tv Countdown to the Closing Bell With Liz Claman FBC April 15, 2019 3:00pm-4:00pm EDT
shocked to see it. you don't want to delve too much into the "new york times" because nothing good comes from the "new york times." we doubled -- such fake news. such phony stories. it's unbelievable. but there was one that sort of i couldn't believe. we eliminated obamacare's individual mandate, as i said. we eliminated the very unfair -- this is something that i think is a tremendous thing for people. you have children and you love your children and you want to leave your farm or your small business to your children, but you can't because of a lot of reasons, they don't have the money, the business, maybe it's sort of asset rich but not cash rich, and you worry about it because you know they're going to lose it because they're going to go to the banks, they're going to borrow money, the banks are going to end up owning it. thousands and thousands and hundreds of thousands of times. we virtually eliminated the unfair estate tax or death tax.
we eliminated it for small business. so now if you love your children, which most of you do but not all, but if you love your children, seriously love them, you can leave your farm, you can leave your small business, you can leave it to your children and they won't have to borrow money. they have no tax so that's good. if you don't love your children, it doesn't really matter. just disregard the statement. but the death tax or the estate tax as they call it is now gone for your smaller businesses and farms and things, and that's a tremendous thing for your kids, i mean seriously, they were going out borrowing money and borrowing it at tremendous disadvantage. they hadn't borrowed before. really, it's tragic what had been going on.
we were able to get that out. something nobody talks about with respect to what we got in the tax cut and jobs bill. to promote american jobs we lowered the business tax rate from the highest in the developed world to one of the most competitive, one of the lower, one of the lowest in many ways. we took it down to 21%. and i think one of the reasons that we're doing so well is we brought that down and you could say any number, i mean, because steven, it was really a combination of numbers depending on who you were but you could say 40%, 41%, 38%, we brought it down to 21%. liz: president trump wrapping up and discussing his tax plan and all that has come from it, he says, throughout as we see him at a roundtable in burnsville. fox business's blake burman is standing by at the white house. we should mention the president did talk about that fire, i don't know if we can put some of the video up we have right now, but a fire that is just
disastrous, raging at notre dame in paris, the heart of paris. the entire roof has collapsed. this is live video. the roof is gone, taking the spire with it. reporter: as president trump and air force one landed on the ground in minnesota, let's keep these live pictures up, the president was delayed about 10 to 15 minutes or so coming off air force one, presumably we believe because he was tweeting about this topic as well, watching the images taking place there in the heart of paris. in fact, as the president got off of air force one it is routine for greeters to meet the president of the united states on the ground, a couple of the greeters, i was watching the interaction between the president and two of those greeters and i believe the president was telling them what was happening. you could see the reaction of those two individuals on the ground, kind of taken aback, oh, my gosh, when the president of the united states was informing them exactly what was happening at the cathedral there in paris. the very first comments that
president trump made, he informed those in attendance at this trucking and equipment company exactly what was going on, saying it was -- it is a quote, terrible fire, the president going on to say some of you probably have heard the fire that they're having at notre dame is like what few people have witnessed, it's burning at a level that you rarely see a fire burn, one of the greatest treasures in the world. the president going on to say it puts a damper about what we are about to talk about, then he moved on to the issue at hand. of course, it is tax day, this monday, april 15th, and that is what has taken the president on the road to the minneapolis, minnesota area as he is hosting a roundtable discussion. the administration today trying to tout their signature legislative accomplishment dating back to the end of 2017, the early parts of 2018. it is the very first time that americans all across this country will use the brand new tax code so from the president on down to the top members of
his administration, what they have been doing today is getting out before the cameras, trying to pitch the brand new tax code. as you know, independent analysis has shown that most americans will benefit from this in the form of paying fewer taxes. however, the problem for the president and this administration is that polls also show that most americans do not like the new tax code. in any event, the president speaking screen left in minneapolis, minnesota as we continue to keep our eyes screen right on the tragedy unfolding in paris. liz: i do want our viewers, blake, i don't know if you can see it, but the boat that's going by, that's a tourist boat that goes up and down the seine river right there where notre dame, the famed cathedral, is, and on the right you see, this is still a live picture, the paris skyline glowing with the fire consuming its landmark gothic cathedral.
