Monday, March 16, 2009

The Daily Sideshow

The confrontation between Jon Stewart and Jim Cramer was a game with no one to root for. I have never seen Jim Cramer but I get the picture. Hyperactive stock touting. I have always agreed with Megan McArdle about those shows. If they tell you to buy a stock, even if they are right, it's probably too late. But then I am the ultimate buy and hold (don't even think about it again)guy and likely to be working until I am 80, so don't follow me.

I have no doubt that financial journalists have been tempted to try to manipulate the market and that some have done so. But its (relatively speaking) nickel and dime. It's not the cause of the current economic malaise and Stewart's posturing ("f*** you")is of a piece with the notion that there are bad guys to blame. It's a natural human tendency to want to believe that, if things have gone wrong, someone must have behaved badly. It's what makes good plaintiffs' lawyers rich. But it is often not true.

1 comment:

illusory tenant said...

Like McArdle, you miss the point. The beef wasn't with Cramer's stock picking acumen but rather with so-called "financial news" outlets' failure to deliver the goods on corrupt CEOs and Wall Street types they exist to flatter.

Stewart was inveighing against journalistic sins of omission rather than commission, and Cramer, to his credit, admitted that that was indeed often the case.

If Cramer is to be taken at his word and he has any editorial stroke around CNBC, then the situation can only improve.