Saturday, March 14, 2009

stewart didn't just wreck cramer...,

Sanity Check | Everyone needs to watch these three segments of the Jon Stewart show. They are remarkable, because they show an intelligent, reasoned man confronting the intellectual dishonesty, if not larceny, that is financial reporting in America.

What makes them so remarkable is that Stewart is not a top economist, nor a seasoned DA, nor an expert on financial markets, nor a skilled attorney. He's a comedian. He makes funny remarks about things, and mocks the world, and is generally hysterically funny in his efforts.

And yet, this guy can sit down, and in a few minutes, articulate the obvious - that CNBC, and Jim Cramer, are a touting mechanism for the Wall Street interests that have ruined the American capital markets. And that further, they don't do any real reporting, they just parrot whatever the line of the day is from Wall Street. In other words, they sell a fiction - one of a safe market where your money will grow over time - when they KNOW that reality is the large special interests that spend billions lobbying for their agendas use the markets exclusively as a mechanism to remove wealth from the population and transfer it to Wall Street.

I love the clips he plays of what appears to me to be Cramer describing precisely how he engaged in market manipulation. Now, of course, Cramer claims "he misspoke" and never actually did any of these bad things himself. But the clips come across a whole lot differently.

My point isn't that Cramer is a crook or a liar or a sociopath or an angel. My point is that Stewart correctly says that the financial media are active in selling a lie that they know to be untrue. A lie of a safe, regulated market where a Chanos can't get analyst reports and frontrun them for profit, or where a Bear or a BofA can't be run into the toilet via rumors and manipulation and options shenanigans; rather than the true one where this type of thing is a daily occurrence. What the nation has taken away from the current financial maelstrom is that the carefully disseminated fiction is clearly a lie, and those entrusted with covering Wall Street are part of the problem of propagating the lie, not exposing it. Jon just says it simply and clearly. Good for him.

What is astounding to me is that this sort of interview was even allowed to happen. It's rather shocking, actually, and likely only slipped through because it's a comedy network, and not one of the primary delivery systems for Wall Street's agenda.