This week, one of my fellow LIRR commuters handed me a New York
, and asked me my opinion about an article by Jim Cramer on a bottoming in Housing sector. The articles title?  On June 30, 2009, Buy an Apartment.

Gee, that seemed rather specific, I wonder what’s in the article? I thought.

practically spit up my coffee when I read the first paragraph:

more than a year, I’ve been a huge bear on housing. From the moment the
credit-crisis storm began to form, I’ve been shouting in my usual
unhinged way about just how bad the devastation would be, and carrying
on about how anyone who bought a home in this environment would lose
money immediately. At various points along the way, my house-hating
judgment has been questioned, but I’d say I’ve been vindicated by the
relentless decline in home values we’ve seen, the worst since the Great
Depression. Even here, in our so-called real-estate-superstar city,
prices may not have fallen, but the rate of acceleration has started to

That paragraph struck me as particularly
disingenuous. Perhaps Cramer’s long housing bias had spanked him enough times that he finally flipped bearish, but, damn, that was only after
getting the credit bubble and housing collapse, and especially, repeated bottom calls on the Home Builders,  very, very wrong for a long, long time.

Now, I don’t know when Cramer flipped bearish on Housing — I do not watch
the show regularly, nor do I read him at TSCM — but he
certainly was bullish in 2005, 2006 and early 2007. Maybe he flipped bearish some time in the past year. I don’t know.

But here’s the funny thing: I get tons of emails about James Cramer, asking me "Why don’t you focus on Jim ever?" Why doesn’t TBP cover him more?

Fair question. For a couple of reasons, making Jim a focus of the blog doesn’t interest me. I’ve criticized him on many an occasion, but being his stalker — ala Luskin on Dr. Paul Krugman — simply isn’t my bag.

Why? First, I respect Cramer’s accomplishments with Forget the TV pundit you see today, not many people had the foresight in 1995 to recognize that web based business content was going to be big. But Cramer did, and that sort of foresight and business acumen earns my respect.

Second, being Cramer’s Jiminy Cricket is not how I want to define myself. I have my own opinions, beliefs, and perspectives. I’ve carved out a nice little corner of the internet for the Big Picture. And if I make Cramer the focus of this blog, I give up my own identity. Besides, he retired from finance years ago, and now works in entertainment industry.

But third, and perhaps most of all, I don’t need to. Why? Because Don Harrold already does:

Jim Cramer Calls a Bottom in Housing – HERE’S THE TRUTH (


Jim Cramer Called "The Bottom"? 1 Out of 10 Ain’t Bad!  (


On June 30, 2009, Buy an Apartment
Our resident financial expert calls the end of the housing-market free fall—to the day.
James J. Cramer
NYMag, Sep 7, 2008 

Don Harrold

Don Harrold on YouTube

Category: Markets, Real Estate, Really, really bad calls, Video

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

81 Responses to “Cramer Calls (Yet Another) Bottom in Housing”

  1. Jeff M. says:

    THANK YOU, Barry. This needs to be said and said and said. Cramer has become a cartoon character, a total farce.

    He’d be a perfect politician in this day and age of fabrications, revisionist history and outright lies. If we the people believe this crap, we deserve everything that’s coming. Do your homework!

  2. Roger Bigod says:

    “The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.”

    –A. Einstein

  3. John(2) says:

    You are right BR this comedian is not worth the effort. He’s a cartoon character but the fact that he is continually brought forth as a commentator on one of our three main broadcast channels, not the cable lunacy, speaks volumes about where the public discourse is in America today.

  4. Kramer is a Clown. Sounding more and more like NARstrodamus every day. Throw enough darts and sooner or later one then has to stick.

    Westside of LA isn’t close to a bottom and is just getting started.

    Total Sales Volume Drops (YOY) last August of 31-69% in:

    1) Beverly Hills (-69%)
    2) Marina del Rey
    3) Venice
    4) West Hollywood
    5) West LA
    6) Culver City
    7) Pacific Palisades
    8) Santa Monica (-31%)

  5. Rosabarba says:

    To watch “Mad Money” is to experience the id of the day trader. There is hardly any continuity and an extremely selective and self-serving sense of his own history (as you note, Barry). It is all righteous enthusiasm or maudlin self pity, depending on what happened that day.

    For me, the most notable and illuminating Cramer moment didn’t happen on Mad Money, but when he literally slobbered with rage at poor Erin Burnett in his infamous “They Know Nothing” rant. Books have and will be written about how the Fed (and others) screwed up and facilitated what promises to be a wrenching, multi-year recession (at best), but it’s ludicrous to believe holding back a few weeks on a rate cut set off the dominoes, that we’d be sitting at Dow 15,000 with quicker easing.

