Tuned In

CNBC: Through the Looking Glass?

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Having recently written a column on the anti-Obamism of CNBC in the past couple of months, it’s worth noting that the network seems to be having something of a love-in for the President, his administration and their just-announced toxic-assets plan today. 

Mind you, I’m not an expert on the markets or bank policy; I’m not going to judge whether CNBC and its various commentators are right now or were before. But it’s a bizarre experience—as I sit with the network on while doing some other jobs—to see one guest and personality after another praise the Administration that just recently had “declared war on capital.” Maybe it’s genuine optimism over the plan. Maybe it’s the intoxicating prospect of hedge funders getting in on a potentially lucrative investment with a government safety net. Or more likely, it’s just the usual weather-vane response to the short-term reactions of The Market, which is presently up over 5% on the major indices. 

Just a few minutes ago, on his afternoon “Stop Trading” segment, even Jim Cramer had some praise for Treasury secretary Tim Geithner: “He was part of a team that didn’t seem very coordinated and now seems very coordinated.” Here’s Cramer on Geithner when his appointment was first floated, last Nov. 21: “If Tim Geithner … gets to be Barack Obama’s Treasury secretary–and he looks like a shoo-in for the job–then let me just tell you something: we’re done, we’re kaput, we’re finished, we’re completely and royally hosed as a nation.” 

What a difference a few green arrows make. For today, anyway.