To honor Jim Cramer's appearance on the "Daily Show" later tonight, I thought that I would compile a list of the top 10 worst moments of Jim Cramer's career.
Cramer is an extremely polarizing figure - people either REALLY love him (and defend him vigorously), or they REALLY hate him. You won't find too many people that just shrug their shoulders when you mention the name Jim Cramer. He puts himself out there, isn't afraid to speak his mind and is a lightning rod of controversy.
Without further ado, here are the top 10 worst moments of Jim Cramer's career:
1. The Bear Stearns Segment. On March 3rd, 2008, Jim Cramer strongly defended Bear Stearns, proclaiming that the company was fine and that you should not pull your money. Less than a week later, Bear Stearns had collapsed.
This single segment has made Jim Cramer the subject of ridicule over the past 12 months. Fox Business News took out ads in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times, pointing out Cramer's comments on Bear Stearns.
Jon Stewart and the "Daily Show" recently piled on as well, which has led to Cramer appearing on the show later tonight.
I can't think of a single moment in Cramer's career that he has taken as much flack from as this one.
2. The Wavephore Scandal. In 1998, Jim Cramer was a frequent guest on CNBC.
Cramer made disparaging comments about Wavephore and Internet firms like Wavephore, calling them "Fraud-U-Net" companies.
The stock rocketed higher the day before Cramer's appearance, and plummeted shortly after he made his remarks about the company.
Wavephore cried foul, contending that Cramer had shorted shares of their company prior to his appearance on CNBC, and demanded that the SEC investigate.
The CNBC briefly suspended Cramer while the SEC investigated.
The SEC cleared Cramer of any wrong-doing, but he later admitted that this was an extremely trying time for him.
3. 1998 at Cramer Berkowitz. In February of 1999, a New York Times article reported that Cramer's hedge fund, Cramer Berkowitz, had only managed a return of 2% after fees in 1998. This compared to a return for the S & P 500 of 29%.
1998 was a very trying year for the hedge fund - they battled through a wave of investor redemptions right when the markets were being sold off due to worries about the Asian financial system.
Cramer had a falling out with long-term friend and investor in the fund, Martin Peretz. Peretz elected to pull all of the money that he controlled out of Cramer Berkowitz. This forced Cramer to have to raise cash to pay off his investors, which nearly resulted in him walking away from the fund. He pulled through the downturn though, and eventually patched things up with Peretz.
To say that 1998 was a trying year for Cramer would be a supreme understatement.
4. "Trading With the Enemy" released by Nicholas Meier. Nicholas Meier, a former employee of Cramer Berkowitz, penned a book in 2002 titled "Trading with the Enemy: Seduction and Betrayal on Jim Cramer's Wall Street".
This was a VERY unflattering portrayal of Jim Cramer, painting him as an egomaniacal trader who took advantage of every edge possible, legal or otherwise.
5. Jon Stewart. Ok, this ties in with number one, but deserves an entry of its own.
Cramer made the fatal mistake of fighting back against Jon Stewart's attack. This really raised the ire of Stewart and his staff, and they continued to hammer away at Cramer and his integrity.
Cramer then appeared on the Today show, where the host aired the most recent "Daily Show" segment that was aimed at Cramer while Cramer watched on a split-screen.
6. "The Winners of the New World".
On February 29th, 2000, Jim Cramer gave his "top 10 stocks" that are "going to make it in the New World".
This turned out to be a phenomenally bad list that would have incinerated the portfolio of any investor who was following along and buying. The ten stocks were:
7. Thestreet.com Trades Under a Dollar For the First Time.
The IPO of Thestreet.com signaled everything that was wrong about the "Dot-com boom".
The company went public at a time when practically EVERY Internet company had a valuation of over a billion dollars, and Thestreet.com was no different.
Thestreet.com, given an eye-popping valuation in its first days of existence as a publicly traded company, slowly wilted away as the Internet bubble deflated.
The stock, which had traded over $60 when it went public in May of 1999, dropped below $1 in October of 2001. This was an embarrassing time for the company, as their sagging stock price was the subject of much ridicule.
8. Cramer Manipulated Stocks?
This clip was recently pounced upon by sites such as huffingtonpost.com, and was at the top of Digg.com for a while. This clip has certainly appeared at an inopportune time for Jim Cramer.
9. Fox / Cramer Lawsuit. Nearly a decade ago, Fox News sued Cramer and Thestreet.com, alleging that they had breached their contracts in regards to the aborted Thestreet.com TV show that briefly appeared on the channel.
The two sides eventually settled the suit, however Fox continued to pound away at Cramer over the years, disparaging him in various media campaigns. The vendetta against Cramer has been a source of embarrassment for both Cramer and CNBC - I mean, who would like to see full page ads in the WSJ, pointing out how bad your calls were?
10. Wachovia. On September 15th, 2008, Cramer welcomed the CEO of Wachovia, Robert Steel, onto his show.
Cramer recommended the stock, and two weeks later, was apologizing to his viewers after Wachovia plunged in price. Citibank acquired Wachovia, causing the stock to drop from $10 on September 26th to less than $1 on September 29th.
Cramer told his viewers that he had "let them down".
Comment by David Enger on November 25, 2009 @ 11:10 pm
Wells Fargo took over Wachovia, not Citigroup.
Comment by Its only the fault of the followers on May 15, 2011 @ 5:04 pm
Take a bath with a pile of shit, expect to get filthy. Anyone that trusts this dildo needs to stare hard into the mirror before having someone smash their face through it.
Comment by Jumpin Jim on January 03, 2013 @ 10:03 pm
I lost about 6 k on the WAVO comments. Back then, everyone was trying to bet on wire, fiber optics or waves in the new tech service. WAVO was betting on waves and lost.Now today, we have iCloud, wireless everything and wifi. They were right and they were just too early. Nothing fraud u net about that evil time. I remember it vividly. Thy went from $4 to $13 in a day. Jim picked up on them as a poster child and the next day opened lower and dropped like a rock. I don't blame him really. Few knew what to make of any of them. Aol was a big deal back then too!
Comment by Jumpin Jim on January 03, 2013 @ 10:06 pm
Don't get me wrong, I like him, his energy and enthusiasm. He just spoke his mind and was right in the long run. Company was not strong enough to survive on their own patents and r&d. They were ahead of their time in many ways.