    That Cramer should say so, and seems to continue to think so (it’s still one of his favorite drops, though it’s now more of a general-purpose middle finger for public officials), bespeaks a continuing ignorance that can only hurt those who take his advice, and there seem to be a ton of them. Whatever the disclaimers, it’s not just entertainment for a lot of people who really can’t afford to trade on his assumptions but nevertheless do so.

  6. DL says:

    The question is, how long does the bear market have to last before his show gets cancelled?

  7. bc says:

    Energy costs are too high for a turn around. $5.35 in parts of North Carolina.

  8. Craig Hilles says:

    I’m so happy to find out about I had a similar idea, and made a website “” that was going to comment on the TV shows (like Cramer) and catch them in their mistakes. Also I wanted to highlight cool lines from people like Jeff Macke on Fast Money (e.g. the reason Moody’s doesn’t downgrade MBIA is because “they don’t want to be Shiva, creator and destroyer of worlds!”.

    Well my website sucks. Yet another project started and not followed through on.
    But anyway I’m happy to find!

    P.s. bigpicture is currently my favorite financial blog. Awesome! I think this is a 50-hour a week job to keep up…

  9. Posted by: techy | Sep 13, 2008 4:39:31 PM

    the FDIC, their ownselves, have, at last report 117 Banks as ‘Troubled’

    Roubini is one the most lucid dudes allowed near a Broadcast Camera.

    Think about the old adage: “Prepare for the Worst, Hope for the Best”
    “The evils of this deluge of paper money are not to be removed until our citizens are generally and radically instructed in their cause and consequences, and silence by their authority the interested clamors and sophistry of speculating, shaving, and banking institutions. Till then, we must be content to return quoad hoc to the savage state, to recur to barter in the exchange of our property for want of a stable common measure of value, that now in use being less fixed than the beads and wampum of the Indian, and to deliver up our citizens, their property and their labor, passive victims to the swindling tricks of bankers and mountebankers.” –Thomas Jefferson to John Adams, 1819. ME 15:185

  10. Posted by: John(2) | Sep 13, 2008 4:02:06 PM


    it’s another one for the Ripley’s file: something we, actually, agree on.

    This: “First, I respect Cramer’s accomplishments with Forget the TV pundit you see today, not many people had the foresight in 1995 to recognize that web based business content was going to be big. But Cramer did, and that sort of foresight and business acumen earns my respect.” though, is a great point.

  11. jenny says:

    how can someone so smart be so clueless. It’s weird. Really weird.

  12. Pool Shark says:

    Cramer couldn’t find his own ‘bottom’ with both hands.

  13. jenny,

    see: Besides, he retired from finance years ago, and now works in entertainment industry.–BR

    and: that can only hurt those who take his advice, and there seem to be a ton of them. Whatever the disclaimers, it’s not just entertainment for a lot of people who really can’t afford to trade on his assumptions but nevertheless do so.

    Posted by: Rosabarba | Sep 13, 2008 4:15:00 PM

    he’s a shill that feeds the bid..
    or, differently:
    he’s a techni-color shadow-caster (thanks: Plato)

    he’s neither Ignorant, nor Stupid.

  14. Jim Haygood says:

    “For more than a year, I’ve been a huge bear on housing.” — Cramer

    Oh, wow, Jim — how courageous. Back in 2005 — three years ago — my wife was contemplating leaving her salaried job to join her two cousins, who were prospering as a real estate agents.

    “No, honey, no!” I pleaded. “This is the WORST possible time to enter the real estate biz. Prices are completely Bubbled, and soon it’s all going to collapse.”

    The third time we had the conversation, she memorably remarked, “You’re the only one who talks this way. Everyone else thinks the market’s fine.”

    Today, of course, she will admit (if asked) that she’s glad I dissuaded her from going into real estate just before it tumbled over the cliff. Unlike Cramer, though, I don’t broach the topic with our friends and pound my chest like a frickin’ ape while grabbing at my crotch.

    Forecasting a specific date for a low is typical stupid media showboating. Cramer and New York magazine were made for each other: shallow, brash and obnoxious.

  15. Cramer is a MAD man! says:

    Great post Barry! Yes, Cramer is a smart man in many ways, however he flip flops by the hour and he rarely owns his mistakes as he spins everything. Many lemmings still follow the guy and buy into his bs…… This is pathetic, sad, and dangerous to one’s financial health. Keep up the good fight Barry!!!!!!

