Damien Hoffman Touches A Jim Cramer Nerve

Tyler Durden's picture

Damien Hoffman over at Wall Street Cheat Sheet seems to have gotten into the crosshairs of none other than book (and stock) promoter extraordinaire James Cramer. Subsequent to our post on TheStreet.com potentially being in hot regulatory hot water, Damien penned the following post:

Jim Cramer Says Sell, Sell, Sell His Company TheStreet.com

According to transitive logic, Jim Cramer recommends selling the stock of his company The Street.com (Nasdaq: TSCM). In his books, Cramer says to dump stocks when executives depart suddenly or companies miss their filings. Therefore, once The Street “failed to produce their 10-Q filing for the second quarter” and executives started jumping ship, an honest Cramer would have been forced to “Sell, Sell, Sell.”

If you are looking for supporting evidence to dump your TSCM shares, here are a few strong data points:

1) The Street has sunken so low as to offer stock picks from professional psychics;

2) The Street is losing key executives and board members faster than the Phillies knocked out the Dodgers;

3) The Street’s great stockpicker Lenny Dykstra went belly up (and not sliding into home plate);

4) The Street’s last go-to guru, Doug Kass, has an incredibly questionable track record for RealMoney subscribers (See “Buy the Financials. Yes, Buy” JANUARY 2008, and Doug’s schizophrenic Twitter stream of picks (e.g., April and May 2009) which contradict his jumpy calls and articles;

5) The Street introduced a new newsletter by Ron Insana and claimed the newsletter had a track record based on performance BEFORE the newsletter even existed (Hat Tip: Michael Comeau); and,

6) Jim Cramer’s true value has been proven in Barron’s and he was waterboarded while (not) debating Jon Stewart.

Looks like the circus may be leaving town …



The fearless leader of Mad money and the possesser of the world's spottiest stock recommendation track record apparently took offense to Damien's ideas, and at the cost of taking some time away from promoting his book on CNBC and elsewhere, felt compelled to respond with the following email, titled with the ironic "Some decorum and some fairness" subject line:

     Subject: Some decorum and some fairness
     From: "James Cramer" <xxx>
     Date: Mon, October 26, 2009 5:30 am
     To: <info@wallstcheatsheet.com>

     While I understand your need to be “on the map,” and I understand
     the “public figure” exception to the libel laws, I do think that
     given your backgrounds and your histories, you are taking too much
     license with your Jim Cramer says Sell TheStreet.com .
     I believe that level of lack of responsibility is beneath you. So
     please take it down and apologize to me so we can move on. Fair?
     Think about it. Think about how much better you are than that? If
     you really need to sell subs just sell them, don’t trash me to do it.

Indeed, one expects Mr. Cramer should know all about levels of responsibility and how far one must stoop to end up below them. In either case, a diplomatic Damien Hoffman retorts:


First, as you can appreciate, good content still needs to be entertaining. No one knows that better than you.

Second, this is not personal. I have bought all your books, was a huge fan of your show for years, and my brother and I were guests in your first ever live audience. We even have a picture with you.

If you are interested in sending over a retort to our cited claims, please feel free and I will post it. There is no libel in the post. The excerpt says "According to Jim Cramer's rules ..." Your rules in your book/show are to sell a stock and ask questions later when execs and board members start bailing. The same for companies which delay their filings. Therefore, according to what you have taught us, this is the action we must take. Are you saying TSCM is an exception? If so, why?

Lastly, I think the biggest disappointment as a fan of yours for over 10 years was the way nothing has changed since after you went on The Daily Show and promised to us you would be more clear your show was entertainment and NOT investing advice (which would have been nice years ago). CNBC still runs "In Cramer We Trust" and other similar ads. I am sorry Jim, but many people I know (including family members) think of you as a guru based on the way CNBC presents you. They have lost a lot of money following even your "Top Pick of the Year" New York Stock Exchange and repeated "The Only Stock to Own" SHLD. I know others who lost money following Dykstra as his subscriber. It was your responsibility to prevent a conman from working at TheStreet with your full endorsement. And the psychics on The Street, well, I think that speaks volumes about whether you are running a financial media company or something completely different. Consequently, I don't think censoring the truth is a respectable option regarding our post.

Further, if you look at the sales page for Kass's newsletter, you have conveniently left out his HORRIBLE Jan 2008 "Buy the Financials" call and MANY of his other bad calls. If we are nitpicking what is "beneath" us, I'd put that at the top of the list before throwing stones at me.
The same for claiming Ron Insana's track record was associated with his newsletter performance BEFORE it even launched. We are both trained as lawyers and know there is a way to present anything, but it can still be a lie.

I am calling it as I see it. If you feel otherwise, I will print your opinion. I am not an asshole. I am part of a movement of people who are trying to put truth back into financial media.

FYI: None of our posts in The Scoop sell subs. That's not our core business model.



