One of the big lessons that Jim Cramer did not learn from his dust-up with Jon Stewart was that there were indeed signs that the economy was not in a sustainable cycle. There were financial reporters who could have seen it if they had looked, there were financial analysts that could have seen it if they had looked, there were regulators, politicians, and CEOs who could have seen it if they looked. And the list goes on. The truth of the matter is that very few of those who were in a position to tell the rest of us dummies what was going on were too busy making tons of money or being ingratiated to those who were, to warn us about anything. Just the opposite in fact, they all had a stake in getting the rest of us to think that the good times would never end.
“He had bought the house at the top of the market, and suddenly, overnight, the property market collapsed…The collapse had been dramatic…What happened to those spectacular profits? Why had all the confident experts been so taken by surprise? Anthony had been seduced and corrupted by these confident experts into believing that profits would go on multiplying forever, unlikely though that had always seemed. Go for growth, had been the slogan, and everybody had gone for it. Now some were bankrupt, some were in jail, some had committed suicide, and only the biggest had survived unscathed. Casualties of slump and recession strewed the business pages of the newspapers, hit the front page headlines. Old men were convicted of corruption and hustled off to prison, banks collapsed, and shares fell to nothing.”