  16. Every generation needs their Henry Blodget and we have our ours. Except Cramer doesn’t limit his act to just one sector. Please keep exposing this guy. Jim is proof that just about anyone can successfully manage money during a bull market.

  17. senthil says:

    “Those who have knowledge, don’t predict. Those who predict, don’t have knowledge.” ~ Lau tzu

  18. John Mark says:

    how can someone so smart be so clueless. It’s weird. Really weird.

    Posted by: jenny | Sep 13, 2008 5:27:57 PM

    Jen: I completely share your utter sense of awe at the irony of the situation. As it happens, I well know someone just like him in terms of being off his game (apparently, permanently) when it comes to the markets. Bright guy…but totally, and astoundingly, asynchronous.

    Where I’ve finally landed in terms of assessing the common personality type is this:

    (1) Both have a deep need to be widely perceived as completely right and good, even when they clearly are not.

    (2) Both are dyed-in-the-wool sales types, who value their own sense of control, dominance and “winning” over everything else, including honesty.

    (3) Both have a deep flaw when it comes to integrity and honest recollection of the past.

    (4) Both are completely caught up with the crowd on a wide variety of things, and thus not truly individuals.

    God bless them both, but the only solution, regrettably, is distance. They are egos on on their way toward a very predictable end-game.

  19. Pete says:

    Cramer is a great entertainer . However, he should use his talent in way that doesn’t hurt the innocent ( “lemmings” ). He should know better .

  20. sreynolds says:

    Yes give Cramer his due for creating The in 1995? – he saw an opportunity and moved early. True that he is now an “Entertainer” who offers trading opinions. Again he saw an opportunity for a fast-paced, exciting take on stock trading instead of the usual staid and droll commentary. Is he a stock trading genius? Probably not. Is he a genius at identifying and capitalizing on web/broadcast stock trading
    infotainment opportunities? Maybe so. Should you take his advice or is he a cartoon? It depends upon what you think of Dr Phil.

  21. Mike in NOLa says:

    ” Besides, he retired from finance years ago, and now works in entertainment industry.”

    Barry, you really know how to indult subtly. Love it.

  22. easy$ says:

    Cramer is funny as hell and that’s about it. He’s just doing his job, pump, pump, pump.

  23. SteveC says:

    Jim can be good entertainment, except too many people have lost too much money watching Jim’s show. He’s almost purely a momo trader, jumping on fast moving trains. Jim’s momo style worked great in the 90′s. Much tougher now. He needs to warn everyone that, if you’re gonna trade that way, you need your finger on the eject button constantly (which most of his viewers don’t). His sell recommendations come after many of his stocks crash back to earth.

  24. the says:

    What? I’m truly surprised that none of you guys seem to recall the Barron’s cover from not too long ago. Whether it is Cramer, Andrew Bary or Brian Williams doing the reporting I can only bring myself to endorse a double layer of tinfoil, frequent genuine repentance, requests for guidance from above and a shortwave set tuned to 6925 USB. It is going to be very interesting to see how Don’s silver bullion age. BTW, whatever happened to Herb Greenberg?

  25. andrzej says:

    I used to have the link to the wayback machine but I remember Cramer in the late 90s when he was on top of this game. Before L. He touted sometime a couple years back how he warned of the crash and told people to sell and saved his followers a lot of money.

    But I remember him and his column back then. And I remember when he touted his tech darlings that were going to survive the crash in the markets. He posted it around Oct-Nov of 2000, before the Internet scrubbed it clean. Of the 12 that he said to stick in your portfolio, 9 went bankrupt, and 3 are trading between 70-90% of their former price.

  26. matt says:

    Does anyone else think that this Don Harrold looks like Jim Cramer? Why would you make yourself look like Jim Cramer if you don’t like him?

  27. X says:

    Cramer being a fraud is not a surprise. Wall Street is full of them. But CNBC portraying him as a great market strategist is the pits. But what can you expect of a channel with Dennis Kneale, Larry Kudlow, Don Luskin. Pure cheerleaders

  28. Robert says:

    You guys are picking on Dr UNH.

    and on buddy-pal Eddie Lampert who started with me at Goldman Sachs. SHLD

    and on buddy-pal Gov Spitzer who went to law school with me at Harvard until he checks in one day at the local minimum security prison

    and with my buddy-pal neighbor Fred Hassan. SGP

    and my Harvard buddy-pal at MSFT,
    Steve Ballmer

    It’s a good thing he is not buddy-pals with Steve Jobs, or Sergei or Larry, and many other great industrialists and great Americans.

    Cramer’s friends are the kiss of death for investors.

