Give Rubin His Due

Remember this, Eavis: The markets respond to the Treasury secretary.
Author:
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Robert Rubin

deserves better treatment than he received in this morning's

column by

Peter Eavis

in

TheStreet.com

. In this article, Rubin gets blamed for Russia's collapse, Brazil's less-than-credible rescue package and Japan's snaillike reforms. Heck, why not blame him for Hurricaine Mitch and the crummy performance of the Padres in the World Series?

Eavis' screed misses a very large point that journalists often get wrong: Whatever Rubin did do, it worked. Markets around the world are stable and rising. Russia's banking system may have failed, but what impact did it have other than on the performance of some hedge funds? Brazil's package may not be credible in the eyes of Eavis, but so far it seems to be working, and money is no longer streaming out of Brazil. Japan is better off for implementing some of Rubin's reforms and the

Nikkei

, which many bears thought would crash through 14,000, hangs in pretty well.

Treasury

policy, like good coaching, is designed to win, no matter how ugly the wins might be. I have to admit that I did not like the way Rubin handled the

IMF

situation in Russia, but did the collapse of that once-powerful economy bring the rest of the world to its knees? I don't think so.

That's Rubin's strength. He brings confidence to the markets

after

they have it taken away by others. He wins, even if it is with off-speed stuff and advance-the-runner bunts. For that, Rubin certainly deserves to be

Time's

Man of the Year. In fact, the only thing wrong with his straw-man squib on Rubin is the James Bond thing. I would have qualified it, noting that it was the

Sean Connery

Bond, lest someone confuse Rubin with the overweight, grandfatherly

Roger Moore

Bond or the aloof, humorless

Timothy Dalton

Bond. As for Pierce Brosnan, the jury is still out as to whether he is as cool as Rubin.

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

TheStreet.com.

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 by sending a letter to

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