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Somebody over at the Peacock Network must be getting nervous about the activities of CNBC host and hotshot market guy Jim Cramer. The nervousness arises out of Cramer saying the following on an Internet discussion recently, which seemed to indicate he engaged in manipulating the market:
"A lot of times when I was short at my hedge fund and I was 'position short,' meaning I needed it down, I would create a level of activity beforehand that could drive the futures. It doesn't take much money. By the way, no one else in the world would admit that, but I don't care. I'm not going to say it on TV."
Well, he did say it on TV and it's out there and naturally there are questions about what Cramer has been doing in the markets and on TV. And this raises questions that GE should want answered, since he is a GE employee on his CNBC program. The SEC probably wants to look into this quote because it sounds like Cramer was doing stuff the regulators don't like.
So today Cramer goes on the Imus radio show and he tries to explain his way out of the hole he's dug for himself. He explained that he didn't express himself correctly:
"I learned a big lesson here: You gotta be a little more clear when you say this stuff, and you can't be as glib because people interpret it as being that you're a bad guy. Look, I tried. I ran a clean shop. I tried not to be a bad guy."
But earlier in the interview he also gave an insight into what he did do — which he says is legal — to make a stock do what he wanted it to do, either go up or go down. Cramer was asked if he would in fact take a position in a stock and then create some action attempting to manipulate the stock price. He said:
"You can, if you want to, sell stuff to make it, to make the market heavy. This is a legal thing. You just go in and you sell a lot of stuff that you own, sell a lot of stocks. And people say, wow, there's a guy selling, maybe something's wrong."
By the way, when you got hammered in the market last week or the week before when some stock you owned suddenly stepped into a hole, now you know what might have happened.
So the question is: Cramer backpedals: Is it good enough for GE and the SEC? I've seen GE in action. They don't fool around if they think someone in their employ has broken or bent the law. And that same area just happens to be the SEC's main business. So let's see if Cramer managed to dig out of that hole.
That's My Word.
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