Sorry, Cramer…We Will Not Bow Down

This is a post that Wall St. Cheat Sheet Editor-in-Chief Damien Hoffman wrote. He let us post it here, too. We hope you’ll find it as entertaining and relevant as we did.

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After having time to reflect on Jim Cramer’s email to me (see below), I keep recalling the scene in the movie 300 where the God-King Xerxes tells Leonidas it would be a shame for his people to perish because of a simple misunderstanding. Like Cramer telling me to “take it [my post] down and apologize to me so we can move on,” Xerxes says Leonidas can simply bow down at his royal feet and all will be forgotten.

I do not project myself onto the great Spartan King Leonidas. Rather, I am witnessing a major movement unfolding where real journalists and activists have used the internet to finally battle against the entertainers and eyeball monopolists who have melted the brains and 401(k)s of America.

As we say on Wall Street, “The easy money has been made.” Media oligarchs have manipulated and omitted facts at will because the barrier to rebut their falsehoods was simply too high. But now sites like Zero Hedge, The Big Picture, Minyanville, Wall St. Cheat Sheet, and many others are posting the Truth … and people have been rejuvenated to demand honesty and transparency. Moreover, it’s an open-source effort as insiders and researchers happily share information with journalists for something more meaningful than money: Spartan glory.

Like Cramer’s debate with Jon Stewart, my questions and comments were met with silence. Not because Cramer is the Buddha. Because Cramer cannot dispute the facts (and I didn’t even pull out the smoking guns). There is obviously a new post in the works where a complete collection of Cramer’s nonsense will be compiled for the other side of the scale which holds “In Cramer We Trust.”

But for now, this chapter of the perpetual expose ends with Zero Hedge’s poetic penultimate climax:

“Damien Hoffman over at Wall Street Cheat Sheet seems to have gotten into the crosshairs of none other than book (and stock) promoter extraordinaire James Cramer. Subsequent to our post on TheStreet.com potentially being in regulatory hot water, Damien penned the following post:

Jim Cramer Says Sell, Sell, Sell His Company TheStreet.com

According to transitive logic, Jim Cramer recommends selling the stock of his company The Street.com (Nasdaq: TSCM). In his books, Cramer says to dump stocks when executives depart suddenly or companies miss their filings. Therefore, once The Street “failed to produce their 10-Q filing for the second quarter” and executives started jumping ship, an honest Cramer would have been forced to “Sell, Sell, Sell.”

If you are looking for supporting evidence to dump your TSCM shares, here are a few strong data points:

1) The Street has sunken so low as to offer stock picks from professional psychics;

2) The Street is losing key executives and board members faster than the Phillies knocked out the Dodgers;

3) The Street’s great stockpicker Lenny Dykstra went belly up (and not sliding into home plate);

4) The Street’s last go-to guru, Doug Kass, has an incredibly questionable track record for RealMoney subscribers (See “Buy the Financials. Yes, Buy” JANUARY 2008, and Doug’s schizophrenic Twitter stream of picks (e.g., April and May 2009) which contradict his jumpy calls and articles;

5) The Street introduced a new newsletter by Ron Insana and claimed the newsletter had a track record based on performance BEFORE the newsletter even existed (Hat Tip: Michael Comeau); and,

6) Jim Cramer’s true value has been proven in Barron’s and he was waterboarded while (not) debating Jon Stewart.

Looks like the circus may be leaving town …

The fearless leader of Mad Money and the possessor of the world’s spottiest stock recommendation track record apparently took offense to Damien’s ideas, and at the cost of taking some time away from promoting his book on CNBC and elsewhere, felt compelled to respond with the following email, titled with the ironic “Some decorum and some fairness” subject line:

Subject: Some decorum and some fairness From: “James Cramer” Date: Mon, October 26, 2009 5:30 am To:

While I understand your need to be “on the map,” and I understand the “public figure” exception to the libel laws, I do think that given your backgrounds and your histories, you are taking too much license with your Jim Cramer says Sell TheStreet.com . I believe that level of lack of responsibility is beneath you. So please take it down and apologize to me so we can move on. Fair? Think about it. Think about how much better you are than that? If you really need to sell subs just sell them, don’t trash me to do it. jjcramer

Indeed, one expects Mr. Cramer should know all about levels of responsibility and how far one must stoop to end up below them. In either case, a diplomatic Damien Hoffman retorts:

Jim,

First, as you can appreciate, good content still needs to be entertaining. No one knows that better than you.

Second, this is not personal. I have bought all your books, was a huge fan of your show for years, and my brother and I were guests in your first ever live audience. We even have a picture with you.

If you are interested in sending over a retort to our cited claims, please feel free and I will post it. There is no libel in the post. The excerpt says “According to Jim Cramer’s rules …” Your rules in your book/show are to sell a stock and ask questions later when execs and board members start bailing. The same for companies which delay their filings. Therefore, according to what you have taught us, this is the action we must take. Are you saying TSCM is an exception? If so, why?

Lastly, I think the biggest disappointment as a fan of yours for over 10 years was the way nothing has changed since after you went on The Daily Show and promised to us you would be more clear your show was entertainment and NOT investing advice (which would have been nice years ago). CNBC still runs “In Cramer We Trust” and other similar ads. I am sorry Jim, but many people I know (including family members) think of you as a guru based on the way CNBC presents you. They have lost a lot of money following even your “Top Pick of the Year” New York Stock Exchange and repeated “The Only Stock to Own” SHLD. I know others who lost money following Dykstra as his subscriber. It was your responsibility to prevent a conman from working at TheStreet with your full endorsement. And the psychics on The Street, well, I think that speaks volumes about whether you are running a financial media company or something completely different. Consequently, I don’t think censoring the truth is a respectable option regarding our post.

Further, if you look at the sales page for Kass’s newsletter, you have conveniently left out his HORRIBLE Jan 2008 “Buy the Financials” call and MANY of his other bad calls. If we are nitpicking what is “beneath” us, I’d put that at the top of the list before throwing stones at me. The same for claiming Ron Insana’s track record was associated with his newsletter performance BEFORE it even launched. We are both trained as lawyers and know there is a way to present anything, but it can still be a lie.

I am calling it as I see it. If you feel otherwise, I will print your opinion. I am not an asshole. I am part of a movement of people who are trying to put truth back into financial media.

FYI: None of our posts in The Scoop sell subs. That’s not our core business model.

Regards,

Damien

Editor-in-Chief Wall St. Cheat Sheet

We look forward to getting more clarity on not only TheStreet.com sorely missed 10-Q, but on the potential escalation of how far Mr. Cramer is willing to go to address perceived “lack of responsibility.” We are fairly confident that many of Jim Cramer’s “fans” would be willing to hold Mr. Cramer to the exact same degree of responsible conduct that the latter suddenly seems to deem appropriate. Maybe Mr. Hoffman should just stick to presenting Buy stock recommendations for major Wall Street firms, especially ahead of 90%+ price drops in their respective stocks.”



Damien Hoffman is the Editor-in-Chief of Wall St. Cheat Sheet.

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