Still getting a lot of heat about my rant against excessive margin. People simply don't believe the power and the abuses I am pointing out. So let's get serious. Check out this email from someone reacting to the
piece I wrote earlier about how critics were saying I am overrating the evils of excessive margin use.
I am a wirehouse broker. I witnessed the near collapse of a 20-broker retail office because of one position. Remember ZITL (ZITL) ? My branch manager loved it. The office built a million-share position in it. So the stock goes from 6 to 96 overnight with people buying more on the way up. Shorts are squeezed out, and then the stock goes from 96 back to 2 overnight. Negative equity situations, you name it. Very ugly situation. Some clients literally lost everything. I remember for a few days every time the phone rang it was a margin clerk looking to sell someone out. Boy, the "veterans" really taught me a lesson with that one. I will never marginalize margin.
The Good of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly now looks
! We are particularly thrilled with the semiconductors.
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