Jim Cramer Touts Populist Economic Response to Coronavirus

Cramer takes a pro-employee position in the midst of the current crisis

Jim Cramer
Jim Cramer in 2010.
Tulane Public Relations

Some pundits refer to the economy and the stock market as though they were one and the same — something that is not actually the case. While the two can sometimes be in sync with one another, it’s just as likely that they’re at odds — as when, in 2017, an American Airlines plan to give employees raises caused the airline’s stock price to drop.

That gulf between the economy and the stock market is one of several hot-button subjects that came up in an interview that CNBC’s Jim Cramer gave to Vox. Vox’s Emily Stewart writes that Cramer has, as of late, taken a more skeptical position regarding corporate behavior. Stewart notes that “when thinking about how business should respond to the economic coronavirus crisis, he starts to sound like Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren.”

This has included Cramer publicly calling on CEOs, including Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson and Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat, to refrain from making any layoffs for 30 days. Stewart notes that while this might seem modest, it’s part of a larger effort on Cramer’s part to get business leaders to be less focused on the bottom line in times of crisis.

Or, as Cramer phrased it, “I mean, come on, this is like the Great Depression, and you’re worried about hitting your numbers? It’s shameful. Miss your damn numbers. Give the money away.”

While Cramer remains a contentious figure for some, his emphasis on keeping people employed at a time of crisis is a welcome one. Stewart also notes that Cramer has taken his own pledge himself, regarding the bar and restaurant he owns in Brooklyn. It’s a welcome moment of candor in the midst of an alarming moment in history.

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