Tuesday, March 10, 2009

He's Gone from Sell to Don't Buy

I haven't had any sort of cable or satellite for a long long time. When I saw the Mad Money clips on Arrested Development, I assumed they made up Mad Money as a show-within-a-show for Arrested Development. Imagine my surprise when I was eating lunch one day and saw and actual episode of Mad Money on the restaurant TV. I'm not too aware of the show aside from its evaluations of fictional Bluth Company stock (going from Sell to Don't Buy and later from Don't Buy to Risky Business), a rant Cramer actually referenced in this article aimed squarely at the Bush administration, a few attacks from Obama and Jon Stewart, and a few words from Rush. Despite my lack of exposure to Cramer, I did find the linked article interesting. If nothing else, it's a good study comparing the typical Presidential response to pundits (ignore them) to the Obama plan (attack them). There's a longstanding tradition of Presidents not publicly addressing even the more popular talking heads by name and I've always wondered why. On the surface, I think it's a good idea for Obama's people to attack their attackers. But I have a gut feeling that things were the way they were for a reason. Either way, this will be an interesting fixture of the Obama Presidency.

What do you think? Is Obama doing the right thing here going after critics so aggressively?

2 comments:

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

For one, Cramer is one of the "experts" and "analysts" I talked about for having zero credibility at this point, and John Stewart ripped this article apart on the Daily Show last night in response. The Daily Show, not the President, has been the most scathing Cramer critic at this point.

All last week I watched Mad Money as he constantly harped about this Administration being the cause of the stock market's continued decline. Every time you turned to CNBC, he was being parroted by another talking head. Then there was Santelli and his fake Tea Party business, mimicing Cramer. Fox News had been 'analyzing' the stock market along the same lines. Lou Dobbs even got into the act on CNN.

If the President, the blogs and the Daily Show have responded, it has been against the long, sustained attack from these networks and their pundits - all of which lost all their credibility in the past year - claiming the Obama administration had destroyed the stock market and everyone's retirement porfolio since A) his election (Fox News) or B) his inauguration (everyone else).

In Cramer's defense, he did have his 2007 meltdown about the Bush administration, which is laudable and which he did take some grief over from the Know-Nothing, fundamentals are strong crowd.

But had he used his pundit power between 2007 and 2009 to really point the finger at some of our financial leaders and federal regulators, he'd have a lot more credibility in my book. Instead, and as he admits, he got 'had' by folks like the Wachovia CEO.

Getting 'had' by business leaders is what is driving down the stock market right now more than anything else, even if, as we discussed yesterday, the business leaders weren't doing it intentionally (meaning they got had by somebody).

That's the problem, that's the culprit, that is what is destroying wealth right now. Faith in our big businesses is gone, baby, gone. People will keep their money elsewhere until someone in the business community restores that faith.

The Obama Administration refuses to let these folks lay the blame at their feet.

Dante said...

If these guys have really lost so much credibility, then why is Obama's Press Secretary bothering to attack them by name? (Stewart I understand.) I think Cramer still has far more credibility than you give them credit for. Mad Money is a little short attention span for my tastes there must be enough people out there listening to him to warrant the attention.

"Every time you turned to CNBC, he was being parroted by another talking head. Then there was Santelli and his fake Tea Party business, mimicing Cramer. Fox News had been 'analyzing' the stock market along the same lines. Lou Dobbs even got into the act on CNN."

I know news shows don't like to admit this sort of thing but I believe the Cramer/Santelli parroting has far more to do with attracting viewership than anything else. For the first time since the dot com bubble, the public is actually talking about CNBC.

"Faith in our big businesses is gone, baby, gone."

You believe that if you want to, but right now is a heckuva time to invest in those big businesses. I don't believe for a second the market will remain this low for very long. The day traders may go belly up but anyone looking long term can make a whole lot of money right now, even in traditionally low-growth large cap companies.