Appearance Alert!
MRC's Brent Bozell on FNC's The Kelly File, Friday 9:40pm ET/PT

Criticism Prompts Cramer to Defend Great Depression Reversal

Even with all his detractors, CNBC’s “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer has never been shy about expressing his opinion. Most notably, his infamous Aug. 3, 2007 “They know nothing … They’re nuts” rant was a full fledged meltdown, but it correctly forecasted the collapse several financial firms.  

Even with all his detractors, CNBC’s “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer has never been shy about expressing his opinion. Most notably, his infamous Aug. 3, 2007 “They know nothing … They’re nuts” rant was a full fledged meltdown, but it correctly forecasted the collapse several financial firms.  

 

Nor has Cramer been shy about invoking Great Depression comparisons to warn against government inaction, as he did with his pleas for a General Motors bailout.

 

Then on Dec. 2, the “Mad Money” host took the Great Depression off the table on NBC’s “Today.” His Depression disavowal drew criticism from a variety of sources, including the Business & Media Institute, which included it as No. 2 on its annual Top Ten Media Myths list.

 

On Dec. 12, Cliff Mason, senior writer for MadMoney.com, defended Cramer’s decision to reverse course on the Depression predictions. But on the Dec. 15 episode of “Mad Money” Cramer himself addressed the decision and his critics.

 

“For months and months, I was sounding the alarm that we could be heading for another Great Depression,” Cramer said. “I said if we didn’t do something to save the banking system, to limit foreclosures, to help create jobs then we could be heading down that road.

 

“And – I repeated that mantra over and over and over again, probably more than anybody else – make that definitely more than anybody else…,” Cramer said.

 

“Then two weeks ago, I did something that absolutely infuriated so many people – who are always furious at me anyway: I changed my mind. I said it was time to stop talking about a Great Depression, that it had become baseless fear-mongering,” Cramer said. “Now look, I know I’m just a guy with a cable TV show, but I have enough of an audience that it would be incredibly irresponsible for me to come out here and say you should be terrified of the Great Depression, when I no longer believe that’s a possibility anymore.”

 

But to commemorate the occasion, Cramer indirectly referenced the Great Depression again by citing a few words from Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 1933 inaugural address, which he said was relevant under these circumstances.

 

“We’re in a market that really does fit in with FDR’s first inaugural,” Cramer said. “‘The only thing we have to fear is fear itself - nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.’”

 

For Cramer, taking the Depression off the table was symbolic because it was turning “retreat into advance.” But he still lashed out at his critics who noted this U-turn of opinion.

 

“Well, I don’t want to be the bug that so panics that I failed to turn retreat into advance,” Cramer said. “At this point, I don’t think we have as much to be worried about. Things change. But now, I’m being derided as a hypocrite. ‘Cramer said we could be entering the Great Depression, the sequel. And now he’s self-righteously telling people not to make comparisons to the Great Depression.”