Doh! Cramer Told E-Mailer to Hold Onto Bear Stearns Stock a Week Ago
He'd probably like to take this comment back, but then again there are probably many things CNBC "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer has said that he'd like to take back.
"Dear Jim: Should I be worried about Bear Stearns in terms of liquidity and get my money out of there? --Peter
Cramer says: "No! No! No! Bear Stearns is not in trouble. If anything, they're more likely to be taken over. Don't move your money from Bear."
On the day Cramer posted that on his Web site, Bear Stearns had a stock price of $62.97. As of noon March 17, the stock price had plummeted to $3.80 a share after the market opened. On March 16 it was announced that J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) was purchasing the beleaguered investment bank rocked hard by the mortgage fallout.
Update (3:22 p.m.)
CNBC's Jim Cramer responds to his claim and says he didn't mean Bear Stearn's common stock, but Bear Stearns as a bank.
Cramer clarified his remarks on CNBC's March 17 "Street Signs":
"Look, let's understand two things," Cramer said. "I said the common stock was worthless on Friday, as soon as this thing was at 36 because we saw a look at the bonds. If you kept your money in Bear you made out. You got the liquidity. Keeping money at Bear - I guess I could have caused a run on the bank and said take your money out of Bear. I guess people could say hold it, he's saying buy the common stock. I mean, what the heck. I cannot cause a run. It turned out the Federal Reserve guaranteed the money. I'm not going to tell people to pull money out of these places. The Federal Reserve is guaranteeing the money. They are not guaranteeing the equity. I got a lot of things wrong in my life, but I don't regret the fact when I said don't take your money out of Bear. If you have your money in Bear you still got it today. Remember, there's Bear Stearns the common and that person was going to pull the money out of Bear. We got a guarantee. J.P. Morgan is now Bear."