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Facebook CEO Pushes Web Access for All; Tech on a Tear; Olympic Controversy, Corporate Response

Aired August 24, 2013 - 09:30   ET


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN HOST: NASDAQ shutting down. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer stepping down. Yahoo's Marissa Mayer upside down. Technology rules the world.

And all of this, while Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg says he wants to wire the world.

I'm Christine Romans. This is YOUR MONEY.

Make no mistake. NASDAQ's nightmare put your retirement at risk. It shows once again that computers run the stock market, and that humans don't yet know how to manage the risk created by the rise of the machines.

So what happens if we wire the world? That's just one of the reasons I headed over to the NEW DAY set to speak with my colleague in the morning, Chris Cuomo, about what he learned directly from Mark Zuckerberg this week.


ROMANS: Our very own Chris Cuomo visited Mark in Palo Alto, asked him about his new plan to connect -- he changed the world once. He wants to do it again.

CHRIS CUOMO, HOST, NEW DAY: Now, it's obvious to look at this about the growing market and the mobile space. But Mark Zuckerberg says this is not about making money for him, it's literally about changing the world.


MARK ZUCKERBERG, FOUNDER & CEO, FACEBOOK: Here we use things like Facebook to share news, and catch up with our friends. But there, they are going to use it to decide what kind of government they want, get access to health care for the first time ever and connect with family hundreds of miles away that they haven't seen in decades.

Getting access to the Internet is a really big deal.

CUOMO: What about the how? How do you do this? How developed is the plan?

ZUCKERBERG: You know, we have a plan, a rough plan of what we need to do to pull it off. And, of course, the plan will evolve over time and we'll get better ideas. But, you know, if you look at the trends, I mean, data is becoming more available to people, and apps are more efficient to run. There are new business models to help people get online.

CUOMO: It's also good for Facebook and companies like that, because mobile access to the Internet is where your business lies, right?

ZUCKERBERG: You know, if we were just focused on making money, the first billion people that we've connected have way more money than the rest of the 6 billion combined. It's not fair but it's the way it is. And we just believe that everybody deserves to be connected and on the Internet. So, we were putting a lot of energy towards this.


CUOMO: So, there you have it. Mark Zuckerberg, 5 billion people sounds huge, you know, especially even compared to 1 billion with him.

ROMANS: Right.

CUOMO: But he believes that it's a tool, that everybody should have it, and what company they use is up to them.

ROMANS: Can you really do it? I mean, there are some companies that are already trying to do this. For example, Google has balloons, right, with radio antennas so that they can bring connectivity after a natural disaster. For example, there are tech companies scrambling to develop a smartphone that cost less than $15.

I mean, a lot of different companies are racing out there trying to change and trying to bring this about. Can he do it? How mature is this idea?

CUOMO: I think that judging by what he said, it's in its nascent stages, right? You have possibility and then you have feasibility. And I think what takes him from one to the next will be how big a coalition he puts together, how much skin there is in the game. And also playing that against the inevitability of this change -- the market must grow, people must get more involved with the access to the Internet, timeframe, and the period involved I think is a much more cloudy conclusion.

ROMANS: Right.

CUOMO: You have to think 5, 10, 15 years. From the perspective of Facebook, that's where your mission takes you anyway.

ROMANS: He has so many social goals in his mission, but his social goals could become financial goals, and the more people who are connected and the more people who are on Facebook, the more who you advertise to. So, it's interesting to me how sometimes it seems like his social mission can be a little bit off from a financial goal, but they will emerge.

CUOMO: Well, some great minds said that altruism is often motivated self interest, right? And that doesn't make it wrong, right? The fact that he's going to find a way to grow his market and also expand reach for people who need is a good thing. It would be nice if all business priorities worked that way.

And I think that what we are also seeing in Mark Zuckerberg is personal maturity.

ROMANS: Right.