  29. txchick57 says:

    @andzrej: You ask, we deliver.

    I’m a charter subscriber to TSCM going all the way back to the spring of 1997.

    It has been quite a ride.

  30. bdg123 says:

    This guy is a total clown. And, he always has been. He made money in the 1990s in spite of himself and now that fact is almost universally self-evident.

    If you had a fund in the 1990s, you would have his name recognition and his record of success.

    This environment separates the imposters from those who really can make or not lose money and he fails on every level. I love that Don Harrold has made it his personal mission to declaw this buffoon.

  31. John Borchers says:

    First and foremost, Jim is a lawyer. his training was good because he is never wrong and always acts as if he acted on the right side all along.

    But anyone with any common sense knows he’s full of shit and got his money on a lucky options call.

  32. Steve Barry says:

    Sure enough…the “synchoronized global boom” has now led to the “synchronized global bust.” Some Lucy Ricardo scheme for Lehman will be cooked up by Monday, but I think Dow futures will be down 300 tomorrow night.

    Nasdaq ===> Smoldering Crater

  33. Eric says:

    Correction, Barry, not early 2007, but well into 2H 2007. Okay, so maybe it isn’t something to brag about, but there’s probably darn few people more familiar with Cramer’s TSCM record than I am. I love Harrold’s stuff, but he really doesn’t delve into Cramer’s writing at all; it’s all video. The willful web of deception that Cramer employs in his writing is far more sinister than in his video. Basically, Cramer was arrogantly bullish until July 2007 — even going so far that month as to mock anyone who doubted the assurances of then Merrill CEO Stan O’Neal. Every so often in 1H 2007, he would sprinkle in very bearish statements so that he could cling to something in the event of a downturn. But he was super bullish on retail and MASSIVELY bullish on Lehman and Bear’s stock (wrote a big bullish piece entitled “And It Shall Be Lehman” in Summer 2007). In the face of the downturn in late Summer 2007, Cramer found himself “exposed” — not monetarily, but in his punditry. He needed to cover himself quickly. Something loud. Something that he could forever harken back to and paint himself as prescient if things got much worse. So he put on a hedge — his CNBC rant. And ever since then, depending upon what the market was doing at the moment, he has alternated back and forth between wrapping himself in the glory of that moment or taking credit for calling bottoms, i.e. he claims victory no matter what. And of course CNBC, and a few toadies at TSCM, have been all too willing to play along. What I would very much like to know from BR is the answer to one question: You haven’t heard or read everything from Cramer, but if you had to assign an overall letter grade (A – F) to all of what you have seen from him since January 1, 2007 regarding the credit crisis (the Fed, banks, brokers, interest rates, housing, etc.), what would that letter grade be?

  34. Eric says:

    Sorry for the long post. I should have simply pasted this one quote that Cramer wrote on April 1, 2008: “Was there anyone out there who more loudly announced this credit crisis before it happened than I did?” That quote will **NEVER** be topped. I double dog dare anyone to even come close.

  35. BG says:

    The day his show is cancelled will mark a near bottom of the market that started in 1982 which he jumped on some years later.

    In addition, I will not be surprised if he is implicated in some kind of insider trading/stock hype manipulation scheme.

    His current situation provides a lot of temptation for breaking security laws requiring very little effort on his part. We will see if he is able to withstand this temptation in due time.

  36. But I remember him and his column back then. And I remember when he touted his tech darlings that were going to survive the crash in the markets. He posted it around Oct-Nov of 2000, before the Internet scrubbed it clean. Of the 12 that he said to stick in your portfolio, 9 went bankrupt, and 3 are trading between 70-90% of their former price.

    Posted by: andrzej | Sep 13, 2008 7:49:36 PM

    you gotta love this piece of Reality: “before the Internet scrubbed it clean.” the easy reference to Orwell’s “Ministry of Truth” may be, too, hackneyed, but, seeing how we have, in full CGI w/ DHX, our own “Samuel Goldstein”, maybe that’s another piece of Fiction we should pay heed to.

  37. km4 says:

    Hmmm Cramer does Newspeak

    This assclown should be kicked to the Wall St curb !

  38. StockMonger says:

    Taleb is pretty much right when he says: “Once in a while you encounter members of the human species with so
    much intellectual superiority that they can change their minds effortlessly.”

    Guess who did that? JC Cramer. Nobody calls a bottom or a top except for the lucky because nobody knows how long irrationality lasts in the market even if the caller is right.

  39. hue says:

    Cramer was talking about the bottoming of homebuilders’ stocks/index (and wrong) in 2006. He’s calling for a bottom in housing prices in Q3 2009. Those are two different things.

