NBC's Latest Financial Expert: 'Mad' Cramer
With increased volatility in the stock markets, business coverage has been front and center for the major newscasts. But NBC has made an interesting choice of whoâs reporting it.
The âNBC Nightly Newsâ can draw from a deep pool of CNBC business reporters, but it has continually featured âMad Moneyâ host Jim Cramer. Cramer has appeared on the âNightly Newsâ five times in 2007 and eight times on the âTodayâ show.
âLast spring, he was giddily exhorting the Dow Jones Industrial Average toward 15,000, with no troubles in sight. Earlier this month, as the Dow tumbled in the direction of 13,000, he had an on-air meltdown, complete with screaming, sobs and predictions of financial doom,â wrote Alpert.
Beyond Cramerâs infamous meltdown on August 6 and his admission in December 2006 on TheStreet.com (NASDAQ:TSCM), a financial Web site he launched in 1996, of manipulating the press to influence the markets when he was working at a hedge fund, heâs not an all-knowing stock guru.
Alpertâs scrutiny of Cramer was greeted by an uncooperative CNBC: âWhen we asked Cramer and CNBC for their own records of Mad Moneyâs stock-picking performance, they had more excuses than a Tour de France cyclist dodging a blood test,â wrote Alpert.
Alpert showed Cramerâs stock picks, albeit on the plus-side, arenât beating the Dow and S&P indexes â a benchmark for picking stocks.
Barronâs reported Cramerâs stock picks have lagged at a gain of 12 percent over the last two years versus 22 percent for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, 16 percent for the Standard & Poorâs 500 and 14 percent for the NASDAQ for the same time period. But CNBC insisted it isnât the role of the show to pick stocks.
âThey [CNBC officials] said that the show is mainly educational, and not just about stock-picking,â wrote Alpert. âIn the end, they said we should focus only on the tiny universe of stock selections â about 12 a week â that Cramer researches the most. And we should do it only for the issues picked this year.â
So if Cramerâs show is primarily educational, why is he regarded the âgo-to guyâ when it comes any dramatic shift in the financial world?