Cramer Calls 'Em as He Serum

The Trader offers more evidence that a Truth Serum column is needed on <I>TheStreet.com</I>.
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In case you haven't noticed, I don't run

TheStreet.com

. I don't go to the newsroom. And I don't have any control over it. That is frustrating to me, but I am a hedge fund manager and it is necessary to maintain a Chinese wall, even if that means some of my ideas don't leap immediately to life.

But I am not deterred. I love

TheStreet.com

too much to give up on my ideas, and like a really good politician, I am willing to appeal directly to the people. I am going to offer a template to

TheStreet.com

so the people there can see what

Truth Serum, one of my favorite ideas, would be like.

Today would be the perfect day for Truth Serum. You pick up

Business Week

and turn to the Inside Wall Street section, and what do you see?

Cabletron

(CS) - Get Report

, where "the takeover buzz is running high."

This time it is

Jim Marquez

, a money manager frequently quoted by

Dan Dorfman in his heyday at

CNBC

, touting the stock. Marquez says there are "several potential buyers intently looking at Cabletron," including "Italy's

Alcatel

(ALA)

, Germany's

Siemens

and Canada's

Northern Telecom

(NT)

."

OK, let's start with the obvious. We could call Cabletron. I am sure the company doesn't comment on rumors. Big deal. In this story, it's the bait, not the fish.

Normally, fish don't talk. But sure enough, perhaps unbeknownst to Gene Marcial, who puts his name on this column, Siemens

just point-blank denied

this exact rumor after Dorfman broke this "news" just a few weeks ago. (It also ran the stock, but I guess not everyone got out of this one in time between the Dorfing and the denying!) For the record, this ran on

Reuters

on June 10: "'There is nothing to that,' the

Siemens spokesman said about the Cabletron rumor. 'We can deny that.'"

Of course, Siemens could have changed its mind in the last few weeks, but I wouldn't bet that way.

How about Italy's Alcatel? I don't know. I would certainly feel more confident if the article said France's Alcatel. Don't know Italy's Alcatel. I could see how people would mix up Finland's

Nokia

(NOK) - Get Report

with Sweden's

Ericsson

(ERICY)

, but if you are going to rumor effectively, I think you can't mix up Italy and France.

Northern Tel? I don't know. I am long the stock. They bought

Bay Networks

, so they could be an acquirer. But so could

Cisco

(CSCO) - Get Report

. So could

Lucent

(LU)

. So could

Tellabs

(TLAB)

. Heck, so could

3Com

(COMS)

.

In fact, I suggest that after this rumor dies down -- but before everybody else can unload their positions -- every one of these companies will be rumored as a suitor. What kind of value-added info is that? You want a list of great combos? If that makes you money, I will give you one. But I only like to write about what has made me money, and making up stuff like this has

never

made me money. I can't do it to you. I just can't.

Because it is too corrupt

.

How has Marcial done on getting these things right in this column?

TheStreet.com

used to keep records of this stuff. Dust the records off. How has Marquez done? Let's get a databank going on that. A quick Net search as well as a

Nexis-Lexis

check could tell us something. Let's keep a batting average for both.

And if there is no Cabletron deal, let's reduce the batting average of both guys in two weeks. Next time we see either one making a rumor or quoted as rumoring, let's trot out that batting average.

I know

Dave Kansas

,

TSC's

editor-in-chief, believes this is a great idea, and I'm sure we'll see Truth Serum sooner rather than later on the site.

James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. At time of publication, his fund was long Cisco, Lucent, Northern Telecom and Tellabs. 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.