The highlight of Thursday night's appearance of CNBC's Mad Money host Jim Cramer on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart -- which both NBC and Comedy Central had done their best to promote as the grudge match of the century -- turned out to be a two-year old TheStreet.com video of Cramer being interviewed about about how easy it is to manipulate Apple's (aapl) stock price.
The video is famous among long-time Apple investors because what Cramer so candidly describes seems to confirm their worst fears about how the market really works. Cramer gave the interview to Aaron Task on Dec. 22, 2006, two and a half weeks before Macworld 2007 -- the one at which Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone. The nut graph is this one, where Cramer explains how easy it is to "foment" uncertainty and doubt about a stock:
"You can't create yourself an impression that a stock is down, but you do it anyway because the SEC doesn't understand it ... Apple's very important to spread the rumor that both Verizon and AT&T have decided they don't like the phone ... You also want to spread the rumor that it's not going to be ready for Macworld. And this is very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim that it's credible because you spoke to someone at Apple, 'cause Apple doesn't ... they're not going to comment ... So it's really an ideal short. And again if I were short Apple, I'd pick up the phone and I'd do that today. "
"When I watch that," Stewart told Cramer Thursday night, "I can't tell you how angry that makes me."
Stewart showed several clips from TheStreet.com interview to good effect, but the piece is worth watching in its entirety; it's a rare glimpse into the thought processes of a hedge fund manager.
The six-minute interview is usually available on YouTube, but not always easy to find, so we've posted it here:
If you missed the March 12th Daily Show, Comedy Central offers it in four (uncensored) parts here.