Jon Stewart exposes Apple stock manipulation

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Proving once again that the best way to reach Americans' brain is through their funny bone, Jon Stewart of the Daily Show continued his warpath aimed at irresponsible financial reporting by CNBC, specifically calling Jim Cramer out for his comments on how easy it was to profit from misinformation aimed at Apple.



Calling it "disingenuous at best and criminal at worst," Stewart grilled Cramer, the host of the frantic energetic "Mad Money" entertainment show, for his act of being "doe-eyed innocent" while celebrating the admittedly illegal shenanigans of hedge fund managers.



Stewart played clips of Cramer describing -- shortly before the iPhone was first announced -- how hedge fund managers could spread lies about the product through either gullible or willing media sources, creating either fear or excitement that would distort the company's stock, allowing the fund manager to profit.



Fomenting the market



In the clip filmed for The Street, Cramer notes that this practice of "fomenting the market" is "actually blatantly illegal, but when you have six days and your company may be in doubt because you are down, I think it is really important to foment." Cramer specifically cited the example of stirring up rumors that Apple's iPhone would be rejected by both AT&T and Verizon Wireless, and that it wouldn't be ready to demonstrate in time for Macworld in 2007.



Apple's stock performance leading up to the 2007 unveiling of the iPhone made it a prime candidate for foment and manipulation, as media figures spewing misinformation could easily cause temporary, panic-induced drops that manipulators could then use to profit dramatically from. Other companies, including Microsoft, had seen so little change in their stock price since the 2000 bubble popped that they simply couldn't be manipulated as easily.



Fomenting the market against Apple, however, "is very easy, because the people who write about Apple want that story. And you can claim that it is credible because you spoke to someone at Apple, because Apple isn?t in [a position to comment on unannounced products]. It is an ideal short."







Along with Apple, Cramer also cited RIM as a company that was easy to beat down with false information. "It might cost me $15 to $20 million to knock RIM down," he said, " but it would be fabulous because it would beleaguer all the moron longs [investing in RIM?s success]."



"Who cares about the fundamentals?" Cramer said, "Research in Motion just blew out the quarter. But look what people can do. That?s a fabulous thing. The great thing about the market is that it has nothing to do with the actual stocks."



"It?s important to get people talking about it as if something is wrong with RIM. Then you would call the [Wall Street] Journal and talk to the bozo reporter on Research in Motion and you would feed that Palm has got a killer it is going to give. These are the things that you must do on a day like today. And if you are not doing it, maybe you shouldn?t be in the game."



Cramer added, "I think it?s important for people to realize that the way that the market really works is to have that nexus of: hit the brokerage houses with a series of orders that can push it down, then leak it to the press, and then get it on CNBC; that?s also very important. And then you?ll have a vicious cycle down. It?s a pretty good game. It can be played for a percent or two."



Cramer vs Cramer: The Street and CNBC



While playing a comical character on CNBC, Cramer's articles and video clips on his own "The Street" website reveal an entirely different side. "When I watch that," Stewart said, "I can't tell you how angry that makes me. Because what it says to me is you all know, you all know what's going on [...] a game you know is going on but that you go on television as a financial network and pretend it isn?t happening."







The Street's War on Apple



Following the original iPhone pre-launch rumors Cramer talked about in The Street video clip, his site continued a merciless attack on the iPhone over the next year, including a "report" by Brett Arends which claimed that buying the iPhone would actually cost users $17,670, followed up by Arends' lists of reason not to buy it, many provided directly by industry flacks working for competing companies.



Cramer himself floated a false story immediately after the iPhone's launch that Apple's wireless partner Cingular (later renamed as AT&T) would provide a year and a half of free mobile service for the iPhone. The story was picked up by blogs and widely publicized on syndication sites like Digg. A myth busting report on the scam noted, "Saying that Cingular will give away $1440 worth of free service to perhaps ten million subscribers in order to earn just $480 from them across two years is an insane prediction."



The Street's Scott Moritz also served as a willing accomplice in filing dubious reports aimed at nailing Apple's stock, including the idea that Apple's spectacular launch weekend was actually disappointing because the company had really intended to ship a million units within three days, citing unnamed "whisper" sources.



In reality, legitimate analysts had actually expected Apple to ship 150,000 to 350,000 iPhones at launch; Apple reported selling 270,000 in the last two days of June quarter which made up most of the launch weekend. However, Moritz described a bleak scenario where Apple had failed to sell out its inventory, despite very constrained availability of the iPhone at most of Apple's 200 retail stores and many of AT&T's outlets over the first month. Because of this supposed failure to launch, Moritz insisted, "There?s a lot of rejoicing at Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile."



