“So, you know, Tepper, David Tepper, the hedge fund genius”, CNBC’s Joe Kernen stammered, at the beginning of a Trump-ish ramble on Friday morning.
“He doesn’t live around us anymore”, Joe mused. “He used to be my neighbor – I’d see him on the golf course”.
Kernen wasn’t done. “He moved to Florida. And that’s fine. He’s got a lot of gravitas. People listen to what he says”.
If you had tuned in halfway through Joe’s preamble, you’d have been totally justified in asking what the hell the point was. Eventually, prodded by Andrew Ross Sorkin and Becky Quick, Kernen got around to it: He and Tepper like to chat back and forth, and CNBC had decided to make a segment out of their most recent exchange.
This is reminiscent of the network’s annoying habit of pretending that what Jim Cramer and Josh Brown say on air is “news”, as opposed to just, you know, commentary from anchors who have contracts with CNBC.
Just read the way they wrote this up:
Tepper, the Appaloosa Management founder, exclusively emailed “Squawk Box” co-host Joe Kernen, saying, “I love riding a horse that’s running.” He added, “We have been long and continue that way.”
However, Tepper said, “At some point, the market will get to a level that I will slow down that horse and eventually get off.” He did not specify when that might be.
It’s hard to decide what to lampoon first.
Apparently, Joe and David are “exclusive” e-mail buddies. It’s not clear what that entails. Does Tepper not e-mail anyone else about markets? Has nobody else surmised that Tepper is long? Is that really “exclusive” information?
Better still is the tautological nature of those quotes. Basically, Tepper told Kernen that he likes being long stocks when they’re going up. Once they stop going up, that’s when they’ll slow down. At that point (but no sooner) he’ll hope to exit before they fall.
In other words, Kernen’s “exclusive” with Tepper amounted to David saying that generally speaking, he likes to buy low and sell high. That is the actual definition of successful investing. Tepper told Kernen that he likes to try to make money.
And it got better, if you can believe it. Here’s what CNBC said next:
While Tepper provided no further details on what may cause him to get out of the market, a source told CNBC’s Scott Wapner that Tepper got more fully invested in December.
Tepper literally told CNBC nothing. Nothing at all. And yet, the network ran a story called “Hedge fund legend David Tepper tells CNBC he’s still bullish, for now”.
This is bad TV and even worse journalism, but it’s priceless humor, so all is forgiven.
Oh, and as far as Tepper liking to “ride a horse that’s running”, we’re gonna go ahead and say that Ron Rivera begs to differ.