Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Michelle Cabruso-Cabrera: CNBC's Jerk of the Day 6/29/09

There is an old movie from the 1960's called Guide for the Married Man in which Robert Morse instructs Walter Matthau in the fine art of philandering through a series of vignettes with cameos by many stars of the day. In one of them, Joey Bishop is caught by his wife in bed with another woman. His wife is played by Ann Morgan Gilbert a.k.a. Millie Helper on The Dick Van Dyke Show. Bishop and the other woman quickly dress and make the bed as he ignores his wife's demands for an explanation. The choreography of the scene is perfectly executed by director Gene Kelly and in a matter of seconds, the woman is gone and Bishop is sitting innocently in a chair reading his newspaper as Gilbert stands in stunned silence trying to figure out what just happened. The moral as Morse explains to Matthau is to always deny everything.

I am put in mind of this scene almost everyday by someone on CNBC pretending that the last two years of financial turmoil never took place. Today it was Michelle Cabruso-Cabrera drawing the obvious conclusion from the Bernie Madoff scandal: get rid of the S.E.C. Naturally, the answer to crime is to get rid of the police. As she explains to former S.E.C. enforcer Thomas Gorman, "Government regulation gets in the way. It doesn't protect anybody." She prefers to put her confidence in those free market forces that didn't catch Madoff either while producing credit default swaps and toxic mortgage-backed securities.

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