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Americans Tuning in to TV Finance Shows For Answers

The week of Sept. 14 was the highest-rated one in CNBC’s 19-year history, with 502,000 viewers during the business day, according to a piece in this weekend's New York Times. Why the ratings spike? The hypothesis is that viewers are tuning in to finance shows like Jim Cramer's Mad Money in search of expert opinions of what's happening to the market and what to expect.

Cramer's usual audience is made up of day traders and market buffs, but as the world of Wall Street continues to undergo a dramatic transformation, he has gone back to the basics — he is quoted as saying he now has to explain "arcane financial concepts like credit-default swaps to an audience that was double its usual size and spooked by the market’s moves."

The ratings have also skyrocketed at Fox News Channel, CNN and MSNBC in recent weeks. Have you been turning on the TV for some expert advice?


Join The Conversation
ranksubjugation ranksubjugation 8 years
If you turn to a television show for your money advice, you probably lost a lot of money recently. Cramer was throwing bear-shaped meat into a meat grinder, yelling about how the Bears need to "find a new thesis" just a short time before stocks fell more points than EVER before. He may be succinct and energetic and easy to understand, but he gives horrid advice. TV personalities are owned by big money, and they will tell you whatever is in the best interests of big money corporations. If you actually want scholarly analyses of financial trends, try Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis online.
T22 T22 8 years
I wish I could understand why the Team Sugar sites are so purposefully left-leaning. The business coverage on CNBC is far from balanced and Cramer is even less balanced (they had to separate him from Lawrence Kudlow). Neil Cavuto is balanced and will get at the truth on behalf of everyone on both FNC and FBC. Lou Dobbs will do the same on CNN. Both have considerably larger audiences everyday and they offer BALANCE. Will these sites PLEASE start recognizing that not everyone sees things through your thinly veiled bias? PLEASE! You do subscribers no good if you try to hide information in the name of your own bias. We are all grown ups; we can decide for ourselves where the truth is centered.
baybug baybug 8 years
I have a hard time believing what the TV has to say.
Fiend Fiend 8 years
when i need financial advise i turn to savvy :)
SugarKat SugarKat 8 years
If it's on I try to pay attention, but it's mostly over my head anyway.
SDTransplant SDTransplant 8 years
My b/f and I used to watch Mad Money, but we now watch Fast Money or the podcast. I also watch Suze Orman's show 'cause I think she's witty.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
well i can understand why his show is doing so well - he tells it like it is and i think that people sometimes need things to be told straight up and not sugar coated like a lot of the other shows do it. when i'm at the gym after work i HAVE To make sure that i'm by a TV with Mad Money on since it's the best way for me to get the quick idea of what's going on. he doesn't talk and talk about things - he says what's smart and what's not and what to be worried about and what not to be - and i think that's what we NEED right now since everyone is telling us pieces of what the bailout will bring, and what banks 'may' go up next and that's not something that's reassuring.
RosaDilia RosaDilia 8 years
Yes, Bloomberg TV, Carmen Wong Ulrich's On The Money and The Suze Orman show.
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