“Don’t Remove Your Money From Bear!”

I have reached the now inescapable conclusion that Cramer’s show is structurally unsound.

Its something I suspected for the past few months, and this now absolutely confirms it. Its not the specific outcomes, but the process I am questioning. You simply cannot do the requisite home work and deep thought necessary to intelligently discuss dozens if not 100s of stocks per week, PERIOD.

Cramer gets big kudos for creating TheStreet.com, and for bringing a refreshing bluntness to CNBC.  However, filling 5 Hours of weekly TV time by himself has become madness. It leads to disasters "misundertandings" like this:

"Bear Stearns is fine — do not remove your money from Bear"

>

This sort of stuff is easily preventable.

My advice? Three Simple things:

– Revamp the show, bringing in a partner or even a panel.
– Use more guests to take the workload off of Cramer.
– Learn to occasionally use the following phrase: "I DONT KNOW."

There
is nothing wrong with a "no opinion on that stock"  when you simply are
not updated, or are lacking in time to do the homework.

via Liveleak

Source:
Oops – CNBC’s Cramer Said ‘Don’t Move’ From Bear a Week Before Collapse
‘Mad Money’ host drastically underestimated the investment bank’s trouble surrounding the mortgage crisis.
Jeff Poor
Business & Media Institute
3/17/2008 3:19:20 PM
http://www.businessandmedia.org/articles/2008/20080317110946.aspx

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What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. Paul Jones commented on Mar 18

    Can we get a video of the Bear CEO saying essentially the same thing?

    A little more significant than this momentum trader, I would imagine.

  2. Sebastian commented on Mar 18

    I guess that was a misunderstanding. They did not talk about the BS stock but about actual money or investments you had WITH the bank (like them beeing your broker). It was all about the liquidity of the bank in relation to the customers of BS.
    Nevertheless, Cramer is my personal Oprah. He is so amusing. Don’t take him to serious.
    P.S. Remember his warning of a subprime collapse last summer. That wasn’t bad.

    ~~~

    BR: And, I give him credit for telling people to buy Bear Stearns Bonds — that was a good call (albeit a high risk one)

  3. Troy commented on Mar 18

    I came here to say what Sebastian said, above.

  4. JustinTheSkeptic commented on Mar 18

    Couldn’t agree with you more BR. His show is very entertaining though, and he does explain a lot of things that you can’t get elsewhere. Markets are complex and people need to realize that Jimmy, “he don’t have all the answers!”

  5. druce commented on Mar 18

    Stuff you could have bought for around the same price as Bear:

    • A middle-market NHL team
    • Alex Rodriguez’s contract
    • 2007’s salary for the top 4 or 5 at Goldman, Sachs.
    • The top 5 floors at 15 CPW (which wouldn’t give you as much square footage).
    • Larry Ellison’s yacht.
    • Half of Prince Alwaleed’s plane.
  6. Eric Davis commented on Mar 18

    Yep, That Cramer… What a fool… he isn’t as perfect an oracle as all of us… Seems confirmed… again, he is not the second comming of Christ.

  7. Don commented on Mar 18

    I agree with you BR. His workload is such that he’s actually become a menace. In fairness, Cramer specifically said to stay out of the common. He said that you could buy the debt. He also said that your money was safe in the account.

    On the other hand, check out these gems the found on the CNBC web site.

    Tuesday March 4, 2008

    Cramer likes to call his sister Nancy the original negative Nancy. But there seems to be a lot of those in the market right now. And that’s a mistake as far as the Mad Money host is concerned. There are just too many great buying opportunities out there.

    Here’s why Cramer’s so bullish right now: People are petrified. No one else is screaming buy. That and the amount of short-selling going on signal a market bottom, he said, and not a top. With no positivity priced in, any good news could have a huge impact.

    So don’t be running from the market when you should be running to it.

    Monday March 10, 2008

    Cramer’s message Monday: This market could go much lower before we see a bottom.

    The potential for intermittent oversold rallies is there – maybe even soon – but the trend is downward, the Mad Money host said.

    So the focus right now is on capital preservation rather than appreciation. The search for big gains could actually lead to big losses, Cramer pointed out, so play it cautious.

    Tuesday March 11, 2008

    Days like today – with the Dow up 417 points – are the reason Cramer begs you not to get panicked out of the market.
    ———————————-
    Are there that many people out there not checking what he says? Is CNBC so desperate for ratings with Fox that they don’t check what he says?

    One other thing about what Sebastian said, Cramer did go on a rant about subprime back in August. But after the Fed cut rates, he gave us the all-clear signal. I’ll see if I can find a link.

  8. Don commented on Mar 18

    Here’s the Bloomberg article touting how the rate cut in the summer gave the all clear. The megalomaniac actually believes that the Fed follows his suggestions.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=a6vM.YOJHOVA

    He reminds me of George Costanza talking to Jerry Seinfeld where Jerry had to take a lie detector test. Jerry begged George to tell him his secrets for lying so perfectly. George didn’t want to teach Jerry anything, saying, “Jerry, I can’t. It’s like saying to Pavorotti, ‘Teach me to sing like you.'” Finally George says, “Jerry, just remember. It’s not a lie… if you believe it.”

    I honestly believe that Cramer has had enough success that he’s become delusional about his own calls. I think he actually is able to compartmentalize out of memory the “run to 14500” call he made. I don’t think he realizes how bad his advice is.

  9. hal commented on Mar 18

    Cramer used to have a partner–but their egos were too strong to work together.

  10. Florida commented on Mar 18

    I almost feel bad taunting Cramer at this point. Kudlow, on the other hand? I think that guy deserves taunting all day long.

  11. Hal commented on Mar 18

    it is too bad the fed or sec cannot go back and retrieve the 35 billion a year of ill gotten bonuses over the past several years becasue the profits or illusionairary profits generated the past several years to pay bonuses now apppear to be bogus.

    same thing for the mortgage brokers who drained massive bonuses out of the now bk mortgage cos.

  12. lurker commented on Mar 18

    What??? Cramer is for entertainment only???
    Trying to play his show could be dangerous to your wealth???? Thank you Doc Obvious.
    and no SH*T Sherlock!!!!!!
    I do think there may be a way to fade the guy on a regular and profitable basis but I can’t watch him every night so there goes that idea. I bet someone is though.

  13. cinefoz commented on Mar 18

    So, are you claiming that anyone who had a brokerage account at BSC is in trouble? If so, what is the SIPC for? Are you claiming that brokerage account money just went up in thin air? Or are you just drifting between owning BSC stock and having a brokerage account with no distinction?

  14. cinefoz commented on Mar 18

    Why not take a look at the WSJ, Section D page 1 “Investors Need Not Fear Their Brokers’ Travails”. They don’t seem too concerned for account holders. Why should Cramer?

    BTW, since my last rant about the WSJ, they appear to have go back to business news, as opposed to their possible tiptoe into sensational, slanted, scary business news. I’m happy to see it return. Maybe it’s my imagination, but even the editorial page is easier to read now.

  15. curmudgeonly troll commented on Mar 18

    cinefoz – nope, Ben realized liquidity injections weren’t doing the trick so they upped the OxyContin in the water supply. Takes the edge off.

  16. Chief Tomahawk commented on Mar 18

    BR: The “e-mail this post” feature at the bottom of each one of your blog entries no longer inserts the site address link in the e-mail message. It used to, which made it easy to send it to someone else.

  17. ken h commented on Mar 18

    I have to agree with the no shit Sherlock point.

    He was a pumper and dumper when he was a hedgie to manipulate in his favor and he cared little about the sheep.

    His record is worse than market averages. He is criticized for pumping stocks of companies just before they went bust in the Dot Com bubble. Hmmm, seems familiar.

    The fact is, He said Bears was fine, which it wasn’t. Gee thanks Jim.

    It’s just bad Kharma that he ruins many for personal gain. He is the type that will end up in a van down by the river.

  18. Peter Davis commented on Mar 18

    I personally think Cramer is dangerous. There are many people who take him seriously and listen to his advice, but he is wrong more often than almost anyone I can think of. It’s not just that it’s unrealistic to expect anyone to know that many stocks; he’s just a buffoon. He’s wrong about everything. Now, after all of the carnage, is he telling people to stay away from financials. I can’t tell you how many times he’s advised buying them. Just a buffon, pure and simple.

  19. Able2Fly commented on Mar 18

    Have to tell you as someone neither bear nor bull this is a terribly frightening period – probably the worst since the great depression. What have the rate cuts done to this point except lower the dollar? This continued Band Aid approach defies logic. NO ONE in the media is mentioning the over leveraged consumer. Two-thirds of the American economy struggling to get by. Over extended sitting on a pile of negative equity has been conveniently overlooked because there aren’t any sound bite antidotes or graph charts to spin in favorably. Instead, rather than allow a correction to happen over a period of time that would right this sinking ship, the pundits continue to blow sunshine up the proverbial stock market skirt. Folks, the feds LITERALLY facilitating the takeover of Bear Stearns spits in the face of free commerce and American capitalism. The stock market is a house of cards and pundits are doing nothing more than putting shrubbery out front to increase the “moral” curb appeal to the mainstream public.

  20. SPECTRE of Deflation commented on Mar 18

    Another one for our list of carnival barkers who were dead wrong. People really follow this man’s advise?

  21. mj commented on Mar 18

    another reason it is called “mad” money.

  22. Agoracom commented on Mar 18

    Barry, I stopped watching Cramer and started watching Fast Money for that very reason. A panel is more informative than any 1 person.

    Having said that, I tuned in yesterday to see what he would say about his Bear Stearns call last week. His response?

    [paraphrasing] “People may have misunderstood me last week…I was telling them they didn’t need to move their accounts to another bank…their equity holdings was another matter.”

    Complete BS. People don’t call in to ask about the best savings accounts and he knows it. Clearly, the question in the video pertains to money in Bear Stearns stock.

    Regards,
    George

  23. Stuart commented on Mar 18

    An observation I note when listening to people discuss Cramer is it is amazing how many people will ridicule and chastise Cramer, yet many of those very same will perk up all ears, often in the same conversation when someone says Cramer recommended this or that stock. Listening to Cramer is free and IMO, you get what you paid for. Seeking clarity from reliable sources is part of doing your own DD, to be done at all times. Sometimes you get it, sometimes you don’t but it’s absurd to include Cramer as thoughtful. Unfortunately IMO that is the reflection of the mindset of many people, that they consider Cramer reasoned and thoughtful DD. I would argue that most of those very same people also believe inflation is 2% or the unemployment rate is 4.8%.

  24. Todd commented on Mar 18

    No matter what Cramer tries to defend about what he said last week, it’s a matter of fact that he did recommend buying BSC at $89 at the end of January on his show, after it had rocketed up from 67 in about two days time.

    Did he ever issue a sell recommendation?

  25. Stuart commented on Mar 18

    “By midday Sunday, however, after looking over Bear’s books and saying it was scared stiff by what it saw, JPMorgan dropped its price to $2 a share.”

    After Cramer ranted on about how the wall street banks were broke, which btw makes his BSC recommendation not to sell all the more disingenuous, one wonders how he could not have suspected a quote like this to emerge. BSC will have alot of company IMO. It must be the case. It was engaged in the same business as many others in the same manner as many others with, in some cases, even less leverage. To assert it is the last is simply not credible, especially when considering it was likely counter-party margin calls that finally brought it down, a risk all are exposed too.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/18/business/18sorkin.html?_r=1&ref=business&pagewanted=print&oref=slogin

  26. cliffynator commented on Mar 18

    But Bear Stearns DID get taken over. In that sense, Cramer was right. He was probably expecting an arbitrage situation coming up, which is why he said to ‘hold’.

    I used to watch Cramer in the first year or so because he was entertaining. I had to quit because my brain was turning to mush.

  27. Trigalet commented on Mar 18

    HEY PAUL JONES!!

    ARE COMMODITY FUTURES MARGINS GOING TO RISE TO 50% TO SPECULATE??

    PLEASE ADVISE

  28. Todd commented on Mar 18

    No matter what Cramer tries to defend about what he said last week, it’s a matter of fact that he did recommend buying BSC at $89 at the end of January on his show, after it had rocketed up from 67 in about two days time.

    Did he ever issue a sell recommendation?

  29. Tom F. commented on Mar 18

    Barry,

    Quit wasting your time trying to defend and make excuses for that piece of crap. He’s the biggest fraud that’s ever been allowed on this planet.

  30. American ZIRP commented on Mar 18

    Just as a tip…if you ask a TV evangelist for salvation, you don’t get very much either.

  31. Bob A commented on Mar 18

    My suggestions for the mad mouth:
    Take your medications
    Shut up
    Go away

  32. Innocent Bystander commented on Mar 18

    He is pathetic, hawking his books constantly, and always mentioning his charitable trust ( whats the charity?) Has anyone ever done that? He has to be in front of the camera, and must give an opinion too. That alone should keep you away. I just watch him on bad days for entertainment, and just the first five minutes. Really, how can you trust someone who has sound effects machine that says ” buy,buy,buy,” and a greeting of ” booyah ski daddy baby.” He needs approval.

  33. steve commented on Mar 18

    Cramer was one of the fisrst voices screaming for the Fed to cut intrest rates to prop up the market. His show contributes to the idea that there is fast money to be made out there,and the ensuing panic when that money evaporates into thin air.

    One would hope that people would stop watching him and his show would just fade away.

