Cramer & CNBC Get Pwnd


What an absolute thing of beauty tonight’s Daily Show was. Another “Crossfire” moment, I dare say. I cannot wait until the video is available… a transcript would be most excellent too.

In case you missed it, almost the entire half hour was devoted to a discussion between Stewart and Cramer about CNBC’s role in hyping the stock market bubble. When I say “discussion” it was actually more a case of Stewart lecturing and castigating an abjectly apologetic Cramer, whose cynical clowning was ruthlessly exposed with the help of this charming bit of video in which the host of Mad Money admits that he regularly manipulated the market when he ran his hedge fund. Calling it “a fun game” and “a lucrative game,” he suggested that all hedge fund managers act likewise. “No one else in the world would ever admit that, but I could care. I am not going to say it on TV,” he foolishly boasted.

Here’s a money quote (no pun intended) from the Mad Man of Wall Street: “What’s important when you are in that hedge-fund mode is to not do anything remotely truthful because the truth is so against your view, that it’s important to create a new truth, to develop a fiction.” Explains a lot, doesn’t it?

Update: Steve Johnson at the Chicago Tribune documents the scolding.

Stewart creamed him, if anything almost to a fault. He urged Cramer and his newschannel brethren to report rather than blindly trust what CEOs say (Cramer’s primary defense of CNBC’s lack of vigilance). But, really, Stewart didn’t report himself; he delivered a 22-minute opinion column, occasionally interrupted by Cramer shoulder shrugs, “okays,” and mea culpas plus, bringing in financial TV in general, wea culpas.

Unlike Santelli’s infamous rant, it was, as Johnson says, “good populism, well aimed and well delivered.”

Update2: Ta da! Here’s the clip (along with the usual caveat that it may be removed at any time due to copyright violation. Although, maybe Viacom will let it slide this time.)

How Convenient

It’s hard to say who’s playing games here: the Conservatives with their odd formulation for the start date of extended EI premiums, or the Liberals seizing the opportunity of their sudden “discovery” in the “fine print” to gloss over dealing with more contentious aspects of the budget (pay equity, for example) on the grounds that Royal Assent is urgently required without any further delay in the Senate so as not to impede disbursement of the EI money to those in need.

In any case, it all works out quite neatly for everyone concerned, doesn’t it? Well, except of course for those affected by the objectionable provisions that the Conservatives craftily embedded in their Economic Recovery Plan.

Who knows, perhaps there was a bit of collusion going on when the budget was drafted in the first place… a kind of “eject” button that could be deployed to catapult the bill past the Senate and get things on their way before the start of the fiscal year without a lot of wrangling and bothersome debate. Or maybe I’m being too conspiratorial…

Hat tip as always to Jeff for the videos.

Eat Your Heart Out, TTC

Hong Kong’s mass transit rail system (MTR) became a public-private enterprise in 2005 and today has more private shareholders than any company on the Hong Kong stock exchange. And little wonder seeing as it appears to have its fingers in every local pie and turns a profit in innovative ways that other systems can only begin to dream of.

Quite a contrast to the gloomy, dour old TTC with its surly employees, bleak facilities, and the malaise that it predictably fosters amongst most riders. Mind you, that’s just my impression… your mileage may vary.

Experts Agree…

Giant, Bioengineered Crabs Pose No Threat

The In The Know panelists dismiss concerns of “nay sayers” (who “just love stopping progress”) that something could go wrong with intelligent, 75-foot-tall crabs that shoot acid from their mouths.

“Poor Billionaires”

Oh no!!! Forbes Magazine, the veritable gazette of greed, is reporting that the number of billionaires has dropped for the first time since 2003, going from 1,125 to just 793. As a result, the “average billionaire” (how weird is that?) is now worth $900 million less than last year. Oh, the humanity!

The funny part of this little snippet from the CBS Evening News comes at the end when the reporter soberly cautions people about deriving too much glee from this news and smugly informs us that we’d be incredibly “short-sighted” to feel that way. “We want them to get richer, because when they do, we do,” he asserts. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Well, that vapid “trickle down” axiom justifying the obscene concentration of wealth in the hands of a few oligarchs has certainly worked a treat so far, now hasn’t it?

Conservative Priorities

Nice to see that our government is so firmly seized with the “greatest economic crisis in a generation” that their MPs spend a good deal of their time dishing out petty personal smears at the Opposition leader and field testing themes from the negative attack ads being cooked up in their “war room”…

Normally, it would be easy to laugh off such partisan nonsense — keeping in mind that all parties have engaged in such antics in the past — but is now really the time for these moronic slander-fests? Grow up and start acting like adults, for heaven’s sake.

Impolitical puts it best:

Exposure of this juvenile extravaganza can only help to demonstrate to Canadians the character of these Conservatives who can actually bring themselves to stand up in the House of Commons as elected members and read such garbage.

Indeed. It’s too bad that their most ardent supporters, rather than castigating them for such ridiculous and irresponsible behaviour, instead cheer them on with great enthusiasm. Useless pricks, the lot of them.