Jim Cramer Will Take Your Questions Now

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.


I've got a question for Cramer,

In light of recent studies showing that only 4 in 10 high school students can grasp basic economic concepts, would you ever consider creating a TV show or a podcast tailored to America's youth?

Adam Rubinstein

Do you feel Bernanke listened to some of the points you made in your CNBC rant last Friday?


Not owning a TV, I've seen several clips on Youtube featuring Mr. Cramer. In one rather impressive clip, Mr. Cramer gets rather emotional about the state of the housing market and the "competence" of a certain Mr. Bernanke. In other clips, Mr. Cramer is cool and unconcerned about the tumultuous sub-prime housing market. I am rather confused about the differences, since I would have thought he was referring to the same market. Enlightenment as to the differences from the Man would be terrific.


I know you were under a lot of stress when working at your hedge fund, and I remember you saying you were going to work yourself to death if you kept it up. It seems to me you still work very hard, maybe not to death. But in order to stay on top of every company in America, it is more than just a full time job. My question is have you ever been tempted to go to a beach and retire for the rest of your life? Or is retirement not in your vocabulary? Work until you die as long as you love it and people will pay you?

Hap Allen

Jim: If I'm not mistaken, in one of your books you advise people to invest only "10% of your non-retirement portfolio" in your stock picks. (It's all "retirement," isn't it?) For most of us that 10% is a tiny amount of money, thus not a big risk to take. But I don't ever hear that repeated aloud on the show, nor is the impact of capital gains taxes stressed. At the same time, the show fosters an atmosphere of excitement, a sense of haste (if not panic), and a short-term view of investing. The above could easily lead naive investors to invest way more than they can afford, and to buy and sell in a costly way. Is that fair to the people you profess to be helping?


instead of cities being held hostage by team owners saying they will move the franchise if they dont get a new stadium or arena, wouldn't the wise money go and buy the team outright. Wouldn't a city be better off having an asset like a pro team then just a construction bill?

Joe G.

Hi Jim,

I'm a young adult (22) who just graduated from college. What advice do you have for young adults like me who appreciate the importance of investing young, who simultaneously have little money to invest, and who want to learn more investing responsibly? Thank you for your time.



In the same theme as Hap Allen's question above, do you think a short-term strategy is right for the majority of americans?

Jon S.

Mr. Cramer:

What do you say about the moral hazard issues with the fed bailout you want?

Robert Azimi

Dear Jim,

Thank you for sharing your knowledge and enthusiasm with the all of us, specially many thanks for your kindess to Children (our future). Well, speaking of our future, what would you recommend as the solution to our National Debt and trade deficits? Political Candidates will not touch the subject, you on the other hand would. Please educate us.

Very Best Regards,


Is Mr. Cramer too excitable to be elected President of the U.S.A.? If not, will he consent to run for President? If not, will he run for the "independent" Office of V.P.--which is "not part of the Executive Office?" If not, will he run for V.P. or other "partnered" office with a President for the people, by the people, of the people" rather than of profit-sharing agents for entrenched monopolies?

We need Mr. Cramer's heart and mind to lead us out of darkness. Will Mr. Cramer please rise to the occasion, by the grace of God?

Thank you for the column, and thank The Times for giving Cramer a platform from which to feed real food to the hungry people.

God bless The New York Times for this platform for free speech.

(ISAIAH 55, JOHN 21:17)

Brandon R.


I am really curious why you and your friends believe that it is perfectly normal for business to fail. . . As long as they are not financial services businesses.

Why should the Fed bail out all the financial companies that made all these stupid loans just to keep the illusory wealth engine humming along? We all knew that someone would eventually have to pay for that. Why does it have to be taxpayers?

Why bail out those companies, and at the same time, allow all these mortgage holders to become victims?

I truly would like to know what the conceptual difference is between spending $100 Billion to bail out these companies with massive monetary discounts, and spending the same amount to keep these individuals, who were playing their game, from losing their homes?

I am against both, but I would like to know why your way is better than, say, Hillary's way.

James N.

People who believe at least somewhat in efficient markets would have a hard time believing that following your stock picks would help them beat the market average. Have you studied your track record to see if your advice really helps people? Clearly it would far more boring (and less profitable) to be so enthusiastic about index funds night after night (booyah!), but do you ever worry that you're leading people in the wrong direction with your advice? Thanks!


Mr. Cramer,

Surely smarter people should have seen the building risk from mortgage based securities from a mile off. So why the high volatility of late? Are the computers following emotion driven trading down the road to folly? Aren't there any controls in place to prevent their automated responses to human generated and arguably stupid trading decisions?


On the topic of advice:

Each year for the last 5 or so years I have played fantasy football. In some way it's a lot like picking stocks: you look for value and hope for growth, drop dogs when they're weighing down your portfolio, and gather research on a regular basis. A lot of this research comes from "experts," who don't necessarily perform better than I do over the course of the season (and I've never won my league).

My question has 2 parts: what is the role of "expert" advice in identifying winners and losers in markets? And, on average, would the advice of a panel of market participants, but non-experts, be any better?


While watching your rant on MSNBC I felt compelled to ask this question.
Do you feel it is the Federal Reserve's job to bail out people or institutions for making bad decisions? The markets work these situations out on their own and constant intervention by the fed can cause a problem to become worse if a correction is really needed. The main people hurt by the current "credit crunch" are lenders who made ill-advised loans, investors who didn't do their due diligence and just bought the loans, homeowners who enjoyed big gains because of an over-inflated housing market and some equity investors (like Cramer) who enjoyed huge gains from leverage buyouts of their stock holdings.


What's the best way to address the high school dropout problem?


I'm still in my 20's but cognizant enough to know that Social Security is a waste of my time and money. What do you believe are the most effective ways that a 20 something can ensure that there will be retirement funds available when we enter our 60's while we all wait for the failure of the Social Security tax?


Hello Jim Cramer,

I am an artist living in Paris. With the explosion of the number millionaires, and the boom in contemporary art, do you think that beyond a few living blue chip artists, the idea that a rising tide lifts all boats applies to the art world? Thanks...


P.S. I like the lettuce bit.


Which is the bigger threat for American business: healthcare costs or pension costs? What solution to that problem does the business community favor, and do you think that's a good idea?

So often the business community comes up with a solution that they think is in their best interests but in fact it ends up exacerbating the problem because they're so focused on the immediate future-- look at Malcolm Gladwell's article on pensions from the New Yorker a few months ago. I'm horrified that that will happen again with whatever fix the business community gets behind.