CUOMO: He's not even 30 years old yet, but he is taking on what the significance of Facebook is, the issue of immigration. He's starting to wade into deeper waters that go beyond his business model.

ROMANS: It's legacy stuff, legacy stuff, and he's not even 30.

CUOMO: Right? He did the movie of his life. He is doing pretty well.

ROMANS: Chris Cuomo, nice to see you.

You know, Chris has had a very busy week. So, we thank you for joining us, because he also sat down with the president to talk about his new plan to cut college costs. We're going to show Chris' conversation with the president later on a brand-new edition of YOUR MONEY. That's at 2:00 p.m. Eastern. Don't miss that. Really important stuff for anybody borrowing money for college or anyone who cares about the future of this country and our workforce.

Coming up: Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, just a few of the Founding Fathers of tech. But now, the boys' club has serious competition in facing the future. Meet Marisa Mayer. She's spending billions to save Yahoo -- investors seem to love her; fashion magazines, they are taking notice, too.

But is it worth your money to buy her company's stock? We play buy or sell, next.


ROMANS: Stock ownership in this country is at a record low. Many people think the market is just a big electronic casino and Wall Street always wins anyway.

On Thursday, the NASDAQ basically shut down for three hours. The company called it a connectivity issue. But when the president of the United States has to be briefed on the situation, you know it's a huge deal. And it did not help investor confidence at all.

Matt McCall is the president of Penn Financial Group.

Matt, NASDAQ nightmare put everybody's retirement at risk. How big a deal is it when a major American exchange goes down for three hours?

MATT MCCALL, PRESIDENT, PENN FINANCIAL GROUP: It's a huge deal. No update in the three hours, traders were freaking out, and more importantly, the investor at home turned on the news at night and saw the headline that the NASDAQ shut down. So, there's already this lack of confidence in the financial markets of the individual investors. This just adds to it. So, now, there's people at home, I don't really know if I can trade my stocks during the day, I don't trust anybody, I don't trust Wall Street already, now this happens.

What do I do? Do I get out of the market completely because I don't trust the system?

ROMANS: Is it the rise of the machines, electronic trader, you know, whether it's high-speed speeders or is it high-tech exchanges, humans just can't monitor the risk?

MCCALL: They can't. But at the same time, there are still humans on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, or in a floor in Chicago. This is when humans come back, because if humans were there, they could sit there and take the trades and make a market.

So, I think this actually may be good longer term, because it makes people realize we need humans on the floor of the exchange.

ROMANS: All right. Three thousands of those -- many of the tech stocks were shut down on a trading day this week for four hours, but I want to talk about the tech sector and how hot it is. NASDAQ up 20 percent this year, more than the Dow or the S&P 500. The big old companies that make the hardware like Dell, Intel and Microsoft -- those stocks have done well in 2013, but those companies are still struggling to catch up to the cool kids. That's Facebook, Google and Apple, not all cool kids make things that come in a box, but they think outside of it, that innovation has tech investors buying.

Matt, you're one of those tech investors. I want to play this game called buy or sell.

First, Apple. Apple reports a new iPhone on the way, a new budget version maybe as well, and a gold phone. Here is the performance year-to-date. Look at that. Buy or sell Apple shares?

MCCALL: This is definitely a buy down here based on two things. One, based on this chart -- you can see the bottom out in April and June. That's what they call double button. It's very, very bullish.

But even more importantly, longer term, if you look at the fundamentals of Apple, it's what is called the PEG ay ratio, take the P/E ratio over growth. It's below 1 at 0.7. That's a screaming buy to me.

You know, I'm on the side of Tim Cook. But Icahn is now dabbling in the stock. So, I think that, you know, at 525, 530, we see 700 probably the next 12 months.

ROMANS: Seven hundred. So, you put this one a very big buy.

MCCALL: It's a big buy for me.

ROMANS: All right. Let's take a look at this one. Next one on Facebook. When it went public you were not interested at all and you changed your mind and since have bought the stock. I want to show you what the stock looks like.

This week, it had a great move, rose above the IPO price of 38 bucks, even crossed 40 bucks. Are you still buying?

MCCALL: I will tell you this -- I'm going to point a hand in there. I sold some right about there, because I took a bit of a profit, but I still believe it's more up side on this, so I kept some Facebook.

If you are a new investor, buy in the high 30s. But I still think this -- you know, mobile revenue went from zilch to 41 percent of revenue now. Their mobile users jumped 50 percent, and everybody is using iPhone. Everyone is using tablet. They will take advantage of this.

ROMANS: All right. So you are a buy. You are a buy. You sold a little bit.

Cisco, 4,000 job cuts, but the stock is up here for Cisco. Buy or sell, Cisco?

MCCALL: I am selling Cisco. You can see here on the chart. It's dropping off. This is looking to grow 4 percent of earnings next year, but it's still trading like it's a big tech stock. It's going the wrong direction for me. I get out of Cisco.

ROMANS: All right. So, you're out of Cisco.

Yahoo beat Google in traffic. That was the first time in, what, two years. CEO Marissa Mayer, he's got a lot of acquisition. She got Tumblr.

Is Yahoo a legitimate online company again? Are you buy or sell, Yahoo? It's up like 80 percent over the past year.

MCCALL: She looks pretty darn good in the new "Vogue" layout, too. She looks pretty good. She is a buy. So is Yahoo a buy. They are both buys for me.


No, I'm buying Yahoo. The name Yahoo still resonates really big in the tech world and search world. So, I think she is doing a great job. I think it's a great buy, around $27.

ROMANS: All right. Buy around $27.

All right. Then, finally, Google, tell me what you think about Google?

MCCALL: Google is everything that you want to be. I mean, driverless cars -- you name it. I will buy Google way down here 10 years ago.

But look at, as you mention, that pull back, look at that pull back right there, it's actually 850, 860, and it's a great buy on Google right here. Long term, I mean, it's P/E ratio of 17. It's a growth story. I'm buying Google. ROMANS: All right. You're buying Google.

So, let's recap here. You say buy Apple. You say buy Facebook. You say buy Yahoo. You say buy Google. Cisco is your only sell here.

You have two other bonus stocks that you like. They are tech companies, but they also have a retail presence.

MCCALL: Netflix is one of them because I think the cable box is done. I think we're done with cable box. Big thing here in New York -- Time Warner/CBS debacle, going back and forth, I can't watch my shows. So, it drives me nuts if I had -- Netflix I can do that. So, I think Netflix is definitely in the future.

The other one is Amazon. I looked this morning. Did you see what I could buy on Amazon, Christine? I could buy organic baby food or parts for my ATV.

I mean, this company sells everything and anything. They have Cloud services that they are offering right now, I think Amazon is a great buy, too, long term.

ROMANS: All right. Picking (ph) Amazon.

What all these companies have in common. They spent millions of dollars on something that is becoming increasingly controversial. What that is and what the company should do about it next.

Thanks, Matt McCall.

MCCALL: Thank you.

That creates a moisture reserve so skin can replenish itself.


ROMANS: The 2013 NFL season less than two weeks away. Imagine if you could log on to Google to see your favorite teams. Here is the score. Tech blog All Things D reports NFL officials, including Commissioner Roger Goodell, met with Google executives this week, and the NFL Sunday ticket package. Part of that discussion, DirecTV has exclusive rights to broadcast every minute of every game through the end of the 2014 season. Google offers no comment on the report.

And the NFL says it often meets with innovative leaders in Silicon Valley. The NFL Sunday ticket rights cost DirecTV $1 billion a year, subscribers pay 200 bucks to 300 bucks each season to watch.

Tickets for next summer's World Cup went on sale this week. FIFA put a new lottery system in place for the games in Brazil, letting fans pick location, team and round. If offers buyers an 8-page instruction manual on how to order them. Some fans were still very confused. But that's not stop more than 1 million from applying for tickets in just seven hours.

