Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Richard Cohen Fell for It, Too, Therefore Jon Stewart is Mean

Poor Richard Cohen –maybe literally!– has finally written an immensely satisfying column.

See, our favorite punching bag has decided, unlike everybody else, that Jon Stewart was terribly, terribly unfair to poor Jim Cramer, and that's because he was so busy looking in his couch for spare change that he utterly, completely missed Stewart's point that there were, like, a zillion signs that companies like Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, and Citigroup were trading on a dangerously warped and distended bubble. Hilariously, he tries to gin up some sorrow for the poor, victimized bankers and insurance men:

Or take Richard Fuld. He is the former chairman of Lehman Brothers, which, as we all know, is no more. He lost about $1 billion.

Or take Citigroup's former chairman, Sanford Weill. He lost about $500 million.

Or take all the good people at Bear Stearns, the company Cramer adored almost to the bitter end. They went down with their stock.

So sad! I'm applying an eyedropper of glycerine to my face right this very minute. Any other high-profile victims we should feel sorry for? Why yes:

I give you one other name: Richard Cohen. He who writes this column had some of his (extremely) hard-earned retirement funds in AIG stock. This was because I was a cautious investor, and what could be safer than an insurance behemoth? Who knew that in faraway London, a division of AIG was fooling around in stuff that virtually cratered the whole company? Not my broker. Not me. Not even Greenberg.

Ah yes, once again it's all about Richard Cohen. As usual. And this makes Jon Stewart a horrible meanypants because he's blaming the media, a group which includes... Richard Cohen! Unfair!

Never mind that Stewart was specifically blaming, not the media, but specifically the corporate financial media which was too busy sucking up to their cocktail party cohabitants to offer more intensive scrutiny of their activities. Cohen offers a bizarre example:

It does not take cable TV to make a bubble. CNBC played no role in the Tulip Bubble that peaked, as I recall, in 1637, or in the Great Depression of 1929-41. It is the zeitgeist that does this -- the psychological version of inertia: the belief that what's happening will continue to happen.

So true! CNBC was available only in isolated areas of Utrecht during the tulipomania! And you know who was primarily responsible for expanding the flower bubble in the 1630s? The brokers, bankers, and speculators. They spread the word through skillful use of the pamphleteers and publishers; in other words, the 17th century version of the financial news media.

Next week: Richard Cohen defends Bernard Madoff, who he once met at a fabulous party.

Also: does anybody –anybody at all– doubt that Cohen wears sock suspenders?

UPDATE: Ever wonder about the cliché of a poor person wearing a barrel? More info, kind of, here and maybe here and here, or, more likely, it probably just comes from the tales of Diogenes, who supposedly lived in a barrel.


Fran said...

"Mocker, mock thyself."

Oh no he dint. Oh yeah he did. Wow, Cohen has outcohened himself.

I would write more, but I am pretty upset about poor Richard Fuld, Sandy Weill, Hank Greenberg and others, not to mention poor puppy-eyed and sleeve-y Cramer.


And of course for poor Richard Cohen. He invested in AIG simply because it was so goddam wise and prudent and not because he was enjoying the fucking returns of such things when they poured in.

Does Cohen give a crap about all the people who truly did lose everything and who have to return to work at age 75 because of the behavior of these fucktards?

Peteykins said...

Excuse me, Fran, but Richard Cohen is hurting! Please sit in the corner.

Lulu Maude said...

Richard Cohen wouldn't be investing in AIG, believe me. Not unless he'd done some hard time in a classroom. He's simply one of the "stenographers" Stephen Colbert derided at the National Press Club some time ago.

AIG is a very sore point for me. It has been the retirement fund of choice for people with careers in education.

My own pathetic, middle-class fate is tied to these assholes.

Anonymous said...

See Princess, why worry – there will never be a dearth of topics for your sparkley pink pen

rptrcub said...

Cohen is not worthy to lick his spittle off of Jon Stewart's loafers.

Glennis said...

love the photoshop! A masterpiece! with the sock garters.

Matthew Hubbard said...

There were financial panics centuries ago, before the invention of TV and modern media, ergo the modern media is blameless in this current panic.

There have been eras of global warming long before humans learned they could burn fossil fuels in mass quantities, ergo the burning of fossil fuels is blameless in the current era of warmer world temperatures.

Q.E.D., Cohen style!

BeRightBack said...

I learn more about fucking Diogenes from political cartoonists than from any other source. What would they do without him?

Karen Zipdrive said...

PSP I love it when you get all editorially n' stuff.

Diane Griffin said...

Do you know anyone who actually appreciates this bozos views? Is their name Charles Krauthammer?

Anonymous said...

PSP, Maybe the barrel has to do with selling out, 'lock, stock, and barrel'?

dguzman said...

I like the fact that Cohen writes "as I recall" about something that happened in 1637. No wonder he's so upset about losing his AIG money; he's been saving for retirement for almost four centuries!

Anonymous said...

What's AIG? I have no money to begin (or end) with.

Batocchio said...

Has Richard Cohen ever been right about anything of consequence? I can remember two good columns he's written in the past 15 years or so, but that's it (and both pieces were reactive). He represents a set of attitudes, and I have yet to see any evidence that he's capable of coherent thought. Keep up the mockery, Princess…