CNBC's Jim Cramer declared on Monday that the economy has bottomed out, and took repeated whacks at economists Paul Krugman and Nouriel Roubini for lacking real-life experience and being consistently dour in their forecasting.
Appearing on Morning Joe, the much-maligned economic pundit applauded the "major transformation" and "great, great job" that Timothy Geithner had done in shepherding the financial system through serious crisis. At one point he called the Treasury Secretary "much smarter than the average bear, so to speak.'"
As for the economy as a whole, Cramer boldly proclaimed that, "yes we have, we've hit the bottom." It was a bit of absolutist optimism that has gotten the CNBC personality ridiculed by Jon Stewart (among others) in the past, and prompted co-panelist Tina Brown to caution against assuming everything was just fine.
It was when asked about those who didn't share his peachy take that Cramer started throwing his haymakers.
"There's this guy Roubini... at New York University, I regard these guys as the Professor and Mary Ann and we're back on Gilligan's island. Let's get serious. Roubini, at 6,300, says the market is going to crash. Where are we now? Krugman, nothing is ever right. Maybe Geithner and Summers aren't morons! Maybe they're not morons! Maybe they figured out something. These two guys have never given them a break. They never have to answer anybody. They don't run any money. They are able to go out there all the time and tell you everything is horrible -- and they're wrong!"
After Brown reminded Cramer that the money-managing geniuses that he has such faith in are the same people who ran the system into the ground, he chimed in once more.
"Tina, they wanted to nationalize every bank in March. It turns out that almost every bank is solvent. They wanted to turn us into Sweden... we cannot be Sweden. We are a major power with huge banks that dominate the world. We can't nationalize them. But that is what the professor wanted. Give me tenure or give me death."
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