Monday, March 13, 2006

The Smear du jour .... Redux

I promised myself, for the sake of my digestive tract, to avoid quoting from the childish demagogues of the "sanity check" naked-shorting conspiracy cult website. But... well, today's smear du jour is too juicy to resist.

The sanity check item, widely touted on the Internet, has the giddy title "Is word out? Is Cramer going to jail?" and the item was devoted to that theme. The bravely pseudonymous author of the item, "Bob O'Brien," (nom de smear of ex-used medical equipment peddler Phil Saunders) had a good source this time -- one sentence spoken on the Don Imus radio show this morning. All, according to O'Brien, in support of his thesis that Cramer has an unholy alliance with short-sellers. And profited, presumably. After all, why else would one "go to jail"?

The only problem is that, as has been widely publicized -- everywhere but on the naked-shorting cult websites, that is -- Cramer hasn't done any short-selling since 2000. He can't. CNBC editorial policy won't let him. (Though I guess he could, theoretically, violate CNBC editorial policy or commit murder or.... whatever.) The other targets of O'Brien's smears are financial journalists who are also strictly prohibited from doing any trading on stocks they mention. And, like Cramer, their integrity is beyond reproach.

Well, I guess that's one of the nice things about having a phony name: You can smear people all you want, and get away with it. Sure, they can sue you -- if they can penetrate the several layers of secrecy you have carefully erected for just that very eventuality.


Wall Street Versus America will be published by Penguin USA on April 6.
Click here for its listing and here for more information on the book, from my web site.

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