Posts filed under “Really, really bad calls”

The Cramer Abides

Dow Jones’ Paul Vigna has had it up to here with James Cramer.

Yesterday, in a post titled Jim Cramer is an Insufferable Jackass, Vigna laces into the C-man for “bad calls” and other issues. With great chivalry, he defends the honor of (the fair maiden) Kelly Evans who, despite her apparent youthfulness, needs no defending.

It is an interesting battle — as much for what it says as what it doesn’t.

Let’s start with Vigna:

“I studiously avoid watching Jim Cramer. It’s not that he’s a stupid man, he’s a very smart man. It’s not that he isn’t a successful man, he a very successful. It’s not that he makes bad calls. Well, it’s not solely that he makes bad calls.

It’s that he’s an insufferable jackass.

So last night he’s on his show, trying to convince his viewers not to panic and to stay with stocks, and he rips Kelly Evans over her Ahead of the Tape column yesterday about auto-parts stores. Now, whether or not Kelly’s right or wrong can’t be decided in one day. Whether or not anybody who writes a column or hosts a show for a living can ever be 100% right isn’t the point either.”

I must say this: Cramer was decades ahead of everyone else when it came to understanding the value of financial news on the web. That you are reading this on a blog — that you even read financial blogs –  is indirectly a tribute to Cramer’s prescience. There are literally 1000s of sites that can trace their lineage to The TSCM alumnus are an extremely distinguished group of journalists (like Jesse Eisinger and Aaron Task) and scribblers (like Jeff Matthews and myself).

That said, I understand Vigna’s complaint. Most market professionals find the show tough to watch, but then again, we are not Mad Money‘s target demographic. Its audience are mom and pop investors and financially curious college students — not pros running money.

As to Paul’s complaint about JC: I personally know and like both men. I’m a fan of DJMT, I was after DJ to make it blog for years.

But I wonder if Paul isn’t tilting at windmills.


Based on all appearances, Cramer is bullet proof.

Think about this.

He has survived relentless and often well founded criticism. Despite the structure of the show — its a mile wide and an inch deep — he has a strong and loyal following. Everyone takes potshots at him. Barron’s trashed him (they got banned from CNBC for their trouble) and Jon Stewart immolated him; TDS is the closest thing to Kryptonite to Cramer. Yet he survived a lethal dose of Stewart that would have destroyed Superman. Others continue to take pot shots at him. Still, after everything that has been thrown at Cramer, he has survived and even thrived.

The Cramer abides.

The show chugs along, viewers continue to come along for the ride. Despite everything that has come and gone with Mad Money, it survives. Cramer went from Harvard Law to Goldman Sachs to running a hedge fund to CNBC.  That CV is as close to a front row seat to Wall Street as most viewers will ever get. To many viewers, that access is its inherent appeal.

Meanwhile, Cramer continues to garner media coverage, viewers, and influence. Until no one cares what Jim said last night, he will continue to be a force. Unless and until viewers abandon the show, or he gets bored with the grind of cranking it out 5 nights a week, there will be no stopping Jim Cramer.

Kinda like Cher and post apocalyptic cockroaches.

Category: Financial Press, Really, really bad calls, Television

Is McKinsey & Co. the Root of All Evil ?

“Enron has built a reputation as one of the world’s most innovative companies by attacking and atomising traditional industry structures.” -McKinsey report, published a few months before Enron’s collapse. > Rajat Gupta was more than a mere board member of Goldman Sachs, Procter & Gamble, and others. He ran McKinsey & Co. from 1994 to…Read More

Category: Legal, Really, really bad calls

GOP: More Madoffs, Please

Percent Change SEC Staff Workload: 1991 – 2000 Chart sourced via GAO analysis of SEC data > If you can’t stop the legislation, you can defund it. That is what our Chart of the Day shows, the net impact of defunding regulation. As we previously discussed 1 year ago (SEC: Defective by Design?), there has…Read More

Category: Derivatives, Really, really bad calls, Regulation

QOTD: Greenspan on Financial Innovation

The Maestro: “Innovation has brought about a multitude of new products, such as subprime loans and niche credit programs for immigrants. . . . With these advances in technology, lenders have taken advantage of credit-scoring models and other techniques for efficiently extending credit to a broader spectrum of consumers. . . . Where once more-marginal…Read More

Category: Really, really bad calls

Mike Konczal is a fellow with the Roosevelt Institute, and is a blogger at the Rortybomb Blog and New Deal 2.0. Originally posted here ~~~ Have you heard about 16.896? The fight in Wisconsin is over Governor Walker’s 144-page Budget Repair Bill. The parts everyone is focusing on have to do with the right to…Read More

Category: Politics, Really, really bad calls, Think Tank

Angelo “Agent Orange” Mozilo Off the Hook…For Now

So the LA Times reports that former Countrywide CEO Angelo “Agent Orange” Mozilo has had a criminal investigation against him dropped. It appears, as Atrios notes, that “If Everybody is Guilty Then Nobody Is.”  As the Times puts it: Columbia University law professor John Coffee said mortgage cases like Mozilo’s were muddied by the numerous…Read More

Category: Current Affairs, Really, really bad calls

Did Goldman Sachs Kill AIG ?

I have to take issue with William Cohan’s Op-Ed, How Goldman Killed A.I.G. First off, let me start out by saying that these are two bad actors; there are no “good guys” here. Second, let me remind the reader that AIG under-wrote $3 trillion worth of derivatives, a massive high-risk exposure — and collected $3…Read More

Category: Bailouts, Credit, Derivatives, Really, really bad calls

Fannie/Freddie Market Share Plummeted During Boom

You may have missed Matt Phillips massive read Friday afternoon on the GSEs in the WSJ blog Marketbeat. The entire piece is definitely worth your time, but I found one chart especially compelling: It shows Fannie & Freddie’s market share plummeting from over 70% to under 40%, as Wall Street securitized all manner of non-conforming…Read More

Category: Bailouts, Real Estate, Really, really bad calls

UltraShort Indices

I don’t understand why, but I keep seeing portfolios strewn with Ultra-Short inverse funds. These are the ETFs that bet 2X and even 3X that major indices will go down. 20, 30 even 40% of some accounts are laden with these. Please stop. Eventually, the downside bet will be a moneymaker. Eventually. But if you…Read More

Category: Really, really bad calls, Short Selling, Trading

Dow 36,000 for Bonds!

James Glassman must be a helluva salesman. How else can you explain how the co-author of Dow 36,000 was able to convince a publisher to allow him to demonstrate his lack of acumen on a related subject? After penning what became the classic exemplar of Dot Com excesses — a spectacularly wrong tome about equity…Read More

Category: Really, really bad calls