we have just learned the fire has now spread to one of the iconic rectangular towers. those are the towers to the left. reports are the twelfth century church's interior woodwork is in danger and french firefighters are frantically trying to contain this blaze. firefighters are calling this an accident as it originated near the area where they were undergoing about $6 million in renovations but paris prosecutors have nonetheless opened an investigation. it was just an hour ago that the gigantic spire of the notre dame cathedral collapsed. i believe in this video to the right, you will see it going down tragically. it was right after that that the actual roof went down. you can see where the entry of the blaze right there at the roof, that was very close to where much of the renovation was
going. you can see as we look at this where the smoke is going but the sun was coming down. immediately french president macron canceled all of his plans. he tweeted a short while ago our lady of paris in flames. i am sad to see this part of us burn. what we are going to do is keep our eye on this, get you updated on the latest developments from paris. but remember, there are iconic pieces of history within this cathedral and it is from a tourist standpoint, the number one tourist location in paris right there with the arc de triomphe. it is 9:07 p.m. in paris. let us bring it back to the united states and our markets. it's been a middling day. you look at the dow jones industrials, 1:00 p.m. eastern, you see that spike? that's when the chicago federal reserve president charles evans said in a speech he supported a higher inflation target than what the fed is already at, meaning raise it from 2% to a
bit higher. that would give at least people who are anti-rate hikes a little bit of wiggle and breathing room. rate cuts, well, we'll see what happens. but if inflation goes higher or it doesn't, we might see a rate cut before we see any kind of rate hike. we look at the s&p 500 right now, it is down one point. nasdaq down about five points. but the big hot story is banks. other lenders along with them taking a hit on the news of a possible rate cut because that is worrisome, it also eats into their profitability. they like higher rates. we also got disappointing earnings from goldman sachs and citigroup. they both missed on revenues. that's weighing on the sector. goldman is down 3.25%, citi down just a fraction, but here's what happened. goldman saw revenue declines across nearly all of its main businesses, drops in trading, underwriting, investment management and lending. it was very much a big top line
miss. you need to see that, right? well, they didn't see it. declining revenue also at citigroup but that lender boosted the bottom line by cost cutting. we have a closely watched metric, net interest margin. that came in slightly higher at 2.75%. now, while the financial sector is the focus of earnings this week, there are six dow components and 49 members of the s&p 500 that are going to report this week that you need to watch, and among them, bank of america. we've also got johnson & johnson, ibm, netflix, pepsi, morgan stanley, amex, honeywell and travelers. which one or ones, could just be one, should you be buying before it releases its earnings? we go to our traders on the floor show. scott, what do you think? is there a name or two where you say scoop it up now? >> it depends on the time frame. if you are an investor or trader. my traders rarely buy something right before it's going to report earnings because you never know. what i do is buy options.
i was bullish on goldman sachs going in, i bought options and it's down six, seven, i lose my premium, it's okay, i move on. i'm watching netflix. netflix is very important tomorrow after the close. you recall friday, it got beat up on the disney subscriber costing or whatever they are charging so we need to see how netflix reacts for tech. the fang names are very important to the momentum of this rally. we are above s&p 5002900. it will be very hard to go much further if they don't respond to netflix positively. i think with the discount we saw in netflix, if you want to buy netflix calls, i think it's speculative. $10 off last week. not a bad play. i will be waiting to see the reaction to see if it's a great report and they sell it, got to be careful with tech, if it's a decent report and it stays in the game, you still go with amazon and facebook and the usual suspects for higher prices. liz: professor redler on the floor of the nyse. to phil flynn in chicago. any name you would be buying ahead of its earnings report?
>> i really like ibm. i think this will be a sleeper going into the earnings. lot of people have been downplaying this stock. they are concerned the earnings are going to be hit by a lot of currency fluctuations in trade but i think they are going to do better than people think. i don't think they were hit as hard as the market thinks. on top of that, president trump's announcement on 5g i think their outlook on 5g is going to be very optimistic in this earnings announcement for the future, because there's going to be a lot of money invested in 5g. ibm is well positioned because basically, half of all the infrastructure in the world is serviced by ibm. so ibm could get a boost off this as long as they don't get hit too hard by those currency fluctuations. the outlook is very good for ibm. liz: you don't often hear ibm used in the same sentence as 5g but that's why we love our traders. they give you the scoop. alan, anything you would buy ahead of an earnings report coming out this week? >> i'm like scott, i'm an options guy. i like a little bit of longer
runway. i'm looking at facebook. they have earnings on the 24th. this is a forgotten stock. let's remember, it had tracked almost tick for tick like apple did up until this fall that we saw back in december. if you look at it now it's trading between 160 and 180 for two months. a break out of this 180 top which it hit today targets 200 on the upside. there's a lot more upside, you have seen apple recover, facebook has a lot more. let's remember they made $7 billion last quarter and they've got two billion users. i think they are a little undervalued here at these levels and make this comeback like apple did is what i'm looking for there with the 170 call for may. liz: he just used the comeback word. perfect segue. what other comeback are we talking about? tiger? great to see all of you. who didn't see that? tiger woods, unbelievable golf comeback. nike might bring back its golf club business from the dead. the closing bell ringing in 48 minutes.
