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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?


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