happened at Bull's Eye.

Mr. Malvo, one of the sniper defendants, has said that he shoplifted the gun. Mr. Malvo was 17 years old. He was not allowed to buy any gun in that gun shop, and yet he walked out of that shop with a three-foot long assault rifle worth over $1,000.

Was there any kind of security at that gun shop at all? I mean, I can't go into a department store and take a leather jacket out without having some clerk unlock it. Is there any kind of security in that shop at all?

SERWER: Well, obviously, a very controversial subject, Dennis. But we have to leave it at that. Dennis Henigan, legal director, Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Thanks much.

HENIGAN: Thank you. SERWER: Up next on IN THE MONEY: taking on the world by thinking on your feet. Business guru Tom Peters says women improvise better, and that's what today's corporate clients and climate demands. We'll ask him why.

And the money behind the mask. We'll look at what's driving Americans to spend more on delivering the right fright for Halloween.


LISOVICZ: From Hewlett-Packard's Carly Fiorina to eBay's Meg Whitman, women continue to make strides in corporate America. But our next guest says there's still a long way to go. In fact, management guru Tom Peters believes it is the natural strengths of women, cooperation, sustaining relationships, and flexibility that will count most in the 21st century economy. Shush.

But to his dismay, old school CEOs have not caught on. And women remain a largely untapped resource. Peter writes about all this and more in his new book, "Re-Imagine: Business Excellence in a Disruptive Age." And he joins us today.



LISOVICZ: You describe yourself as a prince of disorder, a champion of bold failures, a maestro of zest.

PETERS: I said that?

LISOVICZ: Yes, yes you do.

SERWER: The publisher wrote that. Come on.

LISOVICZ: Well, someone wrote it about you. Don't deny it. The fact is, in your book, there's a really rather confessional conclusion from this woman. I mean, women make better sales people. Well, of course they do.

PETERS: Well, fine. Then we're done. It's settled.

SERWER: Very short interview.

LISOVICZ: Women are not a niche.

PETERS: Listen, I was doing a seminar in New York two or three months ago and I had a guy who's a leading stock broker and he started to reorient his practice towards women as clients. The average male who used him as a broker recommended him to 2.5 people. The average woman recommended him to 21 people.

There is that. Listen, there are some men who can actually listen. We haven't discovered one yet, but there is an entire possibility that's the case.

CAFFERTY: Most of us get a lot of practice at it.

PETERS: Well, there is that. But I think there are some truly distinctive differences between the two of us. And kind of my bias in this book is, I am still. I lived in Silicon Valley for 35 years. I'm a Vermonter now.

I'm still a believer in the new economy. I really believe we're inventing new kinds of organizations. I think they're flatter, I think they're more network oriented. And I think they play into the strengths that women bring.

There was something in that "Fortune" article this week where -- I don't remember who it was who said women are more interested in influence than rank. And there are different ways of leading. And that just -- you know that made sense to me.

CAFFERTY: Given the fact that they say the business of America is business and we are a nation obsessed with profits and quarterly reports and the bottom line and stock price, why has this been so slow to dawn on the boardrooms in this country?

PETERS: Have you ever seen a picture of the people in the boardrooms?

CAFFERTY: That's a good answer.

PETERS: When I'm doing my seminars, I describe it as my porn collection. And it is the picture of boards of directors. I mean, literally, it's male-designed organizations, organization structures.

The boards are basically old white guys with a token woman, a token African-American, and that hasn't really changed much. I mean, your point is great because I am interested in this topic because of this bottom-line impact.


PETERS: And women buy the stuff. They buy every damn thing in the world. They not only buy all the consumer goods, which is not a great surprise, but the intriguing kind of statistics are that over 50 percent of purchasing officers, public and private, are now women. Over 50 percent of admin officers are. And so they're buying all the commercial stuff as well.

CAFFERTY: Is this a cultural phenomenon then? I mean, it was proven in the Enron scandal and some other recent corporate stories that these guys would throw little children to their death in a burning pit if they could make a couple of extra dollars. Why can't they overcome this inertia about women?


PETERS: Well, we'll take a classic example. In this book, the trend-spotting guru, Faith Popcorn, along with Liz Marigold (ph), co- wrote a book that was called "EVEolution: The Eight Truths of Marketing to Women." Now, what's interesting to me about that book, the most interesting thing, is it's the only one.