nike is right up there in the top five among the dow 30 leaders in this final hour of trade after tiger's improbable but amazing victory at the masters had the world watching not just tiger, but the swoosh stripe. nike was one of only two sponsors who remained loyal to tiger through his 2009 sex scandal and later arrest for driving under the influence of no fewer than four substances. with tiger m.i.a. for so many years, by 2016 nike had bagged its golf equipment business. but now going from mug shots to mugging for the cameras on that 18th hole at augusta, his first major victory since 2008. everybody around him including his kids were wearing that nike swoosh stripe. nike shareholders rewarded right now. the stock is up .75% as the swoosh is front and center. tiger's purse, $2 million. up next, another major american brand trying to work itself out of trouble, as boeing faces more 737 max madness. jeff flock takes us live to
chicago's o'hare. jeff? reporter: united, american, southwest, all canceling their flights on the 737 max to try and head off this scene. look at the lines. i will tell you about it when we come back. see that's funny, i thought you traded options. i'm not really a wall street guy. what's the hesitation? eh, it just feels too complicated, you know? well sure, at first, but jj can help you with that. jj, will you break it down for this gentleman? hey, ian. you know, at td ameritrade, we can walk you through your options trades step by step until you're comfortable. i could be up for that. that's taking options trading from wall st. to main st. hey guys, wanna play some pool? eh, i'm not really a pool guy. what's the hesitation? it's just complicated. step-by-step options trading support from td ameritrade
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liz: we are just getting this breaking news. we take you to paris, where french president emanuel macron is now on the scene. he has issued a statement saying he feels very much sadness and has said he and his thoughts are with all catholics and all french people, this as notre dame t cathedral, folks, this is an 850-year-old gothic building. it is part of france, when you think about the tourism that it has attracted to this area and the fire, there you go, syou se the spire that has collapsed. that fire began earlier today. nobody really knows the exact cause. at the moment they are calling it accidental because there was some renovation going on. however, french prosecutors have opened an investigation. the renovation was about $6 million and about last year, i believe the catholic church in france had appealed for funds to save the building. they were able to cobble
together about $6 million. they were putting that together. but at the moment, macron, this is a live picture, is somewhere down there, as you can see the two famed towers in that distance, one of them apparently has caught fire. we are watching this very closely and we will bring you more as we get it. 9:19 p.m. in paris. let's bring it back here stateside. another airline says it has to ground all its boeing 737 max airlines. united continental have to pull all 14 until early july. they had already grounded them, but now they are extending that. this just adds pressure to boeing as it continues to search for the fix of that software bug that is believed to have been the cause of not one, but two deadly crashes. so united now joins american airlines, southwest and others that have -- countries everywhere that have decided can't use the plane, they are on the ground for now, maybe until
september, even. jeff flock is at chicago's o'hare. i was seeing one airline, i believe it was southwest, has to cancel 160 per day for the foreseeable future? reporter: 160 a day at southwest, 115 a day at american. this is the american terminal here. what had been happening, liz, was that they were not proactively canceling. they were day by day deciding okay, well, you know, we don't have enough airplanes so we got to do something. so they were doing it in piecemeal fashion. now all of them have said, all the ones that fly max aircraft have said we are going to cancel flights through the summer, through august, and you know, these people will know in advance they don't have a flight and can rebook. take a look at the stocks of each of those airlines, all of them down more than the market today. nobody down more than american which was the big headline today. also announcing american today, they would like to put their pilots, once 737 maxes get back
in the air, or before they get back in the air, to put pilots on simulators to make sure they know what they're doing up there. take a look at the american numbers, not only the stock numbers but cancellation numbers, as we reported, 115 a day through august 19th. they have already canceled about 2500 flights so far in piecemeal fashion, as you pointed out. united has the smallest number of 737 maxes, american has 24 with 16 more on order. of course, southwest, the biggest, has 34 aircraft. all of them on the ground. american's ceo doug parker saying, i quote him now, based on all our ongoing work with the faa and boeing, we are highly confident the max will be recertified prior to the 19th but to be certain -- safe, they are bagging it until the 19th. of course, there was the president's tweet today as you may have seen, saying what the hell do i know about branding, i did win the presidency, however,
and i'm thinking they need to change the name of the aircraft. maybe they will call it the trump. liz: he had an airline, as you know. i'm not sure, i don't know. people know it's the same plane. they can't really just change the name. i'm not sure that's going to work either. that's a horrible situation. jeff, thank you very much. jeff flock. tv drama. with the closing bell ringing in 38 minutes, two major stories out of hollywood at this hour. the mass firing of hundreds of agents now in full swing. plus, charlie gasparino with new exclusive details on cbs and viacom's potential megamerger and why it could leave the role of cbs' permanent ceo uncast. indefinitely. charlie breaks it next on "countdown."