  34. BigPhatMary commented on Mar 18

    i got news for ya, the bear is coming back. im backing up the truck, loading the boat, whatever you want to call it, and buying tons of calls short and long term.

  35. BDG123 commented on Mar 18

    Well Barry, one thing is becoming apparent re Mad Money, Fast Money and all of these other shows created by clowns for clowns. The markets do work. This mess will likely last long enough to shutter those shows. CNBC’s viewership is HIGHLY cyclical and prone to seeing major drops based on 2000-2003. Advertisers no longer support the show and voila! No more show.

  36. Michal commented on Mar 18

    I dont know from where it is but its funny :)

    Is this the real price?
    Is this just fantasy?
    Financial landslide
    No escape from reality

    Open your eyes
    And look at your buys and see.
    I’m now a poor boy
    High-yielding casualty

    Because I bought it high, watched it blow
    Rating high, value low
    Any way the Fed goes
    Doesn’t really matter to me, to me

    Mama – just killed my fund
    Quoted CDO’s instead
    Pulled the trigger, now it’s dead
    Mama – I had just begun
    These CDO’s have blown it all away

    Mama – oooh
    I still wanna buy
    I sometimes wish I’d never left Goldman at all.

    I see a little silhouette of a Fed
    Bernanke! Bernanke! Can you save the whole market?
    Monolines and munis – very very frightening me!
    Super senior, super senior
    Super senior CDO – magnifico

    I’m long of subprime, nobody loves me
    He’s long of subprime CDO fantasy
    Spare the margin call you monstrous PB!
    Easy come easy go, will you let me go?
    Peloton! No – we will not let you go – let him go
    Peloton! We will not let you go – let him go
    Peloton! We will not let you go – let me go
    Will not let you go – let me go (never)
    Never let you go – let me go
    Never let me go – ooo

    No, no, no, no, no, no, no, –
    Oh mama mia, mama mia, mama mia let me go
    S&P had the devil put aside for me
    For me, for me, for me

    So you think you can fund me and spit in my eye?
    And then margin call me and leave me to die
    Oh PB – can’t do this to me PB
    Just gotta get out – just gotta get right outta here

    Ooh yeah, ooh yeah
    No price really matters
    No liquidity
    Nothing really matters – no price really matters to me

    Any way the Fed goes…..

  37. Scott commented on Mar 18

    <>

    Your correct George. Cramer can now be classified as an outright liar!!! I’ve lost all respect for him and his show.

  38. j. commented on Mar 18

    l i s t e n to Cramer:
    ->http://www.cnbc.com/id/15840232?video=687435255&play=1

  39. Jeff Zoldan commented on Mar 18

    The entire world of punditry, whether it is boorish Jim Cramer or bigoted and hyper-angry Rush Limbaugh, is simply a creation of advertising hungry media who need content, any content, to sell more ads. It is a vicious and ugly cycle and it is the only explanation as to why the mass of idiots who inhabit today’s airwaves ever got a spot on TV or radio in the first place. Anyway, I digress….
    Just want to point out that the Fed rushes to aid of the big banker who created the big mess we’re in today while doing nothing to aid the small time taxpayer (who pays for the bailout) from defaulting on their primary homes. Whatever happened to capitalism, where risk is rewarded or punished? What incentive do any of the big players have to keep their shit straight when they know that they will not be allowed to fail??

  40. SteveInChicago commented on Mar 18

    I heard him say this, and it genuinely scared me. I knew what he was thinking, and it was on Tuesday, a few days before the Bear hit the fan. He had no reason recommending the worst stock in a sector that non-professionals shouldn’t handle without rubber gloves.

    At minimum, the advice should have sounded something like “Look, the law of averages say it probably will bounce back somewhat, but I don’t want you to have any money you can’t afford to lose in it. And if you do keep your money there, set a stop. If it gets to XX, it’s past the point of return and not coming back.”

    I’m no stock guru, but my 401k has doesn’t have any bear market choices, so it’s in cash. Unfortunately, everyone I know has had the same 401K seminar from HR about dollar cost averaging and how they shouldn’t try to game the market, and they’re all going to lose 30% of their retirement savings before this is done. Can’t tell you how disturbing this is to me.

  41. Kimo commented on Mar 18

    Much ado about nothing.

    When i listened to the clip, it was obvious that he was advising not to move money out of a BS account, nothing to do with an equity investment in BS.

    Trying to fry Cramer on this call just diminishes the credibility of the critics. Look elsewhere for ammo, but let one that has made many good calls, and no bad ones, cast the first stone.

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