Ballin' With Eric Bolling

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Eric Bolling is a Baller.

From the Urban Dictionary:

1. Baller

Etymology: Middle English ‘bal’, from Old Norse ‘bollr’ and akin to Old High German ‘balla’; combined with the common suffix ‘er’ denoting one that does or performs (a specified action)

Therefore, a baller is, literally, ‘one who balls’

1.  One whose status in society has been earned by one’s possession of “game” (that is, proficiency at the game of life)

2.  One whose person has been fully and successfully established in numerous social circles.

3.  A person who finds success and wealth.

Your favorite financial blogger was offered an opportunity to roll over to the Fox Business Channel’s Happy Hour set to meet with Eric Bolling last night for a chat.  Bolling co-hosts my favorite show on the network, the one that films in the Bull & Bear bar at the Waldorf-Astoria in midtown.

For those who don’t know about his back story, here’s the 5 second bio before we move on to the meat and potatoes:

Eric Bolling was known as “The Admiral” on the CNBC business show Fast Money…left CNBC in August 2007 and moved to the new Fox Business Network as one of the network’s financial analysts… He is also a commodities trader on the New York Mercantile Exchange. He specializes in trading natural gas, crude oil, gold, and other commodities…is a veteran trader with over 20 years experience trading commodities, equities and derivatives.

It has been reported that Bolling accounts for up to 5% of total volume in the natural gas futures floor.

Told ya, he’s a Baller.

Anyway, as part of Fox Business Channel’s Red Ink Week, Eric spent some time with me discussing several aspects of the historic debt burden that America has been pushed into accepting.

Daddy’s not a reporter by training, so bear with me as I relay some of the gems that were graciously dropped on me, 3 beers into a Thursday night happy hour…

Prepping for the Show

Bolling starts his day at around 8 am and digs into the news coming out of Asia immediately.  He appears on Fox Business throughout the day on Strategy Room and does a fair amount of writing, so essentially, the whole day can be considered prep time.

When I ask him what he reads in the morning, surprisingly, he says it’s not necessarily the Wall Street Journal or Bloomberg.  Rather, Bolling prefers the blogs and loves the stuff he gets off of Twitter, especially the bloggers who hit him with the China stuff that he wouldn’t ordinarily hear about.

Bolling on Set at Happy Hour

Bolling on Set at Happy Hour

Taxes

In the context of Red Ink Week on Fox Biz, I asked Eric about his biggest concerns over the amount  of debt we’ve taken on as a nation in the heat of the crisis.  After laying out a few potential scenarios, he explained that the most likely one is a massive wave of tax increases on the very people whom we need to continue to invest if this country has a chance to grow it’s way out of this crisis.

He envisions an unfortunate situation where capital gains and dividend taxation work their way into the 20% plus range.

Cars

Bolling’s scathing crtiticism of the auto industry is certainly not unique, but its notable in that he’s actually got an interesting idea for the last man standing.

He’s been saying for quite some time that he’d buy a car made by whichever of the Big 3 didn’t require government assistance.  Well, his choices have become, shall we say…limited.  Bolling mentioned that he’s now pushing a Ford F-150 and lamented the fact that the tens of billions we’ve lent to Detroit are basically already down the drain. 

His idea for Ford ‘s (F) survival would be to relocate the entire company to Texas and allow them to check their union baggage at the door.  If Ford stays in Detroit under the union yoke, he says, they’re toast, regardless of how forward-thinking CEO Alan Mullaly has been in terms of raising money years back.

Oil and Goldman

Even more interesting is Bolling’s perspective on the recent oil snapback rally

Bolling’s observation is that Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, the first and second largest players in the oil trading business, dumped a ton of their oil longs last year as the spotlight shifted in their direction.  You couldn’t exactly be a TARP recipient while at the same time be a key factor in the excruciatingly painful energy price spike without expecting a congressional lambasting!

Bolling posits that GS and MS willfully dumped oil positions to avoid that ire and scrutiny last year, but resumed their long positions the minute the spotlight moved off of them.  How else can you explain the syncopation of the end of the stress tests and the resumption of the oil bull market? 

He believes that as prices at the pump are pushed up. this has the potential to become a big story, and I agree – if the media/ American public can take a break from trying to figure out which celebrity can dance better than which other celebrity.

Silver Lining

After telling Bolling that many of my readers were high net worth individuals who would love to read something non-apocalyptic at some point, he talked a bit about where the positives may lie in our current situation.  I can sum up his outlook in one word: Overseas.

Bolling is excited about the growth potential of China and to a slightly lesser extent, India.  His message was, just because a company is based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for example, it doesn’t mean they can’t make a lot of money exporting and selling outside of the US.  He thinks we need to focus on the companies that are growing away from the US as our own growth will be hampered by the obscene levels of debt and anti-business leadership we find ourselves now encumbered with. 

In short:  Go East, Young Man.

Fast Money

I also asked Bolling about his thoughts on how his old show Fast Money on CNBC has changed since his departure.  After reminding me that he was, in fact, one of the creators, he would only comment that he hasn’t seen it since joining Happy Hour (which films while Fast Money airs).  He did mention that Guy Adami and Pete Najarian are great guys.

He also thinks that Jeff Macke, recent on-air meltdown notwithstanding, is brilliant and that we’re sure to see more of him, possibly utilizing his talent as a writer, which Bolling thinks is both witty and formidable.

The Original Cast of Fast Money

The Original Cast of Fast Money

My fellow bloggers spill a ton of digital ink complaining about how “The pundits are so ignorant” and “They have no idea what they’re talking about”.  OK, fine.  But Eric Bolling is the antithesis of that.  Here’s a guy who made his name trading like a wildebeest in the commodities pits who has taken to the air to share his expertise and insight along with some pretty strong opinions.

It is also apparent that he loves what he does and is enamored with the format and setting of his show.  His first comment to me when I arrived on set was “How lucky am I, I got to go from playing baseball, to trading to doing this!”

If you’re not checking out his stuff on Strategy Room or Happy Hour, you’re truly missing out on commentary from one of the best in the business.

Happy Hour airs from 5pm to 6pm EST on Fox Business.

Here’s Eric’s page on FBN: Eric Bolling

Special thanks to Jocelyn, Caley and everyone at Fox for making this happen.

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Full Disclosure: Nothing on this site should ever be considered to be advice, research or an invitation to buy or sell any securities, please see my Terms & Conditions page for a full disclaimer.

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