Borders Group


is taking matters into its own hands. It is talking about a leveraged buyout because its managers think it is too cheap. To which I say, yes, it is about time!

In the 1980s many retailers went private because they thought they were worth more than the market was willing to pay.

The first ones did great. Many of the retailers we now trade came out of this process. The later ones did terribly.

Federated Department Stores




come to mind.

We are very early into this process. Other than

Garden Ridge

, I haven't seen many other leveraged buyouts in retail. But it sure makes sense.

Borders execs must look at themselves and feel terrible. If they could start over as they could be worth a fortune. Instead they are stuck being Borders with a dot-com that hurts them.

Surely management sees this stuff and gets livid. How can Bezos be worth so much and we be worth so little? But before you become a dot-com you have to go private and lose the brick and mortar.

I suspect we will see a lot of these as the year progresses.

James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of 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