There is Reality TV… and then there is Reality TV!
I am no fan of Jon Stewart’s political leanings, but on this one, I can’t help but applaud him about as loudly as I can. This great piece of reality TV and epic fight took most of the week to brew, and finally boiled over yesterday in Cramer vs. Not Cramer: The Reckoning.
I don’t know about your 401Ks, 529s and brokerage accounts. Mine suck and they suck big time. I hear [Ross Perot’s] giant sucking sounds. Except these are coming from my bank account. We need more outrage. We need more indignation. I’m generally skeptical but don’t necessarily believe in conspiracy theories. But these last few months take the cake. There are the select few that are in-the-know and have clearly been manipulating Wall Street. Evidently, a parallel market did emerge over the last decade with Wall Street firms – banks, insurance companies, mutual funds, hedge funds – all expanding into unregulated businesses, with no accountability and all kinds of off-balance-sheet items – derivatives, second derivatives and futures on $*^%(*&# options on 3rd derivatives.
Needless to say, one can’t help but feel sorry for Cramer. It wasn’t against him, it was a rant against journalistic ethics… but lightning rod Cramer walked in to this dog-fight with eyes wide open. Jon Stewart’s closing piece (and exchange with Cramer) in yesterday’s video sums up the common man’s outrage quite well. Stewart to Cramer, almost frothing into camera:
Look it’s very easy to get on this after the fact. But, the measure of the man is… the measure of the network is … CNBC could act as … you know, no one is asking them to be a regulatory agency. But whose side are they on? They have to reconcile who [their] audience is? Is [it] the wall street traders doing it on a day-to-day basis; these short term traders? These guys are on a Sherman’s march [scorched earth philosophy] through their companies, financed by our 401Ks… and all the incentives of their companies were for short-term profit. And they burnt the house down with our money, and walked away rich as hell, and you guys knew what was going on.
My mother is 75 and she bought into the idea [that] long-term investing is the way to go. And guess what [Cramer, adding lamely: it didn’t work]. Maybe we can remove the financial expert and “in Cramer we trust” and start getting back to fundamentals in reporting as well, and I can go back to making fart noises and funny faces.”
Hopefully, it’s a wake up call to Cramer and “trusted” [sic] organizations like CNBC, and corrective actions take place. I, for one, am not holding my breath.
Here are the links to all shows, chronologically leading up to the grand finale:
- Moment of Zen – Mad money
- CNBC Gives Financial Advice
- In Cramer We Trust
- Moment of Zen – Jim Cramer’s Advice
- Cramer vs. Not Cramer: The Reckoning