This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

The 5 Dumbest Things on Wall Street This Week: March 23

Stocks in this article: DNB AAPL LGF VZ HPQ

5. D&B's China Syndrome

Remember The China Syndrome? The movie based on the premise that a nuclear plant meltdown could burn its way through the earth's core and spread all the way to China? Well, after the recent slew of corporate apologies in China, we here at the Five Dumbest Lab believe a new definition for the term is in order.

From now on we suggest The China Syndrome refers not to the threat of radiation rapidly spreading all the way from the U.S. to the Middle Kingdom, but to foreign companies apologizing from now till kingdom come because they screwed up and are deathly afraid of contaminating themselves in the eyes of Chinese authorities.

Business information provider Dun & Bradstreet (DNB), for example, joined the ranks of those afflicted with our newly redefined Syndrome Monday after it swiftly shuttered its Chinese division following allegations that it violated local consumer privacy laws and bribed local officials.

Of course, to us it's a cruel joke that the Chinese government -- an entity that unabashedly and unashamedly snoops on its own citizens -- is forcing D&B to completely capitulate over a privacy issue. Really, if that's not just the pot calling the kettle black -- and then stamping "Made in China" on it -- well, we don't know what is.

And as for the idea that it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by paying off Chinese authorities, give us a break. That's the cost of doing business over there. By now they might as well add a line item to corporate income statements called "Chinese Bribe expenses."

But to D&B this episode is clearly no laughing matter, which is why they, like McDonald's (MCD) and French retailer Carrefour last week, refused to counter the claims head on, choosing instead to wholeheartedly submit to the will of Chinese authorities.

Both McDonald's and Carrefour were accused of selling expired chicken products in separate incidents and neither made a cluck about the less-than-explosive charges. In the McDonald's case, a restaurant in Beijing was charged with selling chicken wings 90 minutes after they were cooked, while the company's rules set a 30-minute limit.

Oh man! Those wings really must have been atomic, because McDonald's went nuclear over what was most probably a minor restaurant snafu. And in our eyes that's a clear indication that the company has come down with a screaming mad case of the China Syndrome.

You see, once you've got it, the last thing you want to do is start playing chicken with the folks in Beijing.

1 of 5

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 18,081.17 +50.96 0.28%
S&P 500 2,092.04 +10.16 0.49%
NASDAQ 4,813.4340 +39.9620 0.84%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs