It came and went – and some might not have even noticed it – despite the seriousness of its use. On April 2, CNBC’s Jim Cramer proclaimed the Depression over.
Throughout that day, the “Mad Money” host told viewers of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” CNBC’s “Street Signs” and finally on his own program that the Depression was over and that we were on the verge of a bull run for the financial markets.
“We have reached the land of a thousand bull dances – phoney maroney, why? Because the market swallowed its Prozac,” Cramer said on CNBC’s “Mad Money” April 2. “And right now, right here on this show – I am announcing the Depression over!”
Cramer made the pronouncement despite his long record of criticism for being a bull-market cheerleader. And he had already taken “The Great Depression II” off the table – and defended his decision to do so – back in December after the previous president and Congress passed bailout plans.
But on April 2 he credited President Barack Obama for the end of this Depression and the beginning of this forecasted bull market.
“And then today, we got the second big positive – President Obama praised, what did he praise? The stock market! This is a total 180 from his position a few months ago. You got to admire a president who can change his mind, especially after eight years of George W. Bush’s laissez-faire philosophy – that almost led rapacious late-stage capitalism to devour itself.”
Cramer attributed his new bullishness to a change in Obama’s rhetoric from pro-redistribution to pro-stock market.
“The Depression is over and now we have a president who has gone from bear-in-chief to bull-in-chief, and that’s why we now like him,” Cramer said. “He’s change his genus, if not his phylum. We keep ours and now Obama knows if he kills your 401(k), IRA and 529 plan, he can’t make it up by taking some money from the rich and just giving everybody a G or two.”
While Obama’s rhetoric may have changed in Cramer’s view, it’s difficult not to notice that the “Mad Money” host’s about-face comes after his criticism of the administration embroiled him in a controversy with Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” host Jon Stewart that climaxed with a less-than-stellar appearance on Stewart’s March 12 show.
From that point on, Cramer has taken a less abrasive tack toward the Commander-in-Chief.A month ago Obama was responsible for “the greatest destruction of wealth I have ever seen by a president” and Cramer was calling him a Lenin. Today, Cramer is not only pro-Obama, he’s also upbeat on Federal Reserve Chief Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner – both of whom he has harshly criticized in the past.
“When it comes to the stock market, like it or not, the people are all in,” Cramer said. “And now, President Obama knows it. He’s on our side. And Bernanke’s on our side. And Geithner’s on our side too – with his fabulous public-private banking plan.”