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Cramer: The Last Straw for Retail Investors

Editor's Note: This article was originally published at 6:28 a.m. EDT on Real Money on Aug. 26. To see Jim Cramer's latest commentary as it's published, sign up for a free trial of Real Money.

NEW YORK ( Real Money) -- "Last straw." Those are the two words I heard everywhere I went this weekend. The Nasdaq outage was the last straw, as it's become clear that the machines have taken over and they simply can't be stopped. That attitude, plus the desire to see someone at the Nasdaq OMX (NDAQ - Get Report), which runs the Nasdaq, take the fall for Facebook (FB) and for this three-hour shutdown, was on one everybody's lips -- my conversations tend to skew to the stock market when any event puts stocks back on the front page.

The criticism was two-pronged. The professionals would like to see Bob Greifeld replaced as CEO at Nasdaq, mostly because of his total failure to communicate anything about the situation, coupled with his insistence that such a lack of transparency is absolutely the right thing to do.

The amateurs, on the other hand, just want out. They have lost faith in the system entirely, because they believe that the big guys -- particularly the high-frequency traders -- are the ones behind the complexity. These folks just want a simple bid-and-ask to make their sells and their buys. They don't need the obviously not-redundant dark pools and rival exchanges in order to get what they want done. They just want the old days back, when the Nasdaq was the technological leader and seemed like the better-run of the two big exchanges.

Greifeld's hold on the Nasdaq board is a little mystifying. I think his success has a lot to do with his hard-core "don't cross me" ability that can beat back all critics. To say that Greifeld is tough would be an incredible understatement. It's a given that he'll ensure those who disagree with him will have to explain themselves a lot harder than he has to do. In light of Facebook and this debacle, that's is a pretty brilliant strategy: He's put the critics on the defensive even after these two confidence-destroying episodes. That shows his power and his hold on the franchise -- as well as the toothlessness of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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