Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Being a Pundit, Newscaster and Analyst VII

It looks like Jim Cramer is being lambasted for his financial ignorance and apparent arrogance yet once again. But this time by a respected economist, Nouriel Roubini. "Cramer is a buffoon," said Roubini, professor of economics at New York University. "He was one of those who called six times in a row for this bear market rally to be a bull market rally and he got it wrong. And after all this mess and Jon Stewart he should just shut up because he has no shame."

Like Nassim Nicholas Taleb in the Black Swan, Roubini predicted that we were heading for the worst recession in many decades. His truthful, though gloomy, prediction of the global financial meltdown garnered him the name of Dr. Doom. In an interview with the Associated Press Roubini said this about Cramer: "He's not a credible analyst. Every time it was a bear market rally he said it was the beginning of a bull and he got it wrong."

Cramer responded by writing a blog entry that Roubini was "intoxicated" and full of his own "prescience and vision." He also asserted that things are getting better since the stock market reached bottom in early March. I'm no economist, but this seems unlikely. I have not even heard this from any economist or financial analyst. Most are uncertain of where the bottom is. In a Youtube video roundtable discussion with economic expert, Linda Yueh and Harvard economist Kennth Rogoff, Taleb says, "I tell you one thing. You tend to think that the current crisis is in the middle or toward the end. I think we may be in the very beginning." This was a few months back.

Cramer also wrote that Roubini and Paul Krugman, a Nobel Prize Laureate in economics--not that this means much these days, are a part of "the nationalization jihad." Roubini responded by saying that he is in support of Treasury Secretary Geithner's plan. (Hmmm, there maybe some qualms with this. There is a reason the banks stress test report has been completed but not released. The TARP probably has not helped many of these banks; many seem to be failing in spite of it.) "He keeps insulting me personally and saying a bunch of lies," Roubini said. "He doesn't even know I was supporting it so he says lies." Maybe CNBC should find another financial analyst. I wondered after the Stewart evisceration if he would last a week after. He appears to be hanging on, but maybe not for much longer.


Cynthia said...

A disastrous economic climate and
the Shakespearen antics of the
supposedly learned elite make for
an unfortunate marriage. However,
I imagine this is Democracy at
its most challenging.

judith ellis said...

Well put, Cynthia. Good to see you.

allen said...

On March 9th, a reporter asked Obama about the stock market drop and he answered the reporter by saying that it might be time to buy stocks. The stock market has gone up 25% since then. I just found this to be interesting.

judith ellis said...

allen - I so LOVE the President, but when did he become a tipster? :-) I don't typically receive such tips from anybody. But I think there maybe a bigger reason for his suggestion, not a tip. He's probably trying to build confidence in the markets again. He is also speaking more confidently about other small signs of recovery. This may partly because many banks are pretty much insolvent and will need more money. I'm not sure about that AT ALL, even with Wells Fargo's post of a record first-quarter net income of $3 billion.

allen said...

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal surveyed a number of economists and the majority of them thought the recession would be over by september. If the economy is turning around in a convincing way a year from now, Obama will only become more popular and he should be able to make positive changes in a big way. I'm not sure he would have won if the economy had not melted down in september. This meltdown was a black swan that might have been a big factor in Obama's victory.
Think about how the wind was taken out of Obama's sails this past summer when he was campared to Britany Spears after his European trip.
In the summer, trivialities seemed to be able to change the direction of the campaign.
Recently, Fox News has been making a big deal about Obama's bow to the Saudi king. This story does not appear to have legs in the current environment. Its good for the ratings of Fox news, but it does not appear to have an effect beyond that audience.
There was an intersesting piece on Rachel Maddow last night. People were interviewed at a 'Tea Party Rally' They were asked if they thought Obama was a citizen and most of the people in the interview did not believe he was a natural born U.S. citizen. It seems that a large portion of the people who do not like the president are viewing the word with their own set of 'facts'.

judith ellis said...

Yes, allen, the President's election without doubt seems like a Black Swan. During the election I wrote to Nassim and said the EXACT same thing. Had we not had such a financial global meltdown and Senator McCain's complete inability to address it, Barack Obama may not be the president.

There is no doubt the economy will turn around. I have never doubted this. My concern is that we need fundamental change or we will be right back here in another 25 years or so. We have been here before; the only difference is the scale, the global impact. We know very well the players in the game.

Your point about the President and Brittany Spears is well taken. But it was pretty much rejected even back then. Americans mostly appreciated the fact that the President was so well received abroad. And, the whole issue with the bow is ridiculous. He bowed to the Queen in England and it looked like a bow to the Saudi Queen. SO???? When in Rome do as the Romans. Honor is always a good thing. President George Bush both bowed and kissed the Saudi King's ring.

I did not catch Rachel Maddox, I'm not like a huge fan of her show, though I catch it occassionally. I watched the interviews with Colin Powell. The Tea Party Rallies have gotten virtually no play, as they are organized by right-wing extremists. Americans by and large are not interested in political extremism any more. We rejected that profoundly in the last election. The most conservative counties in the metro Detroit area, Macomb County, went for Barack Obama big. This was no simple feat. As a matter of fact, McCain and Palin were both in this county and finally pulled out of Michigan altogether early on when it became apparent that they would not win Macomb County.

Speaking of viewing the world through thier own set of 'facts,'" Karl Rove is really out there! He should go somewhere and shut up. The hatred and lies that he has spewed over these last 8 years have been many. He seems to be in an alternative universe. He and Vice President Cheney.

I guess some of us, once we have had the kind of power they willed through seemingly unjust means, find it very difficult to let it go. Maybe some legal charges slapped their way will shut them both up. Maybe some secret files should be released--perhaps not.