Wall St. Cheat Sheet

We look forward to getting more clarity on not only TheStreet.com sorely missed 10-Q, but on the potential escalation of how far Mr. Cramer is willing to go to address perceived "lack of responsibility." We are fairly confident that many of Jim Cramer's "fans" would be willing to hold Mr. Cramer to the exact same degree of responsible conduct that the latter suddenly seems to deem appropriate. Maybe Mr. Hoffman should just stick to presenting Buy stock recommendations for major Wall Street firms, especially ahead of 90%+ price drops in their respective stocks. 

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serendipitous_one's picture

And let's not forget Cramer's calls on the "Fortress of Four" banks back in July 08 - most notably, BAC & WFC, both of whom would be/should be toast, if not for Govt. intervention....

Hephasteus's picture

That's down to the holy trinity now. When it hits the dynamic duo of banks maybe people will start to see that they have a bit of a problem with survival.

buzzsaw99's picture

Anyone who takes Cramer's advice is an idiot and deserves to lose money. Unfortunately people even dumber and greedier than Cramer make policy in teh usa.

Harbourcity's picture

I've never understood the fascination with Cramer.  In the real world he'd be selling cars.

Sqworl's picture

He is selling cars, Clunkers..lol

truont's picture

It's because he shouts so well.  My financial advisor never cared enough to shout at me...he just droned on about financial goals and blah blah blah.  I want less "blah" and more "booyah"!!!!

Mad Max's picture

I'm pleasantly surprised by the tone of both letters.  I guess I'm jaded at the level of bad-teenager behavior I see so often even in the financial industry.

TomJoad's picture

Jump! You Fucker! BOOYAH!

phaesed's picture

Oh I so can't wait for that asstard to be hung in effigy.

demsco's picture

Getting Back to Even, after listening to my crappy advice for the last 4 years, nevermind the study I brag about cites I have an alpha of ZERO and I only pick momentum stocks... Oh, and it omits all of 2008. Did I mention I am an entertainer, so don't listen to me anymore.

TraderMark's picture

What bugs me is all his humility as he was being owned by John Stewart is gone


its as if this was all a memory


so much for contrition or trying to do right...


I have to give Cramer credit on 1 count - promotion.  Stock picking is akin to flippinga  coin.

mule65's picture

Economist - Financial expert with zero visibility

lsbumblebee's picture

I see the title of Cramer's new book is "Getting Back to Even". It should be "Getting Back to Even (After Listening to Me)".

Anonymous's picture

why are we worried about a pissing match between Jim Cramer and anybody? WTF?

LoneStarHog's picture

Uh! Maybe it is because that is what ZeroHedge and other responsible alternate financial sites are all about, namely taking on the Elite with - Oh, what's a good word here? - Truth!

Anonymous's picture

I wonder which sound effect button Jim was pressing while typing that email?

Anonymous's picture

To be fair, it is misleading to say that Jim Cramer says to "sell". If they said "Jim Cramer would sell" or "Jim Cramer's rule say to sell", then I would be okay with it. That's what he's referring to, and then like any good negotiator, he asks for more than what is reasonable (ie. take down the article and apologize) so that he can "compromise" with what is fair, which is just to change the wording.

Anonymous's picture

The headline is adequately explained in the body of the post. Examples abound of headline hyperbole. Not actionable.

Anonymous's picture

I wonder which sound effect button Jim was pressing while typing that email?

Anonymous's picture

Guys - there is plenty of crap to throw back in cramer's face w/o resorting to distortion. Cramer was not advocating buying (or holding) BSC in this clip; he was saying that "your money is safe in a bsc brokerage account", which it was. If I recall, there might be a clip of cramer advocating purchase of bsc, but this is not it.

Anonymous's picture

What gets me about the "excuse" that Cramer was advising people who had Bear Stearns brokerage accounts that their money was safe was, how many of HIS VIEWERS had accounts at Bear?

Thats NOT his audience, and HE knows it. His audience is small retail Scottrade/Ameritrade/Fidelity etc etc discount brokerage account holders.

Bear was NOT a discount brokerage.

This excuse was the only fall-back he had.

Its bogus.

Brett in Manhattan's picture

In addition, when he explained the "misunderstanding," he matter of factly stated that Bear Stearns common was worthless.  If he knew this, why didn't he point it out at the time when he was telling Bear's brokerage customer's to stay put?

This is the problem with being a compulsive liar like Cramer. Eventually, the lies start to trip over each other.

Anonymous's picture

Yeah, I've heard the Cramer excuse that he was just implying that deposits were safe, not the stock. So, the deposits were a take over target? Pure sophistry.

Cramer said Bear Sterns was a takeover target. He was clearly referring to the stock's safety, not accounts.

Anonymous's picture

I wonder which sound effect button Jim was pressing while typing that email?

Anonymous's picture

Jim Cramer: The Myth that Keeps on Mything


Unscarred's picture

This is great dialogue between BOTH parties.  I'm not surprised to see Jim try to use his influence to have this post taken down (and throwing around the idea of "libel" is just plain gutless), but surely him deriding Damien as being "beneath this" would only serve as motivation for Damien to share this message with the world (as he did).

Look, here's the bottom line.  That is just damn good reporting!  PERIOD!  It just sucks for Jim that his words are now being used against him.

Guess he never thought about what it might feel like to put HIMSELF on his OWN "Wall of Shame."

