Thursday, March 19, 2009

Perfect hindsight

The left wing in America, and much of everybody else, seems perfectly smitten with Jon Stewart over last week's skewering of Jim Cramer. It seems like populist issues are so easy to foresee it's a wonder that there isn't still a party with that name around.

Two problems though:
a) Jim Cramer is an entertainer. If you think he's something more than that you must be watching a different show than I am. It doesn't matter how CNBC bills it, if you take him as more than that you're going to do so at your own risk.

b) Jim Cramer is a stock analyst. He gets them right and wrong. As all good analysts do, he admits this. In the real world, a company that is about to break out into a record year for it's stock and a company that is about to fail tend to look about the same on paper, it's only hindsight that makes Bear Stearns "so easy to see coming."

I'm not trying to defend Cramer here, I'm just pointing out that it's not his fault people lost money. I don't know his track record, but I'm betting neither do the people that listen to him and lose that money.

If your favorite analyst doesn't have a winning track record you shouldn't listen to him. If he does, you should listen to him with a grain of salt. This is financial common sense, do it any other way and you would do better off to take your cash to Vegas.


Jane Dough said...

Why are we talking about money analysts when we should be talking about fashion? Why do Jim Cramer's sleeves look like that? Doesn't he have a fashion adviser?

David said...

Jim Cramer is just a target for Stewart, as a representative for CNBC. Stewart's point is that CNBC (and everyone else) dropped the ball on seeing this crisis coming. And Cramer has publicly defended CNBC, so as far as I'm concerned, he's fair game. Most of the questions in the interview were about CNBC, not really about his show.

Bobby Lee said...

Man, I'm glad I found your blog here. This is real media my friend. I agree with you completely. Cramer got totally hosed by Stewart, and really he wasn't the guy to blame. I'm not sure why he didn't stick up for himself more, but really, the financial media in general is the target, not dumbass Jim Cramer. As much of a fan I am of Jon Stewart, going after cramer is kind of like picking on the retarded kid.

Killer B said...

S'up Harx,

I have to completely disagree with you about the "didn't see it coming" thing because it that were really true, Cramer and whole lot of other people should be forced into another profession.

Unregulated US bank lending practices coupled with a general public willing to mortgage themselves to the hilt was the bright red writing on the bleach-white walls. If Mr. Cramer didn't see it coming, he needs to open his eyes a little more.