CNBC "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer came under fire recently for telling viewers Bear Stearns (NYSE: BSC) wasn't in trouble just days before the investment bank tanked. He has finally admitted some fault.
"No! No! No! Bear Stearns is not in trouble," Cramer said on his program March 11. "If anything, they're more likely to be taken over. Don't move your money from Bear."
The following weekend, confidence in the investment bank disintegrated. On March 17 it was announced JP Morgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) would take over Bear Stearns at $2 a share after the Federal Reserve agreed to back the takeover.
Cramer appeared on CNN's March 23 "Reliable Sources" to maintain that he meant not to move your money from Bear Stearns the investment bank - not Bear Stearns' common stock - on his stock-picking show. However, Cramer told host Howard Kurtz he was wrong about the general health of Bear Stearns.
"[O]kay, I was wrong," Cramer said. "Bear Stearns was in trouble, but the idea was that you are going to be safe. Later that week, I said that Bear Stearns was worthless at 37 [dollars a share]. Why would I say that the stock is worthless if I was recommending it?"
Despite all the doom-and-gloom economic reporting, that even he once said deserved balance, Cramer called the reporting "spot on."
"Actually the reporting has been spot on," Cramer said. "I would go even a step further and say too complacent in part because everyone wants to get the get. They want to be able to get a call from Treasury Secretary Paulson or the Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke and both of those until last weekend thought the fundamentals are ‘sound.'"