If anyone caught The Daily Show, Jon Stewart recently nailed the CNBC talking heads about their missed calls.
He’s absolutely right and he got props from a lot of folks in the investment community. Our friends at Pimp Your Finances wrote a piece about Stewart’s comments.
It also got a mention here.
I think Stewart, in his satirical way, made the case that human traders are wrong more often than they’re right. Or as he put it:
If I’d only followed CNBC’s advice, I’d have a million dollars today – provided that I started with one hundred million.
Right on, Jon!
But Jon missed the other half of the punchline. I’m wondering if Stewart ever made fun of this commentator’s quote:
“Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are not facing any kind of financial crisis. The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.”
Of course, both Fannie and Freddie failed. In a big way.
Here’s another little bit that would have made a great skit on the Stewart show about the reason why, despite several warnings from the Bush administration, Fannie and Freddie Mac never got fixed:
“Through nearly a dozen hearings where, frankly, we were trying to fix something that wasn’t broke…”
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac wasn’t broke, but they went broke.
These comments were made by Democrats Barney Frank and Maxine Waters, respectively.
The government’s talking heads are no better in predicting the economy’s moves than financial show talking heads.
Stewart may have been unwilling to tell this side of the story for political reasons. He has moved his show from a satire that nails all idiots, no matter what side of the aisle, to an increasingly divisive partisan attack instrument, kind of a left-wing Rush Limbaugh.
Unfortunately, we are moving into territory where all of our information has an agenda and is skewed (and skewered) with bias.
I think Stewart is funny, but I’d be just as careful taking advice from a comedian about politics and economic issues as I am taking advice from CNBC broadcasters about my portfolio.
Author’s note: I didn’t watch every Stewart show, so I’m not sure if he didn’t do a send-up of Waters and Frank for their bad predictions. I’m still looking for clips of those Stewart Show clips. I’ll let you know if I find anything.