  40. VJ says:


    (Bloomberg) – Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said the country can’t afford $3.3 trillion of tax cuts proposed by Republican presidential nominee John McCain.

    Greenspan, a lifelong Republican and longtime friend of McCain, said today on Bloomberg Television’s Political Capital With Al Hunt that “I’m not in favor of financing tax cuts with borrowed money.”

    Greenspan said the widening income disparity among Americans is a “very serious” issue, and requires both raising the pay of lower-income workers and reducing higher incomes.



  41. I don’t have cable television and I would not likely know of Jim Cramer if not for The Big Picture.

    I believe that says something…

  42. VJ,

    interesting link/post

    I never understood why ‘everyone’ thought that yon’ Greenspan was soo hard to understand. If you put his remarks into the context of: “He’s talking his book”, now “former”-book, I think he’s been as plain as Day.

    Those cats (out of deference to Greenspan’s love of Jazz, of Course), now, BB&Co., should pack up their Notes and go Home.

    If we’re going to be put through a “readjustment”, it might as well be worth it. The “Market” has been around a long time, it’s big enough, by now, to take care of itself. It’s the ‘micromanagers’ that need a ‘readjustment’–into the Productive Economy.

  43. Brian says:

    BR-Glad to see you give a subtle “Check this guy out” to Don Harrold. I really like Don and some of his opinions–although I think he stalks Cramer a bit too much.

    Cramer is simply NOT a trader. Sure he worked as a stock broker in a bank but that is a monkey job. He then went on to “run his own hedge fund” but never posted his results.

    Taking stock trading advice from this absolute novice is foolish to say the least.

    Cramer is a fool’s clown which happens to be an imporant role of any job on American TV nowadays….

  44. jeflin says:

    No, Cramer serves an important purpose. He is the shining beacon for contrarian investors.

    Whatever stocks he recommends, we should “heed” his advice and sell it right away.

    This contrarian approach should continue until he gets another purple patch.

    Although he has blown up investors in the tech bubble and now his bullish calls on Bear Stearns and Lehman, there will always be suckers around.

  45. upsidetrader says:

    oh, the halcyon days when Jimbo called the builders “land banks” and they had to be owned, and speaking of banks, he was dead wrong on the financials and the commodity move=what a schmuck

  46. JMH says:

    Given the sentiment in this thread, I think it is time to go long Cramerica!


    I will defend the man, make of it what you will. I first heard of Jim Cramer when I came across a comment he made noting a bad CEO in the 90s. Unlike most in the financial press at the time who bowed before CEOs, what he stated was correct. When I read that he had a web site in the 90s, I decided to subscribe. I’ve been reading it ever since.

    If it had not been for Jim Cramer, I don’t know that I would have gained the insights of:

    Gary B Smith – His thoughts helped me become a much better trader.

    Todd Harrison – Comments informed me about the professional trader’s approach to the markets, and were fun to read.

    Howard Simons – His writings are an endorsement for the U of Chicago B-school.

    Paul Kedrosky – All sorts of financial insights.

    Rev Shark – More trading knowhow.

    Robert Marcin – Great read this year.

    Tony Crescenzi – Assisted my understanding of the credit markets.

    Doug Kass – The high priest of methodology.

    James Padinha – A memorable economist, certainly.

    and of course the host of this show:
    Barry Ritholtz.

    Criticize Cramer all you want, but his effort at TSC and his goal of bringing more and better information to the individual investor or trader is unrivaled. I know he always says “You have to do your homework.” The results of your homework might lead you to agree or disagree with him, but that’s just process. I will always hold his general effort to bring better information to the individual market participant in high regard.

    Someone mentioned Taleb in an earlier post. I would guess Taleb would be very intrigued with the multiplier effect of Cramer’s contributions to the investing world, from which there must be more than a few who have benefited.

  47. Marcus Aurelius says:

    BR: Cramer and you are not in the same league. You’re in the stadium, on the field, and at bat. Cramer is in the parking lot, looking for his ticket, and wondering how he got there.

