This Day On The Street
Continue to site
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

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

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 - Get Report), 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

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

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
Stocks Under $10

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

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

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
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
AAPL $95.24 1.30%
DNB $87.88 -6.60%
HPQ $9.35 -5.70%
LGF $19.16 3.40%
VZ $50.73 -0.47%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 16,027.05 -177.92 -1.10%
S&P 500 1,853.44 -26.61 -1.42%
NASDAQ 4,283.7530 -79.3910 -1.82%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs