Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The fall of the sad clown.

Yay, Flags of Many Lands™!
Yay, Andorra!

I now have a total of 161 flags. I may get to 200 someday, but that's no promise. Most of the countries I am missing are tiny like Andorra or countries we quaintly call underdeveloped.

There is a new kerfuffle on basic cable. Rick Santelli of CNBC was supposed to go on The Daily Show, but canceled. Jon Stewart tore into CNBC in a very funny bit, aimed at everyone on CNBC but singling out Jim Cramer, the allegedly manic host of the alleged investment advice show Mad Money. Cramer then went on NBC and MSNBC to defend himself, and now Stewart has fired back. If you want the funny stuff, obviously watch Jon Stewart. If you want good investment advice, you are on your own and you always have been.

Cenk Uygur over at The Huffington Post (also cross-posted to The Smirking Chimp, which publishes the stuff I write on my blog over there) is the analysis to read, because Uygur gets it right. The business press on TV is all about access to the business world, and if they really investigated companies, those companies would cut them off and others might very well follow suit out of mistrust of the motives of the press. CNBC does not stay in business by giving you good advice. They stay in business sucking up to the companies that buy the ads, and their audience is just as gullible as people who used to call the fake Jamaican fake psychic Miss Cleo.

No, the double use of the word "fake" in the last sentence is not redundant.

I call Jim Cramer "allegedly manic" because he acts like a Morning Zoo deejay on his show to make it more interesting to watch. If anything, the way he acts when he is truly upset makes me think he is manic depressive. Now, just as Matty Boy is not really an Investment Advisor to the Stars*, I am not a doctor and I don't play one on TV. But if you watch this clip of Cramer begging people to buy Bear Stearns seven weeks before the terrifying collapse from about $70 a share to $2 a share, you will see a man dealing with real grief issues.

Mr. Cramer, I'm not a doctor and we aren't pals. But seriously, as a person who has been around depressed people in my life, I recommend seeing your doctor and changing your meds, because what you are doing right now isn't working.


CDP said...

Stewart's first rant against CNBC made me laugh harder than anything I've seen on TV in a long time, but I thought the exact same thing about the real issue...CNBC journalists don't really investigate any of the companies they cover and if they do, they certainly don't report the bad stuff. Watching the Cramer clips, it's really hard to believe that he didn't really know what was happening at Bear Stearns even as he was urging viewers to buy...maybe he was trying to help them stave off the inevitable.

Matty Boy said...

There's another clip of Cramer ranting about how bad things were, and that people in charge knew NOTHING! He recanted the next week; he actually went on Stephen Colbert's show as part of his mea culpa tour for saying that the American financial system was in the worst shape he had ever seen.

The thing I remember about that rant was telling people they should buy Washington Mutual at the end of it. Even when he could see the signs of the apocalypse, he still couldn't see the direct implications.

dguzman said...

He either "couldn't see the direct implications" or he was just lying. I'm kinda leanin' toward "just lying."

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

In this clip he doesn't in fact say anything - he just blurres!