  48. Yves says:

    From CNBC’s web site
    “Viewers of CNBC business news programming are business executives and financial professionals that have significant purchasing power. According to a July 2004 survey by Mendelsohn Media Research, the median household net worth of CNBC Business Day viewer exceeds $1.2 million”

    I need to watch him more, I’ll become rich without working. :c)

    Seriously, take it from me; I’ve worked in the TV / Drama / Theater / Shows business all my life, in Europe and the Us, I was involved in commercial, sponsored, utopian-style free, state-funded or otherwise plain silly “events” using any and kind of media, electronic or not.
    Jim Cramer is an entertainer, and a very cynical one at that. He’s an Artist and he sells YOU his image, and you pay him with your eyeballs.
    Keep in mind while you watch him, that he gets paid by the ads that run between his “content”. Never forget that whatever he claims as revenue or motivation, that is what drives him, otherwise, being the clever investor that he is, he would not do it, right?
    I don’t know how much a Network unit (:30sec) costs on Mad Money, but I could find out if motivated. Ain’t no pocket change I tell ya.

  49. Stuart says:

    “disingenuous”?? That’s being polite to the extreme.

    Cramer reminds me of that old movie with A. Schwarzzenager, The Running Man. Cramer is Richard Dawson.

  50. Eric says:

    JMH, regarding your comment, “[Cramer's] effort at TSC and his goal of bringing more and better information to the individual investor or trader is unrivaled.” If that were the case, why would David Swensen, Yale’s money manager, whose risk-adjusted returns ******FAR****** exceed Cramers, would say in the New York Times, “Nothing Jim Cramer says can help investors make better decisions.”? Cramer is a hack who leveraged a daredevil career from a circus 1990s market into a stint as a serial predictor who is never held accountable by the media outlets that make money off of him. Case closed. Game over. You lose.

  51. Joe says:

    Barry, There is certainly no reason for you to focus your website on Cramer, but you are being a little disingenuous here yourself. I’m pretty sure Cramer and helped raise your profile by having you writing columns for them. seems to have helped lots of financial types by helping them to become well-known (at least in the financial community) and none that I know have been willing to point out what a complete clown and dangerous sell-out Cramer has become.

  52. Eric says:

    It should be noted that Cramer has expressly stated that people who claim he has called multiple housing bottoms is a “liar”. Here is the quote: “8/27/2008 12:34 PM EDT
    I cant believe there are still clowns out there saying that I called multiple bottoms in housing. I have said very clearly that 2009 is the year when housing will bottom. I believe 2008 is when the housing STOCKS bottom. Big big difference….Liars.”

  53. bdg123 says:

    maybe i’m totally off base but i think many personalities bring criticism on themselves by seemingly showing characteristics of a megalomaniac. by the way, that is a trait more common on wall street than anyone would every acknowledge. i think it is generally accepted amongst trading coaches (psychologists) that sociopaths or those with certain sociopathic traits make the best traders.

    additionally, a certain personality is often lured by the greed and power available on wall street – sociopaths. there have been books written that many high achievers in the corporate world have sociopathic tendencies. what does it take to walk all over someone in the corporate world to get ahead? it’s very hard not to be cut throat and make it to the top. and i am quite confident that is even more true on wall street. if you truly understand anything about the human mind and what we see happening today, it’s not hard to connect those dots. but, how often do high achievers ever get diagnosed with anything other than great admiration?

    if you ever think about the personality traits of what it takes to sell companies and individuals some of what we knew was surely criminal or, at the least, immoral, it takes someone without a conscience and that is surely a primary trait of a sociopath. we can all get caught up in the moment but much of this is a lot deeper than that. ditto with traders as emotion is the death of most traders.

  54. NJ says:

    You Cramer bashers need to stop blaming Mr. Cramer for your mistakes and start making your own investment decisions. Be independent thinkers and not blind followers and start taking responsibility for your own actions. Cramer’s Mad Money provides good information and content to take into consideration, but he is no replacement for doing your own research.

  55. Steve Barry says:

    I surely don’t expect Barry to work 24 X 7…it’s just weird to waste time talking about Cramer while the fate of Lehman and the financial health of the country are precariously being debated in not so secret meetings. Barry, in your site re-design, maybe you can have a hot-topic comment area to foster such discussion.

  56. Steve Barry says:

    Here’s the problem…Lehman is not too big to fail if it could fail in an isolated fashion…but the same garbage on their books that would be marked to a realistic value might force other banks to take the mark, or at the least depress prices further in a fire sale. Banks may pony up to help Lehman to avoid a bigger hit by not doing so…from WSJ:

    The real fear in the discussions, this person added, was that the fire-sale prices, or “marks” of Lehman’s real estate book could set off a cascade of problems for other Wall Street firms. If those marks were made against other banks’ portfolios, it could eventually force those firms to raise more capital, too. For firms’ considering funding the bad bank, the calculation has thus become the price of that contribution against the price of a widescale markdown.

    There could be further effects to such an event, with the banks calling in loans from hedge funds and other clients, in turn setting off more forced selling that further depresses asset and securities prices.

