If you operate anywhere near the world of finance, then you probably have strong feelings about Jim Cramer, the shrewd, in-your-face, excitable host of CNBC’s Mad Money who once ran a legendary hedge fund and, before that, toiled in print journalism, first at the Tallahassee Democrat and then the Los Angeles Herald Examiner. He also helped found American Lawyer magazine, Smart Money, and TheStreet.com (which just purchased Corvis, an online ad services agency, for $20.7 million), and worked in sales and trading at Goldman Sachs.
But you may have strong feelings about Cramer even if you don’t care about finance. He’s got the kind of personality and mental horsepower that simply demand to be noticed, as evidenced by a very compelling piece he wrote recently for New York magazine whose subhead asks: “Why does everybody hate me?” Discussing his Mad Money program, Cramer is typically direct:
On the show, I say stupid things, yell “Booyah” with alarming frequency, and occasionally wear a diaper or jump into a pile of lettuce to illustrate the finer points of investing. God knows why, but there seems to be a market for this kind of idiocy.
I’ve met Cramer only a few times, but I’ve seen enough to know that his manic TV personality represents just a sliver of who he is. As I wrote earlier here, he bought a couple of tables at an awards dinner for some school kids from Queens who follow his show. He couldn’t have been nicer as he chatted them up, and they couldn’t have been more thrilled to meet him.
I’m happy to say that Cramer has agreed to participate in a reader-generated Q&A here on our blog, as we’ve done with folks like Mark Cuban, Sudhir Venkatesh, and Neil Barsky. So enter your questions for Cramer in the comments below and feel free to not limit them to finance. Cramer’s got a big brain and he likes to stretch it; let’s give him a chance to do what he likes. We’ll publish his answers in short course.
Addendum: You can find the answers to these questions here.