Betting on the ponies, writ exceptionally large

Maureen Tkacik watches CNBC watch the stock market implosion:

If Cramer does share anything with Santelli, though, it’s that both men fall into what could be called the network’s cast of market transcendentalists, people who believe they can sense the interrelated trades of their respective markets on an intuitive level and seek to transmit its moods to viewers with every molecule of their beings. Which is to say, they are fun to watch: Santelli for his eyebrows and almost operatic (if incomprehensible) circumlocutions on monetary policy, commodity prices, and accounting standards; Cramer for his visible and audible torment on a weak trading day. The coexistence of finance and entertainment was blasphemy to Jon Stewart, who sternly told Cramer, “it’s not a fucking game!” prompting Eddy Elfenbein, who runs the blog Crossing Wall Street, to write, “The dirty secret is that stock market forecasts are fun. It’s odd that people ignore this basic insight. . . . Picking stocks and seeing which way the markets go every day is one of the best things about investing. . . . Don’t take this one simple pleasure from us.”

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