In case you missed the much hyped Daily Show appearance by Jim Cramer, here you go! This is great TV! Jon Stewart savaged a cowering Jim Cramer last night on the Daily Show in an extensive interview (aka interrogation) about the financial meltdown and CNBC's role as a cheerleader for the banking industry. If you haven't seen it yet, I embedded the videos from the interview below, as well as Cramer's response on MSNBC this morning just to be fair. Watch for yourself!
So who's really to blame for the financial meltdown? Is it the big banks making bad bets? Or is it the mortgage borrowers who bought more house than they could afford? Jon Stewart (and much of the "left") falls on the side of greedy banks taking advantage of borrowers and using highly leveraged bets that fell apart as the culprit. The "right", on the other hand, has been placing much of the blame on irresponsible borrowers who took out loans they could not possibly afford.
As I have written here before, I am really sick and tired of this idealogical "left" vs. "right" nonsense. I think, as it usually does, the truth falls somewhere in the middle. We are all to blame for this mess. We were living in a self perpetuating economic bubble built on debt to grow just about every industry, not just the housing market or financial market. People and companies became way too over-leveraged. The good times were rolling as prices kept growing. So it was easy to want to jump in and follow the crowd. Yes, people made terrible financial decisions. Yes, banks made horribly risky bets with new fangled financial instruments. And nobody knew enough or tried hard enough to stop it. At this point, who cares. Let's find a way out of the mess first with some real solutions, and worry about it later. But I suppose that doesn't mean we can't watch a little classic TV in the meantime! (FYI: the Comedy Central servers must be getting hit pretty hard today so the videos may be a little slow to load, but should be fine once they get rolling).