I don’t know if it was the Scott Brown election, Air America shuttering or any of the seemingly hundreds of other things that have gone wrong for the Democrats this week, but something has loosened Jim Cramer’s tongue with respect to President Obama and he’s starting to let him have it once again.
Admittedly, Obama’s choice of target, Goldman Sachs, might be a factor. For the uninitiated, Goldman Sachs is to the US financial industry, what Microsoft was to computer software, back in the 90’s when Apple was a bad joke: ruthless, successful, and very polarizing. So much so on that last point that I’ve seen commentators who I know to be at least a little to the right of Cramer politically nevertheless revelling in Goldman’s getting smacked down. Even on Cramer’s own site, there seems to be a sharp divide as to whether the outrage is the government attacking Goldman, or the government not having gone after them sooner.
Say what you will about Cramer’s politics, but he has an unwavering respect for success, and doubly so for success in his own industry, which naturally makes him a big fan of Goldman’s relative success. I suppose his having a lot of friends working there helps too.
I won’t bore you with the details Cramer’s analysis of hypotheticals that takes up the bulk of his morning’s article, but instead I’ll give you some highlights:
— Cramer imagining Obama on the Goldman Sachs conference call: “Congratulations guys, on a good quarter, let this be the last one because you made so much money.”
— He goes on to note that Obama’s three major targets, Goldman, JP Morgan, and B of A, either caused no trouble or actually helped save the day at the height of last year’s meltdown.
— On Paul Volcker: “[c]lueless… [t]here I said it.”
— On the other hand, he still has faith in Barney Frank’s reform ideas, even while halfway-admitting Frank’s role in enabling Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s recklessness, on the theory that Frank would be loath to repeat that mistake. But apparently Cramer considers the point moot anyway, as somehow Obama’s attack on Goldman kills any possibility of Frank’s bill seeing the light of day. I’m not sure how that works, but whatever.
The ending is where it gets good. Money quote time:
It still all comes back to what Goldman Sachs did. Goldman’s a small firm in New York City without a broad nationwide deposit base that made a lot of money and didn’t get in trouble but is easily identified as the enemy. It is, simply, the perfect scapegoat for a president in bad need of a scapegoat.
The whole thing is shameful.
I know what happens when you write this stuff. You get targeted. That happened last year. I lived to tell about it.
Here we go again.
Someone get him John Yoo’s phone number. He may soon need it.