Last night, on his Mad Money show, CNBC’s “colorful” stock maven, Jim Cramer, had this to say about the stock market’s recent volatility being driven by Euro Zone attempts to try to contain the burgeoning sovereign debt crisis:
Yep, this is what it all comes down to, a TARP style vote in a foreign land that we know nothing about except one universal truth and that truth is that bankers benefit if the bill is approved… and most legislators would rather string bankers up their ankles then help them out of this jam.
Cramer rightly points to the public anger at bankers and the fact that in the US the original TARP package didn’t pass a reluctant Congress at first, but was passed only after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, and the government take-over of the insolvent Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
But here, Cramer’s comparison falls short. For while there has been some spirited argument about who actually caused the mortgage meltdown and the ensuing credit crisis in the US in late 2008, there can be no such argument about present day Europe.
There, the problem isn’t mortgages and government housing policy as was the case here. In Europe the debt that threatens to crash the financial system and possibly the world’s economy is sovereign debt – that is, debt sold to/forced on the banks by the governments of Europe. It is debt taken on by governments to try and make good on decades of untenable promises made by Social-Democrats… governments which don’t even have the excuse of paying for their own national defense. The debt at issue in Europe was brought about by the same policies and promises that Obama and today’s liberal Democrats would foist on the US. And Jim Cramer, rolled-up shirt sleeves and all, knows this.
Blaming bankers – here or in Europe – is lazy partisanship at its worst. It is also appallingly dishonest. Even for a Democrat, like Cramer.