Jim Cramer, host of CNBC’s Mad Money is now something of a laughingstock, after telling viewers on March 11th not to “move” their “money” from Bear Stearns.
He told viewers: “Don’t move your money from Bear! That’s just being silly! Don’t be silly!”
Cramer and CNBC have defended his statements, arguing that Cramer’s assertions on the bank were in reference to a viewer’s question on Bear Stearns’ liquidity, not its stock prices.
CNBC spokesman Brian Steel said that on the Friday before Bear’s meltdown, Cramer presciently called the bank’s stock worthless. Cramer could not be reached for direct comment.
“I think that anybody who has a fundamental understanding about capital markets knows the distinction between [a] question about stocks and liquidity,” Steel said.
Whether Cramer’s viewers understood that the host and former hedge fund manager was not talking about Bear Stearns’ stocks is unclear. Meanwhile CNBC’s defense of Cramer has not insulated its heavily promoted star.
In recent days, finance and news blogs have blasted Cramer, and Comedy Central’s news parody “The Daily Show” gave him a not-so-gentle ribbing: “I love the way Jim Cramer breaks down really complex financial issues into ones that are wrong,” host Jon Stewart said.
Upping the snark factor was Fox Business News, which took out half-page ads Monday in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, comparing Cramer’s words to some of the most infamous quotes of the last century, including Neville Chamberlain’s famous statement after conceding Czechoslovakia to Adolf Hitler’s Germany: “I believe it is peace for our time.”
The article goes on to quote experts critical of the “Mad Money” show who claim that it encourages a hyperactive short view of investing that’s unhealthy, inappropriate and tax inefficient for the average investor.
What do you think? Is Jim Cramer bad for you? Has he turned you into one of those losers from the E*Trade commercials? Wow, man. I just bought a stock from Hong Kong.
Should You Stay Away From Jim Cramer? [ABCNews]