Something constructive has come of the Santelli rant after all, albeit through a rather circuitous route. The above video is the meatier portion of the whole escapade thus far. After being taunted by NBC for just being a comedian, taking things out of context, and making funny faces, Jon Stewart had Cramer on his show and conducted the interview in a more serious and constructive manner than you will see any of the so-called journalists who leveled these accusations do themselves. Cramer was friendly and apologetic, so this must have been a hard thing to do to the man, but Stewart met any evasions with career crushing force. There have been responses from most of the major media and the White House.
CNN has a poll up that asks readers whether they see this interview as being a comic diversion or serious business. Comedy is winning 52-48. This shows a fundamental lack of understanding of what went down. A bit of background for those of you not well versed in investing; a short is when a broker sells you an investment they don’t own because they think it will go down. They intend to take your money, and when the stock goes down and you wish to sell, they just give you some of your money back and pocket the rest. Kind of like a Ponzi scheme, in the sense that if the stock market booms and everyone wants their money, we see a whole new scandal. This is legal. Some of what he was admitting to doing was not. Listen carefully to the clips Stewart plays, rewind if you have to, but make sure you understand what Cramer was admitting to. He isn’t a rogue bad apple. This is business as usual and whole system is full of rot. The government is rotten, the banks are rotten, as are the analysts, the brokers, the corporations, the media, and the investors. This isn’t something we can just make more rules against. This isn’t a failure of the free market. The people who make the rules are the same people breaking them. What we need is simple transparency. Jon Stewart has given us a taste.