Also, this is EXACTLY why I enjoy reading Zero Hedge!  ZH puts it out there and lets the readership decide - the way it SHOULD be done.  No hand holding, no massaging, no bull shit.  Tyler, Marla, Travis, Rupert, Project Mayhem - thank you.

Gilgamesh's picture

He has a great history of throwing libel suits around.

Anonymous's picture

The irony is, I strongly believe that he was short Bear Stern at that moment that he was recommending to the unsuspected not to pull his money(he later claimed that he meant deposits and not stocks,so even his recommendation was hedged which by itself is a proof that he knew something and decided to give the message in a decieving way). Of course I asume that most people who post here know the likes of Jim,but it dosn;t harm every once a while to post those videos of him and the other(Bove),just as a reminder to those new visitors and surfers who might not be as knowledgable as the the frequent visitors.

Anonymous's picture

I (and doubtless countless others) would have enjoyed this posting far more if the hadn't replaced jj's inside email address. I'm sure many of his "fans" would have liked to weigh in with him personally...

Anonymous's picture

I wonder which sound effect button Jim was pressing while typing that email?

Moe Speeks's picture

cramer is a crook, plain and simple

Green Sharts's picture

Here's one of Cramer's Greatest Hits, published on 2/29/00 just days before the internet bubble burst:


“You want winners? You want me to put my Cramer Berkowitz hedge fund hat on and just discuss what my fund is buying today to try to make money tomorrow and the next day and the next? You want my top 10 stocks for who is going to make it in the New World? You know what? I am going to give them to you. Right here. Right now.

OK. Here goes. Write them down -- no handouts here!: 724 Solutions (SVNX Quote), Ariba (ARBA Quote), Digital Island (ISLD Quote), Exodus (EXDS Quote), InfoSpace.com (INSP Quote), Inktomi (INKT Quote), Mercury Interactive (MERQ Quote), Sonera (SNRA Quote), VeriSign (VRSN Quote) and Veritas Software (VRTS Quote).

We are buying some of every one of these this morning as I give this speech. We buy them every day, particularly if they are down, which, no surprise given what they do, is very rare. And we will keep doing so until this period is over -- and it is very far from ending. Heck, people are just learning these stories on Wall Street, and the more they come to learn, the more they love and own! Most of these companies don't even have earnings per share, so we won't have to be constrained by that methodology for quarters to come.”

“We try to own every one of them. Every single one. And if I had my druthers, I wouldn't own any other stocks in the year 2000. Because these are the only ones worth owning right now in this extremely difficult, extremely narrow stock market. They are the only ones that are going higher consistently in good days and bad. I love every one of them, just as I loathe the rest of the stock universe.”

A few years after Cramer wrote this, I checked the performance of the recommendations and they were down more than 95% as a group.

Anonymous's picture


ChickenTeriyakiBoy's picture


i'm on the edge of my seat awaiting that 10-Q

Anonymous's picture

I was watching this charlatan while I was at the gym. Cramer was screaming on Thursday 10/15 or Friday 10/16 to plan to buy Apple on Tuesday 10/20 because he knew Apple was going to miss earnings due to an i-phone production glitch but he thought analysts were too stupid to see that the miss would be due to the glitch. If one followed his advice they would have been treated to buying the stock $10 higher than Monday's close. It's higher now.

chumbawamba's picture

In the end, I see Cramer winding up as someone's bitch at the end of a chain and spiked collar.  Said owner will make a comment, and if CramerBitch doesn't pipe up immediately with, "Yeah, boss, you said it!" he'll get kicked in the groin and go back to his cage without any dinner that night.

I am Chumbawamba.

bugs_'s picture

Hoisted with my own petard!  Its time to back up the

truck on petards!   We want to own the best of breed


time123's picture

I have observed regarding some of Cramer's picks that they are good for the short term, but in the longer term shorts come in and take them down. Exceptions of course apply, such as Apple, Google, etc. which are the better known companies and they continue to do well.


P.S. I get my market timing signals at http://invetrics.com

rD2.0's picture

"If you really need to sell subs just sell them, don’t trash me to do it."

rD2.0's picture

"If you really need to sell subs just sell them, don’t trash me to do it." ____ Jim Cramer is the guy who trashes the most people on his show... he gets a kick out of insulting others

Anonymous's picture

What do you figure this fuckstick pulls in a year to vomit his horseshit recomendations. ( excuse my miss spelling, a 30 pack of ice house will do that, wisconsin resident and all ). Hang all the banksters from the highest tree.

Anonymous's picture

It's blogs like Zero Hedge that give worthless newspapers, financial magazines, and CNBC a bad name... no I take that back, they did it to themselves.

Writing is an art and a natural high when it comes to ZH. I can stock up on food and ammunition, but how do I ensure I can still read ZH (black market maybe, screen prints, I dunno)?

truont's picture

Typical establishment response.  Contrary opinions?  Crush with threats of libel.  Ad hominem attacks.  At least they're consistent.

Anonymous's picture

Cramer endorsed battery stocks a month ago and they immediately nosedived.