Who the @#$%! does Jim Cramer think he is?

I love the cover of this week’s New York Magazine: Who the @#$%! does Jim Cramer think he is?

Cover20070604_cramerYou will never read a more self-deprecating article from a living author in your life:

"God knows why, but there seems to be a market for this kind of idiocy.
In that first year, the ratings took off; the network put the show in
not one, not two, but three time slots; I made the cover of Business Week;
and less than a year later, I was improbably filling college halls with
cheering student fans (for some reason, college kids are an especially
eager audience for my show). But sometimes it feels like for every
person who likes what I do, there are a dozen who hate me for it. Mad Money
has spawned legions of haters, people who write about the show and my
character in really negative, sometimes pretty nasty ways. These people
accuse me of being a clown or an idiot. Usually, I agree with them.
When people ask for my autograph, I instantly hate myself. Half the
time I don’t believe I even deserve a television show, and the other
half I spend believing that no one is more deserving of a show. Slap me
and I’ll change my mind like Faye Dunaway in Chinatown.
People also accuse me of being irresponsible or giving bad advice. I
don’t agree with that. Some of them have even questioned my integrity
recently. That I find absurd.

As a 52-year-old father of two, a suburbanite, and a guy whose only big
interests are stocks and sports, I find it incredible that I could be
popular at all, let alone controversial. It is a mystery to me that I
am so loved and hated at the same time, although I’m pretty sure
writing an entire story focused on myself, like I’m doing right now,
can only push more people into the hate column. When I wrote my first
book, Confessions of a Street Addict, a disgruntled former
employee came out with his own book about me at roughly the same time.
I can’t remember who, but one of the funniest reviewers asked why the
heck there was even one book out about Jim Cramer, let alone two! I’m
not usually one to go in for humility, but this is the kind of question
I find myself asking a lot lately. Don’t get me wrong: I love doing my
show and consider it a success, but compare the numbers with the rest
of cable news and you can see that there aren’t really that many people
watching. And yet it feels like there are as many stories written about
me as there are about a guy like Bill O’Reilly, who is much more
controversial than I am, talks about more important things, and has a
much bigger audience. Maybe it just feels this way to me because so
many of the stories written about me are negative (and I’m the one
noticing), but it seems as if I get a disproportionate amount of media

The entire article is worth a read . . .

DISCLOSURE: I am a contributor to TheStreet.com


Cramer vs Cramer
James J. Cramer
New York, June 4, 2007

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What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. V L commented on May 31

    “These people accuse me of being a clown or an idiot. Usually, I agree with them.”

    I agree with them too.

  2. Lauriston commented on May 31

    This Jim Cramer sounds like an interesting guy.

  3. OreoMind commented on May 31

    As much as I often want too, I really do find it hard to hate the guy. He talks about what I am interested in, he moves the markets, and he is very intelligent.

    The whole boo ya thing could go however…

  4. EricP commented on May 31

    Even though O’Reilly discussed more important matters, people really only care about making more money with less effort. That is what Cramer sells, making fast money, that is why he is popular.

  5. Tom C., Stamford,Ct commented on May 31

    He seems like a nice enough guy. He writes well and he’s opinionated. Nothing wrong with that. Offering advice in the manner he does is a little silly and possibly dangerous. If one dissects his public musings going back to 2000 and if you had followed some of his advice which was delivered in a ‘can’t lose’, kind of arrogant manner typical of some pundits at the time you lost your shirt. That is a simple fact. He was caught up in the ‘new paradigm’ thing as much as anyone.

  6. Matt M. commented on May 31

    I get a kick out of Cramer. I don’t catch his TV show, but enjoy his rants on his website. I have found that the people who dislike him are the same ones who take themselves a bit too seriously…”managing money is an extremely difficult job etc.” …by the way, most of the same people haven’t beaten an index in a decade.

  7. ManhattanGuy commented on May 31

    8:30 am: Just some stats released today …

    Q1 GDP Preliminary Up 0.6% (revised from 1.3%)

    Q1 GDP Deflator Up 4.0% (preliminary)

    Jobless claims (week ended May 26)
    – 4000 to 310000

    4-week moving average Up 1000 to 304.500

    The Futures are pointing up.
    DJ Futures – 26
    NAS – 6.0
    S&P – 2.0

    Let’s see where the market takes us today

  8. UrbanDigs commented on May 31

    I liked it better when he was part of CNBC Morning Call and Mark Haines and David Haber couldn’t stand him.

    Damn, those were funny times. Anyone got a video of those days? I think it was 6-7 years ago?

  9. curmudgeonly troll commented on May 31

    I’m sure Cramer will be real popular after the next bear market.

  10. UrbanDigs commented on May 31

    I liked it better when he was part of CNBC Morning Call and Mark Haines and David Haber couldn’t stand him.

    Damn, those were funny times. Anyone got a video of those days? I think it was 6-7 years ago?

  11. rob commented on May 31

    people watch his show because he’s fun. some people don’t like the fact that other people are having fun.

  12. me commented on May 31

    I still don’t like him or value his advice, his picks are about as good as random chance, but after his article I do have a new found respect for him.

  13. mhm commented on May 31

    As a person he is a very smart guy, whether you hate him or not or even follow his tips.

    He gets your attention because he behaves like a baby, yelling, crying, screaming for attention. It’s human nature to respond to this behaviour.

    Disclosure: I’m one of the haters, specially when he moves the market against me.

  14. jim cramer’s mom commented on May 31

    “…his picks are about as good as random chance…”

    would rather have a random chance than follow bearish bloggers who have been consistently wrong…

  15. Ghost of Tom Joad commented on May 31

    I have always followed Buffet’s advice when it comes to Cramer. If Cramer knows so much, why is he touting this stuff on TV? Is the TV show a method to pump and dump? If as many people follow his advice, it will just make the pics Cramer touts more expensive. Sure, it is good entertainment value, but that is it.

  16. kharris commented on May 31

    I have heard that his on-screen behavior is at least partly due to the urging of his producer. She (I’m told the producer is “she”) is said to go to work on him prior to show time to get him riled up because that’s what the show is all about. Given that she is the one from the entertainment industry, the story seems credible.

  17. michael schumacher commented on May 31

    oh boo hoo for Jim Cramer…..

    working for Goldman Sachs teaches you to create and craft an image that is used to get the “little guy” (AKA retail) to champion him at each and every turn.

    Just like the whole flap over the video about the games “that other people” played at GS while he was there. Because he would never do that…

    Effing douche bag…


  18. John F. commented on May 31

    Cramer is a great entertainer. How many other shows let you watch a brilliant, kinetic, insecure narcissist walk a high wire without a net for an hour?

    As for substance, I personally credit Cramer’s show (and books) with making me a better investor. However, it’s worth pondering the net effect on the “little guy.” The show is designed to bring people at the margins into the world of active investing. Of course, the broader investo-tainment industry tries to do this to increase its audience and feed itself, but Cramer is its most explicit and compelling proponent of trying to beat the indices and the pros. The degree of success enjoyed by his viewer base is impossible to know, but it’s safe to say the flavor of the anecdotes will turn with the end of the current bull market.

  19. donna commented on May 31

    I watched his show. Once. For five minutes.

    That was more than enough.

  20. fiat lux commented on May 31

    I saw him on either the Colbert Report or the Daily Show not too long ago and he came off as a sane, likable person.

    I would absolutely not rely on Cramer’s show for advice, but I do find him entertaining.

  21. John Navin commented on May 31

    Cramer’s books are thoughtful and full of insights.

    His teevee “show” is bizarre: an attempt to create an off-the-wall persona that fails so embarrassingly as to be pathetic.

    Congratulations on the ratings, too bad about the dignity.

  22. m3 commented on Jun 1

    lol, hate, hate, hate….

    cramer is pretty insightful… has anyone here averaged 20% over a 10 year period? people seem to get mad at him simply because he makes it look easy.

    i don’t agree with all his calls, but he does have a decent track record. most traders are lucky if they get 20-30% of their calls right. cramer’s recent track record is waaaaaaaay better than that.

  23. The Big Picture commented on Jun 11

    Booyah Slide and Sentiment

    Via Media Bistro, comes this fascinating ratings tidbit: Jim Cramer’s ratings must be causing some alarm in Engelwood Cliffs.He fell below 200,000 total viewers at 6pm in May — averaging 175,000 for the month, a 29 percent drop from his 247,000 averag…

  24. Jim Bergsten commented on Jun 11

    One of the joys of belatedly noticing an article and posting a comment almost two weeks late is being secure in the knowledge that nobody is ever going to read it.


    For the record — I ADMIRE Jim Cramer. He seems to me to be someone who has worked very hard, and due to a combination of talent, effort, intelligence, circumstance, and luck, has both wealth and celebrity, the two measures of success in America.

    He seems to be enjoying himself, has given us hours of entertainment, knowledge, and fun, and best I can tell hasn’t done society any appreciable harm. His family seems in one piece.

    So, at 53 and change, I look up to him as a model of what one can accomplish with, well, a combination of talent, effort, intelligence, circumstance, and luck.

    So, I guess I’ll keep on rowing upstream. Maybe that stuff’s right around the next bend.

    (p.s. Same goes for Barry)

  25. ProInvestor commented on Sep 6

    First of all, all of the people who hate him are either jealous, never watch his show, or watched his show and just bought a stock(probably even a market order in after hours) of a single hour of insight and lost money. Also, if anyone listens to anything he says then they would know that he doesn’t want anyone to just buy the stock without doing your own homework. His experience, knowledge and discipline are a valueable asset to any investor. I would suggest anyone that hates him read his books and there is a good chance you’ll change your oppinion. He is the only guy that has the balls to go on TV and provide advice without beating around the bush. Most people take the easy way out and are very vague. I don’t understand how anyone could use his discipline and lose money. Every single portfolio has some losers. The key is sticking with your discipline. He has developed many rules for investing, trading and everything from cyclical to picking, buying and selling stocks. If anyone want to know more about his discipline go to the street.com. There are 20 rules for investing, 10 commandments for trading, 10 from his success and 10 from his failure. Everyone who hates him most likley doesn’t understand him or the market. For someone who only has 1 hour 5 days a week he delivers the best supplement to individual investors investing. Cramer is probably the most valuable asset to many individual investors. Of course they have to read his books and watch his show to understand what he is trying to do. And besides who the hell can argue with performance? On top of that he takes a boring (to some) subject and makes it fun and entertaining. With that being said, his show and performance would be even better if he wasn’t bound by all of the rules and regulations. Just remember he only has an hour to convey his message and can’t hold your hand through your finace decisions.


    Also why does the media only cover his mistakes. He don’t get a front pager or any page when there are doubles and even triples involved. Keep up the great work Cramer.

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