    “Unless something is settled, it’s going to be a bloodbath Monday,” said this person.

  57. Prague-Noah says:

    Barry – In early 2008, Cramer adamantly called for not only a bottom but a complete reversal of inventory trends by summertime. Yes this summetime. On mad money he specifically explained how supply of houses would be reversed, and how there would be a shortage of housing stock by this summer proving the bottom is behind us and that if you dont buy now, youl will miss one of the best buying opps in a very long time.

    He has called the housing bottom at least five times. He has called a bottom in financials even more. If I call bottoms multiple times eventually Ill be right. If Im wrong, I can use some new event for causing me to be wrong. Win win

  58. Steve Barry says:

    Poor reaction to Lehman + Extensive refinery damage due to Ike = BLACK MONDAY

  59. 2Y says:

    BR – Did you notice Seeking Alpha, rightfully so, changed it from The Big Picture to ‘The Macro View’?

  60. Eric says:

    Oh NJ, it just wouldn’t be a Cramer-moment without somebody saying, “Stop blaming him for your mistakes, etc.” Get this straight — NOBODY IS BLAMING CRAMER FOR SOMETHING BAD HAPPENING TO THEM. People are saying that he’s an unaccountable, deceiving clown. It’s just observations, not blame.

  61. John(2) says:

    Posted by: Mark E Hoffer | Sep 13, 2008 5:23:21 PM

    I don’t know where you got that quote from it wasn’t me. My opinion of Cramer isn’t very different from my opinion of you.

  62. Ken H. says:

    Everybody forget about BEAR? “Bear is fine.” Don’t pull your money out of Bear!” “Are you Crazy?”

    Cramer is a puppet for the street. It’s his choice I suppose? Money makes whores of all different sorts.

    Here is another Don video that is very good.

  63. John(2) says:

    Posted by: Steve Barry | Sep 14, 2008 2:08:56 AM

    Steve, you’re on the money and not “mad money.” LM is like a tree in a forest if it falls it’s going to take others down with it. If they go down the heat will immediately switch to Merrill and AIG although I really believe AIG is in a somewhat stronger position because of the nature of it’s business and the appeal of parts of it to people like Buffett who is sitting on oodles of cash. Interesting game of chicken though isn’t it. I’m expecting it to be Paulson who will blink. If I’m the CEO of Barclays or HSBC in both of which I have positions, or BoA, I’m not going to put my bank on the line without guarantees. All three of these would be dinged by a LM failure but they are not on the edge of cliff like some other basically American names we could mention. As someone above observed if this isn’t resolved by tomorrow morning look out.

  64. Ken H. says:

    After you watch the video above,…think about how it’s happening….again…..this weekend. Now probably ~B of A will get a bailout at the expense of Lehman investors.

    Somehow we need to clean house.

  65. Ken H. says:

    I agree with Steve as well. Any first hand accounts here about the gulf coast? Sorry, but I just don’t trust the media?

    It seems all of a sudden a Cat 2 has become worse than a Cat 4 and as bad a Katrina? Imagine that. Gas has gone up over a dollar and a half over night in some parts of the SE.

    Anybody here have info?

  66. John(2) says:

    Roubini has a very strong analysis up of what is likely to happen if this doesn’t get resolved by tomorrow. As usual he says it better than anyone else out there. I’m apparently in good company because he thinks Paulson and co are going to have to blink given the systemic risks to the whole system and the lack of incentive for a third party to step in without guarantees.
    Interesting times.

  67. leftback says:

    JC is clearly not a macroeconomic genius. Enough said.

    The real problem with the Cramer show is this: that he sometimes makes some decent SHORT-TERM stock calls, people buy those stocks, and they ride up for a few days. At which time the professional investors who previously owned them will take profits.

    Some of the calls JC makes are good, FOR DAY TRADERS, but the viewing audience is too busy, too distracted, and most of all too brainwashed into “buy-and-hold” to be able to take advantage. Time and again he has phone calls from people who bought a stock and then rode it all the way down.

    Of course he has been wrong repeatedly on many things, but the worst aspect of the show is the mis-match between JC’s audience and the market environment. Their small trading size and inability to dump losing bets make this group Sucker Central.

  68. leftback says:

    Steve Barry – I share the general view about contagion but I don’t think that LEH is a watershed event. I would be more worried about AIG triggering the waterfall, and you’re right we are going to see the waterfall selling at some point.

  69. Lawrence says:

    Cramer talks like the momo trader he was, changing opinions quickly. Death to those who heed his soon to change advice.

    Good for you for leaving him alone, more or less. Waste of time. Does Don Harrold have a life?

