So last weekend I'm cleaning out a closet that my wife has been steamed about for about seven months, and I stumble upon a review I wrote in 1985 of a book called Merger Mania, by Ivan Boesky.
Actually, it wasn't the review, which ultimately ran in
The New Republic
that September, but a draft of the review. Throughout the margins were handscrawled notes raising questions about how Boesky really made his money. The notes seemed to indicate that the editor didn't quite believe that Boesky was really giving us the truth about arbitrage, Boesky-style.
That was a year before the feds got Boesky, and the comments saved me from looking like a fool when it came out that Boesky made his money by giving suitcases of money to in-the-know M&A sources.
Those handwritten editor's notes, a neat bit of clairvoyance, came from the felt-tip pen of
, who then was one of my bosses at
. When I was an associate there I wanted to write -- to wear both hats, even then.
The firm wasn't crazy about it, but Rubin, who was extremely powerful within Goldman (he was not the head honcho yet), approved of basically anything that put you out into the community. He loved it that I wrote and encouraged me to do so. His one concession was that he was to be my editor because he wanted to be sure it was done right!
Funny, when I told him that that the changes he wanted might embarrass Ivan Boesky, he didn't blink. He simply smiled and said that he was confident that the only person who would ultimately be embarrassed by taking Boesky's book seriously would be ME!
Yeah, he got it right even then.
After the feds busted Boesky I always thought I owed Rubin big. But he never wanted an ounce of credit. He was grateful I listened to him.
Just like now. Bob -- and believe me, he was never known as anything but Bob -- never wanted an ounce of credit for anything. He just wanted YOU to look good.
What a guy.
James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. At time of publication, his fund was long Goldman. 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