When Jon Stewart eviscerated Jim Cramer for not doing a better job of warning Americans about the looming financial crisis, the "Mad Money" host should have brought videos and transcripts of some of his highly-publicized rants in order to thoroughly disprove the comedian's premise.
In fact, as former investigative reporter turned actor and producer Dan Gifford revealed at Big Hollywood Sunday, Cramer should have wiped the floor with Stewart and put an end to all the CNBC bashing.
For instance, the "Mad Money" host could have shared with Stewart's audience this tirade from August 2007 (video embedded right):
Why didn’t Cramer point out the video clip that got played ad nauseum on practically every network of him screaming about impending doom in the financial markets on August 3, 2007 before the market bear took hold?
“He [Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke] has no idea, and these firms are going to go out of business and he’s nuts, they’re nuts! They know nothing!!!!” (about the Fed not injecting liquidity into the system).
Gifford was so right to bring this up. Here's more of what Cramer said that day:
I have not seen it like this since I went 5 bid for a half a million shares of Citigroup and I got hit in 1990. This is a different kind of market, and the Fed is alseep...You can't get a darned loan if you're rich like me...We have Armageddon. I wouldn't try to (inaudible), we have Armageddon. In the fixed income markets, we have Armageddon...Okay, well let them be calm, and have them call me on the way home like they do every night and tell me, "Cramer, what are you going to do about it? Are you gonna help us? Are you gonna help us, or are you gonna stand on the sideline like everybody else and say that it's fine? Will somebody come on TV and tell the truth about how bad it is?"
Well, on August 3, 2007, Cramer did. How prescient was he? See for yourself (chart courtesy BigCharts.com):
On that day, the S&P 500 closed at 1433. A few weeks ago it bottomed at 667, and is currently at 769.
But, as Gifford pointed out, that wasn't Cramer's only good call:
Why didn’t Cramer talk about his October 5th, 2008 advice on the “Today Show?”
“Whatever money you may need for the next five years, please take it out of the stock market right now, this week. I do not believe you should risk those assets in the stock market.” (stock market 30% off its highs?)
For the record, this statement of Cramer's was made on Monday, October 6, before the markets opened in New York. The S&P 500 closed the previous Friday at 1099.
But there's more:
Or this one from October 20, 2008?
“Stop trading these two stocks (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) … this is an outrage … It’s very clear that someone knows what’s happening (and isn’t telling the public).
Why didn't Cramer bring up any of these documented statements when he was being lambasted by Stewart?
Gifford doesn't know, but his piece is well worth the read to be able to watch all the video clips Cramer should have brought with him ten days ago.