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liz: charlie gasparino has been working on the cbs story but it's a twist no one saw coming and no, we're not talking tiger woods winning his first major championship in more than ten years. ratings for sunday's win, thought they would be ratings gold, actually they fell 11% year over year. yeah. kind of interesting. the decline, actually there's a reason. little bit of a quirk here. blamed on an earlier start time. they had to start at i believe it's 7:30 in the morning to beat a storm that was coming. cbs scored the best morning golf numbers in 34 years. cbs' on-screen drama only matched by what's going on behind the scenes at the broadcast giant. its ceo searcherj merger mania. >> yeah, remember the merger was proposed by shari redstone way back when, it was killed, les moonves involved in killing it, then they had a year to figure
out what to do next, either merge with viacom or someone else. here's what we hear from inside the company. it's fascinating because this is going on as they are trying to pick a new ceo. here's what we know. we should keep the stock chart because this can move the stock. talks are heating up about a possible cbs/viacom merger. these merger talks are complicating the new ceo search. the ceo would have been found by now, would have been ianiello, maybe bob bakish. that would have been found out by now if they didn't have merger discussions. liz: there it goes. >> that's what's going on right now. discussions are clearly impacting the ceo search because nobody knows who the new ceo is. this is heating up. i'm hearing from people close to the board that if you were going to say what is the most likely scenario here, okay, it is that cbs now merges with viacom, that's what they're talking about internally. i'm not saying it's definitely going to happen.
just to be clear here, it doesn't have to happen. this is a very fluid situation. but they are clearly focused on that now, and that's why you haven't seen the new ceo. the most likely outcome, if that does happen, and again, it's an if, is that what i understand is that bob bakish, head of viacom, has the inside track on the ceo job. that's what i'm hearing from people close to cbs, close to viacom, and these are ongoing discussions. liz: viacom is up 1.5%. >> we should point out the other ceo candidates, obviously the interim is still in the mix. guy named tom skaggs is in the mix, former cfo at disney. if this deal does happen with viacom and cbs, from what i hear, it's bakish's to lose. one reason is the relationship with shari redstone. remember, cbs and viacom are owned by national amusements, that's the redstone -- liz: cbs was spun off. >> that was the redstone holding company. they are controlling
shareholders. apparently bakish had the better relationship with shari than joe. i think it comes down to that. liz: here are the corporation brands. they are very separate. cbs has tv guide and "60 minutes," cbs news, colbert, sports. then flip it over to viacom, they have everything from mtv to b.e.t., paramount, country music, nickelodeon. >> here's the other theory going on here. this is why the ceo search has hit a snag. they may name the guy tomorrow for all i know but -- liz: just to spite you. >> i know it has been -- liz: it has happened before. >> it has been delayed because of these mergers, because of the discussions about merging the two. here's a possibility people are telling me. you merge them, cbs, viacom, bigger company, you sell that bigger company. that's where it makes sense. it doesn't make sense to sell cbs separately or viacom separately. clearly the weaker of the two media properties. it does make sense to put them
together, create synergies, then spin it off. that's where -- and if you think about it, who would be the likely buyers? we're not a buyer anymore, fox. we have spun off assets. we are a $29 billion company. liz: maybe do cbs as a stand-alone. >> it's a chunk of change. they would buy, i don't know what their market cap is, but they may buy us. liz: we could pool our money. >> but who are we buying? think of the deep pockets that have to be in here. it's tech, amazon, i don't know, you know, or maybe a merger with somebody else. but clearly, the talks right now inside cbs, i guess the headline, the main talks, is the deal with viacom. that doesn't mean it will happen. they are talking and that's delaying the ceo selection. liz: charlie gasparino, thank you very much. >> i ran to the newsroom with this. liz: you're in good shape. >> good thing it's cold in here. by the way, do people know how cold it is in here? you can actually see your
breath. liz: let's heat it up. hollywood is hot right now. we warned you friday that a hollywood horror show was coming, but not at the box office. closing bell, we are about 29 minutes away. horror writer stephen king just one of the hollywood a-listers who fired his agent over the weekend in solidarity with the writers guild over this battle with tinsel town agents that the writers accuse of double-dipping. conflict of interest. up next, the guy who traded his huge agent job to become one of hollywood's top producers. gavin pallone of "curb your enthusiasm" on how he predicted years ago that the mass slaughter was coming and how the writers can win the fight. is the sun about to rise or fall on america's retailers, as trade talks between japan and team trump kick off. plus an update on that fire in notre dame. kevin, meet your father.