    I find perma-bull idiots like the Larry Kudlow comedy hour with Don Luskin, the epitomy of the Communist Apparatchnik. Always touting the party line. Luskin ran his fund into the ground during the bubble & if you follow Kudlows advice, you’d have no money left, no house, no wife, no life.

  70. jj says:

    “making Jim a focus of the blog doesn’t interest me”

    whew , glad we got that taken care of

    he got more than his 15 minutes

  71. John(2) says:

    leftback | Sep 14, 2008 10:50:16 AM

    We’re basically on the same page but I don’t see AIG being in the same peril as Merrill because of their business. Sure they own a lot of junk but they also have lots of gems in there and it’s not just a franchise. They are actually quite an attractive takeover target albeit at price a lot of stockholders wouldn’t be happy about but not firesale as would be the case with Merrill. The other thing I think that’s being missed in all this is that while Geithner and Paulson are meeting with the big chiefs there are a host of little chiefs who are going to have to go along with this. It’s quite unlike LTCM which is the nearest equivalent situation where the numbers of players was relatively small about 20 I think. I’d love to be a fly on a particular wall today. Stand by for the big announcement at around 5.00 EST if there’s going to be one. Either way the impression it’s producing is of an out of control situation.

  72. Steve Barry says:

    Giving credit to Cramer for short-term calls is like giving the ice cream man credit for predicting kids will flock to him at the playground. Once Cramer pumps recommends a stock on TV, it immediately pops in After Hours as the lemmings pile in. Of course his short-term calls are good. Some research showed a great strategy was to short after the initial Cramer pop.

  73. D.H. says:

    Cramer has no cred. His TOP stock for 2007 was NYX when it was trading over 100. His recommendation to young novice investors: SHLD.

    If we all stopped watching for the laughs, he would be off the air.

  74. leftback says:

    Steve Barry: I was not giving Cramer credit, but trying to explain how it works. Your analysis is correct, but as is often the case, you are simply more direct in your explanation.

    Do you really think this is the week for the big sell-off? There are no important econ numbers and I think there will be another kick-save. This crew will kick the can down the road for as long as they can.

  75. VJ says:


    It seems all of a sudden a Cat 2 has become worse than a Cat 4 and as bad a Katrina? Imagine that. Anybody here have info?

    Usual hype.

    Katrina was a Cat 5 as it approached the coastline, but dropped to a Cat 4 by the time the eyewall made landfall. It was one of the most powerful and destructive storms on record for the Atlantic Basin.

    At the time, anything up to a Cat 3 was a state/local problem, anything over a Cat 3 was automatically a federal problem.

    Heck of a job, Bushie !

    Gas has gone up over a dollar and a half over night in some parts of the SE.

    And Big Oil is shocked, SHOCKED to find gasoline price-gouging occurring in America !

    (That’s supposed to be their racket)

  76. big LEGGs says:

    The stock speculator:
    “Jim is proof that just about anyone can successfully manage money during a bull market”

    The other prominent guy is Bill Miller – doubling down on countrywide, fannie, freddie and now (?) Lehman. What a dope! his mea cupla not withstanding in his latest letter to investors.

  77. CNBC Sucks says:

    I am probably going to be the last word on this thread, not because I have something brilliant and defining to say, but because Barry’s threads have a shelf life of a day, unlike mine which have no shelf life. Anyway, I am glad, BR, that you do not focus on Cramer. Even I do not focus on Cramer, because he strikes me as a lunatic. I could never watch Mad Money for more than 10 minutes, and you know I watched enough CNBC to create a whole national blog phenomenon around how it sucks. On my “biggest tool on CNBC poll”, Cramer is a distant third behind Kneale and Kudlow and ahead of Kernen, whom from now on I will refer to as The Brotherhood of the KKK.

    On the other hand, I will be Kudlow’s Huckleberry. That hour-long Republican crap he has with Luskin and that Ewok fellow every night is a broadcasting disgrace beyond Fox News.

  78. mark says:

    Bully to you, Barry!
    nice form, appreciate the work you bring
    keep up the great site!

  79. Jim Cramer…Busted!

    I often catch Mad Money on XM Radio while driving around town. Cramer’s editorials are generally entertaining, thanks to his special effects and whiny voice. I remember hearing him talk about the housing market reaching its bottom. He sounded both

  80. Jim Cramer…Busted!

    I often catch Mad Money on XM Radio while driving around town. Cramer’s editorials are generally entertaining, thanks to his special effects and whiny voice. I remember hearing him talk about the housing market reaching its bottom. He sounded both