The Street would also frequently take factual reports and add a hysterical, frantically panicked spin, sometimes to directly bring the stock down and other times to create impossible expectations invented to cause a temporary bubble. One suggested that Apple's AT&T revenue sharing deal was "unheard of," despite the fact that similar revenue sharing had long been underlying RIM's BlackBerry success. That provided Cramer with the timing to announce "I am being abject and adamant: Sell some Apple ahead of earnings."



Never mind the iPhone 3G: Steve Jobs is sick!



Last year, the Street continued badgering Apple, brushing aside the global launch of the iPhone 3G to try to focus coverage on Steve Jobs' health in a video segment titled "Without Steve Jobs, There is No Apple."



"This is a company that thrives on innovation, and the innovation is all being driven by one man.? Cramer said of Apple. ?That?s okay, the one man is not a stock. I mean, you can?t. The multiple of one person is zero. Well, one. But I would warn people that this company? I don?t want to call it nothing without him, but it is not investible without him, because he is the driver of ideas. Now behind anybody there?ll be other ideas, but I remember the original Apple, and it was all him, too."



Cramer has largely been successful in spreading the meme that Apple is wholly dependent upon Jobs for its survival, but the idea that Apple's success has all been flowing all from the veins of one man is as absurd as the idea that the original Apple of the early 1980s did, too. "Jobs was regarded as a pariah in the business community, a maverick that drove down profits to advance technology and the state of the art. Had Cramer been anything of note in the mid 80s, he would have been slamming Apple for not acting quicker to rid itself of Jobs," a report on Cramer's take noted.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 155
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    delete
  • Reply 2 of 155
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,524member
    I hope that some of the people who call in to Cramer's show and heap praise on him

    for "helping the little guy" had their eyes opened by his boasting about manipulating

    stocks.
  • Reply 3 of 155
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 1,820member
    man this stuff is nuckn futs!
  • Reply 4 of 155
    Actually, Jim Cramer is the one who broke this news, not Jon Stewart. Jon Stewart just replayed a video that has been on youtube for 4 months, made by theStreet.com and clearly intended for public consumption, to describe to anyone who cared to listen how hedge funds operate. Before jumping to conclusions, watch the video for yourself, without Stewart's filter:



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfWSRuNm6do



    I don't know who's right or wrong here... I like both guys (Stewart and Cramer), but I think it's important that people at least research the facts themselves before anyone gets crucified. (Oops, too late.) It sure seems to me that Cramer is trying to inform people as to what is going on, not engaging in some sinister conspiracy, which is how some people seem to be taking it.
  • Reply 5 of 155
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,229member
    Come on teckstud, did you comment before you actually learned to listen?
  • Reply 6 of 155
    Anybody who relies upon Jim Cramer for financial advice gets what they have coming to them. Still, Jon Stewart walks away virtually unscathed for little more than an ad hominem attack by digging up past areas that he disagrees with Cramer over rather than address the REAL reason that Cramer's name has been in the news as of late, and that is his criticism of Obama's financial plans (if you can call them that). Chris Mathews of MSNBC "Hardball" fame was ridiculed for saying that he experienced "tingles up his leg" when listening to an Obama speech. Well, anyone who has watched The Daily Show knows that Steward just about has full-blown orgasms whenever he talks about (or has as guests on his show) Obama, Democrats, or liberals. It would be funny to invite Stewart to a roast where they could turn the tables on him for a change, showing lots of video clips of Democratic / liberal gaffes, statements of corrupted politicians, etc., each stamped with a date that they happened and a corresponding edition of The Daily Show making no mention of them. Somehow I doubt that Stewart would laugh and take it all in stride.
  • Reply 7 of 155
    Does anyone else find it peculiar, even disingenuous, the way Prince McLean/Daniel Eran Dilger links to his own articles on roughlydrafted?
  • Reply 8 of 155
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,229member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mr_cazorp View Post


    Does anyone else find it peculiar, even disingenuous, the way Prince McLean/Daniel Eran Dilger links to his own articles on roughlydrafted?



    Discrete Mathematical Digraph self loop?
  • Reply 9 of 155
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post


    Come on teckstud, did you comment before you actually learned to listen?



    I know you're just disappointed you missed it. I pulled it 'cause I'm a nice guy and don't want to upset anyone for a change.
  • Reply 10 of 155
    Ah yes, of course, the DMD loop, what was I thinking.
  • Reply 11 of 155
    virgil-tb2virgil-tb2 Posts: 1,416member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by beelzebob View Post


    I don't know who's right or wrong here... I like both guys (Stewart and Cramer), but I think it's important that people at least research the facts themselves before anyone gets crucified. ...



    I'll give you a big hint.



    The guy that's "wrong" here is the guy that's breaking the law. Jim Cramer.