Why in the hell are there 3,250 on total quality management, and then this, which deals with literally a $5 trillion to $6 trillion sector in the U.S. economy alone? And you guys don't do stories on it. We rarely do stories on it.

SERWER: We do some stories.

PETERS: You do, of course you do. You'd do the cover story right now.

But I've argued -- and I really do believe this -- that in many respects the most underreported business story around is -- depending on whose statistics you see -- the 6 to 10 million businesses that are owned by women. I mean, that's serious news.

SERWER: What about this one other point you make in your book? You make a lot of points, but one point I picked up on, you said that everyone has got to go out there and -- you know, sort of the culture me, me inc., and can get out there and do different stuff. But you're one of the most creative, energetic people around.

Don't a lot of people want to just go to work every day at the sort of same boring, repetitive job? And don't people like that?

PETERS: Well, it may be, but it's irrelevant. And it's irrelevant because I don't think kids -- regardless of what their SAT scores are -- I don't think kids are graduating from college today and imagining that they'll spend 30 or 40 years at Time Warner or at Exxon Mobile. And that's totally different than in the past.

And so I've gotten into a debate about this. People said, well, you're writing about the old dot-com economy. I'm writing about reality. You can't go on this show or in any print medium, you can't go more than five days now without reading a story that IBM has shipped 80,000, 100,000 jobs offshore to India and so on. And so I don't think people have an option, except to look at their careers.

Now, the cool thing about it, in my mind -- and I am a Vermonter these days -- is this isn't arguing that everybody's got to be Einstein. Because if you live in Vermont -- and I own a farm in Vermont, we have people work on the farm, and they're stone masons and they're carpenters, they get this stuff. You're as good as your last show. They're as good as their last job.

And the really strange people I think, in retrospect, are the people who for the last 80 years have been Scott Adams' (ph) (UNINTELLIGIBLE) cubicle slaves who fundamentally did live in indentured servitude in tall towers from Manhattan to Miami.

CAFFERTY: Facingating stuff. And you have had this knack for seeing it the way it is, as opposed to the way most of us think it is in some of the books that you've written before. We're going to have to leave it there. I thank you for coming by. Come in again and we'll kick this around some more at some point.

PETERS: Thanks.

CAFFERTY: Tom Peters, "Re-Imagine: Business Excellence in a Disruptive Age," the name of the new book..

Up next, being the ghost with most means selling -- shelling out a lot of cash, he tried to say, but he's old and it's late. We'll break down the cost of Halloween as we move forward.

And we're still willing to hear your scary thoughts. So you can email us as at We'll read some of that stuff in a few minutes.


CAFFERTY: Well, boys and girls, we are now less than a week away from Halloween. And for kids of all ages, it means it's almost time to dress up and eat candy until you just get a little sick to your tummy. And for adults, the holidays is quickly becoming a time to spend money until you are sick to your tummy as well.'s Allen Wastler, my old buddy from CNNfn, joins us now with a look at just how much people are spending and what they're spending it on. People don't realize, or at least I didn't, how much dough you tend to traditionally part with on this holiday. Big bucks.

ALLEN WASTLER, MONEY.COM: Oh, yes. People just shell it out. And you know -- well, we've got the average is about $41, OK, for the average family.

Then it's about $14 and change for the costume, $14 and change for the candy. About $10 and change for decorations. And some people throw in Halloween cards for about $2 and change in there.

CAFFERTY: Halloween cards?

WASTLER: Halloween cards.

SERWER: You know why Jack doesn't think it costs that much, because he always just buys a big bag of apples for $2.99.


WASTLER: He's the one, "Oh, don't go to his house. He's going to...

CAFFERTY: I used to hate when I was a kid and I would go and get an apple. Who the hell wants an apple on Halloween?

WASTLER: It's $6 billion...

CAFFERTY: How about the price of the visit to the dentist after the kids' teeth begin to rot?

WASTLER: Well, sooner or later, that's going to catch up with you. But Party City, they say that Halloween's their big sale time. You would think it would be other times like, you know, birthday parties and whatnot. No.

Halloween. Lots of costumes. And because this year Halloween's on a Friday, they're hoping for a big boost because we're going to have a lot of weekend parties and holiday parties.

