For every 20 – 25 ass clowns you run into while accidentally tuning into CNBC, you get one brilliant guy. Just now, I saw Scott Sperling. The way he looks and the way he talks explain why he is co-president of one of the world’s leading private equity firms, Thomas H. Lee. Folks, I hate to tell you, but you really don’t see people with Harvard Business School MBAs often on CNBC. Scott is one of the few. I think most real playas like Scott avoid CNBC like the plague. I know a lot of you like to blame MBAs because you think what you see on CNBC are MBAs, but next time you watch anyone on CNBC, look up his or her biography online. Ask yourself, did this person get a graduate degree from a real (consistent Top 5 or Top 10) business school or did he or she get an MBA from a University of Massachusetts or max out with an undergraduate degree from a St. John’s? (I am clearly excepting brilliant people with undergrads from Ivy League or other real schools, such as Steven Rattner, from this diatribe.) One thing we have lost in this country – or at least at CNBC – is the idea that education counts, that not all schools are equal, and that more and better quality education are at least partial determinants to success in the long run. Sustained tough times ahead will prove these out again.
Bonus points to Erin Burnett for her competent journalistic handle with Mr. Sperling, after a positively Lose Your Power Lunch hour with Sue Herrera, Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, and the idiot Dennis Kneale, glowing and giddy with this latest sucker’s rally. I don’t know where she showered today, but Erin even looked my version of attractive. Watch out for potential analyst upgrades for Erin Burnett, Karen Finerman, and Jane Wells in the next Real-Time CNBC Babe Rankings, coming whenever I get around to it.
[Update, July 18, 2008: I shouldn't slight undergrads from lesser-known schools categorically. Barry Ritholtz has forgotten more about financial markets this morning than I personally will ever know (or care to know). And I also shouldn't imply that an advanced degree automatically signals a greater knowledge and insight, either. I won't name names, but I just saw a PhD from Iowa State talk up the sucker's rally again. Iowa State must suck.
Furthermore, I may actually have to take Rebecca Jarvis out of my eternal doghouse for having annoyed me throughout an entire season of The Apprentice. She looked pretty good today and the sleeveless Melissa Lee clearly needs a bit of toning. I need at least ten women to fill up the Real-Time CNBC Babe Rankings next week and the breast obsession cure Michelle Caruso-Cabrera could be at risk if she winds up leading the CNBC Annoyance Poll on the right sidebar. Heck, I may drop her anyway just for the hyphen in her name, which is causing my obsessive-compulsive disorder to go haywire since I apparently cannot keep the hyphenation consistent.]