March 23, 2007
Jim Cramer: "Professional Suicide"?
Posted by Gordon Smith

Earlier this week, this video of Jim Cramer started making the rounds on YouTube. (The video has been removed from YouTube, but it is still available at The New York Post got to the story on Tuesday, with followups here and here. In the video, Cramer candidly describes various means of illegal manipulation of stock prices, noting "the Securities and Exchange Commission doesn't get it" and asking "Who cares about the fundamentals?"

In an attempt to mitigate the damage, Cramer called Don Imus and said, "I learned a big lesson here: you got to be a little more clear . . . you can't be as glib, because people will interpret this as being that you're a bad guy."

Henry Blodget (remember him?) speculates that Cramer may have committed "professional suicide." Hmm. I doubt it. The video was originally broadcast on on Dec. 22, 2006. Cramer comes off looking like a self-important blowhard -- which is consistent with his public persona -- but it doesn't look like a confession of wrongdoing.

Thanks to Greg Call for the tip.

UPDATE: This just in from the lemonade-from-lemons department (aka, The Department of Fat Chances):

"I'm delighted if someone who understands how this works is truly on a reforming bent," says Michael Josephson, an ethics expert at the Josephson Institute of Ethics. He says Cramer should brief regulators on how to stop the practice. "It's not enough to rant on this."

UPDATE2: This story has not hit the big time. No mention in the W$J or NYT.

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Comments (6)

1. Posted by Dave! on March 23, 2007 @ 15:07 | Permalink

Does *anyone* take Jim Cramer seriously? Honestly, how??!

2. Posted by Greg on March 23, 2007 @ 15:44 | Permalink

It may not be in the NYT proper, but it is in the "DealBook" section of their website.

3. Posted by Gordon Smith on March 23, 2007 @ 15:54 | Permalink

Greg, I linked that in the post.

4. Posted by Greg on March 23, 2007 @ 15:58 | Permalink

Ah, I see. I thought the Blodget cite was to his Slate article.

The Wall Street Journals "MarketBeat Blog" section also has an item up now.

5. Posted by Les on March 25, 2007 @ 12:45 | Permalink

It made the national evening news on Friday.

It may have reached the level of public exposure that'll force the SEC to launch an informal investigation.

6. Posted by RandomThoughts on April 3, 2007 @ 20:23 | Permalink

How do we know that the NASD regulators were not working with Cramer? They have been trying to get ahold of hedge funds for quite a while, maybe they are using this as their way in?

I watched it with a former Wall Street compliance officer. Aside from being astounded by Cramers words, he confirmed everything that was said as being accurate of what goes on.

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