LISOVICZ: It's second only to the Christmas-Hanukkah spending, which is just astonishing.

WASTLER: That's right. And actually, a lot investors use Halloween as kind of gauge to see where Christmas is going to be. Some people say it works, some people say it doesn't. And it goes...

LISOVICZ: What are the hot costumes?

WASTLER: Well, for kids and for adults, last year it was the big soldier thing because of the war and whatnot. But this, it's getting more and more into movies and TV type of costumes, OK?

SERWER: Sponge Bob.

WASTLER: Sponge Bob. They've got an adult Sponge Bob costume for $40.


WASTLER: Hey, Andy...

SERWER: No, it doesn't fit me. Sorry, Allen. Sorry, I already checked it out.

WASTLER: Something a little bit cooler, the "Matrix" movie is out this year. A lot of (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Neo and Trinity, looking very slick.

SERWER: Trinity.

WASTLER: It words for me.

CAFFERTY: What's the Web site of the week?

WASTLER: The Web site of the week?


WASTLER: Jack, I decided to go out there for you a little bit. How about some Viking Kittens?

CAFFERTY: Some what?

WASTLER: Viking Kittens.

CAFFERTY: What are you talking about?

LISOVICZ: Those words go together, Viking and kittens?

WASTLER: Viking Kittens. They're going, and they got a Led Zeppelin...


CAFFERTY: That's good, Viking Kittens. OK, Allen. You haven't changed much since a year or two ago when we worked together. Have you?

WASTLER: No, maybe a little more twisted...


SERWER: Freaky, deaky (ph) stuff, by the way. Oh, there you go.

WASTLER: There you go.

CAFFERTY: All right. Thanks, Allen. Good to see you, my friend.

WASTLER: Surely.

CAFFERTY: Just as we continue, the Senate approves yet another pay raise for itself. Ain't they something? We'll have the details on that.

And we'll check your emails from the past week. If you want to get in on the email fun -- and let's face it, it is a lot of fun -- drop us a line here at


CAFFERTY: The hard-working U.S. Senate got a raise this week from the hard-working U.S. Senate. The lawmakers voted themselves a pay raise for the fifth year in a row, fattening their annual salary to almost $160,000 for next year.

Senator Russ Feingold, the Wisconsin Democrat, is speaking out against the pay raise. He says that given the weak economy and many Americans having a tough time making ends meet, it's the wrong time for the Senate to hand itself more money. Now, there's a senator who knows a little about what he's talking. That stinks.

LISOVICZ: My senator happens to be a multi-millionaire. And there are few of them in the Senate, as I recall.

SERWER: Hundreds of millions of dollars. It's the wrong signal. It's such a little amount of money, they don't even really need it. It's crazy.

CAFFERTY: Yes. Somebody said, are all those people who are screaming about the tax cuts for the rich turning down their pay increase? It would be interesting to know the answer to that. I think I do.

Time now to check the viewer email. Last weekend, we asked whether you thought the number of people getting plastic surgery is getting out of control. Alan in Vancouver wrote: "I don't think plastic surgery is out of control. But the root cause of it, everyday young women and men are overwhelmed by images that tell them they are inadequate. If the number of women's magazines alone were reduced, there would be fewer plastic surgeries in America."

Debbie from Hawaii wrote this: "You want to know if I think plastic surgery is getting out of control because it's getting more affordable. I have a more important question: where are you finding affordable plastic surgery?"

And several of you wrote in saying, "Jack you could use some."

LISOVICZ: Oh, no, they didn't.

CAFFERTY: Now it's time for this week's email question: Are the gun manufacturers in any way responsible for gun violence in America? You can weigh in on that. And send your answers or other comments if you have them to We pick a few, read them for you next week.

Thank you for joining us for this edition of IN THE MONEY. Thanks to our regular gang around here, CNN correspondent, Susan Lisovicz, "Fortune" magazine editor-at-large, Andy Serwer, and from, Allen Wastler.

Join us next week, Saturday at 1:00 Eastern time, Sunday at 3:00, or you can catch Andy Serwer and me all week long on "AMERICAN MORNING" where we do have some fun. Starts at 7:00 Eastern, 4:00 out there in California. And we would invite you to that program as well.

Thanks for being with us. Have a great week.



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