Rubbish week for: Jim Cramer, America’s most famous financial journalist

What happened

Last year, Cramer told people to buy Bear Stearns. He insisted there was nothing to worry about, just hold onto your Bear stock. A couple of days later Bear crashed, spectacularly, and fairly well ignited the recession.

"I understand you want to make finance entertaining. But it's not a game. And when I watch that, I can't tell you how angry that makes me."

Jon Stewart, host of the satire-soaked Daily Show, has been gradually ripping Cramer to shreds ever since, along with CNBC, America's leading TV financial network that hosts Cramer's Mad Money show. And a few days ago things reached their climax.

Having shown numerous clips of Cramer failing to predict the stock downturns that contributed to the recession, Stewart explained to Cramer in a face-to-face interview, "I understand you want to make finance entertaining. But it's not a game. And when I watch that, I can't tell you how angry that makes me."

Cramer was reduced to apologising for the mistakes he had made that had cost people their money.


Stewart pioneered the opinion that CNBC and its financial TV journalists failed in their duty to tell the truth about the situation, due to misguided sycophancy for and loyalty to the banks. He became the embittered mouthpiece for the populist opinion that the networks were protecting big businesses rather than the people, as part of the mutual back-scratching charade that Wall Street had become.

Was he to blame?

It's difficult to say how much Cramer is personally responsible, and how much CNBC bosses were telling him what he could and could not say. Bear in mind in one interview he said that as a stock show host, you are told never to tell people to sell everything.

That said, he was obviously pandering to the richest people in the room rather than remembering his journalistic integrity.

How to avoid doing the same

Loyalty to your core customer base should always be your number one prerogative. Because if you lose them, as Cramer did in a 24% drop in viewing figures, you won't have a business.

However much a relationship with a higher power or single client may appeal, don't forget where your loyalty and core business lies.

Remember what you set out to do. Protect your brand values and don't compromise your integrity.

Smarta sympathy score: 5/10

Cramer might have been goaded into favouring the banks by network chiefs, but he cost people their hard-earned money when they trusted him. That said, he's become a bit of a scapegoat for a wider problem. So we'll give him a semi-redemptive

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