What would happen if the press told the truth, told it like it is?
Something like this: "Inflation remains under control, according to the latest wholesale price report released by the federal government. In fact, the increase, a better-than-expected 0.2%, shows that despite tremendous
gross domestic product
growth, producer prices can't be budged."
Or how about this: "The
European Central Bank
cut rates, something that historically has been met with higher stock prices, and this time is no different."
Or, "While some pundits grouse that the market is too narrow, this market makes millionaires out of the believers daily."
Or, "We may be laughing about the riches created by the .coms, but the recent
deal shows you can take 7 million shares of AOL to the bank if you want to."
I don't know. Are these really dog-bites-man? Are these not skeptical enough? When I was a full-time reporter, I always indulged in this negative bias. I thought it was my job. You don't sell papers or get good ratings by saying, "Nothing going on today except pretty good things." It is much better to say, "We have a jam-packed show and plenty of numbers that could be dangerous for the market."
I even see the creeping negative bias in
. It's painful.
It's a fact of life. I take heart that for this brief moment I can see these negatives and call them, but can these guys ever wear you down. Expect another day where, while the PPI number was good, the next one might not be benign, and while inflation remains under control now, prices of gas at the pump will ensure they won't be soon, and while the Europeans cut rates, it won't do the job; it's pushing on a string and the rates can't go much lower.
Who the heck writes this stuff? Man, they must lead unhappy lives.
James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. At time of publication, his fund was long America Online, although positions can change at any time. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Cramer's writings provide insights into the dynamics of money management and are not a solicitation for transactions. While he cannot provide investment advice or recommendations, he invites you to comment on his column at