There is a hefty profile of James J. Cramer in the NYT magazine this weekend that is worth reading.
But here’s the one thing you need to understand about Jim Cramer: If you read financial blogs or follow StockTwits or do any sort of research online, the archeology of that traces back to Cramer. He is the Big Bang of financial blogging, the “Adam & Eve” of online financial research. That sort of farsight is none too common in this business.
You may not know this, but TheStreet.com was a factory that churned out award winning journalists and market beating fund managers like Hershey’s kisses. Josh Brown, once likened TheStreet.com to the “Motown Records of the Financial Web.” They were the farm team for the world of financial reporting, where the media bigs came to look for the next hire.
The number of people who came out of TSCM to become household names in financial reporting and asset management is quite astonishing: TheStreet.com alumni include Aaron Task (Yahoo Finance), Jesse Eisinger (WSJ/ProPublica) who just won a Pulitzer, Herb Greenberg (CNBC), James Altucher (FT/WSJ), Justin Lahart (WSJ), Paul Kedrosky (Bloomberg), Adam Lashinsky (Fortune), Alex Berenson (NYT), Simon Constable (WSJ), Dave Kansas (WSJ), Gail Griffin, (Barrons), John Edwards (WSJ) David Gaffen (WSJ/Reuters), Lauren LaCapra (Reuters), Colin Barr (Fortune), Tim Arango (NYT), Dagen McDowell (Fox), David Reilly (Bloomber/WSJ), Peter Eavis (WSJ). Fund managers like Doug Kass, Whitney Tilson, David Merkel, Jeff Matthews, Helene Meisler, Jon Markman, Todd Harrison, and the list goes on and on. I myself am a proud TSCM alumnus.
I have on occasion criticized Jim for some position or another he has taken on sub-prime or housing or the Fed, but that comes with the territory. As much as people bash Cramer, consider this: He is the guy who first conceived of Democratizing financial research and reportage. Whatever money he made for clients as a hedge fund manager is far outweighed by his contribution to you, the modern investor.
The fact that you are reading this on blog, that you may have found on Twitter, traces its roots back to his original idea: That stock research should be accessible to anyone, not merely the privileged few whose large accounts gave them access to analysts.
The Cramer Abides (March 3rd, 2011)
Jim Cramer Hits an All-Time High
NYT, May 11, 2011