What on earth was Jim Cramer doing last night?
I like Stewart. I don't like Cramer. But in this whole debate about responsibility and how stock touts are evil, Stewart is dead wrong. And Cramer sat there, took it in the rear, and failed to remind the world that this stock "investment" world is indeed one giant clusterkuf of a game, and you knew damn well before getting into it that it was risky.
How many times have people told you that the stock market is risky? If you didn't know that, then the money you lost from this recession paid for your biggest lesson. How many of those who lost a lot of money in this market selected the capital preservation fund on their 401(k)s or had put their savings into CDs and treasuries and other safe investments like good little boys are supposed to? If you're about to retire and will need that money, or cannot handle the risk of losing it all, or just don't know a damn thing about how this game is played, that's what you should've done. But most of us chose those exciting double-digit return funds. The money we managed on our own, we stuck into stocks. The reason that you and I or anyone else does something like that is because we are greedy. We want to get ahead. We want to make money on top of money on top of money. And when comparing those olden-day treasuries of 4% to the often-quoted S&P return of 10%, we all said "10% pleeease" while dismissing the whole concept of risk and volatility. We lost because we were greedy. But some of us lost more because they didn't do their own thinking.
The stock market isn't supposed to be fun... it's not that kind of game. The end-game for each and every individual stock is to either 1) be absorbed or bought out by another company, or 2) crash, burn, and fail. You have to accept that all of your holdings can possibly end up in category 2. And not everyone's out there looking out for your best interest... we aren't all holding hands collectively trying to get rich at the same time. I want to make more money than you, and if i had a way to get ahead that was legal and it came at your expense, you better believe that I would do it. Anyone playing this game will do whatever they can to get ahead, and there'll always be a bigger player than you that can ruin your day. It's not nice, it's not fair, it's not freggin' tiddlywinks. No, this stock game might not be zero-sum, but you are a damn idiot if you think someone isn't trying to make money at the expense of your greed every single minute, whether it be the "financial advisor" who gets a commission on your activity or the guy who's trying to destroy the viability of a company you just bought stock in by shorting the hell out of it.
Yes, the folks at CNBC like Cramer touted stocks that failed. So have you, and so have I. Should we skewer these people just because they have a podium? This guy Cramer has made recommendations of every stock known to man... do we really expect him to get them all right?? And why on earth would you ever base your decisions solely on a guy on TV who acts like a lunatic?!? If you really listen to him, you'll realize that all he does is give you tidbits of information about a stock followed by his spin on those facts. If you want to use that information in the stock market game, you go take that information, put it together with everything else you can find, and put the responsibility on yourself when you decide to pull the trigger. And if you never learned how to put the pieces together, either through school or on your own or by just having a few ounces of common sense, then leave your money in the bank or don't cry if it disappears.
And please cut CNBC a break for "failing" to "expose" the corruption and the failures and the imminent doom and gloom. Um... who did? It's easy now to sit back and say "well if anyone, it should've been CNBC." But again... there wasn't anyone who had the information to make that conclusion. I don't need CNBC to do my investigative journalism... I doubt everybody until proven otherwise. CNBC could have speculated... and I'm sure some of their pundits might have even done so and gotten some things right, but of course those clips won't roll on the Daily Show.
Stewart, I think you're funny, well spoken, and quick witted. But stop breeding ignorance by telling the American public that somehow their crappier-than-yesteryear lives are Jim Cramer's fault. People make their own decisions on who to trust, and if a commercial that claims Jim Cramer is god and should be trusted convinces you, then you have nobody to blame when you decide that 30 minutes of due diligence performed by sitting on a couch is adequate.
If you believed that sticking your money where Cramer's mouth is... or anyone on CNBC's for that matter... was the key to succeeding in the market, then you sir are a sucker, and I hope that I can find a way to take advantage of you one day. As poker players and fans of the movie Rounders would say, "it's immoral to let a sucker keep his money."