Just watched the Jim Cramer interview on The Daily Show. It made me sooo fucking mad. What a dick. How full of oneself can one person be? And such a preachy loudmouth, too.
I’m talking of course of Jon Stewart, self-appointed mob leader, First Pitchfork. Of whom nothing ill may normally be said. At least 70% of the “interview” was him talking, for chrissakes. The rest of it was sandbagging, showing shady internet video from 2006 off theStreet.com where Cramer fesses up to, among other things, spreading vaguely dodgy rumours about Apple, and ramming the futures down pre-opening. Big fucking deal, and that never took a dime from the Great American Public. The whole point of his banging on about it in the video, I can only imagine, was to warn viewers that this sort of thing goes on, rather than, as was clearly implied by His Preachiness, to inform his viewers and the SEC that he is a semi-criminal financial mastermind. Whatever; this was less an interview, in no way a “showdown,” more a pre-planned evisceration in front of a hostile, servile audience. That audience is so sycophantic, it makes Jon Stewart uncomfortable, and rightly so. As a spectacle, it was disturbing. One of those Spanish festivals where they torture a donkey came to mind, or where they drop a goat out of the church steeple.
Of course, it’s definitely not fashionable to be nice to Jim Cramer. He certainly hasn’t made many people a lot of money lately. However, it’s certainly unbalanced to show his disastrous buy Bear Stearns call but not show his famous CNBC freak-out (“they have no idea, they have NO IDEA!”), back in August 2007
That was a warning call for me, marking a shift in the posts on this site from a normally sunny (embarrassingly sunny, in retrospect) disposition to a more gloomy one. I’ve noticed that commentators, and the blogosphere, tend to be much crosser with Cramer than my fellow practitioners, many of whom recognise someone who, while often ridiculous, takes on risk. Unlike others he makes public bets; he allows himself the possibility of being wrong, and often is. Some would say almost always is.
Asking CNBC to become some sort of “good citizen” financial journalist, exposing evil banking shenanigans, as Jon Stewart fantasises, would be like asking Paris Hilton to teach an Open University course in quantum physics. It is not a realistic proposition. In any case, which muckraking financial institution does he have in mind as a paragon? The FT? WSJ? The Economist? Boooorring. Bloomberg TV is probably the model he has in mind, or something on PBS. There’s no money in that, neither explicity predicted, as far as I know, our current difficulties, and no-one watches.
For most of us doing the investing, CNBC (and, most of the time, Cramer, for that matter) is absolutely irrelevant in investing, a backround hum on the trading floor, good only for finding out what the consensus is thinking at any one time and lusting after the female presenters (I like Erin Burnett). No-one I know takes any of it seriously.
Jon Stewart is surfing on rage, and unloading on the public face of stockmarket investing. Like most members of the public he doesn’t quite understand what has happened, and is sure they have all been somehow “gotten”. And of course they have been, but are all complicit in it the same time. Even if they didn’t buy overpriced houses with too much debt, I bet a lot of Jon Stewart’s audience remortgaged and bought an LCD TV, new car and a great holiday, or at least invested their 401ks into stocks and mutual funds. Get the pitchforks out and let’s get the bankers, anyway, it’ll make some good TV. Well, frankly it didn’t.