Mad Money: Pee-Wee's Playhouse for quick profits

Mad Money: Pee-Wee's Playhouse for quick profits

CHICAGO“Finance is not comedy and when it becomes that, the last laugh is on you,” comments James Carlini.
Cramer’s MAD MONEY is nothing more than a Sham Wow Show for the Stock Market When Comedy Central starts sounding more authoritative than CNBC in its sobering observations about how the market got messed up, it’s time to change out some of the “talent” and pseudo-experts at CNBC.
I am not a real fan of Jon Stewart, but he should get an EMMY for that interview with Jim Cramer and not for comedy, but for hard-hitting financial journalism.  Stewart was dead on while Cramer seemed to be an empty Hologram of himself. See the whole show here.
Stewart should invite Larry Kudlow on next. Kudlow, who is the other ShamWow guy of CNBC, is nothing more than an oblivious cheerleader for Wall Street.
While Kudlow questions bailout money for the automobile industry and others, he seems to look the other way when pressed about accountability on bailout money to Wall Street. He doesn’t question huge bonuses Wall Street executives took while they ran their companies and people’s investments into the ground.
Perhaps CNBC stands for “Comedy, Not Business Chanel” based on the softball approach by some of its reporters, anchors and guests. Some seem to be more concerned about cozying up with CEOs and mingling at cocktail parties and summits rather than asking the tough questions.
Having an entertaining show is sometimes a way to educate people on the complex and technical issues. I have no problem with that. It’s a good way to teach certain subjects, but not when you are told to put money on the table to follow through on a “sure thing”.
In Cramer we trust?
“I’m a commentator.” That’s what Cramer said to Stewart when pressed on his lack of digging deeper. I will buy that, but then why all the hype in both promotions for his show (“in Cramer we trust”) and in his show itself, which touts his years in the financial world to “help everyone make money”?
Perhaps many people fall for slogans and catchphrases because they have been subliminally trained by what they watch over the years.
Most people don’t want to do any due diligence or question the experts. That’s a shame. We would still be living in a flat world if Christopher Columbus didn’t “question the experts”. I sent the following e-mail to Jim Cramer on Aug. 2, 2007. While I never got a response, I think I summarized pretty well what was going on then. We now see how it snowballed into what we have today.

In watching your show as well as Squawk Box in the morning,  I hear many reasons given for the volatility in the market as well as the uncertainty of different segments thinking that there is a recession on the horizon. 
Joe Kernen commenting this morning his disbelief that many (2/3s) of the people are concerned with the economy.  They are because many are not sure of their job status or have already been laid off and have taken lesser jobs.
You and others at CNBC should look at the issue of underemployment – not unemployment.  Please read some of my articles here and
Slumping auto sales, numerous foreclosures, increase in consumer credit balances, large state deficits are all inter-related to this.
Take for example – a project manager at Motorola making $90K in 2001 gets laid off and has not made more than $30K since then in various jobs he has had to take,  He is degreed and has 20-plus years of experience, Multiply this by 1000s of people at Motorola, Lucent and many other companies and you have less spending money, increased credit card balances, shaky mortgage payments and increasing state deficits.  All of this a byproduct of labor dumping in the US. (H-1Bs)
And these are degreed people with high skill sets.
They aren’t worried about whether or not to buy Caterpillar, Starbucks or Proctor & Gamble anymore, they are more concerned about just trying to hold on to their house because they already re-financed, cut budgets and everything else that they can do.  No one seems to be aware of this segment or they just don’t want to comment on it.
Great economy?  As one person said to me yesterday in commenting that some “Experts” predict that we might be going back into a recession  “Going back in?  When did we ever come out of the recession?”
When watching all the CNBC shows, anyone that does not see this appears to be clueless to those of us that see it firsthand.  There is no graph or government figure for underemployment and that is the real indicator – not unemployment figures,
In the House of Pain?  These people are lucky to keep their house at all.
Best regards,

Look again at the date it was sent – August 2nd of 2007. By then, I had written a couple of articles on the rise in foreclosures. The first was back in December 2006 ( ). If I could figure all this out back then, why couldn’t the “talent” at CNBC see this? I also sent it to Larry Kudlow as well a week later on August 9th, 2007, so it was not just Jim Cramer that did not have a pulse on the economy:

I watch you just about every day and I always thought you had a handle on things.  I sent this last week to your buddy Jim Cramer and I think you should read it too.
Some of you put too much stock into looking at charts instead of talking to real people…..(and it goes on and I attach what I sent Cramer a week ago)

So Larry and Jim who I used to think a lot of, have morphed into the Vince (Sham Wow) and Billy (OxiClean) hosts of CNBC. I still turn them on when I am looking for some laughs. Although laughs are really hard to come by when market declines, so far this year, have erased $8.7 trillion in wealth. ( )
Carlinism: Finance should not be comedy. When it is, the last laugh’s on you.
Recent columns by James Carlini

James Carlini is an adjunct professor at Northwestern University, and is president of Carlini & Associates. He can be reached at or 773-370-1888. Check out his blog at
James Carlini will be a keynote speaker at the upcoming Broadband Properties SUMMIT ’09 in Dallas, April 27th -29th discussing “Intelligent Infrastructure”.
This article previously appeared in, and was reprinted with its permission.
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