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TheStreet Open House

The Media Discovers Margin Selling

Oh great, suddenly everybody is talking about margin clerks. Suddenly all of the talking heads are focused on the issue! Gheeezzhh? Where have you guys been?

Now that my little margin clerk secret is well-known I suspect it is late in this margin game. Here is why: If everybody knows that the margin clerks are going to wield their axs, the "smart money" will be in there shorting stocks on every lift, betting that people will be sold out.

That will create the short base we need to put in a real bottom. You can't worry about a worry that everybody is worried about. That's like Asia in 1997 or Long Term Capital in 1998. Once everybody knows about something that seems troubling, it is overly discounted.

I like that.

James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. At time of publication, his fund had no positions in any stocks mentioned. His fund often buys and sells securities that are the subject of his columns, both before and after the columns are published, and the positions that his fund takes may change at any time. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Cramer's writings provide insights into the dynamics of money management and are not a solicitation for transactions. While he cannot provide investment advice or recommendations, he invites you to comment on his column at jjcletters@thestreet.com.

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