Monday, January 28, 2008

Rick Santelli Takes Down Jim Cramer

Full Disclosure- I've only seen Mad Money a few times, when friends would email links to particularly funny episodes. The guy is a self-confessed stock manipulator.

Ten days ago we had this post, I think it says more than Cramer intended:
From The
"First Solar is a fabulous company that is highly speculative right here. ... That's how bad and nasty this bear market has become."
FRSL is trading around $172, down $110 from its high, three weeks ago, when Mr. Cramer made it one of his "2008: 5 picks for the next 5 years".

Here's Rat Tube on Cramer:
Maybe, just maybe, the single coolest thing I’ve ever seen on CNBC. Rick Santelli heard just about enough of Jim’s lies today (Tuesday, January 22, 2008). So, he called ol’ Jimbo out. What a glorious moment! The first time a CNBC-ite challenged their King. (No disrepect to you, Mr. Santelli, but Jim Cramer was crowned, King Shill the First in 2005.) The really neat thing is this: Although Jim got all huffy and tough sounding, and said how “bearish” he had been (you’ll see what I mean), I added some cute video clips that show that Rick Santelli was right: Jim was pounding people into stocks all last year. And, I do mean ALL. Enjoy! donharrold

Rat Says: Jim Cramer, aka CNBC’s Mad Money host is blown out of the water by Rick Santelli. RatTube has sung Rick Santelli’s praises since the market has become a political issue. He and Art Cashin are the only regulars on CNBC that tell the truth.

And one of the funniest bylines you'll find on a market manipulation story:

Cramer vs. Cramer
Will his crazy confession destroy his career?

Jim Cramer and I had a bit of a tiff a few weeks ago, so some readers might view this column as just another round in that fight. Others might see it as the pot calling the kettle black, or schadenfreude. Think what you will—but as the author of a column about bad investment advice, I feel compelled to comment on what just might qualify as the worst financial counsel ever offered.

As the New York Post, the New York Times, and Reuters recently reported, Cramer gave an interview on's Wall Street Confidential in late December (watch it here) that can be read as recommending that hedge funds boost returns by orchestrating stock prices and spreading false information. He said that "this is the way the market really works" and that those who don't do these things "shouldn't be in the game." He also talked about his own practices—orchestrating stock prices—to boost returns at the hedge fund he ran in the 1990s....MORE

Here's the transcript of the Wall Street Confidential episode:

You know, a lot of times when I was short at my hedge fund—when I was positioned short, meaning I needed it down—I would create a level of activity beforehand that could drive the futures. It doesn't take much money. Similarly, if I were long, and I wanted to make things a little bit rosy, I would go in and take a bunch of stocks and make sure that they're higher. Maybe commit $5 million in capital, and I could affect it. What you're seeing now is maybe it's probably a bigger market. Maybe you need $10 million in capital to knock the stuff down.

But it's a fun game, and it's a lucrative game. You can move it up and then fade it—that often creates a very negative feel. So let's say you take a longer term view intraday, and you say, "Listen, I'm going to boost the futures, and the when the real sellers come in—the real market comes in—they're going to knock it down and that's going to create a negative view." That's a strategy very worth doing when you're valuing on a day-to-day basis. I would encourage anyone who's in the hedge fund game to do it. Because it's legal. And it is a very quick way to make money. And very satisfying....MORE