THE PLANK MARCH 6, 2009
Having been criticized by White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs the other day, stock guru Jim Cramer decided to respond with--you guessed it--another rant, this time in his column. It has less of the blood pressure and spit than a live Cramer rant, but it's still worth reading. Especially this:
Look at the incredible decline in the stock market, in all indices, since the inauguration of the president, with the drop accelerating when the budget plan came to light because of the massive fear and indecision the document sowed: Raising taxes on the eve of what could be a second Great Depression, destroying the profits in healthcare companies (one of the few areas still robust in the economy), tinkering with the mortgage deduction at a time when U.S. house price depreciation is behind much of the world's morass and certainly the devastation affecting our banks, and pushing an aggressive cap and trade program that could raise the price of energy for millions of people.
Cramer's not alone--the idea that the market's decline since January is Obama's fault is pretty much the plutocratic CW. Which is amazing, given how the same people will turn around and explain that, oh right, the market is actually down because of skyrocketing unemployment, bank insolvency, plummeting consumer and business confidence, and so on, and so on. The question for Cramer et al., then, is: If Obama had done none of this, if he had simply said let the economy do what it will, do you honestly think the Dow would be any higher?
But the real beaut in Cramer's column is this sentence: "Obama has undeniably made things worse by creating an atmosphere of fear and panic rather than an atmosphere of calm and hope." This from the guy who told viewers to cash out almost all their stock in October. Talk about an atmosphere of calm and hope.