Slow day in the markets on Monday, but we’re going to see a lot of 4th quarter financials come out of tech stocks this week, and the viewing, I suspect, won’t be pretty.

One piece of news that has come out today is Intel cutting some of its chip prices by up to 50%.

In a company statement released over the weekend, Intel has triggered steep price cuts on processors, spanning the Core 2 Quad, Core 2 Duo, Pentium dual-core, Celeron, and Xeon product lines.

Advanced Micro Devices' probably helped Intel along, with relatively inexpensive prices for its new Phenom II "Dragon" desktop platform. AMD's Phenom II X4 940 (3.0GHz), for example, is priced at $275.

Intel announced that its price reductions cuts were focused on quad-core chips, including the Q9650 (3.00GHz), which was slashed by 40 percent, to $316 from $530, to counter AMD's Phenom II. But Celeron processors received some of the largest reductions. The mobile Celeron 570 (2.00GHz), was slashed 48 percent, to $70 from $134, for example.

Prices on Intel’s Xeon processors also met the chopping block. The cost for the X3370 (3.00GHz), was cut 40 percent to $316 from $530. The Pentium dual-core E5200 was reduced 24 percent to $64 from $84. And the mobile Core 2 Duo P8600’s price tag fell to $209 from $241.

Everyone is slashing prices these days and Intel is no different. The question for shareholders is will prices ever go back up again, or is there a sense of permanence in the air with tech prices going forward? Once consumers get used to a price, they don’t want to see it rise. Same for companies buying computer products. So price reductions will hang around, just another sign of the times.

Elsewhere, did you watch Warren Buffett’s interview with Tom Brokaw on Dateline NC on Sunday?

Great stuff, especially the parts about how the public shouldn’t expect miracles, at least in the short term, from our new president.

You can read the transcripts for yourself at:, but I’ve excerpted some of the best lines below.


A pollster told me that the election was between hope and fear. When it comes to the economy, who's winning, hope or fear?


Well, right now fear is. I mean, you're seeing it everyplace. You saw it at-- in the sales of almost every item at-- at Christmas. There's a lot of fear throughout the country. Even-- even with people whose jobs are fine, and who have money in the bank. But they-- they're worried.

I've been describing this as the domestic equivalent of war. Is that an overstatement?


Well, actually, in September I said-- this is an economic Pearl Harbor. I-- that was the time congress had made it in. It really is an economic Pearl Harbor. It-- the-- the country is facing something it hasn't faced since World War II.

And they're fearful about it. And they don't know quite what to do about it. And the point is-- and-- and it-- and temporarily it looks like we're losing. It has that-- that same aspect. Interestingly enough, we were losing for a while after Pearl Harbor. But the American people never doubted that we'd win. I mean, we had that attitude then. I think, right now, that they're sort of paralyzed.


Is Barack Obama the right commander in chief for the economy?


He's the absolute right commander in chief. That-- you know, that's another thing the American people seem to do, occasionally, is that we elect people that are right for the times. You know, whether it was Lincoln, Roosevelt. And-- and I would say Obama-- you-- you couldn't have-- anybody better in charge.


But why is he right for the times?


Well, he's-- he-- he's smart, he's got the right values, but he also-- he understands economics very well. He's cool. He's-- he's-- he's analytical. But then, when he gets it all thought through, and he's fast-- he can convey to American-- the American people what needs to be done. Not to expect miracles. That it's gonna take time. But that we're gonna get to the other end. And-- and I-- I-- I don't think there's anybody better for the job than-- than-- the president-elect.

A good interview with the Sage of Omaha. I just hope that’s right about Obama.