bentangle

Point, Set, Match

by on Mar.14, 2009, under money, politics, TV

I’ve been a proud fan of Jon Stewart and the Daily Show for some time now.  Across the spectrum of the poignant political commentary and the ridiculously humiliating antics carried out by his crew, Jon Stewart and the show he hosts acts as the court jester of America.  While everyone should know that the jester’s main goal and duty is entertainment, much of this entertainment comes naturally in the form of poking fun at the status quo and exposing the truths that many prefer not to bring to light.  In this task, Stewart is often up to the task and does his due.  This week – and most pointedly Thursday night – he has taken his game to a new level.

This week it seems that a war of words has been going on back and forth between Jon Stewart and the host of Mad Money on CNBC – Jim Cramer.  It started with a few light jabs – Stewart poking at Cramer over financial advice in favor of an investment that went belly-up a week later, to which Cramer countered that Stewart was blurring the truth.  Then Stewart mockingly apologized for his representation and the put forth the truth in film (not much refuting words from the horse’s mouth).  And as Cramer escalated the affair, Stewart returned volley with his usual method of turning the attack on its head.

The culmination of this battle came Thursday on the Daily Show when Jim Cramer came on as a guest.  While Cramer was upbeat, cordial, and ready to defend himself as needed, Stewart was prepared to go for the kill.  In his words, he made clear that his beef was not specifically with Cramer, but based on the carnage it would surprise me if Cramer’s show isn’t offered up as a sacrificial lamb to get CNBC away from the guilt Stewart is attempting to fling their way.  While Stewart readily admits that he is not a journalist and doesn’t expect to be treated as an information source of integrity, his questions were concise and his concerns valid, and the respect that he commands (however unintentionally) may be enough, in my opinion, for some of his rhetoric to make waves in the world of finances (or at least the work of financial reporting).

At the heart of this episode were some important questions and concerns.  Should we continue blindly trusting the long-term investments we have long been told would serve us well when they are based on a very volatile backbone of trading and investing in a cutthroat market?  Shouldn’t the financial media be doing more to call out these back-door practices that may have been the true roots to our current financial crisis?  Certainly there will always be the Bernie Madoff’s of the , but when they are getting away with such shenanigans using tactics that are known and in some cases only mildly frowned upon, then someone is asleep at the wheel.

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1 Comment for this entry

  • Ron

    It is ironic that Jon Stewart and a comedy show instead of the regulators or news media had to bring all of this public. Also in Cramers defense he is far less guilty than most of the other financial media for their efforts together with Wall Street, the politicians & incompetent regulators for what has happened.

    While I enjoy watching Cramer every night, one must remember the show is primarily entertainment. The financial networks exist to promote their advertisers financial and investment products. Who would expect them to warn about the credit bubble or coming Washington national debt collapse which will destroy much of the remaining private wealth in America today or what this will do to the dollar, the stock market, bonds, gold or the real estate market?

    China is now worried about their dangerous over investment in US Treasury obligations. Washington ’s long-term choice is either repudiation or monetization. For monetization to be effective, the depreciation in the dollar would have to be substantial and this in turn would dramatically raise prices of imports for American consumers which would mean a tremendous drop in foreign imports. Debt monetization would cause more disruption to exporting nations than selective repudiation of Treasury debt.

    The Campaign to Cancel the Washington National Debt By 12/22/2013 Constitutional Amendment is starting now in the U.S. See: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=67594690498&ref=ts

    Thanks,

    Ron with 30 plus years in the investment business and banking industry.

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