Herb's Hotline: Getting Ready for Greenspan - TheStreet

Monday magic in the market and time for another edition of ... The Hotline.

On tap, tomorrow,

Alan Greenspan

speaks, and you can bet the street (and I'm sure


) will be hanging on every word. Will he or won't he utter


suggestion that even he thinks the rate hikes are having an effect and that now the economy is starting to slow? Don't bet on it.

The Hotline's hunch: If Greenspan says anything it'll be much in the form of the good old double-Greenspeak, which, when translated, amounts to absolutely nothing... Or something to the effect that there are signs higher rates are helping but it's too soon to get complacent to think they're working. And that doesn't take into account tomorrow's report on

Retail Sales (don't expect higher than expected) or Wednesday's report on the

Consumer Prices Index (don't expect them to be lower than expected).



(QCOM) - Get Report

signs up 11 big customers for its voice-recognition software. (Isn't that

Lernout & Hauspie's



Reeling in the years: Latest to bite the e-dust:

Hollywood Entertainment


pulls the plug on


e-commerce biz 20 months after spending nearly $100 million to buy the electronic retailer of movies and after more than $100 million in losses. Remember the hype surrounding


deal, when it was bought by Hollywood? And then the hype that they'd either spin off part of it in an IPO or sell the whole thing? Now,

Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette

, hired by Hollywood to improve shareholder value, couldn't even find a buyer? My, how quickly times have changed. (But, hey, the company got Reel.com investor Scott Beck, the brains behind bankrupt

Boston Chicken

, as a director as part of the deal. Quite the trade!)

Annual report roundup: The other day, I suggested that instead of spending money on annual reports, companies should just reprint and distribute their 10-Ks with a report from the CEO tucked inside. Reader


, of Fairbanks, Alaska, reports that's just what



does. Their report, he reports, comprises "A three-panel cardstock folder (with the president's report and other info set on the cardstock) holding the company's 10-K ... no fancy schmancy glossy 40-page report...with photos of the headquaters and some dynamic employees going about their work...well, at least I know they aren't spending excess money on the annual report..." Three cheers for them! (And for my own employer, which did the very same thing; glad to know


reads The Hotline!)

Meanwhile: Another Hotline item charged that analysts "just do what the companies tell them to do." That prompted analyst

Tom Kerr


Reed Conner & Birdwell

in L.A. (



Jeffie Bronchick's

firm) to protest. "You should distinguish between sell-side analysts (what you meant above), and buy-side analysts, who actually do the opposite, and pride themselves on not just doing what company management tells them, and producing their own realistic numbers," he says. "Lumping sell-side analysts with buy-side analysts like us is insulting." Sor-ry! (And before you go emailing me wondering about the difference between sell-side and buy-side analysts, lemme explain: Sell-side refers to brokerage analysts, who "sell" their research; buy-side refers to analysts at money-management firms that buy (via commissions) their research.

Finally, last week


said he did a "spit take" regarding what I wrote on cellular-phone sales, to which I responded, "What's a spit take?" Well, sor-ry, I don't hang out in Hollywood, but plenty of my readers do, and after hearing from

Peter Speyer


John Crew

and a few others, I say: Oh, so


what a spit take is. It's what Elaine always did in


: It's when an actor, drinking from a cup, hears something funny and uncontrollably spits out the drink, "ideally in a spray," Speyer says.

And while we're doling out valuable info, and since we're speaking Hollywood: If you're ever in SoCal make an appointment for a tour of

Warner Brothers

. Much more movie-like than


(unless you get the VIP tour at Universal, which we once did ... got to walk up to the Beaver Cleaver's house!) ... But Warner not only takes you through the sound stages, into editing rooms and to Warner museum, but (in very small groups without the hokey, scripted commentary) to the fake city scene used for


and just about every movie or TV show you've seen, as well as to the famous square and neighborhood set used for the

Music Man

(and just about every TV show or movie you've seen). Can't wait to go back ... just as I'm sure you can't wait for another edition of ... The Hotline.

Please join me and Paul McEntire, president of the Bearguard Fund, as we show you why the shorts can help you save your shirt at the first RealMoney.com Investor's Conference. McEntire, a veteran shortseller, started Bearguard last year. It's the first short-only stock mutual fund. We'll both share our tips on how to spot trouble, followed by my questions to Paul and your questions to both of us.

Surviving and Profiting in Treacherous Markets

, June 28, 2000, Marriott World Trade Center, New York City

For information and registration, go to

Real Money Conferences.

Herb Greenberg writes daily for TheStreet.com. In keeping with TSC's editorial policy, he doesn't own or short individual stocks, though he owns stock in TheStreet.com. He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships. He welcomes your feedback at

herb@thestreet.com. Greenberg also writes a monthly column for Fortune.

Mark Martinez assisted with the reporting of this column.