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liz: it's not just the outside that seems to be destroyed. there is no doubt massive smoke damage inside the famed notre dame cathedral in the center of paris. the iconic notre dame is blazing into the night with the paris skyline glowing orange right now. dw we have this coming in from german chancellor angela merkel. she is deeply saddened by events in paris and is so sorry to see images of notre dame quote, our thoughts are with our french friends. now you are looking at no more spire, susan li. no more of the roof. it's completely gone. which leads us to believe that the iconic pieces inside, the artwork and everything else, may be gone as well. susan: let's hope not.
we have french president macron, he has arrived on the scene, that's the latest we have here. he's also declaring a national emergency. the notre dame fire that's taking place at this point. the civil security agency of france says by all means they are deploying to try to tackle this blaze. as you mentioned before about 30 minutes ago, we had the fire spreading over to the rectangular, iconic edifice of notre dame. as you know, it is the most visited site in paris. two times what the eiffel tower gets, 30,000 people visit notre dame each and every year. also, president macron canceling a major policy speech tonight and he says that our lady of paris is in flames. a thought for all kcatholics an all french and like our countrymen, i'm sad tonight to see this part of us burn. anecdotal observations from those on the ground on the scene, they say older parisians have started to cry as they
witness the burning of the spire and cathedral and thousands are sitting by the banks of the river seine right now to watch what happens to notre dame which has 1,000 years of history. this is a place where napoleon was crowned in the 1800s, also henry vi in the 1400s. there's a lot of history with this. liz: i should tell you the paris fire department is now saying the next hour and a half is crucial in order to see if the fire can be contained at all, so they can at least salvage some of the exterior of this incredible structure. thank you very much, susan li. we need to get to this story. the other asian superpower, read not china, japan, is making the rounds in washington at this hour. moments ago, japan's economic minister arrived in d.c. for a meeting with u.s. trade representative robert lighthizer. he drove up in what else, a made-in-japan lexus. japan is currently our fourth largest goods trading partner
with $218 billion in total trade in 2018. top imports for us, vehicles, nuclear reactors and electric machinery. joining us to discuss it all in a fox business exclusive, for the sort of tax and implication when you talk about the actual retail industry, is the c.o.o. of retail industry leaders association, brian dobbs. you have all the big retailers under your umbrella. our viewers own the stocks in this so tell you whaus what doe relationship mean? how important is it between the u.s. and japan? >> fundamentally, we are free traders so the more we can do to reduce barriers to trade around the world, irrespective of the country, the better off we are as an industry and ultimately for consumers as well. i think a lot of the focus on japan is -- presupposes there's a resolution to these issues in china which is really where the industry is focused primarily right now, as we try to alleviate the burdens american families have faced as a result of the tariffs that have been
imposed on things coming from china. liz: we talk about the walmarts of the world getting hit hard by chinese tariffs on goods coming into our country. where would we feel that similar pain regarding japanese equipment and materials coming into the u.s.? >> so i think there's obviously, this is a different sort of situation where we are trying to relieve barriers that exist already as opposed to relieving the barrier thas that have been implemented in the last year. it's tax day so it's important to note, tariffs are taxes that american consumers pay. over the last year, american consumers have paid upwards of $22 billion in added taxes on imports on chinese imports. i think it's important to sort of keep that in mind when you think about any trading relationship. the more that we can do to reduce those barriers, the better it is for customers. frankly, for exporters as well, whether they are in the agriculture community or manufacturing community, sending products abroad. liz: what happened to the old days in the '70s and '80s where japan owned the camera market,
sony, hu you had to have a sony television set. they have taken a back seat in the bread and butter technology sector. >> it's competition. it flows to where the best products can be manufactured so the global economy is an amazing thing and we as free traders believe we should be enabling access for importers and exporters to as many countries and as many markets as possible. liz: not sure if the president agrees with you on free trade. i know a lot of people do sympathize saying you know, tariffs are taxes. even larry kudlow said that before he went to the white house. good to see you. thank you, and keep us posted. >> thank you for having me. liz: what would larry david do, right? that's always the question. with the closing bell ringing in 18 minutes, the "curb your enthusiasm" star best known for finding himself in sticky situations but some of his biggest pickles pale in comparison to the fight going on
in hollywood between its writers and agents. gavin pallone was the executive producer on "curb your enthusiasm" and many other shows. he's an agent turned producer. he used to rep all these writers. he's an early whistleblower on the hollywood system that rewards agents more than the content creators. that's next. gavin in an exclusive interview. 2,000 fence posts. 900 acres. 48 bales. all before lunch, which we caught last saturday. we earn our scars. we wear our work ethic. we work until the work's done. and when it is, a few hours of shuteye to rest up for tomorrow, the day we'll finally get something done. ( ♪ )
liz: to hollywood. we warned you last friday this could happen, and it did. one minute after midnight on saturday, hollywood writers began firing their agents by the hundreds. this after a new code of conduct deal could not be reached between the writers guild of america and the association of talent agents which represents
some 1,000 agencies, including the big four, caa, icm, wme. at issue, packaging fees. writers say their agents are favoring more lucrative packaging deals with studios and in turn, collecting huge sums of money from studios for their clients' projects instead of sharing the proceeds with the clients. twitter was set ablaze over the weekend with a flurry of writers who were firing their agents. patton oswalt tweeting i have an amazing agencies which reps me bee an even better guild that stands for me. andy richter quoting i'm one of those weirdos that really likes his agent but i went ahead and did this anyway because fair is fair. this whole battle was telegraphed four years ago in one article that's gone viral in hollywood, written by agent turned producer gavin polone entitled gavin polone on tv's dirty secret, your agent gets money for nothing. the executive producer of "curb
your enthusiasm" and "gilmore girls" once a partner at wta which repped all the seinfeld writers, quote, in many cases the total payments to the agency, gavin writes, are more than what the agency's clients, whose back it was leveraged upon, makes on the show. let him say that again. the agency makes more than its client. the hollywood whistleblower, gavin palone, joining us now in a fox business exclusive. good to see you. first to the immediate situation. the agents last friday warned of total chaos if writers went through with it. are we seeing chaos, dogs and cats living together? what's going on there? >> there's no chaos. there's not going to be any chaos. this is all just a marketing ploy on behalf of the agencies by their association to frighten the writers into acquiescing to their demands or at least backing off the demands of the wga. liz: how serious are the writers here?
