Leave it Jon Stewart and the staff at The Daily Show to nail CNBC's Rick Santelli and his faux, bullshit populism. Jon Stewart is one of the only people in the mainstream media to have a rebuttal for Mr. Santelli's absurd, yet highly popular rant from the floor of the CME in February.
I have to pause to make a comment on someone we've been seeing a lot more on MSNBC and CNBC lately - Erin Burnett. And like a lot of pundits and loudmouths on TV, she dishes out both good points and totally unfair points.
Here, about two weeks ago, she and Jim Cramer were logical (if a little loud) and explained how banks and smaller financial institution got into trouble by selling too many mortgages (and reselling them) without due diligence or proper risk management. This is correct.
Then, last week on Morning Joe, she went into evil mode. Ms. Burnett argued that not only are the takers of bad mortgages to blame, but in-fact, we are ALL to blame for the credit crunch and economic crisis.
Paul Abrams responds: No, Erin Burnett, We Are Not "All Responsible" for this Mess
Moreover, unlike the marginal homeowner whose purchase decision was binary, either they bought a home or rented, the sellers [of mortgages] were all making money, it was a continuum, just a question of how much. Thus, they did not face the same type of decision as the marginal homeowner.
The sellers, of course, were lobbying and supported by the Republican Congress, the Bush Administration and John McCain. The marginal homeowners did not have a lobby.
Greed is very different from need, even if need turns out to be a bit of stretch.
So no, Erin, we are not all equally responsible.
Let's recap to see how we got to this point, with Bush telling Wall Street that everything will be fine prior to the fire sale of Bear Stearns to JP Morgan / Chase.
Economists Stiglitz and Blimes have a new book called The Three Trillion Dollar War. I assume you heard of it. It confirms that the Iraq occupation spending has had a direct impact on the Treasury and the US economy. Here is the Reuters story linked to the book's release.
And then we had the very quick demise of Bear Sterns. If an employee had his or her nest egg in company stock, then it is all gone.
In the opinion of this layperson, we're just another financial crhttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gifisis away from a self-sustaining stagflation cycle. Think about the price of oil, the global credit crunch, the sharp fall of the dollar, and now runs on smaller financial markets. It all contributes to unemployment, inflation, and credit crunch for both consumers and businesses. Add-in the tax dollar money brings used to bail-out smaller markets and corporations, ad we have a serious crisis already. It has all the ingredients to be the worst recession since World War 2.
And in case you needed further proof, Jim Cramer is the last man anyone should be listening to. He should be retired. He made his money as a hedge fund manager and he has zero credibility. Ignore him if you aren't ignoring him already.
And it looks like Australia might be screwed, too.