And then, finally, forget a few pairs of shoes, a free car or an unlimited supply of sports drinks. This guy got a helicopter to jump out of. It's a fifth stop on the Red Bull cliff diving series right here in New York City, in front of statue of liberty. Check it out, a backboard dive from 75 feet above the water, and he throws in a back flip for style points.

All right. A much bigger event for corporate sponsors, just a few months away, the Olympics. Historically, it's a time of celebration, competition and controversy. The 1936 Summer Games in Berlin, the Nazi regime was in power, the U.S. considered boycotting in the face of all of that. African-American Jesse Owens wins four gold medals.

1968, Mexico City, American track star Tommy Smith and John Carlos give the black power salute on the podium during the national anthem. They were both expelled from the games.

1972, the Munich massacre, Israelis kidnapped by Palestinians terrorist -- 11 athletes and coaches and judges were murdered.

1980 in Moscow, President Jimmy Carter calls for a boycott after the Soviet Union invades Afghanistan. And Soviet Union responds by boycotting the 1984 Games in Los Angeles.

And next winter's Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, already deep in controversy. Last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law. That law bars the public discussion of gay rights and relationships, anywhere children might hear.

It's been condemned by Russian and international rights groups as highly discriminatory. Politicians decide what to do about it, but it's putting corporate America in a tough spot.

Richard Socarides wrote an article for "The New Yorker" this week titled, "Why the Olympic sponsors should take an action on gay rights." Richard is also a political strategist and long time gay rights advocate.

Bob Zito is also with me this morning. He's the founder of Zito Partners. And before that, he helped shape the brands of Sony, the New York Stock Exchange, Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Richard, I want to start with you.

You write the participation of corporate sponsors mostly benefits the Russian government. It's certainly not required for American athletes to succeed. These companies sign deals before President Putin signed that law.

Why do you think -- what do you think these corporate sponsors need to do now?

RICHARD SOCARIDES, THE NEW YORKER: Well, I think the point is, right, that nobody wants to penalize our athletes who work so hard to succeed, and most people believe we should, therefore, participate. But the corporate sponsors, I think because they've invested so much money in the games, some of which has gone to the Russian government to set up the Olympics, that they have earned the right to insist that Russia comply with the policies that these corporations -- most of these corporations have, for their own employees, have non- discrimination.

But I think they have a lot -- they have the power of persuasion. You also have the power of threatening to withdraw their sponsorship if Russia doesn't change.

ROMANS: So, so many of these companies, Bob, you know, they've for years had policies that have been very open. And even, you know, (INAUDIBLE) moving faster than the government has on rights for couples in their companies, for their employees. Would it be hypocritical for them, then, to continue sponsoring the Olympics in a country that is going in a different direction?

BOB ZITO, FOUNDER, ZITO PARTNERS: No, I don't think it would, Christine, because the Olympics are a big part of the brands of those companies that we're talking about. And they've all done the right thing inside their own companies with their employees, with their customers, with their constituents.

For them to pull out right now, it would really have an impact on their brand. What they can do, though, as Richard said, is to make some statements, make some comments about what they believe in and show the world.

ROMANS: So, the power of the press release, not necessarily power of the dollar.

U.S. athletes are speaking out there. I want you to listen to figure skater Jonny Weir.


JONNY WEIR, OLYMPIC FIGURE SKATER: I believe our presence in Russia will do nothing but help fight this law and help the LGBT community.


ROMANS: We've also seen protests of the vodka boycott here in the U.S. People taking to the streets to pour out Russian liquor. Celebrities are also getting involved. Bravo's Andy Cohen declined to host the Miss Universe pageant in Russia. He says he doesn't feel right as a gay man stepping foot into Russia.

"The Prison Break" star Wentworth Miller, he came out to the public this week and declined an invitation to the St. Petersburg film festival.

