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Friday, March 13, 2009

Stewart vs. Cramer Fnord

I watched Jon Stewart's interview of Jim Cramer, along with the surrounding hype. Jon Stewart pointed out some awkward things that Cramer said in the past, but it wasn't anything super-awesome.

Jon Stewart represents the "debate ceiling" for the mainstream media. Ideas more radical than his are not normally presented.

Jon Stewart provided a more severe criticism of Jim Cramer and the Communism Channel than has been presented anywhere else.

Incidents like this make me believe "Promote agorism via standup comedy!" is a viable business. In the context of comedy, you get permission to say things that are otherwise forbidden. It'd be cool to be a guest on a show like the Daily Show. I'd probably have to work for several years to get to the point where I'd be considered. If I attempt "Promote agorism via standup comedy!" and am successful, then at some point a mainstream media source would have to carry my content. Otherwise, it'd be too embarrassing a contradiction, especially if I self-publish on the Internet.

Jon Stewart fell short of the correct conclusion, which is "Who needs a central bank anyway? A central bank is an immoral price fixing cartel. Negative real interest rates and the Compound Interest Paradox cause boom/bust cycles. Negative real interest rates encouraged insiders to load up on debt, leading to a crash and bailout. Insiders profited by issuing loans during the boom. Now, they're profiting via the bailout and via re-inflating." Instead, Jon Stewart was advocating for the usual "Problem! Reaction! Solution!" paradigm. The solution to the financial crisis is to give State regulators more power, rather than remove the Federal Reserve credit monopoly that caused the crisis in the first place.

Jon Stewart was criticizing Cramer for saying "Buy Bear Stearns!" before it collapsed. Jim Cramer validly pointed out "Just because I said 'Buy Bear Stearns!' once and was wrong, does not mean my advice is useless. It is impossible to correctly predict the market 100% of the time. You're unfairly presenting my worst advice to make me seem foolish."

Jon Stewart did not say "Gold outperformed the S&P 500 by 12% per year over the last ten years! It's dishonest to advise people to buy stocks instead of gold! The financial industry is one big scam!"

My father said he heard one comedian on the Communism channel say "It's un-American to invest in gold!" That's completely ridiculous. Under a gold standard, money in your checking account is allegedly a gold investment (except for the nature of the fractional reserve banking fraud).

Jon Stewart asked Jim Cramer some tough questions. However, Jim Cramer gave semi-evasive answers, and Jon Stewart didn't press the issue. The "Evasive Answer Accepted Fnord" caused Jim Cramer to appear relatively favorably.

The overall conclusion of the interview was "Jim Cramer isn't such a bad guy after all! CNBC isn't a network of crooks!"

I wonder if this is what actually happend. Jon Stewart made his joke criticizing CNBC. This clip was then circulated and cited a lot on the Internet. The bad guys realized a potential leak in their propaganda engine. They then overhyped the conflict between Stewart and Cramer, leading to a scripted reconciliation concluding "Cramer and CNBC aren't that evil after all!" The nature of the State allows such a conspiracy to occur even though none of the participants are consciously aware of it.

Jon Stewart gets to represent the occasional "debate ceiling", asking questions nobody else asks. Cramer gets to look like a decent guy who made a couple of bad predictions.

Is it a deliberate conspiracy, or is it a coincidence? Either way, it's irrelevant. The way the entire incident played out supported the illusion "There's no structural defects in the financial system! Move along! There's nothing to see here!"

There also were some good fnords on Wednesday's South Park documentary. I liked the way Mickey Mouse said "It's OK to use sexually suggestive acts to sell products, provided you *ALSO* say that sex is wrong!" By providing mixed messages, the bad guys control people.

Consciously, people are taught to be sexually frustrated. Subconsciously, people are are sold products by appealing to sex and their suppressed desires.

I read that approximately 1000 years ago, the political leaders concluded "If we teach people to be uptight about sex, then it'll be easier to control people!" That attitude has continued to the present. Most of the people exploiting this for their personal benefit are not consciously aware of it.

There was another interesting bit regarding the Beranard Madoff guilty plea. A lot of newscasters were saying "Hooray! Bernard Madoff is in jail!"

Bernard Madoff didn't steal from me personally. Only the direct victims of his fraud have a legitimate interest in the outcome of the trial. Even then, they don't directly profit from the guilty plea. Technically, Bernard Madoff should be forced to work, with the proceeds going to compensate victims.

In a true free market, some private police/accounting agency would have been insuring Bernard Madoff. They would have been personally liable for his loss. They would have had an interest in uncovering and exposing the fraud before it got too big.

In the present, State regulators get to keep their jobs, even though they failed. Having failed, the State regulators instead demand more power and more resources. Whenever the State fails to do its job, the solution is always to give the State enforcers a raise and promotion!

Giving the State a monopoly of monitoring for accounting fraud is inefficient. This leads to the "captured regulators" problem. Bernard Madoff was able to dodge tough questions from SEC investigators, because he was their buddy. Bernard Madoff was connected enough to fire any SEC investigator who asked tough questions.

If you're clever enough to do a simple statistical analysis of returns and suspect fraud, then you're probably overqualified to work for the SEC. All the SEC investigators had to do was see "High returns and low volatility!" and suspect something. Then, they could have demanded full trading records for a week (chosen at random) and then fully audited them. They would have then uncovered the fraud.

Also, *EVERYONE* who worked with Bernard Madoff and didn't suspect a scam should also be partially liable. His wife is arguing that she gets to keep her property, even though it was probably proceeds of the Ponzi scam. Similarly, Bernard Madoff's children and relatives should be forced to give up any property they received from him. All of his employees should be partially responsible. Anyone who advised clients to invest in the fund should be responsible. The SEC investigators who didn't notice the scam should be personally responsible.

The mainstream media is focusing *ALL* the blame on Bernard Madoff. They are not saying "There are structural defects in the financial system that need to be addressed!" By overhyping "Bernard Madoff is evil!", they are covering up the serious structural flaws in the economic and political system.

In a true free market, *ALL* the participants in a fraud are personally liable. If all participants were held personally liable, then a much greater percentage of the stolen property would be recoverable. For example, financial planners had an incentive to recommend Bernard Madoff's fund and not notice the fraud, because he let them charge a higher management fee than other funds. Those financial planners should be partially personally liable for their customers' loss.

If all fraud participants are partially responsible, then they have an financial incentive to not look the other way when they see something suspicious. Any investment that leads to high returns with low volatility is suspicious.

Even though gold is probably the best investment, you still risk a short-term loss in the FRN-denominated value of your investment. If you bought gold at the peak last year, you would be behind. Over a 5-10+ year period, gold should be the best investment, because it's the only investment where you get full allodial title, provided you take physical delivery of the gold and store it in a safe place.

A couple of years before I had my panic attack, I didn't own a TV. I had a TV card on my computer, but it was buggy and I hardly used it.

I wonder if not watching any TV for several years was beneficial, helping me crack my pro-State brainwashing? By watching almost zero TV for several years, the evil fnords weren't reinforced in my mind.

Now, I believe I can safely watch TV without it adversely affecting me. I can see the evil fnords (and the occasional good fnord). It was *VERY* traumatic when I first started consciously noticing them. Now, it's merely frustrating. I can't point the fnords out to the people around me. I can say "That was amusing/suspicious!", but they don't see any further than that.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Both the questions and answers were disingenuous.
Jon Stewart: "Look what you did, you suck!"
Cramer: "Ya, but I did this and this!"
Stewart:"This isn't about you!"
Stewart:"Your network sucks, look at their reporting!"
Cramer:"Ya, but we did this!"
Stewart:"Shut up! You're worse! Look at what you said!"

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