Saturday, May 26, 2007

May - Confessions of a Street Addict

I just finished reading "Confessions of a Street Addict" by James J. Cramer.

This book is a good counterpoint to Nicholas Maier’s Trading with the Enemy (which I read last March). It is well-written, very detailed, and portrays Cramer in a more even-tempered way. He may throw bottled drinks at his employees and make them wear post-its on their foreheads, but when you get the story from the horse’s mouth, it doesn’t seem like he’s that bad of a guy. And even as he’s busy making everyone surrounding him miserable, there’s no one in the place more miserable than he is, himself. The reporting of his aggravation at the revolving management at is worth the price of the book.

We are also treated to various nuggets of market wisdom. For example:

On the dot-com craze, p. 238-239:

The public, with high job growth, and lots of 401(k) money to put to work, needed stock to invest in.... Put simply, there wasn't enough public equity to go around, particularly dotcom paper, to equal all of the cash looking for a home.

And further on p. 304:

Major companies, valued in the billions of dollars, visited my office and when closely questioned knew nothing about their own business or the way analysts categorized them. Anything went. Capitalism unbounded and unrestrained.

Yes, quotes like these, coupled with his own stories of what seem a lot like market manipulation to my naive ears, make me want to put all of my cash into government bonds. Oh wait, they're crooks too.

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