Jim Cramer's Best Blogs

Catch up on his thinking on the hottest topics of the past week.
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Jim Cramer fills his blog on RealMoney every day with his up-to-the-minute reactions to what's happening in the market and his legendary ahead-of-the-crowd ideas. This week he blogged on:

  • the broken oil market,
  • new tech, and
  • the ouster of Lehman's CFO.

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Let's Face It -- the Oil Market Is Broken

Originally published on Tuesday, June 10, at 3:04 p.m.

Every market's so thin here and so easily pushed around by derivatives and aggressive buying and selling that it's hard to trust any prices. Does anyone believe that some large buyer of oil paid up $10 the other day? Does anyone think that a major airline or a energy user came in and said, "Buy 200,000 barrels of oil with a $10 limit"?

That market seems completely broken to me. The only way I know to look at it is to divide it by 10, thinking of it as a $12 stock going to $13, but it still doesn't work. No one in his right mind who is a real buyer buys things so badly.

In the meantime, what short-seller is so thinly capitalized that he needs to pay up for fear of, well, for fear of what? An even higher price tomorrow? Sure, it's possible that some thinly capitalized player had a big margin call on his short. But it is ridiculous that such a trader or traders could


change the world by chasing oil up on a squeeze. How can this market be that illiquid? Is it worth having? Is it really usable? Would


(XOM) - Get Report

be able to buy or sell 200,000 barrels at that price? I don't think so. I think this market is made up of people who put little down and then are constantly being margined out. Raising the margin would have a huge benefit to the world's economy. That this isn't being done is bordering on criminal.

Or gold. It's flopping and chopping in huge gobs of dollars, yet nothing's really happening -- another sign of a very inefficient if not dubious market.

Or how about the grains? They are totally out of control, where again the market seems to be as small as the head of a pin vs. the huge amount of wheat or corn that is produced. That market has some limits, so it can't be freaked out about. But the action seems pretty questionable if you ask me, with an endless romp unmet by any supply.

Or our own equity market, which seems to be a creature of ETFs, where the financials or the oils or the minerals can just be juked beyond all recognition.

The gyrations are one of the reasons these markets are so tough to trade. They make so little sense.

I don't believe that speculator hoarding or pension fund investing in commodities is behind these surges and volatility. I think it is a problem with the market, particularly the oil market, itself. The game has too few players to make it orderly. It is too fractured and confused, without depth. And the margin is

way too low

, so anyone can play, including those who have no hope of ever having enough money to stay in this game without wrecking the pricing.

Markets that don't work don't make for good benchmarks. Many of our markets simply aren't working. We should think about that before we freak out

in either direction


At the time of publication, Cramer had no positions in the stocks mentioned.

Old Tech Is Over

Originally published on Wednesday, June 11, at 4:01 p.m.

I'm really angry at myself that I was not more forceful in saying how wrong tech is here. Everyone is so excited about its lack of energy use, but the real issue with tech -- as always -- is earnings estimates and whether they'll be beaten, and we learned from the company that had led us to believe that it would,

Texas Instruments

(TXN) - Get Report

, that our hopes are too high.

What a ridiculous situation. The truth is that the semiconductor equipment business is just bad. The flash business is bad. I think the drive business will turn bad. I think that


(DELL) - Get Report

, which also caused a rally, is not a tell. I think that the estimates are too high across the board, and the analysts simply won't let up in their endless pushes of the group. In particular, I think I wasn't forceful enough in telling you to sell


(INTC) - Get Report

, because that one got way ahead of itself.

This group is atavistic and in the end simply a function of the gross domestic product of the world, which looks to be slowing. The sector's slow and inconsistent growth is part of the reason I am so adamant that this old tech, which is what I call it, can't hold a candle to new tech, which is attempting to solve so many big issues. The only companies with momentum in this space are


(GOOG) - Get Report


Research In Motion




(AAPL) - Get Report

(did you sell three-quarters yet?),


(ATVI) - Get Report



(CRM) - Get Report

. That's it.

But the love affair never ends until days like this, when you see the SOX down big and realize that the whole rally was pretty much a short squeeze and now it is over.

Random musings

: Speaking of new tech,


(IR) - Get Report

has now fallen huge despite the additive merger with Trane. Seems like an oversold opportunity to me. ... If this era is written about three or four years from now, we'll be saying, "And in the end, the only real leadership was from the fertilizer stocks, hitherto known as the ultimate commodity, worse than coated free sheet or gypsum wallboard." No wonder they are so heavily shorted.

At the time of publication, Cramer had no positions in the stocks mentioned.

Good Riddance to the Lehman CFO

Originally published on Thursday, June 12, at 3:39 p.m.

When CFOs get fired, I get panicky. But I am not going to get panicky over the firing of this CFO at

Lehman Brothers


. Erin Callan was put out there as if she knew the numbers and knew the business and knew the answers, and it turns out she undid decades worth of trust in Dick Fuld in a matter of just a few months.

Thus Lehman, which was able to stem a similar slide in 1998 because we had a "In Fuld We Trust" situation, instead began to look a lot like


-- it seemed Fuld had checked out and Callan was running the joint.

This has tragic consequences for the firm, because it allowed every single line item that was disclosed to be questioned, and it allowed hedge funds to walk all over the firm because the longs got no answers, or nothing substantive.

In the end, we wanted Fuld, he folded, and we got this mess.

Earlier in this decade, when it looked like


(JPM) - Get Report

was in trouble, when the stock traded to $16 in 2001, Dina Dublon, then the CFO of JPMorgan, called me in to show me why the bank wasn't insolvent. She allowed me to have as much as five hours of her time to question her to prove to my satisfaction that JPM wasn't in a jam. She wasn't a dazzler or a face person; she was simply a whiz who knew the answers. It was all public stuff, I just needed someone to walk me through it.

I came away from the meeting telling people JPM was in good shape. She was confident, so I was confident.

Callan inspired no confidence. She was no Dublon. More important, she made me feel that Fuld wasn't engaged.

Apparently he is.

Let's hope it is not too late for this great firm.

At the time of publication, Cramer had no positions in the stocks mentioned.

Jim Cramer is a director and co-founder of TheStreet.com. He contributes daily market commentary for TheStreet.com's sites and serves as an adviser to the company's CEO. Outside contributing columnists for TheStreet.com and RealMoney.com, including Cramer, may, from time to time, write about stocks in which they have a position. In such cases, appropriate disclosure is made. To see his personal portfolio and find out what trades Cramer will make before he makes them, sign up for

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