Bob, does an issue like this threaten the brands in Russia at all? I mean, what are those executives talking about behind closed doors?

ZITO: They're talking about what they're going to do with their employees to reassure their employees that the policies they've put in place and earned their trust over the years are still their policies. They're going to separate the sponsorship of the Olympics from any discussion of their internal policies, which they can do. Remember, the Olympics is a part of each of these companies' brand, and if they give up that podium, their biggest competitors will take the podium.

ROMANS: I think it's interesting that so many of these companies have been so out for gay rights in this country, and then they find themselves supporting the Olympics at the same time.

You know, President Obama doesn't think that boycotting the games is a good idea. And he put a positive spin, Richard, on the Olympic controversy.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: One of the things I'm really looking forward to is maybe some gay and lesbian athletes bringing home the gold or silver or bronze, which I think would go a long way in rejecting the kind of attitudes that we're seeing there.


ROMANS: What do you think? The ultimate revenge?

SOCARIDES: If they don't get out if front of this, if they don't put out the statements Bob referred to, if they don't --

ROMANS: Should they pull their money?

SOCARIDES: I think they should threaten to pull their money. I mean, I think, ultimately, it's going to be -- you're going to have to see. But if there are massive demonstrations, if people are being arrested, if potentially athletes are being arrested, being associated with the Olympics is not going to look like such a good deal.

I mean, this law outlaws any kind of speech. So even if you wear a rainbow pin or if you hold hands with another athlete, are you going to be arrested in Russia? I mean, that is not the kind of thing corporate sponsors want to be associated with.

ROMANS: So interesting.

SOCARIDES: If you're running one of these corporate sponsorship programs, you have to now get out in front of it.

ROMANS: All right. Nice to see both you guys. We'll continue to see how it unfolds. Thank you so much, Richard and Bob.

Coming up, I'll introduce you to the safest car on the road and reveal why it's probably not in your driveway yet.


ROMANS: UPS will stop insuring 15,000 of its workers, husbands and wives. The company discontinuing coverage for any spouses who are eligible for insurance through their own employers. UPS is blaming rising costs, in part thanks to Obamacare. In a memo, UPS said it will take care of its own but it shouldn't bear a burden that other companies can take on.

For more stories that matter to your money, give me 60 seconds on the clock. It's money time.


ROMANS (voice-over): It's back to school, but not for everyone. Government spending cuts known as the sequester hit Head Start programs, eliminating 57,000 spots for preschoolers starting in the coming weeks. You might think flashy cars and clothes are the key to love, but it turns out saving is sexy.

A new study finds people are more attracted to savers than big spenders, whose behavior may seem wasteful.

If you're a wealthy genius, there's a good chance you use Google. A new study finds that people who use the search engine tend to leave in states with above average household income and college graduation rates.

Rumor has it, Apple will shift two new iPhones in September: a high end version and the budget iPhone. The lower cost option could boost Apple's presence in China, the fastest growing market for cell phones.

The safest car on the road, the Tesla Model S. The car earned the highest possible ratings in government crash tests, and the company says that's not only a perfect score but the highest score ever.

And Kodak is finally ready to reinvent itself. A judge approved the company's plan to exit bankruptcy. But don't expect to see those iconic rolls of film on shelves. It will now focus solely on printing.


ROMANS: Coming up on a brand new YOUR MONEY at 2:00 p.m. Eastern, reining in the rising cost of college. President Obama wants you to get a better return on their investment. We're going to hear from the president. We're going to break down his new affordability plan and what it means for parents and students. That's today on a brand new YOUR MONEY, 2:00 p.m.

Coming up at the top of the hour, salacious new revelations about Jodi Arias. HLN's Jane Velez-Mitchell talks about her new book on the accused killer, including details on a boyfriend Arias stalked before Travis Alexander.

"CNN NEWSROOM" starts right now.