    Trivialities aside though, the thing I don't understand about "the Street" is why it's been allowed to go on for so long. Cramer has been pretty upfront about his whole schtick being (illegal) stock manipulation for a very long time. In Europe, Canada etc. this kind of stuff gets you dragged away in handcuffs if you admit to it. It still goes on of course as insider trading and stock manipulation are the very basis of most trades (at least Cramer is honest about what he's doing).



    Isn't this also illegal in the USA? Why was Cramer not jailed years ago?
  • Reply 12 of 155
    This just goes into the same category I lump everything else I hear from "analysts" about future Apple releases.



    The only "people" I listen to about possible new Apple products or updates are the ones that don't work for financial institutions. I've found over the years that analysts make the same broad sweeping statements that anyone of us on this site or MacRumors can make that understands Apple and their "system".



    It annoys me when an analyst will say, "Apple is set to release new iMacs in the next quarter" or "Apple will release the newly updated iPhone at the end of June or early July." REALLY????? No sh!t Sherlock! If Apple hasn't freshened up the iMacs after 9 months, I could easily say AND BE CORRECT that Apple would update them in the next 3 months. And EVERYONE knows that the June July transition is the iPhone's birthday for being reborn each year.
  • Reply 13 of 155
    silenciosilencio Posts: 134member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by coffeetime View Post


    Still, Jon Stewart walks away virtually unscathed for little more than an ad hominem attack by digging up past areas that he disagrees with Cramer over rather than address the REAL reason that Cramer's name has been in the news as of late, and that is his criticism of Obama's financial plans (if you can call them that).



    I take it you're not a regular viewer of The Daily Show. Stewart has slagged off CNBC Cramer and on multiple occasions, and long before Cramer ever opened his mouth about Obama - which was IMO yet another attempt on his part to manipulate the market. Exercising this power he's acquired trumps his party loyalty every time, or so it seems... not that it isn't hard to spook such a shaky market these days.
  • Reply 14 of 155
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post


    I'll give you a big hint.



    The guy that's "wrong" here is the guy that's breaking the law. Jim Cramer.



    Trivialities aside though, the thing I don't understand about "the Street" is why it's been allowed to go on for so long. Cramer has been pretty upfront about his whole schtick being (illegal) stock manipulation for a very long time. In Europe, Canada etc. this kind of stuff gets you dragged away in handcuffs if you admit to it. It still goes on of course as insider trading and stock manipulation are the very basis of most trades (at least Cramer is honest about what he's doing).



    Isn't this also illegal in the USA? Why was Cramer not jailed years ago?



    I'm just curious as to what you think Cramer is doing that is illegal? Reporting on stock price manipulation is not a crime. If you have any evidence of actual criminal wrongdoing, what is it?
  • Reply 15 of 155
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    The old Cramer tapes have been around a long time: I first saw that 2 years ago on Roughly Drafted:



    http://www.roughlydrafted.com/2007/0...mation-engine/
  • Reply 16 of 155
    ivladivlad Posts: 739member
    People already knew about this whole thing, I don't understand what's the fuss about.
  • Reply 17 of 155
    crees!crees! Posts: 501member
    John Leibowitz is not news.
  • Reply 18 of 155
    By the way, AppleInsider, you're next on the Jon Stewart 'entertainment being presented as actual news' hit list.
  • Reply 19 of 155
    a_greera_greer Posts: 4,594member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iVlad View Post


    People already knew about this whole thing, I don't understand what's the fuss about.



    Because for once someone with a large public voice told these CNBC types exactly what all of us have wanted to, but would never have a forum to do so.



    Stewart is looking out for the working man who may save $1,000,000 over a lifetime of work in IRAs and 401ks, Cramer and the CNBC guys are looking out for the guys who spend that much on toilets for their offices.
  • Reply 20 of 155
    a_greera_greer Posts: 4,594member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TheNipponese View Post


    By the way, AppleInsider, you're next on the Jon Stewart 'entertainment being presented as actual news' hit list.



    entertainment as news? sorry man, CNN/FOXNEWS/MSNBC are not comedy centeral...



    All I see on the news channels is pathetic drivel, never really investigating, just reading press releases, almost as if they are puppets, and that is in the 5 minutes an hour about real news, the rest od the time is all about crap news like a freak with 16 kids, Jaylo, or whatever Hollywood wants to sell that minute.



    As a fan of Stewart, I must sau that this fewd was fed by CNBC, first, Santelly wosses out, then obviously, he is gonna get whacked by Stewart for bailing out, but if Craimer woulda left it alone and not written that bitchy little column on Mainstreet.com, it woulda died there, but he wrote it, and it went on.
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