what we're looking at is this viral termination of presentation letter that writers got and they could simply put their agency in the dear column, then say effective april 13th, you're done. we know huge names like shonda rimes fired their agents this weekend but in a nutshell, why are they throwing down the gauntlet? >> well, they have a real claim against the agencies. ultimately, anybody who is negotiating for anything wants unconflicted representation. you, liz, probably use an outside lawyer when you are negotiating your contract with fox, not somebody who works for your boss. the agencies are getting direct payments from the studios and that creates a conflict, and further, and more importantly, the agencies are trying to set up their own studios and have, and they are starting to produce entertainment and hire their own writers. so then there's nobody in between their representatives and the studio to make a fair
deal, and this is probably part of the reason why writer salaries have remained stagnant for at least ten years while the demand for writers is probably increased by four times. liz: yeah, because you now have amazon and netflix and they are doing content. so the objective for the wga, they don't want this conflict of interest anymore, yet the agents don't want to give up that trough of money. so agents -- >> they can't, really. liz: go ahead. >> you got to also understand that the big agencies, they control almost all of the packages, have started selling themselves to private equity and have a goal of eventually probably going public, and that's all based on the idea that they control revenue streams and that these revenue streams are going to increase and the way it's going to increase is they are going to use their client relationships to own product, to produce, finance and actually own the product and that's how they are going to get a bigger multiple,
so they can't back down on these issues. liz: they offer the counter professionals, let me say this to be fair and balanced, the wta offered a counter proposal offering the writers, did i get this right, 80% of one percentage point of their profits from packaging fees for a tv series and somebody said that worked out to less than a penny on every dollar of the writers' back end that agents are getting? is that a nonstarter? >> well, it should be a nonstarter because you have to look at the issue in total. it's about a conflict of interest. so they are saying we will give you a little bit of kickback on the package fees which are already diminished because of the nature of the business with streaming services not paying profits to anybody anymore. so therefore, they are trying to say we are going to give you this and let's make the whole issue go away, and not giving in anything on the idea that these talent agencies can become studios which is the big conflict of interest and where the real money is going to be going forward. liz: well, we know this. wme is very interested in
launching an ipo very soon. they probably all are. i know icm used to be public. ari emanuel, the famed agent, are they hurting right now? do writers really hold the keys and the power right now? could this affect their ability to take it public? >> in the short run, it probably won't. the thing is, it's not -- the wgi do believe it's going about it the wrong way. i think they are right in their claims, for sure, 100%, but there are smarter ways of going about it by not putting it on the individual clients to have to fire their agents and ultimately, even though they are sort of separating from their agents, they are not going and taking new agents which would make wme uptight because then they would really be losing business. as things go on, you know, that might become worse, but most people make deals far in advance so the agents continue collecting on the deals that have been made in the past so if this doesn't last very long, they will probably be okay. i think that the smarter move for the wga would have been to
go to court on behalf of their members. go to court on behalf of their members because there is a fair business statute in the state of california and there's the sherman antitrust act. it would seem to me and many other lawyers who have come forward and said this that they are in violation of those statutes, and in a lawsuit, if you started to open up in discovery the e-mails of the talent agencies and see how they refer to the package fees and what their strategies are, i think it would be very ugly for them and they would probably have to settle beforehand. it's going to take a smarter strategy and bigger power move than just saying okay, you're not my agent right now although i'm not going to another agency, and allow the agencies to continue to collect commissions for the short run. i don't think that's going to get it done. liz: it might come to that. might come to that. gavin polone, my high school, aw i went to high school and college with him. love you, gavin. thank you very much. we'll be watching all of this. >> miss you, liz. liz: miss you, too. we'll be right back. we will take you back to paris
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liz: we need to go back to paris where this terrible news that we have to tell you a french interior ministry official now says firefighters may not be able to save notre dame cathedral at all. we are expecting french president emmanuel macron to speak from the scene of the got thick church. 850 years old. but now consumed by fire. there is an investigation going on. whether it was nefarious start to this horrifying fire, we, we will have to wait to find out but we'll keep our eye on it. fox business will continue to cover the story. turn to earnings season. big banks have been
disappointing. let's bring in the founder of the sevens report. tom, we're so early in the season i don't know how we can say it will be disappointing but what are you preticking for this quarter? >> liz, thank you very much for having me on. it is early. so far the results are not great. wells fargo posted disappointing results. way too early to draw conclusions. we do expect earnings to decline from last quarter that is the first time we've seen that in almost three years. liz: you're still buying? there is us a trade? >> absolutely. there are certain sectors. because just earnings are declining doesn't mean the stock market will go down. it's a risk to watch, certainly. if global growth gets better, u.s.-china trade deal this market can rally and hit new highs. we need to watch earnings closely. liz: tom, take the thrones picks shortened today. we do appreciate you coming on. it has been a very busy breaking
news today. [closing bell rings] the markets are slightly lower. down 30 points for the dow dunce dunce -- jones industrials. that will do it for "the claman countdown." "after the bell" picks it up right now. melissa: right across the board right now all three major averages kicking off the week in negative territory dragged down by financial and industrial stocks. the dow ending down 29 points there. the s&p 500 snapping a three-day winning streak. tech-heavy nasdaq also ending in the red. this is "after the bell" and i'm melissa francis in new york. hi, connell. connell: hi, there, melissa i'm in bethlehem, pennsylvania today where bernie sanders is making a pitch to voters at fox news town hall. the candidate is expected to release 10 years of tax returns as he reaches out to working clas