Monday, March 04, 2002

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Jim Cramer, the former hedge fund manager and founder of (and New York Magazine columnist and TV talk show host), got body-slammed this weekend by a former employee who charged that Cramer was more than familiar with the Wall Street practice known as the "pump and dump." The "pump and dump," as noted eslewhere in this blog, involves someone (usually a trader) saying "buy GE," while he (or she) is selling every GE share in his (or her) possession. Back in the mid-1990s, the SEC investigated Cramer for exactly this reason (Cramer was cleared of the charges).

There is no way to know whether these new charges are true (I doubt it). But the former employee's "revelation" reminds us that no good deed goes unpunished. Following is an email from a friend who actually took the time to read the book:

I read the Cramer book book last night - not exactly Moby Dick - and here's the deal. The writer grew up in Cambridge Mass and the Peretzes (Martin Peretz is the owner of The New Republic and a former business partner of Cramer's) were his parents' best friends. They are professors. He got out of college with a degree in comp lit and Marty got him a job in 1994 with Cramer's hedge fund. News flash: Cramer was difficult to work for. He screamed a lot. He used bad words. He threw things at people. He's....insane. But the writer was making a quarter of a million bucks three years out of college so he stayed a few years. Then he left because his boss was a mean man. That's it.

What a weasel.