Why do people assume that Jim Cramer is smart?

This was the first reader request:

Why do people assume that Jim Cramer is smart? More bluntly: why
does possession of a JD from Harvard Law School signal to people that
they should listen to you?

Surely an economist has some insights into this odd quirk of human nature.

Not everyone assumes that Jim Cramer is smart but in fact Jim Cramer is smart (though his advice is no smarter than that of a monkey's).  Watch the early Jim Cramer and you will see (can anyone find a good YouTube link?).  But take the smartest person you know and put him or her on TV for hours a week, for years, and see what happens.  (See my book What Price Fame?.)  Usually only very smart people get to experience such fates.  Lots of screaming is an added bonus.

I'm not sure that the average person thinks so much of the typical Harvard Law graduate.

Megan McArdle had a good post on the Cramer dust-up with Jon Stewart.


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