Cramergate Continues

You probably thought the Jim Cramer vs. Jon Stewart feud was over. And it is, for the most part. But I just stumbled on this video from PBS. It's a clip from an episode of the investigative journalism series Frontline from way back in 1997, and the first couple minutes show Jim Cramer in action as a hedge fund manager. He's just as frenetic and ridiculous-looking as he is now, except he's shouting derivatives orders at traders instead of bopping oversized sound effects buttons. (He's also a lot heavier -- clearly the markets are more stressful than television.)

It's mostly just a curious aside to the larger financial story, but it does remind us that the roots of the current crisis run deep. Cramer and people like him have been hyping stocks since at least the 1990s -- as Frontline puts it, he's "a born huckster for the market." That helped cement in peoples' minds the idea that Wall Street is where fortunes are made -- and if you're not a part of it, either by working there or by leaving your nest egg with its money magicians, you're missing out.