Flabby devils and irresponsible commentary

One of the most dangerous things about the financial industry and media commentators is how many people get to spout misleading and damaging “advice” at an unsuspecting audience. There are endless lines of people on TV and in print who say things which are irresponsible and for which they are not held accountable. Together they serve to baffle, confuse and mislead the audience with half-truths and misinformation. This can be very harmful to an audience who is largely gullible and unaware. I warn about the risk of talking heads in Juggling Dynamite.
One of the poster boys for this phenomenon is Jim Cramer from CNBC's Mad Money. In the late '90s, Jim came into our living rooms as the co-host of Kudlow & Cramer. He and his partner Larry Kudlow were supreme bulls all through the tech wreck as people lost limbs. At that time I tried to read Cramer's autobiography Confessions of a Street Addict and could not get more than a third of the way through it. He was so full of hubris and arrogance that I was sickened and couldn't finish it.
After the bear market of 2000-2002 had ravaged people and their savings, I assumed Cramer would fall from popularity. Remarkably he did not. Cramer was reconstituted into his present CNBC show Mad Money, which evidently has a wide following. A sad statement. I believe that at some point down the road after his fans and followers have once again lost large chunks of their life savings, Cramer will finally be dismissed as one of the icons of the ego and ignorance that was ripe in this period.
I am frequently reminded of the flabby devils described in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. If you know the book, perhaps you will understand what I mean. Most of these reckless commentators that end up hurting people are too dumb to know better. The rest of them ought to know better but they chose to be willfully blind. In law being willfully blind means you have a duty to see but you chose not to. In law being willfully blind is no defense to damage caused, you are still held responsible.
As this market cycle peaked and contracted over 2007, Jim (and others) was back at his old tricks, counselling people to ignore risks and overvalued prices and buy, buy, buy. His advice has once again been damaging and in recent weeks he has been conveniently trying to say that he saw this bear market coming for months and was warning people about it. Nice try, Jim. Some of us have better memories than that.
Rick Santelli is one of the honest and more useful market commentators on CNBC. He tries to alert viewers to risks as well as the opportunities. It was cathartic to see Rick call Jim out on his revisionist comments recently. Again YouTube helps to replay and reveal some welcome truth about Jim Cramer. “>Watch this enlightening clip.

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3 Responses to Flabby devils and irresponsible commentary

  1. Anonymous says:

    I just returned from a very needed LONG walk in the woods with my dog. After wiping his paws and fixing myself some vittels, I turn on the television and there he is… hawking this stock, that stock any and all stocks. Good God, I have seen carnival barkers in my past, is Jim anything other than that?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Good God I have to agree. You gave me a chuckle. Thanks for the comment. D

  3. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for posting my video at your blog. It's for people like you that I put these videos together. Keep up the great work, by the way, I love what you do! Sincerely, Don Harrold don@donharrold.net

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