Cramer's Mainstreet Article

1 reply [Last post]
Keynes's picture
User offline. Last seen 6 years 47 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 02/27/2009
Posts:

I've just been reading Cramer's article in Mainstreet.com:

http://www.mainstreet.com/article/moneyinvesting/news/cramer-takes-white-house-frank-rich-and-jon-stewart

I thought I'd run down his arguments for fun:

This Administration Can't Handle Criticism

I think this is an interesting observation.  He compares how his criticism of Bush was handled versus his criticism of Obama.  While I think he paints the right in a bit more rational light than they deserve, I certainly think it's the case that the liberal attack dogs are as vehement, if not more so, than anything the right can offer.  Both treat their beliefs as a dogmatic religion and any opposition is simple blasphemy to be met with an anything goes response.  I think that's the exact type of thinking that is terrible for rational decision and has been particlularly pervasive on both sides for the last 10 years at least.  I have to agree that Obama needs to just accept that not everyone is going to love him and that the "It's all Bush's fault" agenda is only going to work for so long

Obama/Geithner Are Doing A Bad Job Of Handling Banking

I barely feel the need to comment on this one since it's so obvious, but I will say that he encapsulates the problems with this statement:

The indecision of Geithner, who has floated to the media every single
idea in his head, only to announce none orally, has created a vacuum
that has allowed short-sellers to dictate policy.

Obama Is Demonizing the Rich

I personally think the whole "war on the rich" angle is overblown.  However his point that everyone is exposed to the loss of wealth in the markets is perfectly true.  Transversely however, I don't think the stock market is a barometer of doing what's best for the country in the long term.  Any investor knows that short term moves don't necessarily reflect the long term trend.  Moreover, I would argue that the market hasn't yet reflected the current situation adequately, so the argument that Obama is hurting the markets is something of a non-starter.  If we have to hit 500 on the S&P before things are fairly valuated anything that prevents that is just prolonging the recovery.

Frank Rich and Jon Stewart Are Mean

I think that arguing about the accuracy of men attacking you is never going to end well.  It's absolutely true that Stewart took the Bear Stearns defense out of context in implying that Cramer said it was a good stock, however rebutting it simply provoked Stewart to find more accurate criticism

Obama Is Doing Too Much At Once

Here is the key point where I'm torn.  While I freely admit that trying to pass all of his agenda in his first year could indicate a lack of focus on the current crisis, however I don't necessarily accept that health care reforms and climate change initiatives aren't at least somewhat stimulative.  I also think that making clear that the Bush tax cuts will expire simply shows a bit of responsibility in the face of huge deficits.  I particularly like it when it's combined with taking on educational unions.  I think that these are things that have to be done and that the best thing that stimulus can do is restructure the way your country works for the better.  If for example, we get better medical records, that may reduce health care costs, which is a huge problem in this country, and create jobs in the process.  At the same time, I think the risk that he's biting off more than he can chew is perfectly rational.  Especially in the face of a Republican party that has shown it's willingness to try to capitalize on his failures than try to help him succeed and a Democratic party that is completely out of touch with the public and interprets their victories as an endorsement of all their policies rather than a rebuff of Bush. Cramer argues coherently:

When Obama trounces both unemployment and house-price depreciation, he
will have the power to enact anything he wants. But all the initiatives
he wants to rush, like tax hikes, changes in health care, tinkering
with the mortgage deduction -- good grief, right now in the midst of
the worst housing downturn ever -- and the tough cap-and-trade rules,
will derail any chance we have of turning this economy around.

That logic strikes me as compelling, I'm just not sure that all those issues can wait for an economic recovery.